Citrix and Cisco Collaborate to Unify Communications and Business Applications

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Citrix and Cisco Collaborate to Unify Communications and Business Applications

Last week was quite hectic for me wiith Cisco, Citrix, and Adtran telling me some interesting news they were coming out with the following Monday (today). I did extensive interviews with all three companies and spent a good deal of the end of last week and this weekend writing up these major announcments. Both Cisco and Adtran had some in-depth analysis on my part, leaving me to write up Citrix. Alas, I have run out of time with Citrix NDA expiring in just 2 minutes, so I'm just going to include their press release, which ironically is a joint annoucement with Cisco. It actually relates to Cisco's Unified Communications major launch which I extensively covered.

"C'mon Tom, we want your insightful analysis on this Citrix news! Share your wisdom. Give us the real story..."

Hey, I shouldn't even be working on a Sunday (scheduled to post at midnight), so this press release is the best I can do. Why can't these multi-billion dollar companies spread out there news a little? ;)

Citrix and Cisco Collaborate to Unify Communications and Business Applications

Market Leaders Work Together to Enable Enterprise Applications with Presence and Click-to-call

Citrix Systems, Inc., the global leader in access infrastructure solutions, and Cisco Systems, Inc. today announced that they are working together to integrate presence and call processing capabilities into a broad range of enterprise applications that have been deployed with Citrix Application Delivery solutions. The relationship will offer tested, packaged IP solutions, without the cost, complexity and risk of custom projects. In addition, this solution will provide a rich, SIP-based, collaborative experience allowing employees to communicate more effectively and solve business problems more quickly.

In most business environments, whenever human intervention is required for a business process, the process potentially comes to a standstill if the appropriate individual is not available, encroaching on valuable time and resources. Until recently, companies had been investing only in convergence tools that merge voice and data traffic onto a single network. Although this was a good first step to alleviate inefficiency, organizations are now looking to move to the next step of convergence. Citrix and Cisco’s new agreement takes network convergence one step further, integrating communication and business applications. According to Gartner Research, with communications integrated into the business process - presence, messaging, real-time voice – delays will become minimal and applications will directly contact the appropriate person using a communications application. By 2010, 80 percent of companies will have integrated communications (voice/IM/messaging) into some business applications or processes.

“Citrix and Cisco share a similar vision of unifying communications with data applications and leveraging the converged network that is already providing business benefits to organizations,” said Murli Thirumale, group vice president and general manager, Gateway Group, Citrix. “Integrating Citrix Application Delivery with innovative and open communications offerings from Cisco will provide our customers with a collaboration solution that improves business agility.”

The relationship between Citrix and Cisco will initially be centered on the integration of the Citrix Application Gateway and the Citrix Voice Office suite of applications with Cisco Unified CallManager and Cisco Unified Presence Server. The combined solution will add SIP-based user presence information and dialing capabilities to Citrix Voice Office applications on Cisco IP telephones and enterprise applications using Citrix Smart Agent technology, a component of the Citrix Voice Office suite of communication applications delivered to users of IP telephone and PC’s.

Citrix Smart Agent provides a link between the telephone and computer, enabling users to dial their telephone by simply clicking on telephone numbers within e-mails, applications and information that can be accessed using Internet Explorer. With Smart Agent, customers will be able to utilize click-to-call, with presence, for applications deployed on the users PC and/or deployed on Citrix’s Application Delivery solutions.
Users will now start to see presence information in applications deployed on their IP telephone screen and their PC or laptop. Key benefits of ensuring presence and availability are:

  • The communications process is streamlined, eliminating time spent trying to reach someone who is unavailable.
  • Users will have immediate access to knowledge and information sources. Delays due to ineffective communications will become minimal.
  • Users will have more business agility to engage in other time-sensitive business processes such as responding to customer needs and improving time-to-market.
“We are pleased to work with Citrix to leverage the embedded intelligence that resides in the network infrastructure to bring business communication benefits to end users,” said Barry O’Sullivan, vice president and general manager of Cisco’s voice technology group. “Both companies are working together to provide customers with communications solutions that simplify their workday and in turn will increase productivity and impact a company’s top and bottom line.”

“Business leadership requires that companies provide workers with the capability for immediate access to knowledge and information sources. Delays due to ineffective communications are eroding worker productivity and impacting business outcomes.” wrote Elizabeth Herrell, vice president of Forrester Research, in a recent report. “SIP solutions improve business objectives by speeding decision making, shortening response times to customers and partners, and increasing employee productivity.

Cisco and Citrix will be demonstrating the presence-enabled applications during the VoiceCon Conference in Orlando, Fla. Integrated products are targeted for release in the second half of 2006 and the Citrix Application Gateway and the Citrix Voice Office suite of applications will be offered to Cisco customers through the Cisco Solutions Plus program.

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