InfoWorld: IBM taps Alcatel for unified communications strategy

… Deal brings together Alcatel-Lucent’s OmniTouch Unified Communication software and IBM’s Lotus Sametime to take on Microsoft’s Office Communications Server package

IBM and networking provider Alcatel-Lucent are teaming up to take Microsoft head-on in the unified communications market. …

IBM and Alcatel against Microsoft … but doesn’t that also mean against Cisco and Avaya and other IP PBX vendors ? 

Microsoft by the way announced partnerships and support for Office Communications Server 2007 by a list of IP PBX vensdors back in May of this year.

Yes its a difficult and very fast converging market and also IBM can not be friends with everybody can they ?

… IBM is positioning itself as an open-standards alternative to unified communications offerings from Microsoft, which made a big splash earlier this month in San Francisco when it launched Office Communications Server, the linchpin of its unified communications strategy. Microsoft also has cozied up to telecommunications companies, as well as networking and wireless handset providers to push its products in this market. ….

… Other companies that have built unified communications plug-ins for Sametime include Cisco and Avaya, which have both built click-to-call features for Sametime, and Polycom and Radvision, which also offer audio- and videoconferencing add-ons to Sametime.

Microsoft also has tapped some of these same companies to support its Office Communications Server. However, Saeedi said that Microsoft also has built audio and video features into its platform that compete with offerings from its partners. Taking a different tack, IBM wants partners to add value to Sametime and does not plan to build features that compete with plug-ins they provide, she said. …

More open ?, not competing only complementing ? I doubt it. Look at what IP PBX vendors such as Cisco are doing. They buy software / services companies. Where is the fruit of the IBM SameTime / Cisco partnership ?

Thinking of IBM’s strategy / approach with regards to SameTime and the UC market this picture popped in my mind (I couldn’t find a picuture of a blue labrador):

Big vs Little