When Cisco Partner Summit 2012 wrapped up last week, The VAR Guy figured he'd take a short siesta from Cisco coverage. The VAR Guy was wrong. Within the next two weeks, it sounds like Cisco is set to make more noise about Jabber, an emerging Skype alternative that looks pretty darn promising to The VAR Guy.

Indeed, Cisco and many unified communications companies will surface at UC Summit 2012 (May 6-9, La Jolla, Calif.). The conference is open to channel partners as well as corporate IT managers who are driving unified communications strategies within their companies.

Richard McLeod, senior director of business development at Cisco, will deliver a keynote called "People-Centric Collaboration – Transforming the Way We Work." The VAR Guy suspects that means McLeod will tout Jabber, a video chat system that runs across smart phones, tablets, notebooks and PCs with all major operating systems. Jabber also bridges the gap between those devices and high-end TelePresence services.

In short: Cisco has spent nearly two decades trying to tout its software expertise. But Jabber is one of the key Cisco offerings from Cisco that actually "wows" The VAR Guy.

Additional companies will surely grab the UC Summit 2012 spotlight. Microsoft, for one, will likely continue its steady drumbeat for Lync -- the unified communications platform that's also available in the cloud with Office 365. Lync sales grew 35 percent in Microsoft's most recent quarter. And Microsoft is connecting the dots between Lync and Skype.

Those themes, and others, will emerge at UC Summit, The VAR Guy believes... But he'll know for sure in less than two weeks.