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Thu 21 Aug 2003 04:00 AM

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Microsoft may become formidable player in telecoms, says IDC

According to a new report from IDC, a battle is looming for the enterprise desktop between major IT and telecom vendors.

According to a new report from IDC, a battle is looming for the enterprise desktop between major IT and telecom vendors. At the centre of this battle are new and emerging voice over IP (VOIP)-based enhanced services and applications based on the SIP standard. The report suggests that Microsoft may emerge as a major force in telecom in several years’ time, providing formidable competition for IP-PBX vendors such as Cisco, Avaya, Alcatel, Siemens, Nortel, and 3Com. Enhanced services and applications – such as unified communications, presence, find me/follow me, conferencing, desktop integration, collaborative systems, and integration with business applications such as CRM – represent highly desirable areas for market development going forward, according to the analyst group. “These new collaborative capabilities represent the logical end point of IT and telecom convergence centering on the desktop as both a target opportunity and a central point of focused competition between IT-oriented and telecom-oriented players," notes Tom Valovic, director of IDC’s IP Telephony Program.Another key focus of the report is a discussion of recent articles and industry commentary in which it has been argued that IT technology has reached an end point in the progression of innovation. One such view has been put forward in the Harvard Business Review in a widely discussed article entitled "IT Doesn't Matter." The IDC report takes issue with these market perspectives because they “view IT and telecom as separate markets and industries with little bearing on each other and ignore the possibilities and opportunities available via collaborative convergence.”

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