• 03/04/2011
    8:00 AM
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Cisco Unleashes Device-Agnostic Unified Communications

Cisco is upping the unified communications stakes with the launch of Cisco Jabber, which will bring presence, instant messaging, voice and video, voice messaging, desktop sharing and conferencing to the device of your choice.

Its bigger brother, the Cisco Unified Communications Manager Business Edition 3000, supports 300 users across 10 sites. The 320W is currently available, listing at $995, while the 3000 is scheduled to be available in the second quarter, at $12,400 for 100 users.

According to the most recent Gartner Magic Quadrant for Unified Communications (Oct. 15, 2010), Microsoft, Cisco and Avaya (in that order) were the only three in the Leaders quadrant, down from six vendors last year. However, it cautions that despite the emergence of complete UC portfolios, these products are still in an early stage, and no vendor product adequately addresses all of an enterprise's UC needs.

While analyst Ted Schadler, Forrester, agrees that UC adoption is still a work in progress, he believes Cisco Jabber is a solid branding decision because it unifies Cisco's real-time collaboration assets under a single product line. "But it's also a nice extension to Cisco's unified communications [meaning voice and video conferencing] products. Finally, having a click-to-conference and a soft phone/video client will let Cisco compete directly with Microsoft Lync and IBM Sametime."

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