Just announced at the Cisco Partner Summit yesterday, Cisco is making Unified Presence, IM and it’s Jabber client for Mac, PC, iPad, iPhone, Cisco Cius, Blackberry and all Android devices completely FREE. This probably has something to do with how badly they’ve been spanked in Presence server and client sales by Microsoft basically giving away the presence features of Lync (although MS does make you pay when you want to add Voice/Video features to those clients – just as Cisco will). At any rate and for whatever their reasons and motivations – I personally think it is a very, very smart move for Cisco. It’s also one that makes complete sense seeing that UCM v9 is about to go into beta testing next week. Understanding that the Jabber client can interact with video from any IP phone or Telepresence unit, and the fact that Cisco announced that this free Jabber client and Presence support is not only for those with existing IP Phones, but for every member of any enterprise with a UCM server, this makes the announcement all that more powerful. This doesn’t include Voice or Video, but those can be enabled later with a simple license upgrade. Still not bad at all – especially with the new Jabber client for Windows, and the fact that once installed it enables all MS Office apps to have native presence tied into them directly to Cisco Jabber. This was the entire reason that Cisco purchased Jabber.

Another thing that Cisco is making free (at least for some limited time) is their WebEx Meetings Beta offering – for up to 25 participants. This includes desktop sharing and VoIP as well. Sign up here.

Also of no small merit, Cisco just shipped its 50 millionth phone – that’s 50,000,000 phones shipped. I still remember putting in my first Selsius Call Manager more than 13 years ago. Not bad Cisco, not bad at all.

About Mark Snow, CCIE #14073:

Mark Snow has been actively working with data and traditional telephony as a Network Consulting Engineer since 1995, and has been working with Cisco Call Manager and voice-over technology since 1998. Mark has been actively teaching and developing content for the CCIE Voice track since 2005, and the Security track since 2007. Mark's story with both data and voice technology started out quite young, as he began learning around the age of five from his father who was a patented inventor and a research scientist at AT&T Bell Laboratories. Mark started out on Unix System V and basic analog telephony, and went on from there to large data networking projects with technologies such as Banyan Vines, IPX and of course IP, and large phone systems such as Nortel 61c, Tadiran Coral, Avaya Definity and of course Cisco Unified Communications Manager in both enterprise and 911 PSAP environments across the US and internationally. Mark is also an accomplished pilot and punched his ticket in 2001. When Mark isn't learning, labing, consulting or teaching, he can be found either piloting or possibly jumping out of a perfectly good airplane, hanging off a rock somewhere or else skiing out west. He also might just be enjoying a quiet day at the beach with his wife and two wonderful young kids, Ryleigh and Judah.

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4 Responses to “Cisco Makes All Presence, IM and Jabber Free (and WebEx Beta is Free Too)”

  1. Eduardo Elizondo says:

    Smart move!! this is a good strategy vs competitors.

  2. Seth says:

    This is good news. We’re in progress of deploying a whole UC solution and will be nice to give IM capabilities to employees that do not need a phone and thus have no license.


  3. Dan says:

    Just received these details from my Cisco rep.

    The only capabilities enabled in the Jabber for Everyone offer are IM and presence. There is no call control, softphone, visual voicemail, or call history although those features can be enabled at any time with the purchase of an additional software license.

    What we’re giving away is the IM license and the CUPS server license, plus support.

    Other requirements:

    • CUCM 7.1.2+ or later installed
    • CUPS installed will be 8.6.4 or later
    • ESW and UCSS are included, ESW/UCSS covered under CUCM.
    • Webex Connect not applicable.
    • CUPC not applicable, all Jabber clients applicable (Mac/Windows/Android/BB/iPhone)
    • Ordering will be through new SKUs, available May.
    • Will use the same software client. Upgrade to CUWL is just configuration changes.
    • No limit to user count
    • Hardware not included, but server licensing is
    • No VPN required for users since there isn’t a soft phone.

    Features available:

    • Presence status
    • One-on-one and group chat
    • File transfer
    • Server IM logging
    • Client chat history
    • Federations: Existing except AOL
    • GUI Experience: Only see IM features
    • Microsoft Office 2007/10 Presence and Click to IM (Windows)


    • No desktop sharing; we’re working on it
    • Start a webex (2H of 2012)
    • No click to dial
    • No click to video
    • No phone status in presence
    • No softphone


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