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Cisco Introduces Software to Extend Jabber's HD Voice, Video and Collaboration Experience to Virtual Desktops on Cisco and Third-Party Thin Clients

Cisco Continues to Evolve the Workspace With Exclusive Accessories Developed With Jabra and Logitech That Help Employees Work Their Own Way

SAN JOSE, CA -- (Marketwire) -- 01/17/13 -- As part of Cisco's ongoing efforts to enable anytime, anywhere collaboration, Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO) today announced new software that extends the Cisco Jabber™ unified communications application to virtualized workspace environments. As part of a long-term software strategy for collaboration-enabling virtual desktops, this software, called the Virtualization Experience Media Engine (VXME), will be available initially on Cisco thin clients, followed by support for third-party devices, starting with Dell Wyse thin clients, and then Windows-based thin clients and Windows PCs.

VXME enables virtual desktop users to access Jabber's enterprise-class collaboration capabilities such as voice and high-definition (HD) video, presence and instant messaging (IM) as part of the Cisco® Virtualization Experience Infrastructure (VXI) Smart Solution. With the Cisco VXI end-to-end solution for desktop virtualization, virtual desktops, applications and collaboration services are centrally hosted on the Cisco Unified Data Center and delivered across a Cisco network to a broad array of user devices for a superior virtual workspace experience.

Cisco also announced support for new desktop accessories, designed exclusively for Cisco by Logitech and Jabra, which enable Cisco Jabber for Windows users to customize their virtual workspace to increase productivity and work more effectively. For example, a virtual desktop user logging in from a home office may want a keyboard with a unique caller-ID display and call control buttons. There are also specially designed peripherals, ranging from a standalone speaker phone to a handset to a webcam that enables Jabber® users to collaborate from their virtual desktop using HD video. Cisco, Jabra and Logitech have enhanced the collaboration desktop consisting of voice, computing and video services, into a fully integrated virtual desktop solution built around Jabber.

Today's announcement is all about helping employees work the way they want. As employees demand increased flexibility in how they work, more and more companies are turning to desktop virtualization. According to a 2012 Cisco IBSG Horizons study, 68 percent of U.S. respondents agreed that most knowledge-worker roles within their company are suitable for desktop virtualization; over half of these U.S. respondents have already implemented -- or are in the process of implementing -- a desktop virtualization strategy. Respondents indicated that the top three drivers of desktop virtualization for their organizations are data protection, employee mobility, and business agility.

ANNOUNCEMENT HIGHLIGHTS

Cisco Jabber for virtual environments, enabled by VXME, is initially available on Cisco's thin client, the Virtualization Experience Client (VXC) 6215. The VXME software is targeted for global availability in the first half of the calendar year. Additional benefits include:

  • Increased choice for users: In the first half of the calendar year, the VXME software will be extended to Dell Wyse's Z50D thin client, followed by support for third-party Windows-based thin clients and Windows PCs, to enable an enhanced enterprise collaboration experience to other endpoints as part of the VXI architecture.
  • Improved user experience: Cisco VXI was the first desktop virtualization architecture to eliminate the crippling network bottlenecks and server overload often caused by real-time voice and video traffic traveling between an end user device and a virtual desktop hosted in the data center. Today's announcement builds on that solution design; using the VXME software, Cisco Jabber is able to use the computing and processing resources of the local user device. This minimizes the impact of real-time HD audio and video traffic on the network and data center resources and frees up bandwidth, improving the experience for end users on a virtual desktop.
  • Easier Management for IT: With today's announcement, Cisco VXI becomes the first desktop virtualization architecture to integrate network-based quality of service (QoS). The VXME software on a thin client makes the network aware of the voice and video traffic on the virtual desktop, enabling the network to automatically prioritize this collaboration traffic. This reduces jitter and delay and delivers the best possible collaboration experience.
  • Highly secure access to information and collaboration virtually: With Cisco Jabber for virtual environments, Cisco VXI enhances the collaboration experience delivered without compromising on voice and video capabilities. To end users, the virtual desktop becomes a mirror of their traditional enterprise workspace, providing highly secure access to documents, corporate applications, and a full suite of collaboration tools via Jabber.
  • Compatibility with top desktop virtualization partners: Cisco Jabber for virtual environments is compatible with Cisco VXI solutions running Citrix XenDesktop 5.6 FP1, Citrix XenApp Published Desktop version 6.5, or VMware View® 5.1.

Cisco is also providing options for users to personalize their virtual desktop experience, through support for new desktop accessories from Logitech and Jabra. These new accessories are built exclusively for Cisco Jabber, running natively or in virtual environments.

  • Traditional Desk Phone Call Control from a Keyboard:
    • The Logitech UC Keyboard K725-C delivers voice and video call controls, as well as an LCD caller ID display, directly on the keyboard, fully integrated with Cisco Jabber so users can manage a complete call control experience from the keyboard itself. This is paired with the Logitech M525-C Wireless mouse.
  • Choice of dedicated audio and video devices:
    • The Jabra Speak 450 for Cisco enables users to easily turn their workspace into a mini conference room with a hands-free speakerphone with 120-degree coverage.
    • The Jabra Handset 450 for Cisco is a cordless handset that enables a familiar phone user experience for virtual desktop environments, with the convenience of having on handset mute and volume controls, as well as a message waiting indicator light.
  • Business-Grade High-Definition Video
    • The Logitech C920-C Webcam delivers full HD video integrated with Cisco Jabber for a rich-media collaboration experience.

