Cisco Unified Communications Manager/CallManager
Cisco Unified Communications Manager (Unified CM or CUCM), formerly known as CallManager, is the industry's leading call control platform and provides the foundation for all Cisco collaboration deployments. Unified CM offers centralized management of core services such as call control, endpoint registration and configuration, call admission control, codec negotiation, trunk protocol translation, a unified dial plan for voice and video endpoints, and Computer Telephony Integration (CTI). Call processing systems built around Cisco Unified CM scale easily and can be designed for high availability and redundancy by using Unified CM clusters.
Progent offers the remote or onsite consulting services of certified CCIE (Collaboration and Voice) subject matter experts (SMEs) who can help organizations of any size to plan, configure, manage, migrate, expand, move, and troubleshoot Cisco Unified CM environments so you can maximize the business value of your unified communications solution. Progent's Cisco Unified CM consultants can help you with dial plan design, CTI, Survivable Remote Site Telephony (SRST), Jabber-based IM and Presence, Single Number Reach (SNR), LDAP directory integration, SIP trunks, and all areas associated with call control. Progent can also provide expertise with technologies such as Cisco CUBE, H.323 and H.264 gateways, and PSTN integration. Progent's Cisco IP phone consultants can help you integrate and troubleshoot VoIP phones and Video IP phones, and Progent's teleconferencing consultants can help you set up and maintain immersive telepresence systems. Progent also offers consulting and support for Cisco's IP voice-optimized infrastructure such as Integrated Services routers, Catalyst and Nexus switches, ASA firewalls, and IP voice gateways.
Cisco Unified Communications Manager (Cisco Unified CM or CUCM) is the heart of Cisco's collaboration solution
Later releases of Cisco Unified CM include a wealth of improvements that expedite your return on investment by lowering management and support costs, increasing user productivity, facilitating teamwork, supporting the BYOD model of computing, strengthening security, and allowing efficient use of network resources. Top innovations include automatic dial-plan replication and batch provisioning, simplified certificate management, expanded support for single sign-on (SSO) for administrators and users, device-agnostic call recording, mobile access without requiring VPN tunneling, a revamped self-care utility that makes it easy for users to specify their preferences for all endpoints, and support for Secure Real-Time Transport Protocol for mobile clients.
In cases where you implement a central Unified Communications Manager cluster to control voice processing for customers at distributed locations, IT managers can help ensure continuous call availability using Cisco SRST, an IOS Software image for Cisco routers. If a WAN connection fails, Cisco SRST incorporated in the router offers basic Unified Communications Manager services until the link is repaired. For information about Progent's consulting services for Cisco ISR routers, refer to consulting support for Cisco routers.
For small business networks, branch offices, and retail deployments that do not need the full feature set offered by Unified CM, Cisco Unified Communications Manager Express, previously known as CallManager Express provides a cost-effective PBX alternative that handles the requirements of locations with as many as 450 users. Because Unified Communications Manager Express Unified Communications Manager Express (Unified CCX) is built into the Cisco IOS Software operating on a Cisco router, smaller organizations can rapidly deploy a unified voice/data environment.
Cisco's BE6000 is a family of turn-key solutions that provide fundamental unified communications capabilities including routing, IP gateway, premium voice/video, messaging, instant messaging and real-time Presence, voice and video conferencing, and paging services, enabling any end user to collaborate on any endpoint device from anywhere. All Business Edition 6000 versions are delivered preinstalled with virtualization and collaboration applications software, making deployment fast and simple and cutting cost of ownership for companies with as many as 1000 workers. All BE6000 systems are shipped preinstalled with virtualization and collaboration applications software. You can simply activate Unified Communications software applications when their requirements evolve.
The entry-level BE6000S includes five preselected unified communications applications installed on one integrated 2921V router/gateway/virtualized blade server platform and supports a maximum capacity of 150 workers and 300 devices. The mid-market BE6000M includes 4 UC software application options activated on a virtualized Cisco C220 M4 server platform and supports a maximum capacity of 1000 users, 1200 endpoint devices, and 100 Contact Center agents. The top-of-the-line Business Edition 6000H includes eight collaboration application options activated on a virtualized Cisco C220 M4 server platform and can handle up to 1000 users, 2500 endpoint devices, and 100 Contact Center agents. For organizations with 1,000 to 5,000 users, Cisco provides the enterprise-class BE7000 line of integrated packages for unified communications. Products in the BE600 and BE7000 lines of UC packages include a range of hardware options for Cisco UCS servers.
