ORLANDO, FL. - VoiceCon Conference - March 7, 2007 - IBM (NYSE: IBM) and Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO) today announced their intent to deliver a new platform for unified communications and collaboration client development. Based on open technologies such as Eclipse and OSGi, the platform will accelerate application development by enabling developers to easily include a rich set of communications and collaboration capabilities in their solutions. Additionally, the companies announced plans to deliver specific customer offerings including a joint solution based on the new client platform and a set of "plugins" that bring together the communications and collaboration capabilities of both companies.
At the core of the unified communications and collaboration (UC2) Client Platform will be an open set of application programming interfaces (APIs) offered by IBM as a subset of Lotus Sametime collaboration capabilities along with communication APIs provided by Cisco to access communications functionality such as voice and video services. The Lotus Sametime collaboration capabilities are built on IBM's Lotus Expeditor, which contains open technologies from OSGi and Eclipse. This allows customers and partners to build new classes of applications and services that are easily managed and run across desktops, laptops, web browsers, and mobile devices.
Cisco and IBM will adopt the UC2 Client Platform to develop their own unified communications and collaboration clients. Lotus Sametime 7.5 is based on this platform and IBM plans that future releases will continue to take advantage of the platform. Cisco also intends to develop future versions of its Cisco Unified Personal Communicator client based on this client platform.
In addition, the two companies intend to work together to promote the benefits of open technologies for development and will drive market adoption of the UC2 Client Platform among customers and partners. These activities are expected to include training, enablement and certification programs for developers, ISVs and unified communication providers.
A significant number of customers, developers, distributors and communications providers have already expressed their support for the UC2 Client Platform, including Berbee, Citrix Systems, Coca-Cola Enterprises, Nokia, Optimus, Presidio Networked Solutions, PSC Group, Radvision and Research in Motion. Comments from these companies may be found at: newsroom.cisco.com/dlls/2007/eKits/quotesheet_030707.pdf or ibm.com/lotus/uc2.
"Here at Coca-Cola Enterprises, we are focused on leveraging our technology investments to enhance our employee productivity," said Ray Repic, Chief Technology Architect at Coca-Cola Enterprises. "The ability to provide our users with a single focal point for the full suite of applications they use every day, including such things as Cisco CallManager and Unity, Lotus Sametime and Notes is very strategic for us. The announced platform by Cisco and IBM will allow us to more fully integrate core applications as well as build additional applications to work with them via open APIs. We praise IBM and Cisco for working together to drive integration of these core capabilities and look forward to adoption of this important effort."
An open approach to development represents a significant opportunity for developers, ISVs and unified communications providers. Developers and ISVs have access to the more than 2.3 million existing members of the Eclipse and OSGi development communities to take advantage of this platform. Open APIs mean developers can create solutions with confidence, knowing that the APIs will not change at the whim of a vendor. Additionally, the need for unified communications providers and ISVs to recreate base UC2 capabilities is significantly reduced, saving time and development costs.
To help ensure the UC2 Client Platform is accessible and rapidly adopted in the industry, IBM plans to offer the platform to developers at no charge with minimal costs for support and redistribution. A certification program is also planned for organizations that license the UC2 Client Platform, helping to ensure consistency between product deployments and allowing them to claim compatibility with the platform.
The UC2 Client Platform is expected to be available second half of 2007 and an early software release is planned for developers and partners in the second quarter of this year.
Expanded IBM and Cisco Alliance Delivers New Value to Customers
Cisco and IBM today also announced they plan to combine unified communications and collaboration strengths as part of an expanded strategic alliance. The expanded relationship is expected to include: joint offerings based on the UC2 Client Platform, communication and collaboration products from both companies, and expanded go-to-market activities including Cisco selling Lotus Sametime and IBM selling Cisco Unified Communications Manager, Cisco Unity, and Cisco Unified MeetingPlace.
In addition, Integrated Communications Services, from IBM Global Technology Services, is expected to offer assessment, design and implementation services on the full Cisco Unified Communications and Lotus Sametime portfolio, which will help clients accelerate implementation time, provide a quicker time to value and improve project success rates.
The joint offerings will help make business communication more efficient, customers more productive and partners more successful and are expected to include:
- Click-to-Call and Voice Mail integration (planned availability for first half of 2007) - Lotus Sametime users will be able to send instant messages to and from Cisco Unified IP Phones, view and play Cisco Unity voice messages, and click-to-call another user directly from their Lotus Sametime 7.5.1 client.
- New joint client offering (planned availability for second half of 2007) - In addition to the above functionality, a combination of capabilities will be offered from Lotus Sametime and a suite of functions from Cisco to include federated presence information, a soft phone, hard phone control, call history, conferencing and video telephony.
- Cisco Unified MeetingPlace and Lotus Sametime and Lotus Notes integration (planned availability for second half of 2007) - Lotus Sametime Web conference integration with and control of Cisco Unified MeetingPlace audio and video conferences, and click to conference capabilities from Lotus Sametime and Lotus Notes.
For more information on IBM: www.ibm.com
For more information on Cisco: http://newsroom.cisco.com.