Microsoft Duels With Cisco at VoiceCon

By Peter Radizeski, President of RAD-INFO

Microsoft was dueling with Cisco at VoiceCon. MicroSoft had the whole Gaylord venue wrapped in Microsoft. The escalators were decorated with “No More Rip and Replace – VoIP as You Are banners. Cisco has an installed base of people that make money adding on, maintaining, integrating and managing Cisco networks. So does Microsoft, but only in the IT space.

Cisco has had voice since 2001 when Cisco CallManager 3.1 was launched. Microsoft’s Office Communications Server is too cumbersome for most Microsoft Partners. There’s plenty of money to be made doing Vista and Server 2008 upgrades. Why tackle something so challenging? Plus there’s still hosted Office applications to cash in on first.

If there was a theme I picked up on at VoiceCon, it was managed services.

It seems like technology is more pervasive today. And most people, especially business owners do not have time to keep up with it. As we enter an economically difficult period, the key for all businesses will be to stick to your knitting. Take away the pain of technology for businesses and let them just knit.

To put it another way, leverage your strengths. Focus on what you are very good at and out-source the rest. (This is what Big Blue and Brown — IBM and UPS — make billions doing.)

How does that fit for telecom agents? Offer to be the pain remover. Sell managed services. What is SaaS really, but a managed application.

In Florida, the old Kash-n-Karry supermarkets (now called Sweetbay) were hacked for weeks. Millions of credit card and debit accounts were stolen. Managed firewall is in order now that the barn door is open. (BTW, 3Com sells this service to the DoD, which is what nixed the sale of 3Com to Bain and Huawei.)

Peter Radizeski is president of


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