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Cisco Overhauls Its IP Communications Architecture

On Monday, Cisco Systems unveiled a comprehensive new framework around its IP communications solutions that seeks to create a streamlined way of delivering telephony technology and services.

The Cisco Unified Communication System is an umbrella brand that includes nearly 60 new or revamped Cisco products, with special attention paid to increasing intelligence around call processing, presence and location. The system also is based on the Sessions Initiation Protocol (SIP) open standard, meaning that it will be easier to incorporate third-party products into any IP communications installation.

Cisco engineers have spent the past two years developing the framework, re-engineering some products and building others from the ground up.

"We wanted to transition from siloed individual products to a well-integrated system," says Rick McConnell, vice president and general manager of Cisco's Unified Communications business unit. "We're not intending to be the be-all, end-all with Cisco products, but rather offering an open architecture that accommodates third-party solutions."

Until now, many of the company's products worked best in near Cisco-only Windows-based environments, but the new system should help partners expand their offerings while creating smoother-running communications infrastructures.

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