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Cisco beefs up enterprise collaboration tools

October 24, 2013 | Telepresence Options

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Story and images by Juan Carlos Perez / Computer World

Cisco will boost its enterprise collaboration stack with products designed to simplify the way companies secure communications, interact with external parties and manage their collaboration tools.

The new wares, which will be announced on Wednesday at the company's annual Collaboration Summit, signal a renewed push from Cisco in this market, where it battles rivals like Microsoft, IBM, Avaya, Alcatel-Lucent, Siemens and Citrix.

"Collaboration tools are old and broken," said Rowan Trollope, senior vice president and general manager of Cisco's Collaboration Technology Group, during a meeting with reporters prior to today's announcement.

Younger workers demand and expect collaboration tools -- including IM, presence, video conferencing, audio chats, IP telephony and Web meetings -- to be readily available anytime and anywhere, so Cisco is doubling down on mobility and cloud computing.

"You haven't seen anything yet," Trollope said, adding that the products being unveiled represent "a new direction for collaboration at Cisco."

One of the products is the Cisco Expressway, a gateway that secures real-time collaboration, including voice, IM and video communications without requiring device registration, account setup or passwords.

Cisco Expressway, part of the company's Collaboration Edge Architecture, uses Transport Layer Security and works with Cisco product families like Jabber and TelePresence. Expressway will be available in December. Expressway remote and mobile access for Jabber will be included at no additional cost in Cisco Unified Workspace license bundles.

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