WARNING – MIDNIGHT POST. I’ll come back and fix this in a couple of days, but it’s been banging around in my head and I needed to get it out.
So I’m going to get a little controversial here. I’m actually hoping to have my thought process attacked on this one. Hopefully, not personally attacked, but I guess that’s the danger of blogging.
Open Disclosure: I don’t work for Cisco. I guess that’s why I can write this piece and think this through as I’ve got nothing to lose here. I’m sure someone will point and say “Hey! HP GUY!” but I truly don’t feel that whom I work for is going to change the power of this argument. But because some people get wrapped around those things, I wanted to state that loud and clearly. I am an HP employee. This blog is purely my own thoughts and musings and i no way represents that of my employer in any way shape or form. 🙂
So I was at HP discover last week and had a chance to catch up with a TON of customers and partners, as well as have some great conversations with the independent bloggers. To be honest, those are my favorite, because they are the last people to drink the koolaid.If you are trying to convince them of anything, you better have a well constructed argument and proof to support it.
So the other topic on everyone’s minds was of course BYOD. Bring Your own Device. Other than Openflow and SDN, I think this is one of the most talked about waves that’s hitting our industry right now. Of course we had the usual discussions about access control, DHCP finger printing, user-agent finger printing, dot1x , web portal, etc… but we also got into some VERY interesting discussions about the greater implications of BYOD.
Now keep in mind, I’m an old voice guy too. My voice books are so old, they’re actually blue, and not that snazzy purple color that you kids use to color coordinate your bookshelves. I know what the SEP in the Callmanagler stands for, and I remember CCM when it shipped on CDs. ( yes, it actually did kids ).
So in some ways, I feel like I’m watching my past wash away when I type the following words.
Voice is dead.
Now it might be a few years before everyone realizes it, but there are a lot of forces going on in our industry right now and they seem to all be pointing to a place where handsets are obsolete.
The argument goes something like this
1) BYOD is here and it’s not going away.
2) If BYOD is here, then employees are probably teleworking and using their cel phones.
3) If customers are teleworking and using their cel phones, they don’t need desk phones.
4) If customers don’t need desk phones…. they don’t need desk phones.
The implications of this really started to hit me and I did a self check and realized, I don’t remember the last time I used a “normal” handset. I work out of a home office. I use a cel phone with unlimited calling.
Not to mention the fact that HP has hooked us up with Microsoft Lync, which means plugin the headset and escalate that IM call to voice or video whenever I need it. and NO handset involved. Oh.. and the Lync client for the iPhone was released too.
The last time I looked, this was an approx $1-2B business for Cisco, so I’m fairly sure they don’t want anyone to realize that investing in new handsets is probably not the wisest move right now. This is a Billion dollar market that they are going to have to replace with something else, or continue to milk it for as long as they can.
Now to be honest, there’s always the Call Center argument which I’ll try and stop right now. Call Centers are not going away. There’s always going to be a business need. Voicemail systems? They might just become part of the cloud, I don’t know. But traditional handset deployments? I think maybe people just haven’t realized they have been throwing money away.
On with the rambling midnight logic!
The extension to this logic is that if we’re done with handsets, then
why do we need all this POE everywhere?
To be honest, I think the only phone that every used anywhere close to the 15.4 watts of 802.3af was the Cisco 7970 series. Most other phones used 2-3 watts, maybe up to 7 with a speaker phone on. So the whole ” I need all 24 ports running full 802.3af class 3 devices at the same time ” is a something that never actually happened ( or at least I’ve never seen it ).
Now we’re seeing RFP disqualifiers requiring 740 watts per switch ( full 15 watts on all 48 ports ), and I’m sure we will soon be seeing new models coming out with 1,440 watts of POE+ power!!! ( 30 watts per port on a 48 port switch ).
Now POE is an enabling tool, we still need it for access points at the least, but other than that? I can’t name one practical business tool that runs on POE right now that would not qualify as a corner case.
And I don’t see anyone plugging in 24 or 48 access points into the same switch.
I would love a sanity check here guys. Is it just me? I’m making an informed prediction throw a crystal ball. Feel free to let me know if my ball’s broken. 🙂