Cisco Systems and IBM will expand their relationship to support, develop and resell unified communications equipment and software, the tech giants announced Monday. IBM Global Services will resell Cisco Unity software, which is already able to run on IBM's server hardware. Unity is unified messaging software that works with Microsoft Exchange server software.
Unified messaging software forms a kind of consolidated inbox for e-mail, voicemail and faxes. For example, workers could dial into the office and have their e-mails read back to them over the phone and be alerted of an incoming fax via e-mail or voicemail. Customers can also hear their voice messages through their e-mail program. Part of the deal stipulates that IBM will get Cisco's help in developing unified messaging for IBM's Lotus Domino server software, which competes against Microsoft Exchange.