Cisco Gains Presence With Jabber Purchase

Cisco is bolstering its unified communications arsenal with the acquisition of presence and messaging applications specialist Jabber

September 19, 2008

2 Min Read
Cisco Gains Presence With Jabber Purchase

Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) upped the pressure on unified communications rivals such as Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) and Nortel Networks Ltd. with a deal to acquire presence and messaging applications specialist Jabber Inc. for an undisclosed sum.

The move looks like a smart one. Jabber has already proved itself popular with carriers such as BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA), the former BellSouth part of AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T), Orange (NYSE: FTE), and Portugal Telecom SGPS SA (NYSE: PT), which are using the specialist's Extensible Communications Platform to support software-based presence-enabled services, such as real-time multimedia messaging. (See Jabber Jingles All the Way, BT Picks Jabber for 21CN, PT Jabbers On, and Jabber Powers Wanadoo Chat.)

It's also used by large enterprises and government organizations such as the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA), Department of Homeland Security (DHS), FedEx, United States Air Force (USAF), Wells Fargo, and even Cisco's long-time rival Juniper Networks Inc. (NYSE: JNPR).

In addition, the protocol underpinning the company's applications, the Messaging and Presence Protocol (XMPP), has been ratified by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) as a standard for presence and messaging technologies.

Cisco and Jabber already had a relationship, as the IP giant had previously integrated Jabber's software into its MeetingPlace conferencing solution. Cisco will now incorporate Jabber's capabilities into a number of different platforms and services, including its WebEx Connect and Unified Communications platforms. (See WebEx's Next Step and Cisco Acquires WebEx.)

Jabber's investors, which include Jona Inc., Intel Capital , and France Telecom, have participated in five rounds of funding, though the total raised has not been publicly disclosed. The most recently announced funding round was in March 2003, when the company raised $7.2 million.

Cisco expects the acquisition to close between now and the end of January 2009. The jabber team will join Cisco's Collaboration Software Group.

— Ray Le Maistre, International News Editor, Light Reading

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