Cisco Systems® continues to provide customers with innovations that extend Cisco® Unified Communications to customers of all sizes, including small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs). New features of the Cisco Unified Communications solution are discussed in this bulletin. An open and extensible platform for real-time communications, the Cisco Unified Communications system provides structure and intelligence that helps organizations integrate their communications more closely with business processes, and ensure information reaches recipients quickly through the most appropriate medium. Cisco Unified Communications are an integral component of the Cisco Service-Oriented Network Architecture (SONA), allowing organizations to optimize applications, processes, and resources to deliver greater business benefits.
This product bulletin provides:
• A list of new and enhanced Cisco Unified Communications products and enhancements
• A summary of benefits to customers, prospects, and channel partners
• Target customers
• New product and enhancement summaries
New and Enhanced Cisco Unified Communications Products and Enhancements
Cisco announces the following new and enhanced Cisco Unified Communications products to more effectively connect people and improve their communications experience:
• Cisco Unified Communications applications:
– Cisco Unified CallConnector - New
– Cisco Unified Application Environment - New
– Cisco Unified MeetingPlace® 5.4(1)
– Cisco Unified MeetingPlace Express 1.1(3) and 1.2
– Cisco Unified Videoconferencing Manager - New
– Cisco Unity® Connection 1.2(1)
• IP telephony - Call control and phones
– Managed IP communications services based on Cisco Unified CallManager Express
– Cisco Unified PhoneProxy - New
– Cisco Unified CallManager 5.1
– Cisco Unified IP Phone 7931G - New
– Arc Express Attendant Console
• Customer contact
– Cisco Unified Customer Voice Portal (CVP) 4.0
– Cisco Unified Contact Center Enterprise and Hosted 7.1.2
• Overall unified communications management
– Cisco Unified Operations Manager 2.0
– Cisco Unified Service Monitor 2.0
• Communications infrastructure
– Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) trunking on IP-to-IP gateway
– Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series and Cisco 7600 Series Communication Media Module
• Enhancing collaboration solutions to enable more effective communications
New features announced in this bulletin extend presence-based communications to small businesses. In addition, secure access for remote users to Cisco Unified CallManager from remotely deployed Cisco phones via a gateway appliance.
• Continuing to enhance user experience for end users and system managers
As unified communications continue to be adopted by customers, tight integration and easy access to rich-media services is critical. This announcement introduces new and updated features to Cisco Unified Communications applications that simplify access to these innovative new services. In addition, unified communications management and ordering has been further simplified, smoothing the way for customers to take advantage of the benefits of improved communications.
• Increasing customer flexibility and choice through third-party interworking
Support is now introduced for additional third-party applications and services, and support is enhanced for some existing third-party applications. This support is based on standards-based interworking mechanisms, including SIP, giving customers increased flexibility to build communications solutions that are customized to their own business communications requirements.
• Increasing scalability of Cisco Unified Communications applications to reach customers of all sizes
With this announcement, several Cisco Unified Communications applications have expanded their scalability parameters, broadening the reach of unified communications benefits to a broader user base.
Benefits to Cisco Channel Partners
Cisco offers its channel partners a valuable partnership, in which Cisco directs the marketing for unified communications solutions. The new products and enhancements to Cisco Unified Communications included in this announcement offer the following benefits to Cisco channel partners:
• Expand business with new and existing Cisco Unified Communications customers, especially small businesses, through enhanced presence-based and rich media.
• Enable new applications to enhance customers' business communications and provide new service opportunities for deploying and integrating third-party applications.
• Deliver to customers a tightly integrated, more manageable, more scalable solution, broadening the reach to a wider customer base.
In addition to providing market-leading expertise in business communications solutions, Cisco channel partner programs are award-winning programs that include targeted training programs, sales tools, marketing programs, lifecycle services, and industry-leading support.
Cisco Unified Communications is applicable for customers who need to engage in effective communications with their employees, their partners, and their customers. The system spans the commercial and enterprise market segments, from small, single-site customers through large, geographically distributed enterprises. Customers can choose the products that meet their needs from within the full suite of products.
