TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Macromedia, Cisco Push Telecom Apps

Macromedia, Cisco Push Telecom Apps

Mark Sullivan (
Wed, 21 Sep 2005 22:58:06 -0500

With the telephony and IT worlds rapidly collapsing into one thing,
the Web-development software titan Macromedia Inc. has partnered with
Cisco Systems Inc. on a Web conferencing platform.

San Francisco-based Macromedia is announcing at the Voice On the Net
(VON) Coalition show today (Tuesday) it has licensed its Flash-based
Breeze Web conferencing technology to Cisco for use in a new suite of
business applications aimed at small and medium-sized businesses.

In addition to putting Macromedia in the telecom market for the first
time, the partnership represents Cisco's biggest move into applications so
far. Both Cisco and Macromedia will now be going head-to-head with Microsoft
Corp., WebEx Communications Inc., and IBM Corp.

The new Cisco product suite, called the "Business Communications
Solution for Mid-Market Companies," is a set of IP communications
applications based around Cisco's popular CallManager softswitch
product (see Airbus Uses Equant, Cisco for VOIP).

Specifically, Macromedia's slick conferencing UI is used in Cisco's
MeetingPlace Express, a browser-based version of its somewhat
higher-end conferencing product, MeetingPlace (see LR Poll: Cisco
Likely to Make VOIP Buy).

Macromedia general manager Tom Hale called Light Reading Monday and
quickly initiated a Breeze-based conference to demonstrate what Cisco
is getting. After opening a browser window and logging in, the
conference page opens. The application's central pane is used for a
slideshow presentation, while smaller panes are placed at the left for
participant status and IM functionality. Hale soon opened yet another
pane for live video from his office in San Francisco, then began using
an arrow to point out various parts of the presentation. To
demonstrate the application's integration with the Cisco softswitch,
Hale dialed a cell phone, which rang then played a recorded invitation
to join the online conference. The feature will be more commonly used
to dial Cisco IP phones in an enterprise's network.

Cisco chose Macromedia mainly for its popular user interface, and
because Macromedia Flash is already installed on 98 percent of all
PCs, according to the companies.

Macromedia's Hale says Cisco's new suite should be attractive to
mid-sized businesses because its applications are all IP-based. "They
don't want to pay a provider for the services because there is a
markup, and every enterprise has an IP network." Hale also points out
that the Breeze Web conferencing application is friendly with machines
running practically any type of operating system.

Macromedia earlier announced the integration of its Flash development
platform with the Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE: HPQ - message board)
service delivery platform (SDP) for use by service providers
developing next-generation converged applications and services (see HP
Takes Flash Approach to SDPs).

Macromedia also has a deal with VOIP business application provider
Avaya Inc. "We built a connector to Avaya and we sell the product
together," Hale says.

Cisco's new mid-sized business suite includes Mobile Connect, which
creates a single IP phone number for a variety of handset types, and
Unity Connection, a Web browser-based voice-messaging system.

- Mark Sullivan, Reporter, Light Reading

Copyright 2005 Light Reading, Inc.

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