Cisco Teams With Jabber For Collaborative Messaging

InformationWeek features an article about Cisco teaming with Jabber, the multiplatform IM solution. The article / statements from Jabber do raise some questions and / or are wrong to begin with … I am taking the Microsoft perspective (Live Communications Server 2005, Office Communicator 2005, Office LiveMeeting 2005)

With the addition of these capabilities, Cisco’s communications platform gains a capability missing from competing offerings from IBM and Microsoft, according to Jabber CEO Paul Guerin: multiuser chat. “IBM and Microsoft don’t even offer multiuser chat at this point,” he says. …

Wrong:  Maybe I misinterpret the multiuser chat. But Microsoft (with LCS 2005 and Communicator 2005) does support IM with multiple users and the seamless transition from chat to for example LiveMeeting and/or Conference Calling.

Mr Guerin : The screenshot below shows me (with 3 other colleagues and myself again on LiveMessenger (Windows Live logo) πŸ˜‰ This is multiuser chat I would say …

…The Cisco-Jabber integration aims to make communication and collaboration easier by exposing presence information so workers know when their coworkers are free to interact and by providing easy access to voice, video, and Web conferencing…

Hmmm: So Cisco in itself does not have a well integrated platform for Presence in every tools / platforms users use (Office Productivity, Document Collaboration, Enterprise Content Management) and will leverage the Jabber model ? 

The key to the success of Unified Communications is based on Presence integration The Cisco/Jabber apporach is not unique; it is a requirement every Unified Communications solution must facilitate. he more standardised / integrated the presence the better the solution.

… In contrast with products like Microsoft’s SharePoint, says Dave Uhlir, VP of marketing, “you don’t have to sign your life away to a technology architecture” and deal with “massive integration efforts” to get workable collaboration….

Wrong:  Come on .. “massive integration efforts” ??? Presence Integration and therewith the Unified Communications in implicitly integrated in the whole of 2007 Microsoft Office System (also the 2003 version) meaning in SharePoint, the Office Suites, etc.

It is not signing your life away … Yes you have to choose your Unified Communications platform which best integrates with your current Collaboration platform and related productivity tools. I guess in this partnership announced with Cisco is proof of an open platform approach πŸ˜‰

… Jabber counts 15 defense and intelligence agencies as customers, along with five of the eight largest investment banks in the United States. …

Hmmm: I know a lot of companies use Jabber. It is a good solution and in a lot of cases more flexible to start with than some other platforms maybe. However … something tells me Jabber is not the only and definitely not thΓ© standard IM / Presence platform used in many of the organsiations mentioned … 

My humble analysis of this announcement : two companies with very good / top of the line solutions in the RTC field are combining efforts to come up with some kind of platform approach to be leveraged in an organisations asynchornous (i.e. not real time) infrastructure. They are attempting to become the presence platform of choice. Depending on how well they proof this and show how this is going to be integrated in the development of joint solutions they may become successful. I look forward to hearing Cisco’s side of the story, maybe this is more down to earth and truthful.