Dead men walking - The halls of VoiceCon 2009

As I walk through the exhibit hall one more time, I look at the millions of dollars spent in exhibits and staff and wonder if these companies are putting money away to adapt to the sudden transition that will occur within the next few VoiceCon events. Yesterday, I had an interesting conversation with a Cisco representative, who I will not name. The conversation started out casual "hey you're the enemy, we can't been seen talking in public!". After which we actually discussed how companies like Cisco are going to compete in this new software + services unified communications marketplace.

When CUPS and CUCM and these piece of crap contact center applications I purposely made each exhibitor demo to me are all out of commission and irrelevant because they are too costly and have no application integration, how will these organizations adapt? Short answer, no idea! The question I asked was definitely loaded and I apologized to the guy for giving him a hard time as it's his job to sell. So what I proposed was something I most of the time talk about in my speeches quoting Steve Jobs' "do one thing really well" mantra. That is that these manufacturers need to focus on what they do best and what they do best is manufacturer state of the art phone devices, switches and routers.

The same advice goes to Microsoft as well. Please stop making phone devices! Disclosure warning: This is the reason we (Evangelyze Communications) developed our SmartSIP product. No customer wants a Microsoft IP phone device, especially when they have already spent thousands or millions of dollars worldwide on these devices. Customers also see that Office Communications Server handles most of the functionality necessary to replace their costly Cisco CUCM and CUPS environment. So we say, keep your phones, keep your switches and routers, and put a Microsoft OCS server in the middle. We'll handle the G.711 to RTAudio translation and everyone is happy. Cisco makes money, Microsoft makes money, the sales reps are happy, and everyone works together to provide the customer with what they actually want.

The same thing goes for existing voice carriers on the SIP Trunking side. Microsoft has chosen TCP because of their care for customer's security. The reality is that this conversation between TCP and UDP has been going on forever and these customers have already made the decision to not have to deal with issues around TCP and understand the security risk around UDP and close the holes with expensive devices. So instead of forcing customers to pick from 1 or 2 "approved" SIP trunking providers, we (Evangelyze Communications) support them all. Again, the message is to focus on what you do best.

Microsoft will own the server, the application platform, and hosted services. They do not need to be in the IP Phone business, but hey, whatever. They also don't belong in the switch and routing layer either, nor should they dictate what goes on the outside. These are customer decisions and the customer should have the right to choose one way or the other either based on cost savings, functionality, integration, etc. It should not be forced or dictated in a monopolistic mandate from the manufacturer. This is why SmartSIP will transform the industry. Oh yea, and we didn't have to pay to launch this idea.

As of today we have 55 new customers in beta and we have stirred up a hornets nest at VoiceCon. Not from the sales and field who think this is the greatest thing to happen in the industry since the creation of SIP, but with the product manufacturers who only needed a simple conversation and co-testing agreements to ensure a quality service that supports their product vision and enables their field and sales organization to open deals once lost to them before.

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