News Release

New Cisco IP Communications System Enhancements Make Businesses More Productive

Customers Including Burger King Corporation and Crate and Barrel Empower their Workforces, Cut Costs with New Converged Voice, Video and Data System
Nov 12, 2002

SAN JOSE, Calif., November 12, 2002 - Cisco Systems, Inc. today announced a wide variety of new products ranging from unified messaging and IP PBX features to audio/video conferencing and a low-cost Internet Protocol (IP) phone that serve as catalysts for organizations to increase productivity for end users and IT departments.

"Time savings is a primary benefit of IP Communications, " said Kathryn Korostoff, president of Sage Research. "For example, we conducted research with IP PBX customers who report that they now spend just minutes on moves, adds and changes, which used to take hours. And their end-users now save as many as four hours a week in general productivity because they take advantage of telephony features that were previously too cumbersome to use."

Burger King Corporation, which uses 900 Cisco IP phones, with Cisco IP/VC video conferencing products and the Cisco IP Contact Center solution at its new Miami headquarters, provides a prime example of how a Cisco IP Communications system can increase productivity and workforce collaboration.

"The legacy system we were using really limited our communications options," says Rafael Sanchez, vice president and chief information officer for Burger King Corporation. "Our new IP infrastructure provides us with a robust foundation that allows us to deliver productivity applications all the way to users' desktops. This is where the system will pay its biggest dividends with respect to productivity and workforce collaboration. Another significant benefit is that we manage one infrastructure now instead of multiple networks, which allows us to train our IT staff on one set of skills to manage the network."

Progressive Productivity Enhancements and New Products

The products Cisco is announcing today are in five categories: unified messaging, IP PBX calling features, audio and video conferencing, customer contact centers and network infrastructure improvements that increase operational efficiency. Cisco UnityT 4.0 software extends productivity benefits to organizations that have deployed Lotus Domino by allowing end users to access and manage all messages from their Notes inbox. Because Cisco Unity 4.0 shares the same message store and directory as Domino, it greatly simplifies system administration making IT staffs more productive as well. Cisco Unity 4.0, which also works with Microsoft Exchange, features broad system interoperability with support for established and emerging communications and interoperability protocols including: VPIM, AMIS and SIP. The product is available in December.

Cisco CallManager 3.3, the newest version of its call processing software available in December, allows IT-telecom staff to manage fewer IP-PBX clusters with industry-leading scalability levels that support 30,000 IP phones per IP-PBX cluster and 10 clusters in a single system. At Cisco headquarters, a single IP-PBX CallManager cluster supports more than 20,000 Cisco IP Phone users based in San Jose, Calif. The increased scalability of a single IP-PBX cluster improves calling-feature transparency, simplifies database administration, and makes it possible to provide more productivity applications to a larger percentage of users. Cisco CallManager 3.3 also features PBX interoperability improvements with new support for Q.SIG and enhancements to the H.323 protocol, allowing companies to smoothly transition from a traditional PBX to an IP Communications environment, should they choose. Supporting Cisco CallManager to improve scalability is the new Cisco 7845 Media Convergence Server (MCS), a high-performance, high-availability server platform that allows 7,500 IP phones to operate on a single server. This product is currently shipping.

In the category of network infrastructure improvements, Cisco is introducing the CiscoWorks IP Telephony Environment Monitor (ITEM) 1.3. This product, available today, allows IT personnel to assess the operational health of Cisco IP Telephony environments in real-time to efficiently and proactively respond to issues that could affect the availability of IP telephony service.

Delivering Productivity to the Desktop

Several of the products announced today deliver advanced productivity applications directly to the user desktop. For example, with the release of the new Cisco IP Phone Messenger 1.1 in Q1 of 2003, Cisco IP Phone users will be able to receive and send instant messages from their phone display while talking on their phone. The Cisco IP Manager Assistant extends commonly used features such as call filtering, immediate call diversion and line state monitoring to administrative assistants and managers/executives to simplify communications. It is scheduled to ship as a no-cost feature with Cisco CallManager 3.3 in December. The Cisco IP Phone 7905G, scheduled to be available in December as the newest addition to the Cisco's IP Phone family, provides cost-effective IP telephony featuring inline power support and a pixel-based display for $165.

New Cisco product enhancements in the IP audio and video conferencing category will help create more collaborative business exchanges and improve workgroup productivity. The new Cisco IP/VC 3500 Series Videoconferencing products scheduled to be available this month are designed to provide small and mid-size enterprises with more natural face-to-face conferencing, using audio/video performance improvements, on-board transcoding and a new dynamic graphical user interface. Cisco Conference Connection 1.2 provides integrated audio conferencing with Cisco CallManager, allowing users to easily manage, schedule and join conference calls using a simple Web browser interface on their Cisco IP Phone or PC desktop. The product is currently shipping.

In the customer contact center category, the new Cisco ICM CTI Driver for Siebel 7 available this month provides call agents with quicker access to critical customer information. This allows Cisco Intelligent Contact Management (ICM) software to integrate with the industry-leading Siebel CRM application resulting in more productive telephone interactions between companies and their customers.

Crate and Barrel Uses IP Communications to Improve Customer Satisfaction

Crate and Barrel, based in Northbrook, IL, uses its 500 Cisco IP phones and 450 Cisco Unity unified messaging mailboxes to improve productivity and customer satisfaction - critical factors for the company's success. "We have significantly improved our ability to conduct sophisticated and streamlined interactions within our company and with our partners and customers using our Cisco IP Communications system," said Mark Carrier, telecommunications manager for Crate and Barrel. "From the perspective of productivity gains and cost savings, the system has provided a significant return on our initial investment. Once we push these benefits out to our 100-plus stores across the U.S., we expect to see even greater returns."

Additional Product Enhancements, Pricing and Availability

Additional enhancements to the broad Cisco IP Communications product portfolio that are available today include: the new Cisco 2651 XM-V Voice Gateway Router Bundle, with the option of the SRST feature; new Cisco Catalyst 6500 Communication Media Module; the new Cisco IP Telephony Remote Site Solution Package; and the Cisco CTE 1400 Content Transformation Engine 2.7. The new Cisco Catalyst 3550-24 PWR Intelligent Ethernet Switch will be available in December and the Cisco Conferencing and Transcoding software for voice gateway routers will be available in January. More information about all the products announced today, including pricing, can be found at: