IBM and Cisco will announce today at the Spring 2007 VoiceCon conference in Orlando, Florida, a joint effort to create an industrywide unified communications and collaboration platform. The expectation is that a single open platform, rather than a potpourri of platforms offered by multiple vendors, will entice a large number of developers to design communications services for the enterprise. In the first step toward that end, IBM and Cisco have pledged to base the new platform, called UC2 (Unified Communication and Collaboration), on Eclipse and OSGi (Open Services Gateway initiative) technologies.
In addition, both companies unveiled a series of upcoming offerings jointly developed by the two companies using an open set of APIs from Lotus's Sametime collaboration application and communication APIs from Cisco. Among the solutions planned for later this year are click-to-call and voice mail integration to allow Sametime users to send instant messages to and from Cisco Unified IP phones. Another jointly developed offering will include federated presence information, call history conferencing, and video telephony. The federated presence solution will take information stored in Cisco's IP network, such as availability and location, and share that information with a Sametime client. "If you are looking at a Sametime client, you can see if the phone is not busy and if the person is in, say, building 21 on the third floor," said Barry O'Sullivan, vice president of IP Communications at Cisco.