Zodiac Interactive announced today that Cisco has joined its Partner Program, which was designed to promote tru2way interoperability.

Zodiac announced its Partner Program earlier this year, and Cisco marked the first public announcement of a company joining the program, although Zodiac CEO Brandon Brown said there were “six or seven” additional partnership announcements waiting in the wings.

As part of the Zodiac Partner Program, Cisco has licensed Zodiac’s PowerUp for tru2way and PowerUp Monitor Server application to test with select tru2way set-top boxes. PowerUp is a cross-platform software middleware and presentation engine solution that enables advanced iTV/ETV application deployments across multiple set-tops, including legacy boxes. Zodiac said its PowerUp Monitor Server and Monitor App provide all necessary functionality for lifecycle management with proven scalability and unparalleled performance.

“It means quite a bit,” Brown said of the announcement with Cisco. “They have the full license for the full PowerUp for tru2way. They have the usage rights for the full suite, including the server side application, which is PowerUp Monitor Server for full lifecycle management, so no doubt they’ll be using it extensively from the server side straight to the client side.”

Zodiac's PowerUp software for tru2way offers a common platform of open APIs and libraries that allow for a broad range of iTV applications to be developed and deployed across multiple devices and component configurations, without running into integration issues.

Currently, Zodiac said PowerUp delivers the iTV/ETV experience to more than 10 million set-top boxes currently deployed by its MSO clients.

Zodiac plans to demonstrate its latest version of PowerUp for the first time at The Cable Show in Los Angeles.

The company has also been working on server software that enables two-way communication through Web and mobile services for integration between an existing MSO infrastructure, including all services and set-top boxes, and wireless Internet devices.

Brown gave the example of a wireless user notifying a colleague that a meeting is being rescheduled. In that scenario, the message appears on the recipient’s TV screen, and he or she can either reply with a keypad or use “canned” replies that are already in the system.

“The key component is it opens up Web and mobile services in the MSO world without requiring any changes to the MSO's infrastructure,” Brown said.

Brown said the as-yet-unnamed software has been adopted by one large MSO.

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