Cisco Jabber Overview
Cisco Jabber is a suite of enterprise-class collaboration tools supported by the Cisco Unified Communications Manager (CUCM) platform. Jabber offers a highly secure solution for interacting with your contacts via Instant Messaging and Presence (IM&P), voice and video calling and conferencing, visual voicemail, desktop sharing, and file transfer. Jabber clients are available for Windows and Mac computers, Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) desktops, plus Apple iOS and Android smartphones and tablets. Jabber also works seamlessly with Cisco IP voice and video phones and integrates with Microsoft Office applications.
Progent's Cisco-certified CCIE (Collaboration and Voice) consultants offer online and onsite expertise for planning, configuring, managing, upgrading, and troubleshooting Jabber environments installed either on-premises or in a hybrid deployment using a combination of local and cloud resources. Progent can help you maintain or tune your Cisco-based collaboration infrastructure by providing services that include Cisco Unified Communications Manager (CUCM) support, CUCM IM and Presence Service expertise, Cisco Unity Connection integration, and Cisco WebEx Meeting consulting. Progent's certified Cisco VoIP phone consultants can help you configure Cisco IP voice and video phones, and Progent's Microsoft-certified Office 365 consultants can help you integrate Windows computers and Office applications with your Jabber ecosystem. Progent can also provide the expertise of CISSP-certified cybersecurity and compliance experts to help you utilize the enhanced security features available in the latest releases of Cisco Jabber.
Jabber enables IP voice/video, IM and Presence, plus conferencing for Windows, Mac, iOS and Android devices
Key Features of Cisco Jabber
Cisco Jabber offers a rich array of collaboration capabilities, and core features are accessible from popular desktop and mobile devices via a single, user-friendly interface. Some extended features require on-premises deployments, hybrid cloud deployments, or specific endpoint equipment. Cisco continually enhances Jabber. Later versions offer powerful BYOD support and advanced security. Core features supported by current releases of Jabber include:
Jabber Deployment Options
- Voice and Video Calling: Integrated audio/video is available on desktops used as soft phones or on Cisco IP video phones. Jabber supports Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) for URI-based dialing, and you can call directly from your contact list. (See Progent's Cisco SIP infrastructure integration consulting.) Jabber's multiline support allows you to set up users with as many as 8 phone lines. CUCM options available for call control include mute, call forwarding, and ad hoc conferencing.
- Instant Messaging: Jabber uses Extensible Messaging and Presence Protocol (XMPP) to support personal and group chat as well as persistent chat rooms. XMPP services allow you to establish confederation between Jabber and Skype for Business. (See Progent's Skype for Business integration consulting.) Server-side logging and archiving of chats lets you review Jabber messages and conversations and enables auditing for regulatory compliance.
- Presence: Jabber's Presence features can keep you and your contacts updated in real time about one another's availability. This includes other Jabber users or contacts using another XMPP-compatible client such as Skype for Business. Your availability is automatically updated when you participate in a WebEx meeting or share an application, and your presence can be shown via the free/busy status within your Outlook Calendar or Exchange Server. Outlook users can view a contact's availability and click to start a chat or make voice or video calls. You can also save Jabber chats to an Outlook folder directly from Microsoft Outlook. (See Progent's Exchange Online integration consulting.)
- Conferencing: Jabber allows single-click escalation of chats and calls to group voice, video, and web conferencing with support for sharing documents, presentations, and desktop screens. You can take advantage of popular video standards to establish collaboration among Jabber clients and third-party telepresence endpoints and immersive video conferencing systems. (See Progent's telepresence integration consulting.)
- Voicemail: Jabber integrates with Cisco Unity Connection to allow clients to view, play back, and erase voicemail
and visual voicemail messages. (See Cisco Unity Connection integration services.
- Desktop Sharing: For desktop screen sharing, Jabber supports Cisco WebEx share and Binary Floor Control Protocol (BFCP) share controlled by CUCM. With Windows desktops, IM-only mode allows one-to-one screen sharing.
- File Transfer and Screen Captures: Integration with Cisco Unified Communications Manager IM and Presence Service allows Jabber clients to send and receive files and screen captures securely. You can also route files to a compliance server for audit and policy enforcement.
- Contacts: Searchable contact sources include Windows Active Directory Domain Services, Cisco Unified Communications Manager User Data Server (UDS), OpenLDAP, Active Directory Lightweight Directory Service (AD LDS), Active Directory Application Mode (ADAM), plus local contacts stored in Microsoft Outlook, Mac, iPhone, iPad, and Android address books. For improved performance, Jabber maintains a local cache of the user's contact list.
Jabber works with various components of the Cisco Unified Communications Manager platform to provide the set of collaboration services your organization needs. Jabber operates with CUCM for call and session control, with CUCM IM and Presence Service for instant messaging and presence, with Cisco Unity Connection for voice messaging and automated attendant, and with Cisco Expressway for Mobile and Remote Access for secure firewall traversal without VPN tunneling. For hosted conferencing infrastructure Jabber operates with Cisco WebEx Meeting Center, and for on-premises conferencing infrastructure Jabber works with Cisco WebEx Meetings Server.
Jabber allows a variety of deployment options to align with your collaboration requirements and IT budget, In a traditional on-premises deployment, you install, administer, and support all your required Jabber services on your local network. Modes available for on-premises deployment include:
- Full Unified Communications: You enable IM and Presence, provision voice messaging and conferencing features, and set up user devices for audio and video
- Instant Messaging and Presence Only You activate IM and Presence features but do not provision users with devices
- Phone-Only You configure CUCM as each user's primary authentication service and you provision users with devices for voice and video as well as optional services like voice messaging.
