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Unified Computing: Beware of the Naysayers

March 16, 2009
at 12:00 pm PST

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!

       0 likes