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Cisco Announces Update to Fourth Phase of Data/Voice/Video Integration Strategy.

New Capabilities Demonstrate Consistent Delivery of Cisco's

Five-Phase Multiservice Networking Strategy

Cisco Systems, Inc. today announced further components of its five-phase data, voice and video integration strategy.

Building on the capabilities outlined in the first part of the fourth phase of this strategy (announced Nov. 3, 1998), new developments unveiled today enhance emerging campus telephony solutions, improve wide area network (WAN) interoperability and highlight Cisco's emerging multiservice/customer support offering. Customer benefits reinforced through this announcement include a lower total cost of ownership, simplified operations and access to new applications such as personal telephony services.

This update to the fourth phase of Cisco's multiservice strategy combines campus and WAN multiservice capabilities to deliver fully integrated data, voice and video communications network-wide. A key milestone in the migration to large-scale, Internet protocol (IP)-based telephony, campus/WAN interoperability signals the readiness of production-quality local area network (LAN) telephony solutions for small and branch sites. It enables networked LAN telephony, improves legacy interoperability and enhances gateway capabilities.

Multiservice networking provides private branch exchange (PBX) functionality and more using the local, campus, metropolitan and WAN infrastructure rather than a PBX-based system. This drastically increases the value of telephony spending into overall infrastructure spending, reduces capital, facilities and operational costs and opens the environment to new innovation in telephony applications.

New Cisco multiservice products and features announced today include: -0-
1. The new Cisco CallManager 2.2 and availability of small
 site/branch office communications systems using LAN telephony

2. The VSC2700 Virtual Switch Controller for the Catalyst 8500
 Series of Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM) switch routers

3. Video enhancements to the Cisco MC3810 Access Concentrator

4. Voice over frame relay (VoFR) and voice over Internet protocol
 (VoIP) enhancements to the Cisco 2600, 3600 and 3810 Series
 gateways

5. The Network Implementation Services (NIS) for Multiservices
 program


-0-

In addition, existing voice capabilities (announced Jan. 27, 1999) are available on the Catalyst(R) 5500 and on the new Catalyst 6000/6500 platform.

"Data, voice and video integration over a multiservice network is increasingly important to enterprise customers as they begin to realize the clear benefits and see that the technology is becoming ready for prime time," said Peter Alexander, Cisco vice president of enterprise marketing.

"Cisco leads the industry with continued delivery on the multiservice strategy we first announced in 1997. As evidenced by shipments of over 300,000 packet telephony ports in the first half of fiscal 1999, Cisco is meeting customers' increasing demand for scalable multiservice solutions."

Cisco IP Phones: Small Site/Branch Production; New CallManager

2.2

Resulting from the first development initiatives since Cisco acquired Selsius Systems (announced Nov. 30, 1998), today's announcement includes availability of small site/branch office communications systems using LAN telephony. Marking the successful completion of a thorough initial test phase, this small site production stage is the first step in Cisco's roadmap toward enterprise-wide deployment.

David Tucker, general manager of Cisco's enterprise voice business unit and former CEO of Selsius Systems, noted that these new developments are indicative of the smooth Cisco/Selsius integration. "Blending the two companies has been extremely successful -- we have proven and improved interoperability with existing Cisco gateway products, and are moving forward quickly with customers to deploy scalable IP phone systems," said Tucker.

Also introduced is the new Cisco CallManager 2.2 software release. CallManager 2.2 features include a new software-based manual attendant console, as well as extended H.323 interoperability with v2 RAS support, g.723.1 interoperability on the Cisco AS5300 and a Windows Telephony Application Programming Interface (TAPI) 2.1 interface for cost-effective, software-only voice applications.

In addition, extended hold, transfer, forward and conference services are available from Cisco IP phones to any H.323 device, such as the Cisco 2600, 3600 and AS5300 Series gateways. CallManager 2.2 also features scalability to virtually an unlimited amount of digital access, as well as Cisco Valet, a software-only voice messaging system that provides traditional voice messaging services through telephone and web browser interfaces.

