For the price of US$8.2 billion, private equity firms Silver Lake and TPG Capital have offered to take Avaya private. This is the largest such transaction ever in the enterprise networking and communications arena. And it's a positive development for Avaya's shareholders, employees and most importantly its customers.
Stories by Nick Lippis
Contact centres have been the overlooked application during the industry discussion of IP telephony. Contact centres offer perhaps the tightest link between communications and business process -- a link that will become stronger as the industry moves to Web services in a service-oriented architecture (SOA) context.
With its Self-Defending Network strategy, focus on adaptive threat defense and Network Admission Control initiative, Cisco has become the largest network security provider and trusted network player in the industry. What Cisco is doing is putting automated protections into the network to defend against the harmful effects of viruses, worms and exploits. Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer should personally thank John Chambers for the investment he is making in network security to fix what is mostly a Microsoft-inflicted industry problem.
LAN changes have ebbed and flowed on a nearly consistent five-year basis. In 1990, 10Mbit/sec shared Ethernet emerged as the LAN standard -- only to be usurped five years later by the introduction of Fast Ethernet and Ethernet switching. Between 1995 and 2000, two important innovations occurred: virtual LANs and Gigabit Ethernet. Now in 2005, the LAN market is about to make another fundamental transition: from virtual LANs to trusted LANs, which let secure internal networks be provisioned at high speeds whether transport is wireless or wired.
There's no doubt that Microsoft could enter the IP telephony market. But why would the software giant want to enter an area so foreign to its core business? Well, the answer is IP telephony is moving toward a Microsoft business model. In short, IP telephony will be a software- and services-based industry, exactly what Microsoft serves. If Cisco Systems wins when communication sectors change to IP, Microsoft wins when large markets move toward software and services.