This chapter provides information about the Cisco Unified Communications Manager (formerly Cisco Unified CallManager) which serves as the software-based, call-processing component of Cisco Unified Communications. The Cisco Unified Communications Applications Server provides a high-availability server platform for Cisco Unified Communications Manager call processing, services, and applications.
The Cisco Unified Communications Manager system extends enterprise telephony features and functions to packet telephony network devices such as IP phones, media processing devices, voice-over-IP (VoIP) gateways, and multimedia applications. Additional data, voice, and video services, such as unified messaging, multimedia conferencing, collaborative contact centers, and interactive multimedia response systems, interact through Cisco Unified Communications Manager open telephony application program interface (API).
Cisco Unified Communications Manager provides signaling and call control services to Cisco integrated telephony applications as well as to third-party applications. It performs the following primary functions:
Signaling and device control
Dial plan administration
Phone feature administration
Operations, administration, management, and provisioning (OAM&P)
Programming interface to external voice-processing applications such as Cisco IP Communicator, Cisco Unified IP Interactive Voice Response (IP IVR), and Cisco Unified Communications Manager Attendant Console
Cisco Unified Communications Manager as an Appliance
Cisco Unified Communications Manager works as an Appliance on a non-Windows-based Operating System. The Cisco Unified Communications Manager appliance refers to the following functions:
Works on a specific hardware platform(s) that Cisco specifies and supplies and, in some cases, the customer supplies
Works in a carefully controlled software environment that Cisco specifies and installs
Includes all software that is required to operate, maintain, secure, and manage servers
Outputs a variety of management parameters via a published interface to provide information to approved management applications such as, but not limited to, NetIQ Vivinet Manager, HP Openview, and Integrated Research Prognosis
Operates in a headless manner (without keyboard, mouse, or VGA monitor support) or (in the case of some of the hardware platforms) in a headed manner (with keyboard, mouse, and monitor)
Ethernet to the network
Web interface for Platform and Cisco Unified Communications Manager Administration
Command Line Interface (CLI) based platform shell for administrator use
APIs such as JTAPI, AXL/SOAP, and SNMP for third-party application and management support
Cisco Unified Communications Manager servers get preinstalled with software to ease customer and partner deployment and automatically search for updates and notify administrators when key security fixes and software upgrades are available for their system. This process comprises Electronic Software Delivery.
You can upgrade Cisco Unified Communications Manager servers while they continue to process calls, so upgrades takes place with minimal downtime.
Cisco Unified Communications Manager supports the Asian and Middle Eastern markets by providing support for Unicode on higher resolution phone displays.
The Cisco Unified Communications Manager system includes a suite of integrated voice applications that perform voice conferencing and manual attendant console functions. Supplementary and enhanced services such as hold, transfer, forward, conference, multiple-line appearances, automatic route selection, speed dial, last-number redial, and other features extend to IP phones and gateways. Because Cisco Unified Communications Manager is a software application, enhancing its capabilities in production environments requires only upgrading software on the server platform, thereby avoiding expensive hardware upgrade costs.
Distribution of Cisco Unified Communications Manager and all Cisco Unified IP Phones, gateways, and applications across an IP network provides a distributed, virtual telephony network. This architecture improves system availability and scalability. Call admission control ensures that voice quality of service (QoS) is maintained across constricted WAN links and automatically diverts calls to alternate public switched telephone network (PSTN) routes when WAN bandwidth is not available.
A web-browsable interface to the configuration database provides the capability for remote device and system configuration. This interface also provides access to HTML-based online help for users and administrators.