Cisco And IBM Team On Voice Over IP - InformationWeek

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Cisco And IBM Team On Voice Over IP

They're aiming to develop a multibillion-dollar business within a few years.

IBM and Cisco Systems are pooling their interests to offer a broad spectrum of voice-over-IP solutions, drawing on Cisco's communications expertise and IBM's know-how in services and integration. The companies are said to be aiming at developing a multibillion-dollar annual business within a few years.

In addition to offering IP products through IBM's Global Services unit, the companies will provide IP voice, video, and data products to independent suppliers for resale. "The initiative extends the value of new and existing IBM and Cisco offerings to independent software vendors and service providers, who also partner with IBM and Cisco," they said in a statement.

The joint effort will combine many household IT names: Cisco Unity will be integrated with IBM's Lotus Domino; Cisco CallManager will combine with IBM's Information Management database software; IBM's Tivoli systems-management certification will be used with Cisco CallManager; and Cisco's CallManager will be supported on IBM's eServer xSeries x345, x306, and x345.

"We intend to integrate Cisco's IP Communications with IBM's integrated industry solutions," Doug Elix, senior VP and group executive of IBM sales and distribution, said in a statement. "Converged communications running on intelligent networks is changing the way business is conducted and we expect both companies to be major players in that business transformation."

In addition to integrating Cisco's CallManager call-processing software with IBM products, a number of other Cisco products have been selected for the joint program, including Unity Express, MeetingPlace, Personal Assistant, and IP Contact Center. The companies said they will develop integrated product roadmaps covering IP telephony, unified messaging, customer-contact centers, rich-media communications, and videoconferencing.

IBM said it will centralize its telephony infrastructure on standard IBM servers in its major IT data centers, with Cisco IP Communications to play a key role in implementing that process.

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