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Cisco Teams With Microsoft, Citrix On VoIP, Realtime Communications

Cisco Systems has formed partnerships with Microsoft and Citrix Systems to better integrate voice-over-IP and realtime communications with enterprise applications.

According to the terms of the two separate deals, unveiled Monday at VoiceCon 2006 in Orlando, Fla., Cisco will collaborate with the two ISVs on technical and marketing fronts, enabling the development of integrated solutions for Cisco Unified CallManager and other Cisco products.

Plans call for Microsoft to integrate its Office Communicator 2005 and Open Session Initiation Protocol (SIP)-based Office Live Communications Server with Cisco's new SIP-based Unified Communications system. The interoperability solution is slated to be available in August for new installations and upgrades of current customers.

Cisco and Microsoft are developing a converged solution that offers desktop IP telephony call control, which would allow customers, for example, to click to call and transfer phone calls from Office Communicator without human intervention. Users also would be able to launch or answer a phone call from within Office Communicator and host the call from a PC or a desk phone, Microsoft said. The solution is based on SIP, SIP for Instant Messaging and presence leveraging extensions (SIMPLE).

The combined Cisco and Microsoft solution also would enable customers to view Cisco Unified IP Phone presence status from within Office Communicator and seamlessly switch between Office Communicator instant-messaging and voice sessions, the companies said.

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