Thomas Koll, vice president of the Internet Customer Unit at Microsoft Corp., commented on the customer benefits of CallManager 2.2 running on Microsoft(R) Windows NT(R) Server 4.0. "Customers are looking for converged communications solutions that work and deliver value today and provide an open path to the future. Windows has emerged as a great, open platform for enabling convergence. Cisco's CallManager and open telephony architecture will help enable our mutual customers to move forward with their network convergence efforts."

"Designed for extensive scalability, the Cisco IP telephony system is right on target in concept and architecture," said Alan Perry, telecom administrator at the Rogers Group. "With it, we're seeing a lot more bang for our buck with saved bandwidth. We also expect to see about a $200,000 annual reduction in administrative and maintenance costs as we continue to deploy on a larger scale."

VSC2700 for Catalyst 8500

Cisco's VSC2700, industry's first call control solution using simple gateway control protocol (SGCP), is now available on the Catalyst 8500 Series of multiservice ATM switch routers to support packet telephony traffic and establish voice connections across the data network. The VSC2700/Catalyst 8500 solution replaces PBX tandem circuit switching by integrating voice and data services onto a single ATM infrastructure that allows calls to pass directly between various sites over the meshed data infrastructure.

Andreas Fink, Chief Technical Manager of Pingnet, commented on the VSC2700, "This box has the potential to become something which could outperform any other switch on this planet. I believe the VSC is really on the right track here."

Cisco MC3810 Video Enhancements

The addition of Cisco Multimedia Conferencing Manager (MCM) capabilities on the Cisco MC3810 Multiservice Access Concentrator allows customers to deploy a single bridge to seamlessly scale from H.320 video to the new world of H.323 on one platform. H.323 video over T1/ATM allows users to fully tap today's higher quality video codec to achieve the level of service required for new applications such as distance learning and business-quality video conferencing.

"H.323 is very attractive to us because of its high degree of interoperability and flexibility. Combining H.323 with T1 ATM access combines that flexibility with the required quality of service needed for distance learning," said Roger Graves, systems analyst for the State of Mississippi.

Cisco 2600, 3600 & 3810 VoFR & VoIP Enhancements

New software and hardware enhancements to the Cisco 2600, 3600 and 3810 multiservice access routers enable both enterprise customers and service providers to build large-scale, packet-based voice infrastructures at a fraction of the cost of traditional technologies. (For detailed product information, see related press release, "Cisco Multiservice Access Products Expand Packet-Based Networks and New World Services," dated March 20, 1999.)

Cisco NIS Program for Implementation Services

Scalable implementation and support are critical multiservice deployment challenges facing both vendors and customers. Cisco's new Network Implementation Services (NIS) for Multiservices program includes project management, project engineering, staging and installation for complete multiservice solution delivery. Cisco will provide services on a global basis in conjunction with key partners.

Pricing and Availability

CallManager 2.2 is free of charge and will be available in May. Corresponding telephones and gateway licenses are priced according to volume, averaging approximately $125 per user. The VSC2700/Catalyst 8500 solution will be available in April, with pricing based on configuration. MCM capabilities on the Cisco MC3810 Multiservice Access Concentrator are available now, starting at $6495 for a complete data, voice and video integrated solution. Also currently available, NIS for Multiservices is priced on a per-project basis.

About Cisco Systems

Cisco Systems, Inc. (Nasdaq:CSCO) is the worldwide leader in networking for the Internet. Cisco news and information are available at http://www.cisco.com.

Note to Editors: Catalyst, Cisco, Cisco IOS, Cisco Systems and the Cisco Systems logo are registered trademarks of Cisco Systems, Inc. in the U.S. and other countries. All other trademarks mentioned in this document are the property of their respective owners.
COPYRIGHT 1999 Business Wire
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1999, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Publication:Business Wire
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Mar 22, 1999
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