Cisco Unified Communications Applications
Within Cisco's Unified Communications platform, IP voice, video, and other converged applications are separate from the call/voice processing infrastructure, and they may be at any location within the system. A single network framework provides an open environment for feature-rich business applications and acts as a firm basis for downstream convergence-based applications. Cisco works with third-party technology companies to offer a wide range of IP voice and video applications and products. Cisco also supports the capability to create and administer customized in-house applications.
Cisco's collaboration applications associated with Unified CM can be hosted on Cisco's UCS Servers
Unified Communications applications offered by Cisco and supported by Progent's consultants include:
Jabber is a UC client application that supports Presence, IM, voice, high-definition video, voice messaging, screen sharing, and real-time conferencing functions for Windows PCs, Macs, tablets plus smartphones. Jabber is an evolution and combination of the Unified Personal Communicator, Cisco Mobile, and Cisco WebEx Connect, with important enhancements in the areas of HD video capabilities and desktop screen sharing, and expanding the collaboration experience to more operating systems and devices. Cisco Jabber operates in conjunction with Cisco Unified CM for call and session control, Cisco Unified Presence for IM and
Presence, Cisco Unity Connection for voice messaging and automated attendant, and Cisco WebEx Meeting for online meetings.
Because Cisco Jabber is built around key industry protocols, it can interoperate with a broad selection of non-Cisco products. For example, XMPP enables Cisco Jabber to exchange IM and Presence data with a variety of XMPP clients including as Adium, IBM Sametime, and Microsoft Lync. Cisco Jabber collaboration features are available from Microsoft Office programs including Microsoft Outlook and SharePoint. This broad platform compatibility optimizes output by providing a consistent user environment and accommodating the bring-your-own-device model of networking. Progent can provide the expertise of certified Exchange consultants and Microsoft SharePoint programmers who can show you how to integrate Jabber with Microsoft's popular collaboration products. Progent also offers help with iPhone integration and management as well as Android smartphone integration to help you to increase the productivity of your BYOD ecosystem.
Cisco WebEx Meeting Center
Cisco WebEx Meeting Center, formerly Cisco Collaboration Meeting Rooms (CMR) Cloud, provides online meetings for users with a browser or almost any desktop or mobile computer. WebEx Meeting Center is delivered as SaaS through Cisco's WebEx Cloud. This makes it easy to roll out and scale, streamlines management, eliminates heavy initial expenditures, features maximum uptime and enterprise-grade data protection, and provides fast throughput. Important capabilities include the ability to share specific content or an whole screen with remote attendees in real time, the ability to incorporate multimedia into presentations including Microsoft PowerPoint and Flash animations, session and content recording plus playback for training, single sign-on (SSO) and integration with other Cisco collaboration products like Cisco Jabber and TelePresence, plus stringent data privacy and encrypted access with strict policy management.
WebEX Meeting Center runs on Windows, Mac, and Linux-powered desktops and permits mobile workers to start, schedule, and participate in meetings on Android devices, Apple iPhones and iPads, BlackBerry handhelds, and Windows Phone. You can also launch web meetings instantly from Microsoft Office, Outlook, Notes, and a variety of IM applications.
WebEX Meeting Center supports hundreds of participants and a broad range of devices and applications
Cisco TelePresence Portfolio for On-premises Video Conferencing Ecosystems
For midsize organizations and larger enterprises who want to create a local or hybrid local/cloud environment for teleconferencing, Cisco offers a portfolio of Cisco TelePresence products that deliver high-quality video conferencing for users with virtually any IP endpoint at any location. Cisco TelePresence Server is a scalable video conferencing bridge that runs in conjunction with Cisco Unified CM to provide multiparty video, audio and content sharing to converged deployments and can expand meetings to include cloud-based Cisco WebEx Meeting Center users. Cisco TelePresence Conductor software streamlines the control of how teleconferencing bandwidth and features are rationed for every individual participant, enabling managers to specify the exact service level and user experience required for each user. Cisco TelePresence Content Server records video and presentations for live distribution as well as video on demand (VOD) viewing.
