Subba’s Serendipitous moments

August 2, 2009

IBM girds itself against Cisco.

A few months back I wrote about Cisco’s game changing play and in the process declaring war on IBM and HP. I also indicated that an imminent realignment of alliances is likely. I have been following the subsequent developments with a lot of interest and here’s an update.

I have not seen HP do much in terms of launching an offensive to Cisco’s play. Either they do not believe in Cisco’s ability to build a carrier class digital IT infrastructure or they are tied up with other myriad issues.

IBM on the other hand has upped the ante with a series of moves. It entered into a fairly strong relationship with Juniper Networks. While IBM did mention that it was also bolstering its relationship with Cisco, for the discerning eye it was just PRspeak.

Brocade’s Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) will be offered as the IBM Converged Switch B32 and 10Gb Converged. This will strengthen the OEM agreement Brocade with IBM earlier this year to resell Brocade’s Foundry switches.

The battle for data centers will invariably shift to the cloud. And the shift may even be quicker than one can envisage. And the first vendor that are able to demonstrate that data can be moved from one cloud to another without a hitch, has a significant advantage. With the agreements with Juniper and Brocade, IBM seems to have a strong advantage over Cisco.

It looks like an interesting battle ahead between IBM and Cisco. To me, it looks like HP is still being hesitant.

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March 30, 2009

Skype in the Enterprise

Filed under: Business,Competition,Model — Subbaraman Iyer @ 2:13 am
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Saw the news item that Skype¬† is finally targeting the enterprise. Makes you wonder, why they didn’t do it earlier and what were they waiting for!

Few people know that Skype with 33 billion minutes of use is the largest provider of international voice traffic in the world. And it surpasses AT&T. More importantly, Skype grew by 41% in 2008, compared with traditional international call traffic at just 12%.

With revenues of $550 million in 2008, it is now trying to penetrate into the Enterprise segment with a view to grow aggressively.

Skype launched its Enterprise offering which enables employees to make domestic and international calls using normal PBX systems instead of using computers. The key dependency is that the PBX needs to support SIP (an open source PBX protocol)

This is another potential game changer, but Skype doesn’t have an enterprise sales team nor the alliance network to penetrate the enterprise. If Skype can find the right go to market model, some of the IP Telephony vendors could feel the heat.

Well, why they didn’t pursue paying customers earlier beats me! Worse, EBay paid $2.5 billion for Skype in 2005. My hunch is that EBay may very soon put up Skype for sale.

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