The DoD already uses Cisco technology, but the JITC PBX2 certification deepens the relationship, allowing for switched call connections within DoD organizations to utilize and deploy Cisco IP telephony solutions.
"The U.S. Department of Defense has deployed Cisco's IP solutions in both the enterprise and tactical environments," Ed Carney, Cisco's vice president and general manager of the Government Systems Unit, told internetnews.com, adding that PBX certifications are required to sell into the DoD's voice networks without a waiver. "By passing PBX2 certification, Cisco will be placed on the DoD's approved products list and can sell into the portion of the DoD that is Non-Command and Control. We are currently at the JITC lab testing our PBX1 solution, which is required to sell to Command and Control users."
The new certified elements include Cisco's Call Manager 3.3 call processing software, Catalyst 3550, 4500 and 6500 switches, as well as Cisco 2600 and 3700 gateways. The IP telephony solution all fits into the Cisco AVVID (Architecture for Voice, Video and Integrated Data) infrastructure. According to Cisco, AVVID will help to enable DoD agencies to realize increased productivity while lowering operational costs with the converged network.
The DoD for its part considers the PBX2 certification to be an "exciting development" for its IP network. "This certification represents a significant milestone for enterprise IP networks," said Captain Chris Christopher, deputy director for Future Operations, Communications, and Business Initiatives for the U.S. Navy's NMCI Office, in a statement. "It indicates that voice over an IP network has reached a level of maturity in the sector lifecycle that allows it to be viewed as an application like any other application."
While noting that PBX certification is only required for equipment that is attached to the DoD's Defense Switch Network (DSN), Cisco's Ed Carney also hopes that this new certification will serve as leverage to work with other federal agencies and even other national governments.
"There are other U.S. DoD and federal government agencies that look to JITC certification for guidance in their voice network purchases," Carney said. "We have also seen strong interest in IP telephony from several foreign governments. While they don't look directly at the U.S. DoD's certification process, this confirms the results of other independent tests that demonstrate the reliability and security of Cisco's solution."
This week has been a particularly good one for Cisco. Just yesterday it announced that Bank of America will be installing 180,000 of its IP phones during the next three years.