Cisco Unity Connection and Unity Express for Converged Voicemail
Cisco's Unity Connection, an extension of Unified CM, is a converged voicemail solution that facilitates collaboration by offering flexible set of options for accessing calls and messages within a framework that is simple to deploy and manage. Unity Connection lets you read and manage your voicemail messages from your Exchange inbox, web browser, Cisco Jabber, a Cisco Unified VoIP endpoint, a smartphone, or an iPad or tablet. Cisco Unity Connection also offers sophisticated speech-recognition capabilities for hands and eyes free management and powerful Automated Attendant capabilities such as intelligent routing for incoming calls and custom call-filtering and message-notification settings. The Unity Connection system runs as a fully virtualized system that can be hosted on a Business Edition 6000 server or a Cisco Services Ready Engine 910 router blade and can accommodate as many as 20,000 mailboxes on each server.
Cisco Unity Express (CUE), offered in select Cisco ISR routers, provides cost-effective voicemail, integrated messaging, interactive voice response, and automated-attendant services for small to medium businesses (SMBs) and corporate satellite offices with as many as 500 users. Unity Express allows you to access and manage voicemail using a Cisco Unified IP Phone display, your web browser, or your email system. Cisco routers for which Unity Express is offered as a network module include Cisco's 2800, 2900, and 3900 Series. Progent can provide comprehensive deployment and support services for Cisco routers.
Unified Contact Center
Unified Contact Center Enterprise (Unified CCE or UCCE) integrates with Unified CM and agent desktop applications like Cisco Finesse to offer automatic call distribution (ACD) features that allow an organization to match customers with the proper salesperson or service representative. Unified CCE or UCCE offers smart call routing, computer telephony integration, support for multichannel customer contact management, network-wide call queuing, interactive voice response (IVR) and advanced enterprise-wide reporting to streamline the creation and administration of a large-scale contact center. Cisco platforms supporting UCCE's customer contact management solution include Cisco Unified IP Phones, Voice, and Cisco network infrastructure.
Unified Contact Center Express (Unified CCX or CCX) offers a packaged bundle for creating a customer contact center for branch or midmarket systems that handle as many as 400 agents. Several bundles are offered, plus a selection of optional advanced features. Unified CCX works with Cisco Unified CM and offers smart call distribution, contact management, integrated reporting, IVR, and management of voice, email, web chat, and social media requests. Cisco Unified CCX includes Cisco Finesse, a web-based customizable desktop agent that requires no client installation. Special options include conditional routing, expected-wait-time messages, and workforce quality management.
Cisco Mobile Connect and Single Number Reach (SNR)
Mobile Connect, commonly referred to as Single Number Reach (SNR), makes it possible to call users from one phone number that rings at the same time on their desktop IP Phone and their cell phone. Users can transfer active calls between their desktop IP phone and their mobile phone without disruption. Calls that are not answered can be transferred to a Cisco Unity or Cisco Unity Connection voicemail account. Users can create personal access lists that determine which calls get extended to different phones.
Cisco Prime Collaboration Provisioning
Cisco Prime Collaboration offers an automated platform for initial installs as well as for follow-on moves, adds, changes, and deletions. A user-friendly interface provides a unified look at a user and the user's services. Prime Collaboration Provisioning substantially speeds up company-wide installations and reduces the time required for ongoing changes. Prime Collaboration also offers advanced analytics including application adoption and usage trends, enabling organizations to optimize resources and further lower TCO.
Cisco Collaboration Gateways
Cisco's communications gateways allow Cisco converged communications environments to communicate with public networks and with users working outside the firewall. Cisco's line of gateways deliver UC services for a wide variety of gateway and session-border-control deployments.
Collaboration gateways offered by Cisco and supported by Progent's certified consultants include:
Expressway Converged Communication Gateway
Cisco's Expressway is a powerful converged media gatekeeper that allows organizations to provide employees, vendors, customers, or partners who are working on different networks, collaboration platforms, or endpoint devices to access to Unified Communication functions. Cisco's Expressway collaboration gateway works with an enterprise Cisco Communications Manager system or Cisco Business Edition 6000, or can be run via the cloud with Cisco Hosted Collaboration Solution to help make productive collaboration more pervasive. Important features of Cisco Expressway include:
Cisco Unified Border Element (CUBE)
- Mobile and Off-site Connectivity: Off-site users with any Jabber-supported client or telecommuters with Cisco TelePresence endpoints get the benefit of single-sign-on (SSO) plus Transport Layer Security (TLS) and can connect to all their collaboration applications (video, high-quality voice, content IM, and Presence) without requiring the extra step of establishing a VPN connection. Also, telecommuters have the ability to use their Cisco TelePresence endpoints without the need for a VPN, delivering a user environment at home that is identical to the corporate office.
