Cisco Jabbers About WebEx

Cisco expands instant messaging and collaboration solutions.

By Sean Michael Kerner | Posted Nov 16, 2011
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Collaboration is all about making it easier for people to connect.

That's where a new set of Jabber messaging and WebEx collaboration solutions from Cisco (NASDAQ:CSCO) are aiming to help, to make it easier and productive for enterprise users to connect and collaborate.

Cisco is now extending its revived Jabber brand with a new developer effort and tools to help embed messaging capabilities into browsers and applications.

"Cisco Jabber can now be incorporated into any web application using a browser plug-in," Michael Smith, group director of marketing for Cisco collaboration, told InternetNews.com. "So we can now embed Instant Messaging (IM), voice and video inside of a web application."

Smith noted that the new Jabber capabilities will help to enable collaboration enabled business processes. So when a user is in the middle of a document or some other business process, it's just a click to collaborate with others.

Jabber can also be integrated with Google's Gmail as a gadget to provide, IM, voice and video within a web browser. The Jabber browser plug-in integrates with Microsoft IE, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome and Apple Safari.

Cisco originally acquired Jabber Inc in September of 2008. Jabber Inc. was the lead commercial sponsor of the Jabber protocol, also often referred to as XMPP which is available in open source. Smith was unable to comment about whether the new Cisco Jabber browser plug-in and associated tools leveraged open source components and whether or not Cisco was contributing any code back to an open source community.

One of the major benefits of XMPP is its ability to federate with other XMPP based services which include both Google and Facebook Chat.

"You're able to natively federate with other XMPP services," Smith said. "The Jabber SDK will work in the cloud with WebEx Connect or on-premise through our Cisco CUPS server."

WebEx

Cisco is also updating its WebEx services to provide users with something called Meeting Spaces.

"There is a whole meeting lifecycle that we've enabled," Smith said. "Meeting spaces is a persistent document library that is attached to a meeting."

The document library can include an agenda or presentation that is set to be discussed in the meeting. Smith noted that the meeting space is also searchable. When it comes to security policy, the system sets policy at the cloud level so an administrator can ensure that sensitive information does not leave the enterprise.

Cisco is also aiming to attract more users to WebEx with a new Basic edition that is available for free. WebEx basic provides service for up to 3 users in a meeting and delivers standard quality video.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of Internet.com, the network for technology professionals.

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