Cisco Adds Partners for Voice-Ready Wireless

The networking giant contends that it will lead a new wave of wireless applications adoption in the enterprise space via a set of technology development partnerships with Intel, Nokia and RIM.

Looking to ensure that its products are firmly entrenched in the market for so-called converged networking technologies, Cisco on April 25 announced a new set of development partnerships with other IT segment leaders.

The networking giant detailed new work being done with partners Intel, Nokia and Research In Motion that it said would help guarantee that a wide range of devices will be interoperable with its wireless LAN infrastructure products and help accelerate the uptake of converged technologies. Such networking tools allow for use of both VOIP (voice over IP) and Wi-Fi communications infrastructures, and a host of emerging business applications built on those platforms.

As part of its interoperability marketing program, some future devices from those partners may also bear the companys Cisco Compatible logo.

Cisco officials said that by building tighter integration with the other market leaders it can both improve compatibility among the respective firms technologies and encourage more enterprise organizations to begin adopting converged VOIP and Wi-Fi infrastructure today.

"We know that enterprise customers are already beginning to look at ways to allow workers to begin using more advanced voice applications that allow them more consistent coverage, easier systems management and the ability to tap into new applications," said Brett Galloway, vice president and general manager of Ciscos Wireless Networking Business Unit. "This is just another way for us to help educate the market and prove to customers that they can start putting these technologies in place."

Galloway said that the development effort will help Ciscos partners tap into many of the advances the company has made in supporting converged voice networking architecture, including work it has done around enhancing security, mobility, quality of service and network management. Customers investing in the Ciscos products will be able to launch voice applications more rapidly since those technologies will be ready to support advanced features out of the box, he said.

/zimages/4/28571.gifClick here to read about how Cisco and Microsoft are integrating CRM and VOIP.

At the heart of Ciscos enterprise voice convergence strategy is its Unified Wireless Network, which aims to support a wide range of applications and devices for merging VOIP, Wi-Fi and more traditional platforms. Among the specific capabilities touted in the package is the ability to integrate various types of voice technologies and provide centralized systems administration and secure roaming among different types of networks.

Proposed benefits of those features, and the work being done by Cisco and its partners, include improved roaming across corporate campus environments and increased capabilities for detecting and mitigating RF interference.

"Cisco truly believes that enterprises are on the cusp of a major wave of adoption of these emerging voice platforms, and that we can push the market forward through our work with these industry leaders," said Galloway. "I dont think anyone questions the benefit of the interoperability among these types of players in allowing customers to begin working more with the technologies."

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