Microsoft, Cisco Collaborating on
IT Infrastructure"> Microsofts approach is that software is the hub of all communications, while Cisco feels that the network is the hub of all communications. But Muglia and Giancarlo pledged to work together in those areas that were complementary to meet the needs of joint customers and partners, while continuing to compete in this space.Cisco-Linksys is also working with Microsoft on the next generation of Media Center Extenders so as to support select versions of Windows Vista and the growing demand for moving rich Internet and consumer-generated content from the PC to the living room, Giancarlo said. Click here to read more about why Steven Vaughan-Nichols says Cisco should not drop Linksys. "We are also collaborating on developing an entertainment capable infrastructure in the home, with dual-band wireless-N and quality of service, and we are working on an open platform and ecosystem that allows other devices to be integrated into the living room experience, such as the Linksys IP Camera," he said. In the SMB space, the two have established pilot programs for one-stop shopping that lets these companies minimize sales complexity by collaboratively selling through third-party distribution channels. An example cited of this is D&H Distributing, a Microsoft and Cisco distribution partner, which launched a solution-based selling program for resellers to provide guidance to them on selling Microsoft and Cisco solutions for infrastructure, security and mobility. Cisco and Microsoft have also worked on Cisco Unified Communications integration with Microsoft Dynamics CRM to provide all staff, rather than just call-center agents, with an enhanced customer relationship management solution. Microsoft recently said it would reach out to IBM and Cisco on interoperability. Click here to read more. The two companies will also continue to evaluate and identify opportunities for joint sales and distribution of products in this space. They are also collaborating on the management and security fronts, while the interoperability work between the two companies remains an ongoing project, whose scope is a moving target to which things are continually being added, Muglia said. Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest news, views and analysis on servers, switches and networking protocols for the enterprise and small businesses.
The connected home environment is another area where Cisco and Microsoft are working closely together, and where they are currently exploring ways to enhance the next generation of IPTV systems.