Cisco Brings Secure High Quality Video and Voice Calls to Existing Phone Numbers

At the VoiceCon conference in Orlando today, Cisco announced
that it has conducted the first intercompany unified communications calls over the
Internet using the Cisco Intercompany Media Engine (IME), an integral
part of Cisco’s collaboration portfolio of products
and services. The business-to-business discussions included calls between Cisco
and Australian-based Queensland Rail, and between Cisco and the University of
Wisconsin-Whitewater. Through Cisco IME, all participants were able to
spontaneously, simultaneously and with high security enjoy enterprise video and
high-fidelity wideband audio from their video-enabled devices by simply dialing
standard phone numbers.

Built on proposed standards that Cisco has submitted to the
Internet Engineering Task Force, Cisco IME enables companies for the first time
to conduct highly secure, high-quality, voice and video telephone calls between
companies across the Internet using their existing telephone numbers without the
need to re-provision or replace currently deployed infrastructure.

Cisco IME is designed to increase collaboration throughout value
chains. As businesses increasingly engage with a variety of external communities
and rely upon their trusted partners to deliver results, the need to better
collaborate across corporate network boundaries is paramount. The goal of Cisco
IME is to allow organizations already realizing the benefits of video telephony
and other advanced unified communications features internally to now extend
those capabilities externally to similarly equipped customers, suppliers and
strategic partners.

Cisco IME is based on a "self-learning" technology, one that learns
new routes based on calling patterns and automatically recognizes when users are
operating in an IME-equipped network. It discovers and manages all aspects of
facilitating highly secure, high-quality, low-cost call routing via IP networks
including the Internet making the experience easy to use for both users and
administrators alike.

The technology allows end users to more effectively communicate
using body language through video, as well as optimized voice technology, while
at the same time helping to reduce costs. Additionally, services from Cisco and
its partners can help ensure customers derive the greatest possible return from
the technology and experience better collaboration across network boundaries.
Cisco IME builds on the company’s history of providing solutions across its collaboration portfolio that
foster business-to-business collaboration, including
offerings from Cisco TelePresence and Cisco


  • Cisco launched the Intercompany Media Engine to help transform
    fragmented business value chains into a global, highly secure, real-time
    collaboration community via IP networks including the Internet and personal
    phone numbers.
  • Cisco is actively working with the Internet Engineering Task Force
    to standardize core elements of its Cisco IME technology, built on emerging
    industry standards, in order to ensure industry interoperability.
  • Cisco IME represents the first time that members of an extended
    value chain can automatically initiate secure voice and video telephony connections
    without having to standardize on the same technology base or change their phone
  • Customers can benefit from a variety of potential cost savings
    including, for example, the reduction of private branch exchange (PBX) systems
    integration requirements and the need for dedicated PSTN lines.
  • Cisco IME calls will be connected between parties via a worldwide
    highly secure peer-to-peer network using Session Initiation Protocol (SIP)
    trunking. Video calls between organizations are automatically enabled, without
    cumbersome set-up.
  • Cisco IME provides customers with multiple levels of security. All
    IME traffic is encrypted for both media and signaling and firewall protection is
    provided. Administrators also are provided granular policy-based controls that
    allow them to determine which numbers are published externally and which
    IME-enhanced features are available to individual users within their
  • Intercompany collaboration can speed time to market, bolster
    employee productivity and increase effectiveness of interactions between
  • The combined strengths of Cisco and its partners help successfully
    deploy, operate and optimize intercompany collaboration.

Supporting Quotes:

  • Barry O’Sullivan, senior vice president, Cisco Voice
    Technology Group:

    "At Cisco we have a long history in enabling
    borderless collaboration for our customers and for our own enterprise. We
    believe that IME is the most disruptive communications technology developed in
    more than a decade. This historic milestone is going to accelerate the ability
    to better collaborate and realize economies of scale. As the market continues to
    innovate and business applications evolve, we want to provide our customers and
    partners with a cost-effective way to connect that is as simple and effective as
    placing a phone call."

  • Richard Telfer, chancellor, University of Wisconsin –

    "As we continue to invest in IP technology, the Cisco
    Intercompany Media Engine provides the university with a way to communicate with
    our constituencies in a simple, secure and confidential manner. Using this
    innovative technology from Cisco, we’ll be able to increase collaboration with
    other higher education institutions as well as with our business partners both
    in the United States and around the world."

  • Steve Nola, Dimension Data Australian CEO:

    "We see a tremendous value for our clients because the
    technology will enable them to take voice and video collaboration to the next
    level while leveraging their current unified communications investments. We’re
    excited to join Cisco in extending the benefits of collaboration with Cisco
    Intercompany Media Engine across the entire value-chain."

  • James Sankar, director of applications and services,

    "Our primary motivation for trialing Cisco
    Intercompany Media Engine was to enable and assess the performance, quality and
    usability of rich video and collaboration internally and among our university
    partners, which initially includes shareholder CSIRO among others."

  • Paul Hanagan, head of pre-sales, BT iNet said:

    "Cisco Intercompany Media Engine is a product that
    embraces the importance of business-to-business communication. Allowing
    companies to participate in rich media communications via the Internet by
    creating dynamic SIP trunks between enterprises, IME must certainly be a key
    initiative for any organisation that has an existing Cisco Unified
    Communications Manager cluster or UC environment as it will provide
    collaborative communication between all participating parties without any
    intricate or peer specific configuration. It is an innovative product that will
    most certainly grow and develop into the foundation of intercompany


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here