Microsoft and HP Announce UC Partnership

Microsoft is making a big deal about their "expanded alliance" with HP. It's not quite much ado about nothing, but it's close. I'll summarize the announcement for those of you who don't want to read it all.

Basically it says HP will submit a subset of its products including smart phones, IP phones and PCs for Microsoft UC certification. HP will also offer OCS monitoring support through their BTO platform. Is this a replacement Microsoft's Monitoring server role? My guess is that it will simply pull data from the monitoring SQL server and display it in the HP console. However, this is where it gets a little more interesting... Microsoft and HP promised to provide endpoint interoperability between HP Halo telepresence suites and OCS. With the global economy the way it is not many companies are jumping on the half-million-a-room telepresence bandwagon but that could change quickly as we come out of this recession. One of the biggest knocks on telepresence as a technology is that all your friends need to have it too. With this interoperability, your group of friends just got a LOT bigger. That's a big jab in the face to Cisco and their highly touted, but even more expensive telepresence offering.

One final jab to Cisco is that Microsoft and HP will be recommending HP ProCurve products. While I much prefer Extreme, Cisco and Foundry over HP's networking equipment it's just another example of MSFT snubbing Cisco in an area where it seems they could dominate if they could only work together.

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