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Cisco Extends Collaboration Reach With Jabber Buy

To strengthen its collaboration software offering, Cisco Systems will acquire instant messaging vendor Jabber.

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The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

According to an announcement from San Jose, Calif.-based Cisco, the Jabber buy will help Cisco enhance the existing presence and messaging functions in its Cisco Collaboration portfolio; a move that will further entrench the networking hardware giant into the software game against Microsoft, IBM, Google and others.

By picking up Denver-based Jabber, Cisco can embed presence and messaging services in the network and offer aggregation capabilities to users through both on-premise and on-demand solutions across platforms like Cisco's WebEx Connect and Cisco Unified Communications.

Jabber offers open, standards-based, carrier grade presence and messaging though a scalable architecture that supports aggregation of presence information across different devices, users and applications. Jabber also enables users to send messages across different presence systems and platforms like Microsoft Office Communications Server, IBM Sametime, AOL AIM, Google and Yahoo.

Along with a software offering, Jabber also offers JabberNow, an appliance-based version of its instant messaging software.

"Enterprise organizations want an extensible presence and messaging platform that can integrate with business process applications and easily adapt to their changing needs," Doug Dennerline, Cisco' senior vice president of collaboration software, said in a statement. Dennerline added that the Jabber acquisition will boost Cisco's ability to interoperate with other collaboration vendors and extend the reach of its instant messaging and collaboration offerings.

The Jabber buy falls in line with Cisco's "build, buy and partner" strategy to quickly jump into new markets and capitalize on market transitions. Other recent Cisco buys include WebEx, IronPort, Securent and PostPath.

The deal is expected to close in the first half of fiscal 2009. At the close, Jabber employees will become part of Cisco's collaboration software group, which is part of its recently established software group, a group comprising Cisco's major software businesses like the IOS network operating system, network and service management, unified communications solutions, policy management, and SaaS offerings.

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