A Merry UC Christmas

by Dave Michels

Dear Santa,

It’s been a while since I have written to you.  I know you are busy filling the wish lists of deserving children everywhere, but this year the telecom industry needs you more than they do. You see businesses keep delaying their purchases, especially the feds. Quarterly year-over-year declines are too common.

We know that you are a heavy user of UC and regularly collaborate on your good/bad list via telepresence, IM, and voice. We know that you value mobility in your work, and you utilize hands-free communications while driving that sleigh. BYOD has reinvigorated your mobile gifting program, so how about a little quid pro quo and give the industry some love and magic.

I won’t impose with presumptuous items for me, but wanted to request assistance for some of my friends. If you can see your way to granting these wishes, I think the industry and the world will be a better place.  

Aastra: A North American channel. Aastra is doing well with its MX-ONE in Europe, but it needs more representation on this side of the Atlantic. These new dealers don’t need to sell the entire Aastra line, no VAR could possibly do all that.

Alcatel-Lucent: I see you already beat me to this one, I was going to wish for an ALU lifeline, but that $2.1 billion dollar loan last week from Goldman Sachs and Credit Suisse should about do it. The assumed due diligence from those banks will also give prospects a vote of confidence. Hopefully this will quell the rumor (and need) of selling-off more assets.

Avaya: I wish for my silicon valley friends some improved credibility. The firm is well established in voice and contact center, but has a far broader portfolio that includes presence, networking, conferencing, cloud, and video. Avaya could use a little assistance in communicating its vision, particularly with regard to its Nortel assets.

Cisco: More software engineers. This hardware oriented company is working hard to redefine itself as a software and services company.  Lots of acquisitions is a start, but it still needs to stitch these properties together. Good software engineers will help much more than just rebranding everything WebEx.

Microsoft: My friends at Microsoft have big plans for 2013, but they are in desperate need of a mobile strategy. It’s so bad that third party vendors such as AudioCodes are having to fill the product gap. Perhaps you can find a way to help them get voice and video calls to a Lync equipped mobile device.

Mitel: A buyer for CommSource-DataNet. This division never made sense, and now even its CEO agrees. They just can’t find a combined reseller/distributor to buy it. There must be some distributor, reseller, or even vendor that is willing to confuse its business model.

NEC: NEC promised us a great new cloud solution, but it seems to have lost its launch date. Perhaps you and Rudolph can help them find their way to launch; ideally on or before the anniversary of the initial announcement.

Siemens Enterprise Communications: A new brand. Siemens was poised to rebrand in 2012, but decided to keep the cash. There’s a new brand inside that firm struggling to get out. The current name is becoming a liability, particularly since Nokia-Siemens, a totally separate company,  is a testimonial customer for one of its competitors.

ShoreTel: ShoreTel has really matured its portfolio and even grew its market share, but the firm still lacks a grown-up video solution. Since both its premises and hosted divisions need video, there seems to be a made-for-TV hybrid opportunity.

That should just about do it. Feel free to stir up some market demand for UC, or to help one of the above design the perfect endpoint if you have some spare time.

Thank you Santa.





Happy holidays to all, and to all a good night.