Customers of all sizes will benefit from the new products and features that are introduced with this announcement. Highlights include:
SMBs will be particularly interested in many of the new features that will increase the efficiency of their communications, including support for new streamlined dialing and presence indicators, and increased functions in a mobile environment available with Cisco Unified CallConnector available on Cisco Unified CallManager Express. Additionally, small businesses will appreciate the convenience of the new Cisco Unified IP Phone 7931G, which provides 24 lighted line keys and four interactive soft keys that guide users through call features and functions. This phone will complement the Arc Express Attendant Console for Cisco Unified CallManager Express, a PC-based attendant console developed by Arc Solutions that is now available through the Cisco SolutionsPlus program.
• Large, multisite businesses
Large and multisite customers will want to take advantage of new features introduced to facilitate communications in the Cisco Unified MeetingPlace and Cisco Unity portfolio of products. Cisco Unified Operations Manager 2.0 and Cisco Unified Service Monitor 2.0 provide additional tools for simplifying communications system management. Customers who are interested in developing customized applications will want to take advantage of the new Cisco Unified Applications Environment for a simple, quick applications development toolkit.
• Contact center environments
Enhancements to the Cisco Unified Contact Center portfolio include simplified management and operations applications, improved service creation capabilities, and increased scalability across the following solutions:
– Cisco Unified Customer Voice Portal
– Cisco Unified Contact Center Enterprise and Hosted
Enhancement highlights include the following: Cisco Unified Customer Voice Portal, which provides automated speech-based self-service for contact centers, improving upon its market-leading capabilities with the introduction of Release 4.0. Cisco Unified Customer Voice Portal 4.0 provides a superior level of automated speech self-service capabilities with the availability of enhanced operations, administration, management, and provisioning (OAM&P) applications. In addition, Cisco Unified Customer Voice Portal 4.0 also improves the service creation environment, leading to increased productivity and personalization of speech self-service deployments. Cisco Unified Contact Center Enterprise and Hosted both provide increased scalability for large, enterprise-wide deployments to reliably support virtualized contact center environments. These enhancements and others detailed in the following sections validate Cisco's continued leadership in contact center innovation and vision.
Cisco Unified CallConnector is a new application supported on Cisco Unified CallManager Express Version 4.0. It features an easy-to-use toolbar in Microsoft Outlook and Internet Explorer that enables users to streamline the communications experience and facilitate collaboration. Users can click-to-dial from personal or corporate contacts, connecting with colleagues more quickly by seeing their "presence" or availability and preferences for communication. Inbound screen pops allow users to answer calls or forward them to voicemail using the click of a computer mouse for more efficient call handling.
Planned availability for Cisco Unified CallConnector is Q4 CY2006.
Cisco provides the industry's first and only complete unified communications application environment. The Cisco Unified Application Environment enables the rapid development, reliable execution, and automated management of applications that converge voice and video with enterprise applications and data. Organizations can use these new converged applications to improve communications, transform business processes, and create competitive advantage. The Cisco Unified Application Environment includes the following tightly integrated products: Cisco Unified Application Designer, Cisco Unified Application Server, and Cisco Unified Media Engine.
The Cisco Unified MeetingPlace solution is a complete rich-media conferencing solution that integrates voice, video, and Web conferencing capabilities to make remote meetings as natural and effective as face-to-face meetings. Cisco Unified MeetingPlace 5.4 delivers enhanced video functions to better meet the needs of organizations looking for a single enterprise-class solution and user environment for simple and effective voice, video, and Web conferencing. The release adds industry-leading video setup and control capabilities to deliver greater video scalability, flexibility, security, and ease of use.
Cisco Unified MeetingPlace 5.4 also adds a new integration with the Jabber Extensible Communications Platform (XCP) solution that enables users to launch conferences directly from the Jabber Messenger client and an enhanced IBM Lotus Notes integration that enables setup and attendance of Cisco Unified MeetingPlace voice and IBM Lotus SameTime Web conferences.