Cisco Jabber architecture for a full on-premises Unified Communications deployment
By default, the user's primary authentication is to an IM and Presence server. Jabber users outside the corporate network can access Unified Communications infrastructure using Cisco's Expressway for Mobile and Remote Access for CUCM. This does not require a VPN connection. You can also set up Cisco AnyConnect Secure Mobility Client so it automatically and seamlessly creates a VPN connection to access Cisco Unified Communications application servers.
Cisco WebEx Messenger is a subscription-based XMPP cloud service that works with Cisco Jabber clients to provide functions including IM and Presence, file transfer, and desktop screen sharing. WebEx Messenger works with CUCM and WebEx Meeting Center to enable click-to-call, phone control, voice, video, voicemail, and web collaboration. You can use Cisco WebEx Messenger in a cloud or hybrid deployment.
Advanced Jabber Security
Current versions of Jabber fully support the OAuth open-standard authorization protocol. By configuring your collaboration infrastructure to use OAuth, your Jabber clients only need to authenticate, or prove their identity, once per specified use period. After an initial authentication process, clients receive an OAuth token which, until it expires, allows them to access various Jabber services like instant messaging or voicemail without requiring them to authenticate repeatedly or to share their credentials with multiple applications. OAuth offers several advantages for Jabber users. Re-authentication is only required every 60 days (by default), is not necessary after the Jabber client is restarted, and doesn't fail when the user's password is changed. Consequently, logging in is very fast after the initial authentication process. An important benefit for administrators is that OAuth allows for Expressway Mobile and Remote Access (MRA) user policy.
Unified CM 12.0 and later support OAuth with refresh tokens and OAuth authorization can work with Local User, LDAP and SAM single sign-on based authentication models. Additional Cisco Unified Communications Manager infrastructure nodes including IM&P, Unity Connection and Expressway can validate tokens issued by CUCM servers. The OAuth Server creates a set of keys for signing and encrypting tokens. These keys are distributed automatically to call control and IM&Presence nodes within CUCM clusters. Unity connection and Expressway-C servers can retrieve OAuth keys via a REST API. After a server has the set of signing and encryption keys, it can validate and decrypt access tokens presented by Jabber users.
Support for OAuth protocol improves Jabber security and streamlines user access to collaboration services
Progent's Cisco infrastructure experts and security specialists can help you evaluate and deploy the latest security advances available for Cisco Jabber in order to harden the security of your collaboration solution and at the same time enhance the user experience of your Jabber clients.
How Progent Can Help You with Cisco Jabber Solutions
Progent can provide online or onsite expertise from Cisco CCIE-certified collaboration consultants to help organizations of any size to plan, deploy, maintain, upgrade or troubleshoot Cisco Jabber environments and Cisco Unified Communications Manager infrastructure. Progent offers in-depth support for the products, technologies and services that go into creating a cohesive Jabber solution including Cisco network appliances and management software, Microsoft Office applications, Windows and Mac desktops, iOS and Android smartphones, SIP trunking, WiFi networks, cyber security, cloud integration, immersive telepresence systems, PBX products, disaster recovery preparedness, and the many other components of a cohesive collaboration ecosystem.
Progent offers as-needed expertise to help you resolve challenging technical issues or to review deployment or migration plans, or Progent can provide comprehensive product management outsourcing or co-sourcing services to help you complete major Jabber-related initiatives on time and on budget.
Progent can assist you with any facet of deploying, managing or troubleshooting a Jabber environment. A sampling of common integration services provided by Progent include:
Contact Progent for Cisco Jabber Consulting Services
- Determine optimal deployment model and user management solution
- Inventory local and cloud-based resources, software versions and certificates
- Migrate efficiently from legacy versions of CUCM and Jabber to current releases
- Set up an CUCM and IM and Presence Service cluster and define groups of Unified CM instances.
- For multiple CUCM clusters, configure Intercluster Lookup Service (ILS).
- For multi-cluster deployments, configure Intercluster Lookup Service (ILS) and Global Dial Plan Replication (GDPR)
- Configure the IM and Presence SIP trunk and SIP Proxy Service and establish SIP trunk security profiles
- Set up OAuth token-passing protocol and single sign-on authorization for high security and user convenience
- Configure dial plan covering endpoint addressing, numbering plan, dialing habits, routing and classes of service
- Integrate Cisco IP phones with Jabber
- Integrate Cisco Unified Contact Center Express for Multiline support
- Provision iOS and Android smartphones
- Configure Cisco Unity Connection integration for voicemail services
- Integrate Cisco Meeting Server or Cisco WebEx Meetings Server for conferencing
- Set up the IP Voice Media Streaming Application for conference bridging, Music on Hold, the Annunciator, and media termination point
- Perform wireless site survey to make sure your WiFi network has seamless coverage to avoid dropped sessions
- Synchronize the corporate LDAP directory to Cisco Unified CM for contact search
- Configure Expressway for Mobile and Remote Access (MRA) to enable remote users access services
- Develop and implement a federation solution
- Implement failover mechanisms and backup
- Design disaster recovery and business continuity plans
- Provision endpoint devices, lines, plus user and Presence associations
- Integrate Office 365, Skype for Business, and Exchange Online with Jabber
- Configure screen sharing based on WebEx, BFCP, or IM Only
To learn more about Progent's consulting services for Cisco Jabber collaboration technology, call 1-800-993-9400 or visit Contact Progent.
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