Cisco Systems announced on Friday a definitive agreement to acquire Jabber, Inc., the commercial entity that offers enterprise instant messaging and presence capabilities. Jabber, Inc. has been around for a long while (from 2000), and to my mind it had receded from view, even though it offered great technology–for instant messaging and presence yes, but more than that, for real-time information delivery.
This acquisition continues a strong move by Cisco to be a force de jour in the enterprise collaboration space. It has a lot covered … telepresence, email and calendaring (with its very recent PostPath acquisition), collaborative workspaces (via what was Intranets.com), Web conferencing (via WebEx), and more.
I see two main next actions for Cisco. First is tight integration across its various collaboration offerings to give end users a seamless experience. Eg, there are calendaring capabilities across some of its pieces; tight integration for calendar roll-up and free-busy would be good.
Second is the purchase of an enterprise wiki vendor … Socialtext or Traction Software perhaps? Although Cisco has the traditional bases covered, it is missing a wiki platform.
Microsoft and Lotus have been the two incumbents to beat in the enterprise market. Cisco is shaping up to be a formidable competitor–it already has strong relationships with enterprise IT, so it does not have to come to the table and establish its reputation.