Even as infrastructure companies like Alcatel-Lucent and Ericsson are flaunting their FMC capabilities in Europe and elsewhere, Cisco in its usual low profile way has gone ahead and has done certain things which only Cisco would do. It has partnered with different mobile phone manufacturers to interop with their latest Call Manager version to enable presence/mobility. I had blogged about Orative acquisition nearly eight months ago and the latest CCM ( now called Unified Communication Manager 6.0) has tightly integrated Orative’s mobility solution to its existing telephony suite.
Cisco has partnered with Nokia to offer a SCCP client on Nokia E-61 models which lets it talk to the Cisco Call Manager. Nokia calls it Intellisync Call Connect ( which is basically a SCCP client on symbian environment) and this makes Nokia behave like any other endpoint which can utilize the IP-PBX/Mobility capabilities that Cisco Communication Manager uses. And better still, if you are a SIP buff, you can turn on the SIP stack inbuilt by default in the Nokia stack and register it as SIP endpoint. The only issue with that is not all features that are in SCCP are exploited with the native SIP stack.
So based on whom you are calling, you can either make a ‘On-net’ call ( through IP) or offload it to the MSCs. Incidentally I just came from a Cisco roadshow where E61 with the stack( the proto type) was on display and we played around with it to make cheap/free calls
I believe Cisco has a proto type available on Blackberry,Motorola phones. What they are pretty much saying is that if you have a dual-mode phone, you can plug into the enterprise and avail the features of the enterprise. Pretty neat stuff. I did ask the question whether they were working with Apple on getting the iphone to support this as well and the answer was a mischievous “we will have to wait and see”. Whatever that might mean!!!
Incidentally,I had a chance to meet with Laurent Philonenko ( the CCBU head of Cisco) five months ago. It was just a day or two after Cisco and Apple had patched up on the patent row. I asked him that time whether the agreement between Apple and Cisco was something in the Unified Communications front and he answered with the diplomatic ‘too early to say’.
My gut feeling is that something is brewing on that front and if it does turn out to be true, you know you guessed it first:). There are quite a few of us who believe the phone is your network and we are glad that Cisco is taking a similar stand as well.