Cisco announced Tuesday Release 9.0 of its Cisco Unified Communications Manager platform with support for third-party endpoints.
To support third-party endpoints, Cisco has added a new feature called Extend and Connect, which works with Cisco Jabber to bring any third-party phone old or new, analog, digital or IP into the Cisco UC environment. With Extend and Connect, users input the phone number of their preferred voice device into a Jabber client running on their Windows PC, and Cisco Unified Communications Manager will route all voice traffic directly to that phone number.
Extend and Connect also supports mobile phones, giving them access to desk-phone-like features, without the need of a smartphone, a data plan, or a mobile client installed on the phone. Enterprise-grade telephony features such as unified inbox, message waiting, callback, conferencing and direct-extension dialing are now available via a new systems interface that ties Cisco Unified Communications Manager with the users mobile service provider, providing transparency, intelligence and control beyond the realm of the users office.
Global availability of Cisco UC Release 9.0 is targeted for third quarter 2012. Extend and Connect functionality requires both UC Release 9.0 as well as Cisco Jabber 9.1. Cisco Jabber 9.1 is scheduled to be available in in fourth quarter 2012.