Spencer Tastes Grapes of Wrath

Siemens has bitter taste in its mouth after being left out of Microsoft's UC.

The grape harvest is taking longer than usual in the unseasonably chilly and damp northern California wine country, where Spencer took time out to do some serious sampling.

Its well-known that the oenophile Feline loves the taste of the grape, even the tangy sour vintages that his sources occasionally serve up as he gads about the tech centers and vineyards around the globe.

By the time he hopped onto a 777 out of San Francisco International, the pickled Puss had gotten his fill from a tipster who explained just why Siemens Communications was so bitter about Nortel Networks getting a prominent role in the Microsoft Unified Communications launch.

Just how bitter could be seen by the lengths to which Siemens went to tell any scribe who would listen why Microsofts UC is not all its cracked up to be.

With a tongue loosened by a liberal dose of top-rank cabernet, the tipster spilled the deets about the origin of this corporate angst.

It turns out Siemens whole OpenScape suite of IP telephony offerings that came out a few years ago is based entirely on Microsoft technology and was developed back when the two companies had cozied up. Naturally Siemens thought that it would have an inside track on an integration partnership with UC.

Instead, Siemens wasnt even asked, even though Microsoft looked at all the players before it selected Nortel.

The jilted suitor may have lost out, the tipster burbled, because Siemens Communications future was uncertain at the time. The word was that the parent company was shopping the group around and even thinking about spinning it out.

Microsoft had even "started down the path" with someone else besides Nortel, but that apparently didnt work out, slurred the source. The tipster wouldnt say who the new prospect was, even after the tippling Tabby poured him another glass.

"Avaya," guessed the fuddled Feline. "Maybe that didnt work out because Avaya wasnt willing to give up as much as Microsoft wanted."

"Microsoft is a very, very demanding partner," mumbled the tipster, nose to the table.

Spencer returned from his yearly fall pilgrimage to Orlando for the Gartner Symposium/ITxpo with more than a healthy tan. An exec told him that the wisdom mongers at Gartner know there is one question they should never ask Michael Dell if they want him to ever take the stage again at their annual Disney World clambake.

They can ask any other question but can never remind Michael about his flip comment in 1997 about what he would do if he were running Apple. For those who dont remember, the answer was, "What would I do? Id shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders." Apples stock value surpassed Dells in 2006 and hasnt looked back yet.

"Ill bet Dell would love to figure out a way to clone the iPod, the iPhone and Steve Jobs to get back on top in the sales sweepstakes," snickered the Grimalkin. Application Development


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Spencer F. Katt

Spencer F. Katt

Spencer F. Katt, the Whiskered Wonder, has been the mascot and tipster extraordinaire for eWEEK and its predecessor print publication PC Week since 1984. The Gadabout Gatto makes the rounds of...