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Interop: Cisco, Nokia Solidify Mobile UC Channel

Cisco and Nokia cemented their initiative to mobilize unified communications with the certification of nearly 100 channel partners.

Additionally, the pair said more than 100 end customers have their Mobile Business Solution in use while 600 more are trialing it.

The Mobile Business Solution takes Cisco Unified Internet Protocol Phone capabilities and brings it to Nokia E-Series smartphones over Cisco's Unified Wireless Networks. According to Cisco, the solution offers a seamless mobile experience in both the office environment and on public cellular networks.

And to show that the two vendors are drinking their own Kool-Aid, they also announced that each company is deploying the other's mobile solutions, with Cisco deploying Nokia E-Series smartphones to its sales organization and Nokia starting to use Cisco Unified Wireless Network in its offices, labs and manufacturing sites.

The combined solution is an IP-based Cisco Unified Communications tool that leverages E-Series smartphones and Cisco's family of wireless LAN controllers and access points to mobilize unified communications. The solution can extend the reach of unified communications applications to users on the go.

In a statement, Nokia senior vice president of services and software Tom Furlong said companies are increasingly trying to find ways to deliver voice and data connectivity to their mobile workforce and the joint solution can fulfill that need.

To help the solution reach a broader audience, Cisco and Nokia have certified nearly 100 reseller partners on the combined mobile unified communications solution. Certified partners include, Computacenter, Dimension Data, E2E, Touchbase and T-systems, Cisco said.

Dimension Data is deploying Nokia smartphones with their Cisco Unified Communications and Unified Wireless Network infrastructure. Craig Levieux, group general manager of converged communications for the systems integrator said the joint solution has clients can benefit from improved business processes.

"We have seen improved productivity, reduction in business processes latency and cost savings from this solution and look forward to helping our clients similarly benefit from integrated mobility within a unified communications environment," he said in a statement.

Riordan Maynard, CEO of Touchbase agreed, adding that as clients become more mobile, the solution provider seeks tools to keep them all in the loop.

"The ability to make the mobile device a cohesive part of the corporate network, while achieving sizeable cost and user benefits, is extremely appealing," Maynard said. "Our clients are increasingly becoming distributed in various locations and mobile, so Touchbase's relationship with Cisco and Nokia in bringing this solution to them will make a major difference to their operations."

Rick McConnell, vice president and general manager of Cisco's unified communications unit, said the mobile solution offers a broader choice for how users initiate communications.

"Customers have the benefit of using the device of their choice that best suit their user experience needs -- whether that's a wideband audio IP phone or a business-optimized mobile device, or both," he said.

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