BT and Cisco announced that the two are teaming up to deliver hosted unified communications on a global scale. There is a lot of buzz–much of it little more than hype–about the impending merger of unified communications with the ubiquitous cloud, and the advent of delivering hosted unified communications. When you put names like BT and Cisco with the story, though, it adds instant credibility.
As a IT solutions provider, BT has been one of the leading champions of unified communications. BT has been a strong partner and supporter of Microsoft Office Communications Server, and Microsoft unified communications solutions. Cisco, on the other hand, is one of Microsoft’s biggest competitors in the UC arena.
The fact remains, though, that Microsoft is a software solution that relies on third-party networking and telecommunications hardware, and Cisco happens to be a leader in those areas. The combination of BT and Cisco, and the ability to integrate Cisco hardware and software with OCS 2007 should provide a powerful and cost effective UC solution for those who would rather not invest in their own UC infrastructure.
As John Blake, head of hosted IP telephony evolution for BT, is quoted saying in this article, “Business haven’t the money to invest in new technology, but they desperately need new technology.”