Cisco Systems has announced the latest version of its unified communications software, along with a new software-as-a-service offering from its WebEx platform and enhancements to its telepresence solution. The announcement is being treated by some publications almost as if this were Cisco's first entry into unified communications and collaboration. Cisco actually was among the first vendors to target UC, it acquired WebEx back in early 2007, and it also has long championed telepresence.
Among the new moves, Cisco's Unified Communications 7.0 release supports interoperability between desktop communications products from IBM and Microsoft; the new WebEx Connect supports enterprise instant messaging, document management, calendars, wikis, mobile client software and other functions; and the telepresence offering now includes TelePresence Expert-on-Demand, which enables connection from telepresence systems to contact centers for customer service, according to ComputerWorld.
Verizon Business said in conjunction with the Cisco announcement that it will leverage Cisco WebEx Connect in the small and medium-sized business market as part of hosted applications. The telco also will support the new UC software as part of its managed services offerings.
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