Microsoft, Cisco Collaborating on IT Infrastructure

Microsoft and Cisco are collaborating in seven areas of IT and network infrastructure.

NEW YORK—Microsoft and Cisco talked publicly for the first time about several of the seven focus areas on which they are currently collaborating, which include IT architecture, management, Unified Communications and security.

At an event held at the Mandarin Oriental hotel here in New York on August 20 to discuss the interoperability work between them, Ciscos chief development officer Charlie Giancarlo and Bob Muglia, Microsofts senior vice president for server and tools, highlighted some of the collaborative work they are doing and which they have not talked much about before.

The first area they called out was their joint work around the IT Architecture for Microsofts infrastructure optimization model and Ciscos Service-Oriented Network Architecture.

"This work is designed to align our work and get a consistent message and architectural approach for enterprise customers," Muglia said.

One of the scenarios under development here is network optimization and Quality of Service considerations as customers begin Windows Vista deployments, particularly the opportunities created by the redesigned Internet Protocol stack in Vista, he said.

The two firms are also considering establishing a Cisco-Microsoft Architecture Center of Excellence, but gave no additional details.

/zimages/5/28571.gifClick here to read more about how Ciscos Reactivity buy further consolidates SOA.

With regard to the work they are doing on the mobile phone front, the two pointed to the initiative underway to extend the capabilities of the Cisco Unified Communications Manager to enterprises with devices powered by Windows Mobile and Cisco Unified Mobile Communicator.

"This will give customers integrated presence, telephony, calendaring and other unified communications capabilities from both of us, Ciscos Giancarlo said.

Ciscos Unified WLAN system is being designed to provide detailed information to a connected devices location, and the two companies will work together to integrate this capability and make it available via Microsofts location API, he said.

/zimages/5/28571.gifTo read more about the new phones and devices from Microsofts partners, click here.

But the area of Unified Communications is a tricky one for the two as they both compete aggressively in this space and take differing views on how to deliver and manage synchronous-asynchronous communications.

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