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April 19, 2012

Cisco News - Cisco to Provide Free Jabber Client to Unified Communications Manager Customers

By Beecher Tuttle, TMCnet Contributor

Cisco (News - Alert) customers received good news on Wednesday when the switching giant announced that its Jabber instant messaging and presence software will be offered free of charge for users of the company's Unified Communications (News - Alert) Manager (CUCM).

The move should be particularly beneficial to customers that maintain as large mobile workforce, as Jabber runs on iPad, iPhone and Blackberry devices, in addition to Windows and Mac-powered PCs. Cisco said that Jabber will be available for Android (News - Alert) users “later in 2012.”

In addition to providing IM capabilities, Jabber supports high-quality video and voice messaging through a unified client that can be incorporated with various Microsoft (News - Alert) products, including Office, Exchange and Outlook, according to

Beth Vanni, a channel market analyst for PartnerPath, told the website that the addition of Jabber is being driven by Cisco's desire to increase bandwidth consumption and, in turn, routing and switching sales.

“Cisco is moving towards being a workspace collaboration company,” Vanni told the site. “They want to drive more consumption of bandwidth and that's where they will make up the money. They want people on Skype every day.”

Barry O'Sullivan (News - Alert), senior vice president of Cisco's voice technology group, said in a blog post that the move is an effort to respond to the Bring-Your-Own-Device trend that is dominating the enterprise workforce. Rather than enabling only IP phone users, Cisco is looking to cater its solutions to every employee within an organization, he added.

O'Sullivan also stressed the benefits that Jabber inclusion will provide to channel partners, who can “accelerate the deployment of presence, IM and mobile collaboration as part of a holistic, best-in-class, collaboration solution. Hence, presence and IM can easily become ubiquitous in the enterprise.”

In addition to announcing the update of CUCM, O'Sullivan noted that Cisco recently sold its 50 millionth IP phone. The company said that it sold its 30 millionth phone just two years ago.

Edited by Jennifer Russell

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