Cisco and IBM Pave Way for Customers to Easily Adopt Voice and Video IP Services

New products, technologies and services help organizations improve productivity, reduce costs

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ARMONK, N.Y. & SAN JOSE, Calif. - 18 May 2004: IBM and Cisco today unveiled a broad-based initiative that will help organizations of all sizes integrate and implement converged voice, video and data systems.

The new services will provide customers with a broader and more integrated portfolio of Internet Protocol (IP) Communications solutions from IBM and Cisco, yielding greater potential for cost savings and employee productivity.

The blending of Cisco's voice, video and rich-media conference solutions with IBM's expertise in global services can offer customers a convenient and cost-effective way to reap the benefits of IP Communications. The initiative extends the value of new and existing IBM and Cisco offerings to independent software vendors and service providers, who also partner with IBM and Cisco. This will ultimately give organizations and their employees the ability to access information any time, any where from any device.

"The combination of Cisco's networking expertise and technologies and IBM's strength in services and integration capabilities is a logical pairing of complementary resources for IP Communications solutions," said Kim Church, chief information officer at Preston, Gates & Ellis LLP, a Seattle, Wash.-based law firm. "Investing in Cisco and IBM to create a complete IP Communications solution has resulted in improved client service and cost savings to our organization."

IBM and Cisco believe that the three core forces driving network computing today are mobility, integration and security. The new offerings contain elements of all three and tap the strengths of both companies.

"With this announcement, Cisco and IBM are considerably increasing their investments in product and technology integration as well sales, consulting services and marketing," said Doug Elix, senior vice president and group executive, IBM Sales and Distribution. "We intend to integrate Cisco's IP Communications with IBM's integrated industry solutions. Converged communications running on intelligent networks is changing the way business is conducted and we expect both companies to be major players in that business transformation."

Cisco's broad IP Communications product portfolio includes: Cisco CallManager call processing software, Cisco CallManager Express, Cisco Unity, Cisco Unity Express, Cisco MeetingPlace, Cisco Personal Assistant and Cisco IP Contact Center. These solutions tightly integrated with IBM's industry leading products and technologies will pay dividends for customers worldwide.

The IBM and Cisco initiative will initially deliver the following integrated solutions to customers:

"There is a strong commitment in place by Cisco and IBM to jointly develop an integrated product roadmap that encompasses IP telephony, unified messaging, customer contact centers, rich media communications and video conferencing," said Charlie Giancarlo, senior vice president, Cisco. "These new, integrated solutions will be delivered through IBM's world-class services organization, just as IBM supports Cisco's global IP Communications deployment. This is truly a great win for IP Communications customers worldwide."

IBM Deploys Cisco IP Communications within its enterprise
IBM is leading the IP Communications transformation by example. IBM first installed Cisco IP telephony at its Toronto software laboratory in 2001, and to date has implemented 20,000 Cisco IP telephones. The deployments of IP Telephones have taken place in a multi-vendor telephony environment, in different countries, served by a variety of telecommunications carriers.

IBM will be centralizing its telephony infrastructure onto standard IBM servers in its major IT data centers. "By moving telephony into the data center, IBM benefits not only from voice and data network convergence, but also by converging installation, operations, systems monitoring and life cycle management processes," said Fred Spulecki, director, voice applications, IBM office of the CIO, "Cisco IP Communications is a key element of IBM's data center-based telephony infrastructure plans. As we do for our customers, IBM is using its services and skills to manage systems design, operations, monitoring, security and application integration of the IPC infrastructure."

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