Archive for June 2011

Twitter to manage a router?? It’s not as crazy as it sounded at first. In fact, it’s an interesting approach that no one else is taking to networking..

Remember Enterasys? That’s right, the old Cabletron Company that got swallowed into Siemens Enterprise and went quiet for a while. Yesterday Enterasys released a rather unique addition to their product line with project “Isaac”.

In addition to being a great bartender on the Love Boat, Isaac allows organizations to manage their network infrastructure through the following social media tools: Twitter, Salesforce Chatter, LinkedIn and Facebook. Isaac uses the various social media interfaces to send and receive messages to Enterasys routers, switches and wireless infrastructure. It’s worth noting that it doesn’t just send over syslog and CLI responses; instead it converts messages to natural language, making it easier to understand. From what Enterasys told me, any network management or configuration function that could be done directly on the network device could be done through the social media interface. Initially Isaac will be used to manage Enterasys network devices, but the company has plans to broaden it to support products from other network infrastructure vendors.

The strategy makes sense for Enterasys as a Siemens company because of the strong focus Siemens Enterprise has had on social media over the past two years. In many ways it ties Enterasys to Siemens in a way that’s better than any before.

Shedding the video business should put to rest the idea that HP will acquire Polycom or another Unified Communications vendor.

My morning of June 1st started off with a bunch of news from Polycom. Here are the key highlights:

* Polycom has acquired the visual collaboration business unit from HP for a reported $89 million. This includes the Halo product as well as the managed services associated with it. As part of this, Polycom will be the exclusive video partner of HP, and it will include Polycom providing video applications for the HP WebOS devices, which include the Palm based TouchPad.

* Polycom launched the Open Visual Consortium to drive more B2B and B2C use of video. The consortium will be an open video exchange cloud with a number of service providers including GlowPoint, which has its own open video cloud.

* Microsoft announced an expansion of its strategic partnership with Polycom. One of the items in the press release was that the companies would be announcing two new joint products, but no details of these were given at the time of press release.

I’ll go through the announcements one by one and give my thoughts and then the impact to other vendors in the space.

Amid much speculation that Polycom was on the selling block, with HP being the primary possible acquirer, Polycom made the following announcements this morning:

  • Polycom acquired the Visual Collaboration Unit from HP, which includes all of the Halo products and managed services
  • Polycom and HP inked an agreement where HP would use Polycom as it’s exclusive partner for Telepresence and video UC solutions
  • Polycom announced the creation of the “Open Visual Communications Consortium” with a number of service providers including AT&T, BT conferencing, Global Crossing, Orange Business Services, Telefonica, Verizon and other service providers to drive B2B and B2C adoption of video
  • Polycom and Microsoft announced an expanded partnership that includes two products but at the time of press release did not announce any details on these products

These announcements are an interesting twist in growing saga that is corporate video conferencing.  About a year ago, Cisco closed on the acquisition of Tandberg creating a tremendous amount of speculation that Polycom would be acquired as well.  The logic being that, in an environment where video is becoming a core component of UC, it would be difficult for a video pure play to exist.  Names like Silver Lake (Avaya), Gore Group (Siemens) and Dell were tossed around as possible acquirers, but HP appeared to be the front-runner.  HP made some sense for a couple of reasons:  (1) It had its own niche video unit (Halo) and Polycom would bolster it; and (2) HP could use Polycom to close the product gap with Cisco, who HP appears obsessed with from a competitive standpoint.

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