Cisco Unified Communications Overview
Multiple communication networks exist as entirely separate entities, each serving a specific application. The traditional public switched telephone network (PSTN) time-division multiplexing (TDM) network serves the voice application; the Internet and intranets serve data communications.
Business requirements often force these networks to interoperate. As a result, deploying multiservice (data, voice, and video) applications such as unified messaging or web-based customer contact centers requires expensive and complex links between proprietary systems, such as private branch exchanges (PBXs) and standards-based data networks.
The traditional enterprise communication takes place on two separate networks:
Over time, the Internet (and data networking technology in general) encompassed the traditional traffic types. This convergence recently started to absorb voice and video as applications into the data network. Several large Post, Telephone, and Telegraph (PTT) carriers use packet switching or voice over ATM as their backbone technology, and enterprise customers accept virtual trunking, or connecting their disparate PBXs via their wide-area data network, to avoid long-distance charges.
By converging these previously disparate networks into a single, unified network, you can begin to realize savings in multiple areas, including lower total cost of ownership, toll savings, and increased productivity.
Cisco Unified CallManager and Cisco Unified IP Phones provide an IP telephony solution that operates on an IP infrastructure. The clustering architecture of Cisco Unified CallManagers allows you to scale to a highly available voice-over-IP (VoIP) network.
Cisco Unified Communications Support
Cisco Unified Communications support encompasses the following components:
•Converged client devices
•Service and support
Cisco Unified Communications solutions enable you to
•Deploy IP-enabled business applications
•Implement a standards-based open architecture
•Migrate to a converged network in your own time frame
Cisco Unified Communications support enables you to move from maintaining a separate data network and a closed, proprietary voice PBX system to maintaining one open and standards-based, converged network for all your data, voice, and video needs.
The following list includes the major Cisco Unified Communications voice and video applications:
•Cisco Unified CallManager—This software-only call-processing application distributes calls, features, phones, regions, and groups over an IP network.
•Cisco Unity—The Cisco Unity messaging application provides voice messaging to enterprise communications.
•Video—IP-TV and IP-video conferencing products enable distance learning and workgroup collaboration.
•Cisco Unified IP IVR—As an IP-powered interactive voice response (IVR) solution, Cisco Unified IP IVR, combined with Cisco IP AutoAttendant, provides an open and feature-rich foundation for delivering IVR solutions over an IP network.
•Cisco Unified CallManager Attendant Console—This flexible and scalable application replaces the traditional PBX manual attendant console.
•Cisco IP SoftPhone—The Cisco IP SoftPhone, a software, computer-based phone, provides communication capabilities that increase efficiency and promote collaboration.
•Cisco Personal Assistant—Cisco Personal Assistant selectively handles calls and helps you make outgoing calls. Cisco Personal Assistant provides rule-based call routing, speech-enabled directory dialing, voice message browsing, and simple ad hoc conferencing.
Cisco Unified CallManager, a software-only call-processing application, distributes calls and features and clusters phones, regions, and groups over an IP network, which allows scalability to 30,000 users and triple call-processing redundancy.
Cisco Unified CallManager provides signaling and call-control services to Cisco-integrated applications, as well as to third-party applications.
The following list shows the components of the infrastructure layer of Cisco IP telephony:
•Media convergence servers
•General voice products for Cisco Unified Communications Solutions
•Integrated IP telephony solution
•Toll bypass products
•IP protocols such as MGCP, H.323, and SIP
Cisco delivers the following IP-enabled communication devices:
•Cisco Unified IP Phone 7970
•Cisco Unified IP Phone 7960
•Cisco Unified IP Phone 7940
•Cisco Unified IP Phone 7912
•Cisco Unified IP Phone 7910
•Cisco Unified IP Phone 7905
•Cisco Unified IP Phone 7902
•Cisco Unified IP Conference Station 7936
•Cisco IP Conference Station 7935
•Cisco IP SoftPhone
•Cisco Unified IP Phone Expansion Module 7914
Cisco Unified Communications Network
The Cisco Unified Communications network includes the following components:
•Cisco Unified CallManager
•Cisco Unified IP Phones
•Media Termination Point (MTP)
•Music On Hold (MOH)
•Inline power modules (10/100 Ethernet switching modules)
•Cisco IP SoftPhone
Control from the Cisco Unified IP Phone to Cisco Unified CallManager uses skinny client control protocol and, independently, desktop computer to Cisco Unified CallManager, as an H.323 gatekeeper that is using H.225/H.245 over transmission control protocol (TCP).
Where to Find More Information
•System Configuration Overview
•Understanding Cisco Unified CallManager Voice Gateways, page 36-1
•Transcoders, page 22-1
•Conference Bridges, page 21-1
Additional Cisco Documentation
•Cisco Unified CallManager Configuration, Cisco Unified CallManager Administration Guide
•Device Defaults Configuration, Cisco Unified CallManager Administration Guide
•Cisco Unified IP Phone Configuration, Cisco Unified CallManager Administration Guide
•Gateway Configuration, Cisco Unified CallManager Administration Guide
•Transcoder Configuration, Cisco Unified CallManager Administration Guide
•Conference Bridge Configuration, Cisco Unified CallManager Administration Guide
•Cisco Unified CallManager Features and Services Guide
•Cisco Unified Communications Solution Reference Network Design
•Cisco Unified IP Phone user and administration documentation