20 Most Strategic Networking Vendors

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Headquarters: Redmond, Wash.

2007 Revenue: $51.12 billion

Channel Chief: Allison Watson, Corporate Vice President, Worldwide Partner Group

Why It's a Strategic Networking Partner:

With its widely popular Exchange Server messaging platform, Microsoft is a key player for networking VARs building unified communications solutions. But the vendor upped the ante last year with the launch of Office Communications Server 2007, giving it entre into the lucrative VoIP space. It also partnered with several OEMs to rollout small-business VoIP systems built on its ResponsePoint software. In addition, VARs ranked Microsoft as the company whose network management products best fit customers' needs. Nearly 53 percent of networking solution providers that identified a vendor as a strategic partner selected Microsoft.

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