Cisco Blogs

Unified Communications: Open and Interoperable to Increase Customer Benefits

At Network + Interop this week, we are showing our full portfolio of open, network-based unified communications solutions and highlighting interoperability with a number of industry vendors, including Microsoft. Cisco believes that most customers will want a heterogeneous and unified workspace environment -one that includes Macintosh, Linux and PC users, IBM Lotus Notes and Microsoft Outlook users, wired and wireless users -and even users without desktop or mobile devices at all. Cisco also believes that customers will want to unify a range of enterprise environments such as Oracle, SAP, IBM and, and Microsoft ERP/CRM applications.Cisco and Microsoft have a nine-year strategic alliance and have collaborated across a number of technologies, the most recent being unified communications. While Cisco and Microsoft have different visions for unified communications, there is a common theme that ties our visions together -the customer. In the spirit of that commitment to customers, we’ve identified with Microsoft a number of integration areas between our products, such as interoperability with Microsoft Office Communications Server and Cisco Unified Communications. This week we announced support for Microsoft’s new Office Communications Server interoperability specification with Cisco Unified Communications Manager. This interoperability will allow customers to more tightly integrate Microsoft Office Communicator with Cisco Unified Communications devices, such as Cisco Unified IP Phones, and simultaneously ring them for increased efficiencies in”finding the right person, the right time -faster.” To deliver on the”Unified” in unified communications for customers, Cisco will continue to strengthen alliances, strike new partnerships and drive industry standards. By leveraging the network as the platform for communications, Cisco customers will benefit from new levels of productivity, competitiveness and profitability over the coming years.Communications is the ultimate networked application. Cisco believes the network is the platform for unified communications and that customers will benefit from an open, unified solution that offers communication and collaboration applications as network services. Our strategy for unified communications is to open up the workspace for customers, as this approach offers customers a wider choice of communications product and technology options, rather than a single operating system, device or media -dependent technology.

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  1. Thanks for your question. Hard to to predict the exact model but clearly we are seeing increasing diversity in devices and a blending of consumer and business preferences. Users want to be able to access their business communications services from whatever their device they are using whether that’s their Mac at home, their BlackBerry, their desk phone or soon, their TV. Our strategy is to be the ‘Unifier’ in Unified Communications so that the network platform enables this choice for users. Barry

  2. Barry -Great posting! With Cisco’s increasing embrace of heterogeneous platforms, how long do you think it will be before the following:1) Over 20% of Cisco’s enterprise users are on Mac or Linux platforms?2) Cisco reports being a partner in the Google Apps initiative?Thanks -AtticusPS – I’m a Mac”” Who are you?”