Saturday, August 23, 2008

Visionary Quadrant Raises Some Eyebrows

As I said in my last post, I'd focus on some new messaging and today kicks it off with some Microsoft thoughts. Digium, Microsoft and Shoretel are the ONLY 3 companies in Gartner Group's magic quadrant for Enterprise IP Telephony. This appears to be an honorary position for the three companies and what's interesting is the blog on nojitter - - where Marty Parker (ex Avaya executive and now a UC consultant) is questioning why Microsoft OCS gets this placement with such basic UC features.

I am not sure where Marty is parked on Digium's placement in this visionary quadrant but he sure provides some food for thought. He mentions in his point #2 so many companies that may or may not have places in today's world all trying to find their new place in UC/VoIP world, but Digium is a no-show meaning he is already underestimating open source's capability. Why do I believe this?

This is easy to answer: Open source by nature is a global phenomena ignored by some traditional TDM folks (i.e. Avaya); the shared delivery ecosystem today exists for open source telephony; it is software-based already today; the acquisition cost model is compelling and the ongoing support of open source is building infrastructure for traditional 24/7 based support; companies who are early adopters are well on their way to customize their UC systems as they grow.

Yes, companies like Digium are focused today on SMB, opportunistically penetrating Enterprise, but worldwide there are emerging Asterisk-based applications that build this shared delivery system that UC lends itself to and its all software based.

So Marty, don't underestimate the open source global ecosystem and its place in your UC model. I think we will be in for some healthy debates over the next few years as major traditional players consolidate, go by the wayside, and consolidate, while open source continues to be a major disruptor for UC and PBX.

I can't end this blog post yet until I comment on Microsoft. I love their marketing budgets for educating the world about UC, IP Telephony and VoIP. They do some nice PowerPoints. It will take gazillions of dollars to train systems builders, server and Windows resellers and it will take years to get their feature set correct since they have this baggage that has generated all this revenue already. But the purchasers and buying criteria are changing for them now. I for one, look forward to each event such as VoiceCon - - when Microsoft spends budget dollars and many of their employees visit our booth!

Note: I am still evaluating blog name changes. Stay tuned.

No comments: