Cisco Systems is to open a research centre in Ireland to develop unified communications products.
The office, to be located in the western city of Galway, will initially employ 50 researchers but headcount is expected to grow to 200 in the next three years. The researchers will build new unified communications applications and services, which allow workers to have a single point of access where they can be contacted via a variety of methods such as email, voice mail, VoIP, instant messaging and video.
Cisco also plans to consider opportunities for collaborative research with industry and academic organisations in Ireland. It currently employs 66 people in local sales and support in Ireland.
Cisco has competition in the space; Microsoft and Nortel Networks recently formed an alliance to develop unified communications technologies to enterprise customers.