Pressure from end users brought the chief executive officers of Microsoft and Cisco onto the same platform yesterday to promise more cooperation.
Microsoft’s Steve Ballmer and Cisco’s John appeared together in New York to discuss the collaboration between Microsoft and Cisco, which have begun to encroach on each other's territory in the areas of unified communications, network security and products for the digital home.
One thing Ballmer said was certain Monday was that the top executives of Cisco and Microsoft were not sharing the stage to announce a mega-merger between the two technology powerhouses.
A combination of collaboration and competition was the order of the day, as the two companies identified areas where they have refocused their efforts on working together to promote the vision both companies have of the convergence of voice, data, video and other forms of media over IP (Internet protocol) networks.
Cisco and Microsoft have been partners for 10 years, but that alliance has become tighter in the last seven months, the two CEOs said. This was not driven by the vendors’ .but because their customers were demand it, both executives said.
"Companies don't want the issue of competition to cause them to interoperate ineffectively," Chambers said.
Microsoft and Cisco have identified seven broad areas of collaboration and engineers are working together to ensure the products each company has in those areas will work together. These are:
- IT architecture
- wireless and mobile computing
- unified communications
- SME needs
- connected entertainment