Microsoft May Become a Formidable Player in Telecom Says New IDC Report

FRAMINGHAM, MA – AUGUST 20, 2003 – According to a new report from IDC, a battle is looming for the enterprise desktop between major IT and telecom vendors. At the center of this battle are new and emerging voice overIP (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. "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 forth 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."

IDC's recently released study, Beyond Telecom Chaos: Rethinking Next-Generation Services in the VoIP Environment (IDC #29867) examines why, at this particular time in VoIP's development, IDC believes it is essential for vendors and carriers to rethink the conceptual underpinnings of enhanced services and applications and reexamine the conventional wisdom that sometimes stymies more imaginative and longer-term approaches to the market.

About IDC

IDC is the premier global market intelligence and advisory firm in the information technology and telecommunications

industries. We analyze and predict technology trends so that our clients can make strategic, fact-based decisions on IT purchases and business strategy. Over 700 IDC analysts in 50 countries provide local expertise and insights on technology markets. Business executives and IT managers have relied for 40 years on our advice to make decisions that contribute to the success of their organizations.

IDC is a subsidiary of IDG, the world's leading technology media, research, and events company. Additional information can be found at www.idc.com.

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