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Archive for 2016

We saw it all this year, from cool product developments to surprise corporate moves.

Innovation in every technology market ebbs and flows. In the UC industry, 2016 was a year of some big news events, with companies changing strategies, announcing new products, and making key acquisitions. Below are the 10 most notable things that happened in UC this year.

With Cisco planning to shutter Intercloud, what does the future hold for the company’s other cloud platforms, HCS and Spark?

Earlier this month several news outlets reported that Cisco was discontinuing Intercloud at the end of March 2017 and moving the workloads to yet-to-be-named cloud providers (most likely Amazon Web Services and/or Microsoft Azure).

Is this a shock? It shouldn’t be. Cisco has been non-committal regarding any questions about Intercloud for a while now, so it was just a matter of time before it put the final nail in its coffin.

I did like the original vision of Intercloud, which was to create a world of interconnected, federated clouds where workloads could be free to move between them. This might have made sense a few years ago, but the market has changed.

I believe the infrastructure cloud wars are over. Amazon and Microsoft Azure have won. Building a competitive cloud offering is enormously expensive and just not practical. Microsoft had to build out a global, cloud-scale platform for Bing, and Amazon for its e-commerce business. The incremental cost of turning the underlying platform into one that can be used for business cloud services is nominal compared to building it out from scratch. Google should have been a big player as well but it has bumbled its way around the cloud for so long that I think it missed its window.

Five things I think will happen in the network world next year

It’s hard to believe the year is almost up. That means ‘tis the season to be jolly and to deck the halls. For analysts, it’s time to put on a Carnac the Magnificent hat and try and predict the future. I already did a couple of posts look at the strategies of Cisco and some of its key competitors, so I’ll stick to broader industry themes.

Integrating the data created from the VOSS-4-UC suite with the LayerX analytic engine makes it easier to manage Unified Communications applications

One of the hardest enterprise applications to manage is Unified Communications (UC). Voice and video used to be fairly straightforward. Dedicated infrastructure, cables and endpoints ensured the quality was high and the system was simple to manage but was highly inefficient and costly.

Cisco ONE Advanced Security makes it easier for organizations to fortify the data center, WAN or access edge with predefined suites of key security products and services

‘Tis the season to be jolly, they say, which is true unless you’re involved with enterprise security.

For those individuals, tis the season to be wary as the number of highly publicized breaches continues to grow, as does the complexity of trying adequately secure the business.

Mitel’s divestiture of its mobile business, announced today, puts the company in a better position to make other acquisitions in the future.

At the Mitel Analyst Event held last month in Dallas, I had compared Mitel CEO Rich McBee to J.R. Ewing of the ’80s TV drama Dallas, as they are both wheelers and dealers in their respective businesses (see, “Mitel You’re Up — What’s Your Next Move?“). About a year and half ago, Mitel acquired Mavenir to move the company into the 4G/5G market. This week the company announced it was divesting itself of the business now known as Mitel Mobile, by selling it to Xura for $350 million. Ironically, Xura was taken private earlier this year by Siris Capital, the private equity firm that scuttled Mitel’s plans earlier this year to acquire videoconferencing market leader, Polycom.

[For more on the nuts and bolts of this deal, see related coverage, “Mitel Selling Mobility Division” and “Mavenir, We Hardly Knew You.”]

When Mitel acquired Mavenir, many financial and communications industry analysts scratched their heads with confusion, as the two companies didn’t fit together neatly. McBee explained the Mavenir acquisition as allowing Mitel entrance to an adjacent market, with the best yet to come as mobile networks evolve to 5G. So what’s changed? The 5G opportunities still loom large and its best days are certainly ahead, so why sell now? I believe there are a few reasons that Mitel made this decision:

Game changers?

In the networking industry, it seems that every year there’s a flurry of mergers and acquisitions. Turns out that 2016 was no different. Here are 10 that have the most game changing potential, since they have the potential to move the acquiring company into an entirely new market.

 

Cisco connects with Jasper

Prior to the $1.4 billion acquisition of Jasper, Cisco’s Internet of Things (IoT) strategy revolved around connecting devices. Connectivity is certainly important but it’s only a small piece of the IoT puzzle. Jasper brings to Cisco a market leading IoT platform that is currently being used by many major enterprises, such as Ford, GM and Boston Scientific. Jasper’s cloud-based platform also provides automation and analytic capabilities making it a critical component of scaling IoT solutions. Cisco has been one of the primary evangelists of IoT and now it has the platform to make the vision a reality.



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