Whenever I see anouncements like the Microsoft-Nortel JV announced yesterday, I pine for an online book that would keep a running tally of the odds that the market places on successful deal execution. Later on, we could all look back and – for purely scientific purposes, of course, and not at all to have a good laugh at the fluff and bluster that these announcements generally trot out – measure success (does anyone keep a tab on PR releases and how often their happy proclamations come to pass?).
Well it didn’t take much searching to find this announcement from 1999:
Microsoft, Nortel, HP and Intel Collaborate on NT Telephony
PBX systems were traditionally developed as proprietary, closed systems by vendors such as Mitel Corp. (www.mitel.com), Nortel Networks (www.nortelnetworks.com) and AT&T Corp. (www.att.com). Only recently have PBX solutions begun to trickle into the open systems arena. With the announcement of a technology partnership between PBX stalwart Nortel Networks and open systems giants Hewlett-Packard Co., Intel Corp. and Microsoft Corp., the era of PBX-type solutions on Windows NT may be close at hand.
In mid-March at the Technology Museum of Innovation in San Jose, Calif., Nortel Networks, Microsoft, Intel and HP detailed an initiative to develop communications solutions for enterprise customers by integrating voice technology into Windows NT-based telephony systems for enterprisewide communications.
It seems that VoIP technology has bypassed the need for integrated voice technology in Windows NT-based – or whatever Windows you’re using now – systems. So I would guess that partnership wasn’t much of a success. We’ll probably have to wait another seven years to determine the success or failure of this new partnership.
The internet provides a conundrum for marketing folks. On one hand the cost of reaching people with your message has been lowered phenomenally. On the other hand, everyone knows every mistake you make, captured for all eternity.
(Disclosure: I was a Bay Networks employee who, because of an acquisition, became a Nortel employee, but only for a short time – not enough to do any damage. I left in 1999.)