With the speed of computers and networks today, email is virtually instant. But, many corporations consider instant messaging to be a valuable complement to email communications and a vital component of efficient communications. When 10 seconds is just too long to wait for an email to be delivered, you can rely on instant messaging to get your message there even faster.
When instant messaging first emerged, it was primarily consumer oriented and handicapped by its own proprietary nature. AOL users could only communicate with AOL users. ICQ users could only communicate with ICQ users. Etc. Jabber came onto the scene as one of the first products to legitimize instant messaging for corporate use. Jabber enabled companies to house the instant messaging server on the internal network where they could monitor, maintain, log, and secure the communications. It also provided cross-platform support, allowing users of Jabber to communicate with AOL, ICQ, Yahoo, and other instant messaging platforms.
I used Jabber at a former employer. It seemed like a solid and functional tool and I liked the ability to communicate with disparate instant messaging systems. Cisco apparently has seen the value in Jabber as well. They are purchasing the instant messaging company to add the functionality and capabilities to their line of unified communications products. You can learn more from this Information Week article.