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Cisco Releases New UC Tool

Cisco Systems this week took the wraps off a unified communications platform that combines chat, presence and voice messaging onto PCs, tablets and smartphones.

Cisco Jabber is the culmination of the company's 2008 acquisition of Jabber Inc. Cisco said Jabber works with or is set to support Windows, iPhone, iPad, Nokia, Android and the BlackBerry platforms. Support for the Mac is slated for this summer.

It also works with Cisco's own video endpoints, including Cisco Unified IP Phones, Cisco WebEx MeetingCenter and Cisco TelePresence.

The company launched the new product at the Enterprise Connect trade show, taking place this week in Orlando, FL. The release of Cisco Jabber sets the stage for a battle with Microsoft, which late last year released Lync Communications Server. Cisco, like Microsoft, is looking to convince customers to move away from traditional PBXes.

While Cisco last week stepped away from a different battle with Microsoft, deciding not to go to market with its Cisco Mail offering, the battle in the UC market between the two companies is alive and well. Don't expect either company to back away.

Based on the standard Extensible Messaging and Presence Protocol (XMPP), Cisco Jabber is interoperable with a variety of presence and instant messaging platforms, according to Cisco. That allows for chat among individuals using other IM platforms from Google, IBM, Microsoft and AOL.

Cisco also said Jabber can integrate with Microsoft Office, enabling individuals to set up calls or chats within Office.

On the video side, Cisco Jabber supports the H.264 standard and provides high-definition resolution. It allows for multiple parties to participate in a videoconference. However, the latter capabilities aren't set to be available until the second half of the year.

Posted by Jeffrey Schwartz on March 02, 2011 at 11:59 AM


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