IBM and Cisco team up to develop unified comms platform

IBM and Cisco are to deliver a joint open unified communications and collaboration platform.

IBM and Cisco are to deliver a joint open unified communications and collaboration platform.

Based on open technologies such as Eclipse and OSGi, the unified comms platform will accelerate application development by enabling developers to easily include a set of communications and collaboration capabilities in their solutions.

At the core of the unified communications and collaboration solution 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 these solutions 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.

These solutions will be promoted to the industry through training, enablement and certification programs for developers, ISVs and unified communication providers.

A number of customers, developers, distributors and communications providers have already expressed their support for the so-called UC2 Client Platform, which covers the new solution. These include Berbee, Citrix Systems, Coca-Cola Enterprises, Nokia, Optimus, Presidio Networked Solutions, PSC Group, Radvision and Research in Motion. 

Ray Repic, chief technology architect at Coca-Cola Enterprises, said, “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.”

To help ensure the UC2 Client Platform is accessible and widely adopted, 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 organisations 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 during the second half of this year, and an early software release is planned for developers and partners in the second quarter.

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