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Unified Computing: Beware of the Naysayers

As our Unified Computing System story unfolds tomorrow, I am sure there will be no shortage of expert commentary that says Cisco has gone off the reservation–in fact, I would venture that several of these pieces have already been written ahead of tomorrow’s announcements. So, I thought if might be useful to share some prior punditry:

  • “Cisco strategy is to transport SNA across the network using TCP/IP encapsulation… this strategy is inherently flawed…”
    –IBM, 1997. Within two years, Cisco acquired IBM Networking Division’s portfolio of switching and routing patents to allow customers a “a smooth transition for customers to implement Cisco network products.”
  • “While Cisco is starting to dabble in voice-over-packet networks, [it has] absolutely no credibility in enterprise voice like Nortel and Lucent do with their PBXs”
    –Analyst who shall remain nameless. In CQ4 2008, Cisco maintained its top spot for enterprise voice market share (Synergy Research).

Hey, it not just Cisco, here are some other game-changers that had a rough time with the critics:

  • “As customers start to realise that the competition offers better functionality at a lower price…sales will stagnate…The only question remaining is if, when the iPod phone fails, it will take the iPod with it.” –[name withheld to protect the guilty]
  • “We have reached the limits of what is possible with computers”. –John Von Neumann, 1949
  • “…good enough for our transatlantic friends…but unworthy of the attention of practical or scientific men.” –British Parliamentary Committee, in reference to Edison’s light bulb, 1878.
  • “Transmission of documents via telephone wires is possible in principle, but the apparatus required is so expensive that it will never become a practical proposition.” –Dennis Gabor, British physicist, 1962.

You get the idea. I will close with a final quote–it was originally said about our Cisco AVVID strategy, but I think it is still quite relevant today: “Cisco is coming at this from an IP direction…the others are moving to IP from their legacy background. Cisco is now in a position to pull everything together…”

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1 Comments.


  1. Well stated!