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‘From: No Jitter’

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.

I’m not saying that Microsoft can’t lead us through the transition to the consumerized enterprise, but history isn’t on their side.

Last week I was fortunate enough to speak at the Microsoft Tech Ed Conference in Atlanta. Much of my presentation focused on the need to develop cross platform skills since the virtual monopoly that Microsoft had on the corporate desktop is rapidly coming to an end for a number of reasons (I won’t go into those reasons now). I represent some evidence of that as well, albeit a small sample size. After being a Microsoft user for years I now carry a MacBook and iPad. I’ll admit that I felt like a bit of an alien being at the Microsoft event with Apple products, but it is a sign of the times. I understand that a sample size of myself isn’t statically relevant, but just go into any airport, Internet cafe or board room. There are more non Microsoft devices than ever before. After my presentation I had a chance to talk to many of the attendees and I was surprised–maybe I shouldn’t have been–at the strong resistance from the Microsoft community in embracing the consumerization and multi operating system trends. IT can fight it all they want, but I firmly believe the trend is here to stay and IT, particularly the hard core Microsoft IT pro community, needs to learn to deal with it.

Cisco, Avaya and the rest of the field should be embracing Chrome OS as a way to rip the Microsoft foundation out of companies that Lync will be built on.

All eyes are on Interop this week but there’s another significant conference running in parallel to it and that’s the Google I/O Developer Conference. Day two of the event was focused on Chrome OS and its release into the market. Six months ago Google released a handful of beta units to the industry and after only half a year of beta testing it looks like Google is finally ready to bring the Chrome OS laptops to market.

What Google announced was that beginning June 15, two laptop models, one made by Asus and one by Samsung and will be sold by Amazon and Best Buy. The Samsung laptop will have a 12.1-inch screen, have WiFi and 3G services, touts an “all-day” battery (you can do this when you’re not spinning a drive continually) and will retail for $499. The Acer Chrome Laptop will be WiFi only, have an 11.6 inch screen, also have an all day battery and be priced at $349.

Having Skype allows Microsoft to be more aggressive pushing UC and VoIP in the cloud.

Microsoft has confirmed that it is planning to buy Internet phone company Skype for over $8 billion ($7 billion plus over a billion in debt). It will be the largest acquisition Microsoft has made, trumping the $6 billion that Microsoft paid for online ad company, aQuantive, back in 2007.

So does the deal make sense or is it a desperate attempt to gain on Google in the Internet markets? There’s a tremendous amount of hype around Skype right now based on many events from the past few months. Longtime Cisco executive, Tony Bates, became the CEO, an IPO has been expected and there have been rumors of joint ventures with both Google and/or Facebook, so Microsoft could be making the move for defensive measures rather than offensive ones.

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