Gokul Blog — A conversation on VoIP, IMS, Cisco and Just about Anything

Deeper analysis of VoIP

The First Shot has been fired

Posted by tggokul on January 18, 2007

Nortel-Microsoft partnership has been in the works for some time, but it was only yesterday that some kind of meaningful outcome has emerged. Rich Tehrani, as always, covered  it immaculately.

Basically this is Microsoft and Nortel’s response to Cisco’s Unified Communication suite. Cisco is a leader when it comes to infrastructure (atleast from the data point of view) and coming from an IP world had give them an advantage all these days over Nortel. So when they talked Unified Communications to enterprises, they had a much better say. But now that Microsoft is involved, considering their influence in these enterprises, it adds more weight to Nortel’s communication solution suite.

As very intuitively observed by Tehrani, this probably might be the start of making the PBX a very cheap commodity. And I agree with him on this. There would basically be no difference between an Asterisk and Nortel PBX, considering they both talk SIP. But then, as we all know from the Bake-Off sessions we go to, talking SIP is one thing, interoping is yet another thing.

After all with HMP, SIP and VoIP you can build a PBX on Linux with limited hardware costs. Will an Asterisk server be the equivalent of a Nortel PBX as they both interoperate with the Microsoft front-end?

I see three teams in this Unified Communication space. Nortel-Microsoft, Avaya-Juniper ( I had written about this before) and Cisco on one side of the ring. Cisco was having a free ride so far removing Avaya/Nortel switches, but these recent partnerships has definitely put it on the back foot.

I am also hoping that the future Nortel Switches would be little more open to application development (Rest assured it is going to be .NET 🙂 ). Cisco is not exactly a leader when it comes to deploying new applications and as of the moment is its Achilles heel.
But the news is, the war has started and it will only get fiercer.

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