Cisco Expands Microsoft Interoperability to Address Customer And Partner Demand
Highlighting customer and partner demand for interoperability in the unified communications market, Cisco Systems, Inc. today announced it is expanding Microsoft® interoperability to provide collaborative real-time capabilities for customers using Cisco Unified Communications solutions with Microsoft Exchange 2007, Microsoft Live Communications Server 2005, and Microsoft Office Communicator. In addition, Cisco confirmed that its broad portfolio of Unified Communications solutions will support Microsoft Windows Vista and Internet Explorer (IE) 7.0.
“Cisco provides an open approach to unified communications, allowing customers to integrate a variety of application vendors, such as Microsoft, into their business environment,” said Zeus Kerravala, senior vice president of enterprise research, Yankee Group. “It is clear that Cisco is partnering with Microsoft in unified communications to offer deep integration to joint customers.”
With interoperability being critical to long-term customer success in the unified communications market, Cisco first highlighted its unified communications collaboration with Microsoft in March 2006, when the two companies announced integration between Microsoft® Office Communicator 2005, Microsoft Office Live Communications Server 2005 and the Cisco Unified CallManager (now known as Cisco Unified Communications Manager 6.0). The business communication and collaboration benefits, such as allowing click-to-call or Cisco Unified IP Phone presence via Office Communicator, have accelerated partner deployment and customer adoption of this combined unified communications solution.
“The flexibility offered by a unified communications infrastructure was an ideal solution for us,” said Scott Ferguson, Group IT Infrastructure Manager, Leighton Contractors Pty Ltd. “Leightons viewed Cisco Unified Communications and Microsoft Office Communicator as ideal communication technologies to enhance collaboration between our employees.”
“Dimension Data develops communication solutions that combine technologies from both Cisco and Microsoft to create a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts,” said Andrew Briggs, managing director, Converged Communications, Dimension Data. “By crafting solutions that contain both Cisco’s and Microsoft’s technologies, clients benefit from increased productivity gains, cost savings and business agility.”
Building off its interoperability momentum, Cisco is showcasing several Microsoft interoperable unified communications solutions at VoiceCon Spring 2007, including:
-Cisco Unified MeetingPlace 6.0 with the Presence and Instant Messaging Capabilities of Microsoft Live Communications Server (LCS) and Office Communicator - allowing users to quickly escalate instant messaging sessions to audio conferences for improved collaboration and to view presence information to determine availability, initiate ad-hoc audio conferences, invite users and initiate connection to the conference.
-Cisco Unity 5.0 with Microsoft Exchange 2007 - providing Cisco Unity customers a seamless migration path from Exchange 2000 or 2003 to Exchange 2007. Cisco Unity, which has more than 7 million messaging seats deployed, offers enhanced security and networking integration with Cisco IP phones, legacy PBX and visual voicemail on mobile devices from Nokia, RIM as well as Windows-based mobile devices.
-Cisco Unified Communications Manager with Microsoft Exchange 2007 - for customers that choose to deploy the new unified messaging capabilities of Exchange 2007 with the rich call processing, video, mobility, and presence services offered by Cisco Unified Communications Manager.
-Cisco Unified Communications Manager with Microsoft Office Communicator - extends voice, video, and presence services, including advanced telephony features, security, quality of service, call admissions control and interoperability with legacy private branch exchanges (PBXs.). This latest version of Communications Manager (formerly CallManager) increases the scalability of this solution to 10,000 users per cluster and to more than 100,000 users for multicluster enterprise solutions, addressing the communication needs of large enterprise customers.
In the future, Cisco plans to add support for Microsoft® Office Communications Server 2007 and Microsoft Office Communicator 2.0, and is currently testing these solutions as part of the Microsoft® Office Communications Server 2007 beta program.
Microsoft Exchange 2007 interoperability with Cisco Unified Communications Manager is available now. Microsoft Exchange 2007 interoperability with Cisco Unity is scheduled to be available in May 2007. Increased scalability for the Microsoft Office Communicator, Microsoft Live Communications Server and the Cisco Unified Communications system is scheduled to be available in May 2007. Microsoft LCS click-to-conference with MeetingPlace audio and web conferencing is scheduled to be available in April 2007, as is the Unified MeetingPlace integration with Exchange 2007.
Cisco, (NASDAQ: CSCO), is the worldwide leader in networking that transforms how people connect, communicate and collaborate. Information about Cisco can be found at http://www.cisco.com. For ongoing news, please go to http://newsroom.cisco.com.
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