Unified communication, a term that in a nutshell means “Anytime anywhere connectivity” got a lot of attention at the recently concluded INTEROP summit at Las Vegas. As the network’s (wireless and wired) data carrying capacity swells, networking gear manufacturers are keen on not losing out on the technology front. The recent string of acquisitions by Cisco and the joint offerings from Microsoft and Nortel are testimony to this.

Cisco’s roster of acquisitions includes:

  • Utah Street Networks, a software developer for online social networks.
  • Five Across, a collaboration software maker.
  • WebEx, maker of software that allows companies to engage in real-time Web conferences over the Internet.

An excerpt from the article at Computerworld

“Voice used to be a silo application,” Anthony Bawcutt, director of business development at Microsoft’s Unified Communications Group, said in an interview. However, he said, products like OCS are moving toward unifying the multiple types of communication now deployed separately by both companies and individual users.

More links :

Microsoft, Nortel : Unified at Last. ( internetnews.com )

Cisco wants to be a household name. (The Herald Tribune)

Microsoft and Nortel have been offering integrated computing and telephony products while IBM has also been present in the same space with offerings based on Cisco products. Recently, Avaya, the Basking Ridge, New Jersey-based developer of private telephony infrastructure was supposed to be in talks for a deal with Nortel or private equity firms. ( article at CBRonline )

The fact is that there are a plethora of devices out there and connectivity among them is the mantra of the day. No matter where you are, the onus of finding the best way to “ get the message across” is shifting to the system. And the companies that have been hitherto known for providing the “backbone” for network connectivity don’t want to miss out on this surging demand for convergence. Will this surge towards unification succeed in providing a complete end user experience or is this all about just killing the competition? Join the discussion