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Cisco Launches Cross-Device Unified Communications App

At the Enterprise Connect 2011 trade show last week, Cisco debuted Jabber, a unified communications application that brings together presence, instant messaging, voice, video, voice messaging, desktop sharing, and conferencing into a single, consistent interface on PCs, Macs, tablets, and smart phones, including iPhone and Android. This tool will help people within an organization communicate and collaborate using their method and device of choice.

Cisco acquired Jabber in 2008 and has expanded it to incorporate voice, video, and conferencing capabilities. Jabber will enable users to seamlessly transition from an IM conversation to a voice call, video call, or desktop sharing session on the fly. Because the interface will be consistent across devices, people will be able to access the features whether they are on their desktop computer in the office, on a tablet at home, or on a smart phone while they are out. For organizations using Cisco video endpoints, Jabber also integrates with Cisco Unified IP Phones, Cisco WebEx MeetingCenter, and Cisco TelePresence connections. And because Jabber uses the extensible messaging and presence protocol (XMPP), it's compatible with other IM clients, such as Google Talk and Facebook chat.

Key features of Cisco Jabber include:

  • Deployment on premises or in a public or private cloud;
  • Adherence to industry standards, such as XML and XMPP for interoperability within and between organizations;
  • Integration with Microsoft Office to view user status information and click to communicate directly from Microsoft applications;
  • High-definition industry standard (H.264) video;
  • Multi-party, continuous presence video so users can see multiple other video users simultaneously during group or team video meetings;
  • High-quality audio, single-number reach, and call management capabilities across all devices and voice over WiFi clients;
  • A variety of communication capabilities for mobile users, including presence, IM, voice over WiFi, and visual voicemail;
  • Ability to make and receive calls over a WiFi connection from a desktop phone, wireless device, or desktop computer, adding to the existing capability over a cellular network;
  • Voice message viewing and management from desktop phones, mobile phones, Outlook, and browsers.
  • Cisco Jabber capabilities are compatible with Cisco Unified Communications Manager 6.1.4 and later.

Cisco Jabber for Mac OS X will be available this summer. Jabber is available today or in development for Windows, Apple iOS, Symbian OS (used by Nokia phones), Android, and BlackBerry. Integrated video capabilities are scheduled to be available in the second half of 2011. Further information about Cisco Jabber can be found here.

About the Author

Leila Meyer is a technology writer based in British Columbia. She can be reached at leilameyer@gmail.com.

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