Teaming Up With Microsoft Might Not be so Bad

By Peter Radizeski, RAD-INFO

Over at RAD-INFO, I have started to recap IT blunders. Novell, Lotus and Word Perfect are the first three.

All missteps that resulted in Microsoft out-marketing them. I hope Eric Schmidt learned something, because he is CEO of Google and he used to be CEO of Novell during its tangle with Microsoft over Novell and Word Perfect. Marc Andreessen of Netscape is blogging now. He also knows something about having a No. 1 product that got beaten to death by Microsoft. Andreessen says the main lesson is to focus on your customers and not your competition.

Microsoft is now working heavily with Nortel to roll out unified communications. Many think it is targeting telcom, but it isn’t. It’s targeting PBX gear. If you have a server running Microsoft Live Communications Server, Microsoft wants all your communications to be on a Microsoft O/S device – whether that is a PDA, smartphone, PC, laptop, or handset. (I’m waiting for the Nortel-Microsoft desk phones to roll out with a little screen that will be blue frequently.

What does this mean for telecom agents?

Lots of opportunity to partner with Microsoft VARs and to sell peripherals on top of the circuits. You can sell consumables: phones, smartphones, PDA’s, headsets and computers. Routers, switches and cabling, too. But neither Nortel nor Microsoft will be selling the pipe. The system still needs a big IP pipe with QoS (MPLS anyone?).

And in some cases still needs PRIs or SIP trunks for DIDs. So go find your Microsoft VAR and partner up. Invite them to the Channel Partners show in New Jersey in September.

Peter Radizeski is president of


. He can be reached at


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