The Highs and Lows of the Gartner Enterprise Networking Summit

The recurring conference theme: the job of IT and how we approach this challenge/opportunity is fundamentally changing. These challenges and opportunities arise from a megatrend, we call Hyperconnectivity.

My personal highpoint: describing our joint UC solutions to a room filled to capacity with MSFT customers and being able to address the needs of both Nortel voice and non-Nortel voice enterprises with the broadest UC solution in the industry. And then having Mike Lucas of Indiana U describe his deployment of the MSFT-Nortel UC solution on a very large scale.

Most direct recommendation from Gartner: "Now is the time to invest in UC". No single vendor can do it all, so partnership are key. In fact, you have probably written your last VoIP RFP!

Most evident truth: There is a direct correlation between how much enterprises pay and how dependent they are on Cisco. Mark Fabbi of Gartner gave an example of two brokerage banks, who each spent $20-30M on L2-3 solutions. One had a Cisco-only network and had 40% discounts; the other had a multi-vendor approach and got 60%. We see this everyday.

Biggest red flag: Gartner flagged Cisco’s network centric architecture as a potential impediment to communications enablement of business processes. This is in contrast to our software-centric approach.

Weirdest travel moment: my flight out of Nashville was cancelled due to fog in DC, half the people left and then it was announced “if the conditions don’t change, we are leaving in 30 minutes” and we did…. Absurd!

Feel free to comment on any of these.

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