Cisco to Buy IM Company for UC Applications

Cisco plans to acquire the Denver based instant messaging specialist Jabber. The company expects to complete this fifth acquisition of the year by January 2009.

Upon completion of the acquisition, Jabber employees will become part of the Cisco Collaboration Software Group (CSG), but the financial tracks of the deal are yet to be revealed. However, Jabber has maintained silence regarding the developments on this deal.

Commenting on the takeover, Doug Dennerline, Cisco Senior Vice President, Cisco Collaboration Software Group says, “With the acquisition of Jabber, we will be able to extend the reach of our current instant messaging service and expand the capabilities of our collaboration platform. Our intention is to be the interoperability benchmark in the collaboration space.” Moreover, through this deal, it shall be able to provide aggregation capabilities to users through both on-premise and on-demand solutions, across multiple platforms including Cisco WebEx Connect and Cisco Unified Communications. These expectations is rooted in Jabber’s technology, which supports the aggregation of information across different devices, users and applications and it also enables collaboration across many different systems such as Microsoft Office Communications Server, IBM Sametime, AOL AIM, Google and Yahoo.

Apart from Jabber, Cisco’s acquisition trend in the recent times has roped in other companies to support its software strategy including WebEx, IronPort, Securent and PostPath.

Mark Swendsen, Managing Director, EMEA for ShoreTel, commenting on the Cisco acquisition of Jabber said, “This acquisition clearly demonstrates two things: First, it reinforces the direction of Unified Communications. Real-time communication applications – including IM, Voice and Video – will be the playing field for the next level of business productivity gains. In that light, Instant Messaging has crossed the chasm from informal, consumer communication and into the heart of business communications.

Second, this application betrays the future look of Cisco’s Unified Messaging push: hosted. The “virtual office” will play to Cisco’s networking strength, but there are still severe limitations in the hosted model that will prove difficult to overcome until highly reliable bandwidth is ubiquitous.”

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