A first shot has been fired in battle that is sure to be interesting to see customers get real benefit of the competition for the massive communication and self organized collaboration services market that drive business.
As broad based bandwidth speed has evolved, communications have also developed to a high level of acceptance of the quality of Voice Over the Internet Protocol (VoIP) services now being be used widely to conduct business. People like Microsoft Yahoo AOL and others have had this technology long before Skype came along. Microsoft who I believe made a tactical error in 2003 when they began to charge for their net-meeting conferencing tool that were previously embedded in messenger, They were quickly overtaken as Skype timed its unbundled move to popularized their free alternative phone service that also did free video conferencing too.
Microsoft however have continued to invest massively in their VoIP stack they aim at the enterprise level Evidence of the value of their perseverance came with the released of it Unified Communications (UC) server suite. Now in its third market year It is now paying off well making a large dents in traditional PSTN and IP commutation carrier domains.
UC allows full integration of real-time communication services such as instant messaging (chat), presence information, IP telephony, video conferencing, call control and speech control with non real-time communication services such as unified messaging (integrated voicemail, e-mail, SMS and fax). At Microsoft the MS Exchange Server is the kernel that allows UC in global organizations to allow communicates both internally for free and on a local basis where it must surface to join Public Switched Telephone Networks (PSTN) This is of course delivering massive savings at the cost of the PSTN.
But in the world of change the “On demand” software as a service market has been been also inching forward. Recently Google moved into the this market big time with it Google Apps product and a full on assault for market share. This means Microsoft who is software supply centric is now being met head on by Google as a software as a service provider, which is now taking root as cloud computing takes hold.
Google strategy is now very clear as they are drill straight into the Microsoft Exchange servr establishment with their ease of conversion and purportedly massive savings to come over As they do this they are also attacking the Office Tools powerbase of the which is the all powerful kernel of the Microsoft Giant.
Here is a short testimonial video being promoted by Google that says it all.