Both Sun and Cisco spokespeople declined to comment, but a press teleconference is scheduled for tomorrow.
The deal centers around "universal messaging" technologies, according to sources familiar with the company's plans. All-in-one messaging systems allow individuals to access information--whether it be faxes, email, or voice mail--in one place. Universal messaging has become a hot area as Internet service providers and telecom carriers look to provide a wider array of business services to boost revenue.
Consultants Cap Gemini are also involved in tomorrow's announcement, according to sources, likely as a third-party integrator of the two companies' technology. The deal will include both hardware from Sun and software from the Sun-Netscape alliance, now called iPlanet.
Cisco has collected various pieces of the telecommunications software puzzle in recent months, both by purchasing tools that can connect Internet-based systems to the classic phone network and acquiring software that supports advanced features such as universal messaging.
In January, the company disclosed plans to release new technology as a result of an acquisition that will allow developers to build voice applications for a Net-based layout. That was followed in April by two more telco-focused acquisitions: GeoTel Communications and Amteva Technologies.
All the technology could play a possible role in forthcoming offerings from Sun and Cisco.
The move builds on Sun's strategy to expand the role of its high-end computer systems in service provider and voice carrier networks. Sun announced a similar deal with Cisco rival Lucent Technologies last summer.