Acer, Cisco in IP Telephony Tie-up

PC maker Acer Group and Cisco Systems Inc. have signed an agreement to evangelize the U.S. networking vendor's IP (Internet protocol) telephony products to Taiwanese businesses, the two companies said today.

Under the terms of the memorandum of understanding, Acer and Cisco will collaborate on the development and marketing of networking product offerings based on Cisco's DVVI (data voice video integration) architecture, according to an Acer statement released today.

Over the past year or so, Cisco has been placing a good deal of emphasis on the industrywide move to converge different media, identifying the technology's benefits as simplifying network management, improving network scalability and lowering the costs of network administration.

The agreement announced today will come in two stages, with Cisco initially working with a number of Acer-related partners including the Taiwanese vendor's systems integration arm Acer Sertek to promote DVVI as an IP telephony standard. Then, Acer plans to give the standard its own personal seal of approval by consolidating its own LAN (local area networks), WAN (wide area networks) and voice networks into one unified DVVI-based network, the statement said. The new network will first be set up in Acer's Taiwan offices and later rolled out to its operations worldwide.

The main plank of the DVVI architecture is Cisco's Communications Network trio of products -- the CallManager virtual switch, IP phones and IP to PSTN/PBX (public service telephone network/private branch exchange) gateways.

The Taiwanese vendor hopes the agreement with Cisco will allow Acer to widen its Internet reach more rapidly, the statement said. In April of this year, Acer announced a joint venture with Computer Associates International Inc. to gain business in the area of 'Net-based financial management software.

Acer is keen to broaden the scope of its current product portfolio -- PCs, notebooks, peripherals and chips -- towards more software and Internet-based offerings. The Taiwanese company continues to state that it is aiming to derive 30 percent of company net profits from software sales by 2010.

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