Cisco Extends Its Unified Communications to Companies of All Sizes

SAN JOSE, Calif. - Cisco Systems enhanced its Unified Communications suite of voice, data, and video products to connect small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs). The new Unified Communications system enhancements include greater scalability for rich-media conferencing, messaging, and call processing solutions. Cisco is also introducing a range of tools, offers, and services designed to make Cisco channel partners even more effective and successful in deploying Cisco Unified Communications solutions.

New features include the Cisco Unified CallConnector, which provides a toolbar, integrated screen pops, and "Click to Dial" from any Web page or Microsoft Office document.

Cisco MeetingPlace Express has been updated to support up to 250 concurrent users and will offer Outlook integration and adhoc video later in the year. The new Cisco Unified IP Phone 7931G provides 24 lighted line keys and four interactive soft keys that guide a user through call features.

"We are excited about the new Cisco Unified IP Phone 7931G because it really addresses the communication needs of our end users and the way that they do business," said William Hemmle, senior network manager, Sunbelt Rentals, Inc. "The Cisco Unified IP Phone 7931G is a 24-button phone with key system-like features that is easy for our store employees to use, therefore  reducing our training requirements and rollout time, while enabling store staff to be more productive and offer an enhanced level of customer service."

The new product enhancements include the Cisco Unified Applications Environment (CUAE) which enables development, execution, and automated management of applications that combine voice and video with enterprise applications and data.

The Cisco Unified Operations Manager 2.0 and Cisco Unified Service Monitor 2.0 provide additional tools for communications system management. In addition, the Cisco Unified Videoconferencing System Manager is a new feature that allows organizations using Cisco Unified Videoconferencing to schedule and control a videoconference from a Web browser and Microsoft Outlook calendars.

The Cisco MeetingPlace updates offer enhanced video scalability and scheduling through improved MeetingPlace interfaces, support for Lotus Notes 7.1, and additional instant messaging integration. The new Cisco Unified PhoneProxy product extends enterprise phone access and features to remote workers by securing Cisco IP phones deployed in homes and other remote locations, without the need for a VPN router.

Cisco also enhanced the Cisco Unified Contact Center solutions portfolio including updated Cisco Unified Contact Center Enterprise and Hosted products. The enhanced Cisco Unified Customer Voice Portal 4.0, which provides automated speech-based, self-service for contact centers, offers automated speech capabilities with operations, administration, management, and provisioning applications. 

As part of its ongoing investment to enable its channel partners, Cisco is introducing a series of new and enhanced channel tools, offers, and services. The Cisco Quote Builder, a solution-based quoting application, helps channel partners create and quote an integrated wireless, security, and unified communications solution for single and multiple office locations. An enhanced version of the Cisco Unified Communications Express Quick Configuration Tool (QCT) incorporates SIP trunking.

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