SHARE



ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Phil Edholm
Phil Edholm is the President and Founder of PKE Consulting, which consults to end users and vendors in the communications...
Read Full Bio >>
SHARE



Phil Edholm | May 06, 2012 |

 
   

Free Cisco Jabber: What Does It Mean?

Free Cisco Jabber: What Does It Mean? We are entering a new era in UC and the market. Cisco is responding to the success of Microsoft in getting the Lync client by including it in popular enterprise licenses.

We are entering a new era in UC and the market. Cisco is responding to the success of Microsoft in getting the Lync client by including it in popular enterprise licenses.

Cisco recently announced that it would allow unlimited use of Jabber in any organization that had Cisco Unified Communications Manager. In a blog post, Cisco VP Barry O'Sullivan announced that any CUCM customer could now deploy any of the new Jabber clients, without additional cost. This announcement said that this capability was not tied to a Cisco IP Phone or license. So an organization with a deployment of 50 CUCM phones can now expand that deployment to provide IM to the entire organization.

What this means is that we are entering a new era in UC and the market. Obviously, Cisco is responding to the success of Microsoft in getting the Lync client deployed through the strategy of including it in popular enterprise licenses for the Microsoft software suite. With this new strategy, combined with the presence capabilities Cisco demonstrated in the new Jabber PC clients at Enterprise Connect, Cisco and its partners can argue that Jabber is an equal or better option to Lync. As Cisco is focused on a broad range of device support (iOS, Android, Blackberry, etc.), for many customers with BYOD strategies, the Cisco offer may be attractive.

One critical point that this and the Microsoft Lync pricing emphasize is that IM is now both a requirement in UC and a true commodity. While enterprises will now demand IM as part of their UC options, they will not expect to pay an additional fee for it. IBM has been including IM and presence in SameTime for quite a while, so this is really just the final increment. For companies like Avaya and Siemens, this means they either need to offer an equivalent IM solution or find a way to partner with an IM provider. Siemens appears to be partnering more closely with Microsoft in this area, while Avaya has indicated it intends to offer its own SIP-based IM clients as part of the Flare user experience. It will be interesting to see if Avaya offers a Flare "lite" with only IM, to compete with the Cisco Jabber offer.

The Microsoft reaction to this announcement may vary from reacting in ways that may change the industry, to simply ignoring it. Microsoft may conclude that Cisco is a day late on this and with about 120 million Lync licenses for presence and IM already in enterprises, Microsoft has may feel it has a clear leadership position. However, many of those Lync licenses are either partially deployed or not deployed at all, so the Cisco Jabber threat could be real, especially as it comes with telephony integration for existing Cisco voice customers. If Microsoft sees this as a real threat, one response could be to open up the telephony features in Lync without an additional license fee. To date, Microsoft claims 3 million voice Lync users, but that is based on purchases of the advanced licenses required for voice. If Microsoft opened all of the installed Lync users to complete voice services included in the base price, would many more enterprises look at Lync as their next voice system?

In the end, this is probably heralding the next step in moving enterprise voice communications down the same path as IM. In and of itself, voice will not be a saleable capability; it will be included in a larger set of UC and business offers. The challenge for Microsoft, Cisco, Avaya, Siemens, and IBM is to define what their total offer is and how that offer defines the market spaces they will lead.

UC Strategies is presenting a podcast on this topic; please visit Apple iTunes at: http://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/ucstrategies.com-podcasts/id484638584





COMMENTS



Enterprise Connect Orlando 2017
March 27-30 | Orlando, FL
Connect with the Entire Enterprise Communications & Collaboration Ecosystem


Stay Up-to-Date: Hear industry visionaries in Keynotes and General Sessions delivering the latest insight on UC, mobility, collaboration and cloud

Grow Your Network: Connect with the largest gathering of enterprise IT and business leaders and influencers

Learn From Industry Leaders: Attend a full range of Conference Sessions, Free Programs and Special Events

Evaluate All Your Options: Engage with 190+ of the leading equipment, software and service providers

Have Fun! Mingle with sponsors, exhibitors, attendees, guest speakers and industry players during evening receptions

Special Offer - Save $200 Off Advance Rates

Register now with code NOJITTEREB to save $200 Off Advance Rates or get a FREE Expo Pass!

March 8, 2017

Enterprise IT's ability to innovate is critical to the success of the business -- 80% of CIOs agree. But the CIO role has never been more challenging than it is today, with rising operational respo

February 22, 2017

Sick of video call technology that make participants look like they're in the witness protection program? Turns out youre not alone. Poor-quality video solutions can give users an unprofessional ap

February 7, 2017

Securing voice communications used to be very simple since it was generally a closed system. However, with unified communications (UC) you no longer have the walled protection offered by a dedicate

February 24, 2017
UC analyst Blair Pleasant sorts through the myriad cloud architectural models underlying UCaaS and CCaaS offerings, and explains why knowing the differences matter.
February 17, 2017
From the most basics of basics to the hidden gotchas, UC consultant Melissa Swartz helps demystify the complex world of SIP trunking.
February 7, 2017
UC&C consultant Kevin Kieller, a partner at enableUC, shares pointers for making the right architectural choices for your Skype for Business deployment.
February 1, 2017
Elka Popova, a Frost & Sullivan program director, shares a status report on the UCaaS market today and offers her perspective on what large enterprises need before committing to UC in the cloud.
January 26, 2017
Andrew Davis, co-founder of Wainhouse Research and chair of the Video track at Enterprise Connect 2017, sorts through the myriad cloud video service options and shares how to tell if your choice is en....
January 23, 2017
Sheila McGee-Smith, Contact Center/Customer Experience track chair for Enterprise Connect 2017, tells us what we need to know about the role cloud software is playing in contact centers today.