- Cisco Jabber Guest Support: Expressway is critical for supporting Jabber Guest, which permits “guests” to communicate with your organization simply and safely using lightweight web-browser and mobile video calls.
- Cisco Cloud Access: Cisco Expressway can function as a gateway that connects between on-premises Cisco or non-Cisco collaboration solutions and Cisco's WebEx cloud. By supporting Cisco Collaboration Meeting Rooms (CMRs), Cisco Expressway deliver an advanced, scalable teleconferencing environment that seamlessly combines high-quality voice, video, and content sharing to any client, anywhere, using any device.
- Interoperability: In case your company already has third-party video products, Expressway can assist you to move efficiently to Cisco products when it makes business sense. Cisco Expressway provides video compatibility with standards-based H.323, H.264 Scalable Video Coding, or SIP systems. Internetworking capabilities allowed by Cisco Expressway include IPv4 to IPv6, H.323 to Session Initiation Protocol (SIP), and Microsoft Lync H.264 SVC to MPEG-4/H.264 AVC.
The Cisco Unified Border Element is an enterprise-class session border controller that interconnects converged business communications networks to the PSTN. Beyond offering session border control, Cisco Unified Border Element delivers simple and affordable collaboration outside the corporate firewall. Important unified communications functions enabled by CUBE include:
CUBE software can be licensed on Cisco IOS software and can be run on a broad range of Cisco's enterprise-class routers, including ASR 1000 Series Aggregation Services Routers, the Cisco ISR 4000 line, the ISR G2 Series, and several models of the 800 fixed-configuration routers. Cisco's virtualized CUBE, called vCUBE, runs in a VMware ESXI virtual container.
- WebEx Cloud Connected Audio (CCA) for SIP-based audio conferencing
- Voice and Video recording
- SIP-based call center and interactive-voice-response (IVR) solutions
- Policy-based security evaluation of voice calls
- Business-to-business immersive telepresence over SIP
How Progent Can Help You with Cisco Unified Communications Manager Solutions
Progent offers remote or onsite help from a Cisco CCIE Collaboration specialist to assist your business to design, install, administer and troubleshoot converged communications environments built on Cisco Unified Communication products in a centralized, cloud-based, or hybrid environment. Progent's Cisco-certified engineers have in-depth backgrounds with Unified Communications Manager and Cisco CallManager, Voice over IP and video phones and soft phones, unified messaging applications such as Cisco Jabber and Unity Connection, Cisco's immersive telepresence technologies, communication gateways, tools incorporated into Cisco Catalyst switches and routers.
Progent can help you with any phase of a Cisco Unified CM deployment including:
Progent can analyze your current network and Internet access infrastructure to determine whether your system is configured to accommodate high-quality Voice over IP and HD video, help you to choose and deploy Cisco products that make sense for your current situation and downstream growth plans, and integrate your Cisco Unified Communications solution with products from other suppliers. Progent's CISSP certified network security consultants can assist you to create, carry out, and validate an enterprise-wide security plan for your converged communications solution. Also, Progent can assist your organization to deploy Cisco high-availability mechanisms such as Cisco Unified Survivable Remote Site Telephony (SRST) to provide affordable call control backup in remote-branch and teleworker sites, and Progent's disaster recovery and business continuity preparedness experts can help you develop a viable disaster recovery strategy to ensure the availability of your vital communications environment.
