Cisco Launch in to the Convergence Market

In what Product Manager Tim Stone described as ‘my most exciting day at Cisco’ the vendor has launched 37 new or enhanced products in to the channel under the name Cisco Unified Communications system and with and an advertising campaign slogan that reads ‘This Changes Everything’.

Highlights include a move away from Windows to Linux based appliance approach and a more pragmatic product set for the SME. With the launch, Cisco for the first time adds native SIP support, giving users presence capabilities, improved mobility features and the ability to support third-party SIP-based phones

Based on the Cisco Service-Oriented Network Architecture (SONA) announced in December 2005, the Cisco Unified Communications system is an open and extensible platform for real-time communications based on presence, mobility and the intelligent information network. By using the IT data network as the service delivery platform, the system helps workers to reach the right resource the first time by delivering presence and preference information to an organisation’s employees.

“The Cisco Unified Communications system is the first true second-generation Internet Protocol (IP) Communications system providing not just telephone services, but rather a rich communications environment that seamlessly integrates voice, video and data collaboration in one system. It is also the first new Cisco system to fully support the Cisco Service-Oriented Network Architecture (SONA) announced in December 2005,” said Charles Giancarlo, chief development officer, Cisco Systems, Inc. “Cisco SONA extends the power of the network to optimise applications, processes and resources to deliver greater business benefits to enterprises. By building on Cisco SONA, Cisco Unified Communications leverages network intelligence to greatly simplify the day-to-day challenges of collaboration with colleagues.”

The Cisco Unified Communications system is based on their existing IP Communications portfolio including Cisco CallManager, Cisco Unity, Cisco MeetingPlace and Cisco IP Contact Center and now includes additional products, applications, features and capabilities. New to the Cisco Unified Communications system are Cisco Unified Personal Communicator, Cisco Unified Presence Server and Customer Interaction Analyzer. Current customers will be able to upgrade their existing systems to take advantage of the new capabilities.