Supporting Quotes

Phil Sherburne, vice president of engineering, Enterprise Smart Solutions, Cisco
"The definition of an enterprise workspace is changing as users demand increasing flexibility in where and how they work. With Cisco Jabber now available for virtual environments, we are enabling customers to deliver a complete 'anywhere' desktop to their employees, without sacrificing the exceptional enterprise capabilities they have come to expect. As part of an end-to-end VXI solution, Cisco Jabber creates a new user experience for the virtual desktop."

Roland Koenig, Managing Director, Bechtle AG
"We are an IT company based in Germany with a large salesforce to meet the needs of our customers. Our account managers need reliable, highly secure access to their enterprise desktop and applications. With our pilot of Cisco Jabber for VXI, we will be able to deliver HD collaboration capabilities to the virtual desktop, giving our employees a virtual workspace that moves with them, and increasing employee productivity and satisfaction."

Hiroki Aramaki, technical specialist, Collaboration Technology, Net One Systems Co., Ltd
"Our company was considering how to implement BYOD and teleworking initiatives to create a more agile workforce. With Cisco thin clients as part of an end-to-end architecture, we are able to give our sales representatives the capability to work remotely from any location. Now, our IT organization is able to equally support Citrix and VMware desktops and easily create a sales office and back office with full functionality with only a monitor."

Krishna Subramanian, vice president of marketing and partner engagement, Desktops and Apps Group at Citrix
"Cisco and Citrix have been successfully partnering to deliver desktop virtualization solutions that empower users to collaborate from anywhere on any device. With today's announcement, Cisco and Citrix continue to drive increased business agility and workspace performance with the full Jabber suite optimized for virtual environments."

Scott Davis, chief technology officer, End User Computing, VMware
"As organizations realize the benefits of VDI and adoption grows, our customers are using VMware View® to help deliver a secure, agile and high fidelity experience to their end users. As part of Cisco's end-to-end VXI architecture, Cisco Jabber for virtual environments offers VMware View customers real-time collaboration capabilities including high-definition voice and video, helping to drive a more flexible, productive and connected workplace."

Jeff McNaught, executive director, Marketing, and chief strategy officer for Cloud Client Computing, Dell
"As the global leader in cloud client computing, Dell is focused on delivering superior user experience, a critical part of any desktop virtualization deployment. By extending the Cisco VXME software to Dell Wyse thin clients, Cisco and Dell are providing virtual desktop users with access to a suite of enhanced collaboration tools from the market leader in unified communications and collaboration. Cisco Jabber's high-quality voice and video collaboration can enable increased productivity and flexibility for virtual desktop users on our industry leading thin clients."

Mogens Elsberg, chief executive officer, Jabra
"Effective enterprise collaboration requires a high-quality user experience. A cordless handset and a standalone speakerphone designed for Cisco Jabber users introduce new audio options for Cisco Jabber on the virtual desktop. These new audio endpoints, designed for Cisco, enable users to create a complete workspace that adapts to their needs."

Eric Kintz, senior vice president & general manager, Logitech for Business
"Collaboration and increased engagement is a top priority for organizations today. Logitech's new peripherals include the first keyboard for Cisco Jabber with integrated audio, video and messaging controls, giving users the freedom to manage communications in either PC or virtual environments. The Logitech UC Solution for Cisco 725-C, designed for Cisco, also includes a full HD webcam and an ergonomically shaped mouse, enabling users to be productive and effective in any work environment, from cubicles to shared "hot desk" spaces to home offices."

Additional Resources:

Technorati Tags:
Virtualization, virtual, thin client, virtual desktop, VXI, VXC, zero client, Jabber, collaboration, mobility, BYOD, Dell, video

About Cisco Collaboration

From award-winning IP communications to mobility, customer care, Web conferencing, messaging, enterprise social software, and interoperable telepresence experiences, Cisco brings together network-based, integrated collaboration solutions based on open standards. These solutions offered across on-premise, cloud-based or virtualized platforms, as well as services from Cisco and our partners, are designed to help promote business growth, innovation and productivity. They are also designed to help accelerate team performance, protect investments, and simplify the process of finding the right people and information.

About Cisco

Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO) is the worldwide leader in IT that helps companies seize the opportunities of tomorrow by proving that amazing things can happen when you connect the previously unconnected. For ongoing news, please go to http://thenetwork.cisco.com.

Cisco and the Cisco logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of Cisco and/or its affiliates in the U.S. and other countries. A listing of Cisco's trademarks can be found at www.cisco.com/go/trademarks. Third-party trademarks mentioned are the property of their respective owners. The use of the word partner does not imply a partnership relationship between Cisco and any other company.

Availability Disclaimer: Many of the products and features described herein remain in varying stages of development and will be offered on a when-and-if-available basis. This products and features are subject to change at the sole discretion of Cisco, and Cisco will have no liability for delay in the delivery or failure to deliver any of the products or features set forth in this document.

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