IBM and Cisco are working together to speed customer adoption of converged voice, video and data systems.
The alliance centres on IBM's Global Services division that integrates and installs Cisco's voice and video conferencing hardware.
IBM and Cisco will initially deliver integrated versions of their communications platforms Cisco Unity and Lotus Domino. They will also offer IBM's Information Management database software integrated into Cisco's CallManager call processing software.
In addition, IBM will provide support for Cisco CallManager on IBM eServer xSeries x345 and x306 server platforms. Cisco CallManager functionality will be added to two new Cisco Media Convergence servers, the MCS 7815I and the MCS 7825I, based on IBM technology.
The companies have also promised to deliver industry-specific applications and services for the retail and financial services sectors.
The deal will see both firms "considerably increasing" their investments in product and technology integration as well as sales, consulting services and marketing.
Doug Elix, senior vice president and group executive of IBM sales and distribution, said in a statement: "Converged communications running on intelligent networks is changing the way business is conducted, and we expect both companies to be major players in that business transformation."
And Cisco senior vice president Charlie Giancarlo added in a statement: "There is a strong commitment in place by Cisco and IBM to jointly develop an integrated product road map that encompasses IP telephony, unified messaging, customer contact centres, rich media communications and video conferencing."
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