- Confirm that DNS resolution is available for all relevant servers
- Set up the CUCM and IM and Presence Service cluster and define groups of Unified CM instances
- Confirm that certificates have the necessary key usage and extended key usage
- Perform preliminary CUCM configuration including node name, service activation, and parameter settings
- Configure the IM and Presence SIP trunk and SIP Proxy Service
- Configure dial plan covering endpoint addressing, numbering plan, dialing habits, routing and classes of service
- Synchronize the corporate LDAP directory to Unified CM
- Cisco Unified CM Group Configuration
- Configure phone Network Time Protocol (NTP) for SIP-based phones
- Date and Time Groups for each time zone where endpoints are deployed
- Set up the IP Voice Media Streaming Application for conference bridging, Music on Hold, the Annunciator, and media termination point
- Define device pools
- Configure SIP trunks and establish SIP trunk security profiles
- Provision endpoint devices, lines, plus user and Presence associations
- For multi-cluster deployments, configure Intercluster Lookup Service (ILS) and Global Dial Plan Replication (GDPR)
- Configure SRST for call processing survivability at remote sites
- Configure Cisco Extension Mobility to allow users to access their IP Phone configuration from other Cisco IP Phones
- Configure Busy Line Field (BLF) Presence to allow users to monitor the real-time status of another user
- Activate and configure the CTI Manager service on the appropriate Unified CM call processing nodes
Progent can provide as-needed expertise to help you with occasional technical bottlenecks, or Progent can provide comprehensive project management outsourcing or co-sourcing to help you complete major unified communications initiatives on time and within budget. Common examples of online consulting tasks provided by Progent to support Cisco Unified Communications Manager deployments include:
Unified Communications Manager/CallManager Migration Consulting
- Migrate from CallManager to Cisco Unified CM
- Design and implement dial plans
- Develop SIP integration solutions
- Resolve ACL, DHCP and NAT issues
- Work with carriers to resolve SIP trunk issues
- Create CUCM clusters
- Repair UCCX databases
- Convert gateways from H.232 to SIP
- Fix IP Phone registration problems
- Troubleshoot QoS issues
- Deploy Cisco ISR routers
- Configure and troubleshoot firewalls/VPN routers
- Review and repair BGP and route maps
- Resolve authentication issues
- Move from legacy PBX to IP PBX
- Review and debug VMware ESXi configuration
- Set up CUBE gateways
- Resolve certificate and licensing issues
- Plan and deploy BE6000 systems
- Replace legacy VoIP Phones with IP Video Phones
Versions of Unified CM before 8.6 and all releases of its predecessor CallManager have arrived at end-of-life. Therefore Cisco Engineering will no longer enhance, fix, or validate this older software. Security patches for this business-critical application will stop, which in certain circumstances may cause regulatory compliance or potential liability problems.
Progent continues to offer expert consulting and support for end-of-life versions of Cisco Unified CM and Cisco CallManager, but if you are now using a legacy edition of this pivotal application you should begin immediately to prepare for your upgrade. Progent's collaboration consultants can help your company to upgrade non-disruptively to the latest edition of Cisco Unified CM and can typically save clients up to 50% off consulting fees versus competing IT service firms thanks to Progent's documented procedures and experience in this practice area. By adhering to best practices, Progent can ensure that your organization sees a fast payback on your investment by showing you how to take full advantage of the new and improved features, reduced management and support costs, more productive collaboration capabilities, and tighter data protection offered by the current edition of Unified CM.
Progent's migration services include ROI analysis, project management or co-management, pilot testing and validation, Cloud integration, configuring collaboration endpoints from Cisco and other suppliers, smartphone and tablet integration, data protection services, streamlined management, business continuity planning, network topology design, staff and user training, and continuing consulting and troubleshooting. Progent also has put together fixed-priced migration packages to make sure your costs are visible and under control.
SIP Infrastructure Integration
Session Initiation Protocol, or SIP, has emerged as the preferred call control and signaling protocol for real-time multimedia communications. Many of Cisco's new VoIP phones and IP video phones no longer support multiple protocols but are available with SIP support only. Cisco Unified IP Phones and Jabber clients use SIP to register directly to Cisco Unified CM. The popularity of SIP has led Cisco to offer a richer set of features (e.g. resource management) for SIP trunks than for H.232 trunks, and Cisco recommends SIP rather than H.323 trunks between Unified CM clusters. A SIP trunk allows you to connect your local IP telephony environment to an Internet telephony service provider (ITSP) in order to interface with the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN). This is an economical way to expand your IP telephony ecosystem outside your local network perimeter without requiring a IP-to-PSTN gateway. SIP trunks support Voice-over-IP, IM, multimedia conferences, 911 emergency calls, and other real-time capabilities.
Progent's SIP integration consultants can assist you to plan, deploy and troubleshoot your SIP infrastructure to support Cisco's SIP-based VoIP phones and video phones, SIP gateways and trunking, SIP conferencing, SIP proxies, and Cisco Unified Border Element (CUBE). To learn more about Progent's consulting services for SIP trunks and the Cisco CUBE session border controller, see SIP and CUBE infrastructure solutions: SIP trunks and Cisco CUBE integration expertise.
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