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Cisco Gobbles Up Two Communications Software Development Companies

Their products will be integrated into a common application development platform so customers and partners can build customized communications apps that will work with Cisco's Unified Communications platform.
Cisco Systems on Friday said it will buy two communications application development companies for a total of $47.8 million in a bid to beef up its recently announced Unified Communications system.

Privately held Metreos Corp. makes IP communications application development programs, while Audium Corp. provides VoiceXML speech self-service application development tools for contact centers. Cisco says the companies' products can help tie communications applications with enterprise business applications.

Cisco hopes to integrate their products into a common application development platform so customers and partners can build customized communications applications that will work with Cisco's Unified Communications platform.

"With these acquisitions, we will continue to help our enterprise customers draw on third-party developers to integrate new applications into the IP network platform," Cisco Senior VP Don Proctor said in a statement.

Cisco's Unified Communications is both buzzword and brand name, a line of tools to create integrated voice, video, and data communications interfaces and platforms. CEO John Chambers has been harping of late on the merits of collaboration and considers unified communications one of the new cornerstones of collaborative tools.

The product line was introduced in March with integrated communications software that includes voice, video, and data capabilities. It competes with IP communications companies like Avaya, networking equipment companies such as Nortel, and software companies including Microsoft.