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Thought Leaders in Cloud Computing: Mal Postings, CTO, IT Advisory Services, Ernst & Young (Part 8)

Posted on Tuesday, Nov 8th 2011

SM: Yes. We use a lot video conferencing in our business also, and we are a little tiny company compared to your clients. There’s something interesting going on in video conferencing. One of the great places where cloud adoption is happening in leaps and bounds, actually in collaboration, it’s especially in video conferencing. I think it’s in every organization, every size, every scale. There’s a tremendous amount of video conferencing going on right now. It’s a somewhat strange landscape. For instance, we’ve been using a technology for almost a year now, but they just got acquired by Polycom. It’s a company called Vivu. They have really excellent, multi-skinned desktop video conferencing technology. It works off of Skype. They just got acquired by Polycom, and I started looking at other options. I cannot find equivalently advanced technology in other vendors, whether it’s Webex or Citrix or any of the other vendors that you would normally look to. None of them have that multi-skinned video conferencing capability and the ability to support large events.

MP: Yes. From my point of view when I talk to clients is let’s dissect the services you need. One of the services is going to be video conferencing. Then we deep dive underneath that one little bucket. I would argue that the three companies you mentioned – I would look at it from so many different angles if I were providing advice to a company in terms of what you should be doing with video conferencing. Bear in mind it goes into commercial contracts, because sometimes, companies will bundle this as part of the prize. I keep going back this, but this is the key message for this interview. The world is moving away from pure 100% bundled services into uniquely specific services, which is better breed. We’re still in that transition period, but if you say that you have a video conference that is absolutely secure, that can do all this integration through companies, PowerPoint, it could lead worldwide, I would argue that I’ve not seen that. I think Cisco with Webex is probably the leader. The problem with Cisco is it’s the worst marketing company in the world. Probably, you know that. Microsoft is the best marketing company in the world. I have no pros and cons around either Microsoft or Cisco. I think they’re both great companies but they come from two ends of the scale. Cicso is an engineering company, which is unbelievable. Microsoft is around exploiting exchange and then growing that business outside.

But the key thing here is from a network bandwidth point of view, you don’t need that for email. I mean, that’s so simple. You’re talking the top five percent of the layer. For video, it’s huge. I have to say Cicso knows that market so well. But Cisco doesn’t know how to market its products, so Webex for Cisco is like, “yeah, we kind of do this stuff, and some companies will provide this.” It’s all around the integration of, I would say, Webex’s other technologies, because SharePoint … unbelievable. Cisco doesn’t have a collaboration system. Microsoft does. Google does. Google failed at it, I hate say. Microsoft is excelling with SharePoint. The ideal model – and it will never happen – is SharePoint running on Webex. That would be absolute nirvana.

SM: That’s not going to happen. The only company that has a contrary philosophy to what we are seeing in this market, of this segmentation, is Apple, which does believe integrated systems, does believe in seemless integration, and is a great marketing company, but is not an enterprise company. It is a consumer company. So, there is no equivalent to Apple as far as enterprise is concerned.

MP: You’re right. You’re absolutely right.

SM: Is there anything else that you’d like to discuss?

MP: No. I’d like really if you got my 360 degree view. I think that is a unique way of looking at different aspects of cloud going forward. It’s a view for E&Y. But I really do feel that as companies go forward, it’s not just the technology, it’s around risk compliance, new pricing models and this is where E&Y has some strength. We are developing our architecture practice. I’m not saying we’re good. IBM, Cap Gemini, and other companies I used to work for, are probably better at this architecture. But when you look at risk and compliance, and when you look at new finance models, my God, we are better than them. Absolutely.

So, as IT, in general, moves outside the firewall what that generally means is IT is becoming more risk compliant, [there’s a] different way of thinking around IT. We are literally moving in to new wave IT outside the firewall. And that is where E&Y has key skills. Part of my job is to educate and to grow E&Y into saying, we are in a prime position here, because IT is no longer IT.

SM: Yes. The scope of IT has broadened and become more open to risks and open to outside influence. Great. Thank you very much for your time.

MP: Yes, you to.

This segment is part 8 in the series : Thought Leaders in Cloud Computing: Mal Postings, CTO, IT Advisory Services, Ernst & Young
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