I had the opportunity to meet with Chris Hummel, the newly named CMO at Siemens Enterprise Communications. The conversation is published here (NoJitter).
A few additional thoughts:
I agree that SEN is a diamond in the rough. I was anxious to meet with Chris because so many interesting things are coming out of SEN.
The cloud is impacting UC tremendously, and SEN is playing every angle:
Private Cloud: Virtualization with VMware for private clouds
Mobility: Virtual extension, cell phone clients, and WiFi handoffs for mobility,
Social: Twitter integration.
SaaS: Hosted offerings
Public Cloud: Unreleased Amazon solution
But it isn’t just cloud, they are aggressively embracing open standards. They are the only major UC vendor to use SIP phones as their default solution, they are active on several standards bodies and joined the UCIF. Their carrier heritage is apparent with their strong focus on security. They have both strong partnerships and strong vertical penetration, especially in healthcare.
They also have an impressive professional services capability. This is important because the space is moving from products to services – and this isn’t something that can be easily replicated. The picture adds up: aggressive new management, strong technology, a reasonably strong UC portfolio, private equity, networking gear (Cabletron/Enterasys), and market leadership abroad makes SEN indeed a potential up-and-comer.
Basically, the more I learned about SEN, the more I realized how quietly they are putting together all the pieces of a compelling story. Very few even realize that the company is now US based.
But nothing is easy. They have fierce competition from very large players – they hold a relative small amount of US market share, and they are facing a massive cultural change internally. They have impressive new management (and an army of VPs), but most are relatively new to SEN. To add in a little more drama, I expect they will rebrand the company near term.
Bottom line: I think SEN has all the pieces for an extraordinary journey. It is probably better to be in metamorphosis while the industry is experiencing rapid change than struggling to preserve what once worked.