Recently I had a chance to sit down with NEC Unified Solution’s new president Jeffrey Kane and talk shop. Kane has an extensive background in systems integration having worked at firms like Perot Systems and EDS. Most importantly, he has a passion for success I haven’t seen in my NEC telecom contacts over the past fifteen plus years.
He talks of unleashing the power of the 43 billion dollar company and bringing communications and computing together. The company purchased Sphere a while back for its SOA technology and Active Voice too is owned by the computing and telecom giant.
Still, with all that’s going for them, in my experience it is always difficult for large multinational companies with non-US headquarters to compete against the likes of Cisco and Avaya. It is just that simple. My experience shows that parent companies beyond our borders don’t understand our markets and don’t trust US divisions enough to give them what they need to gain massive share.
Having said that, NEC is perfectly positioned to ride a tremendous UC wave and its SOA arsenal meshes so well with CEPB that it is scary. Lastly, Kane’s systems integration background likely means he can hire the absolute best talent and get them to work integrating corporate applications with the company’s communications systems.
In addition, there are currently a few hundred NEC developers writing core and customer communications applications.
If Kane is successful, there is a chance NEC could gain significant share in the communications market. It remains to be seen how well NEC can execute but it’s been over a week since I met Jeff Kane and I am still fired up from listening to him outline what he has been doing and will continue to do to grow NEC Unified Communications.