Cisco Unified MeetingPlace Express is an integrated voice and Web conferencing solution that is deployed over internal networks. The solution provides simple and powerful conferencing functions to enable users to conduct highly productive virtual meetings.
Cisco Unified MeetingPlace Express 1.1.3 increases the system capacity from 120 to 200 concurrent voice users to meet the needs of larger organizations. Cisco Unified MeetingPlace 1.2 integrates Cisco Unified MeetingPlace Express into a Microsoft Outlook user environment, making it simple to set up and attend integrated voice and Web conferences directly from an Outlook calendar.
Cisco Unified MeetingPlace Express VT 1.2 is a new deployment option that provides impromptu (nonscheduled) voice, video, and Web conferencing. The solution is designed for organizations looking to add simple, low-cost multipoint conferencing to their Cisco video telephony environment. The new deployment option supports impromptu conferences initiated from Skinny Call Control Protocol (SCCP) endpoints, such as Cisco Unified Video Advantage, and from Cisco Unified Personal Communicator.
Planned availability for Cisco Unified MeetingPlace Express 1.1.3 and 1.2 is Q4 CY2006.
The Cisco Unified Videoconferencing Manager facilitates face-to-face discussions among video conference participants using a wide variety of video-enabled devices. The Cisco Unified Videoconferencing Manager connects three or more H.323, SIP, or SCCP video conference endpoints in a single, multiparticipant meeting.
The Cisco Unified Videoconferencing Manager is a single application that enables organizations to easily set up and control Cisco Unified Videoconferencing conferences. The solution also provides functions to configure, manage, and monitor video conferencing network elements for an optimal visual communications experience.
• Simple setup and attendance-Schedule future and initiate impromptu video conferences from Web browsers and Microsoft Outlook calendars. The application reserves multipoint-control-unit (MCU) capacity, bandwidth, and video endpoints that are automatically connected when the meeting starts.
• Advanced conference control-Invite new participants, mute and unmute participants, and change the video layout.
• Comprehensive administration-Monitor, control, and maintain all video endpoints and network elements, including Cisco Unified Videoconferencing MCUs and gateways.
• Simplify large deployments-The application enables accessing of multiple MCUs and gateways by a single number and manages MCU selection and cascading to optimize resources and enable highly scalable conferences.
Planned availability for the Cisco Unified Videoconferencing Manager is Q4 CY2006.
Cisco Unity Connection is a voice messaging application that provides an intuitive telephone interface, voice-enabled dialing, voice-enabled control of messages, and desktop PC access to voice messages through an e-mail client. It is a core component of midmarket and small enterprise voice systems. New features introduced with Cisco Unity Connection Version 1.2 include:
• Voice-enabled directory handlers that now enable users to search for subscribers using the voice user interface
• Voice-enabled management of greetings
• Voice addressing of messages using personal and private distribution lists
• Increase of scalability to 3000 mailboxes, 1500 Internet Mail Access Protocol (IMAP) subscribers (for desktop message access), and 48 voice ports
• Inclusion of caller ID and subscriber name with text-based message notifications
• Support for groupwise e-mail clients for desktop messaging
• Localized voice prompts and end users' Web interfaces for UK English, Australian English, French, German, Japanese, Italian, Latin American Spanish, Chinese, Dutch, Arabic, and Swedish
Managed IP Communications Services Based on Cisco Unified CallManager Express
Managed IP communications services based on Cisco Unified CallManager Express technology provide SMBs with a cost-effective yet feature-rich IP telephony solution. By integrating voice and data applications, this customer premises equipment (CPE)-based solution equips employees with the enterprise-class functions needed to work more productively, creating the business advantages that SMBs are striving to achieve at affordable prices. The solution architecture is being enhanced by the inclusion of the Cisco Multiservice IP-to-IP Gateway, which offers more functions and greater flexibility in billing, security, Call Admission Control, quality of service, and signaling interworking. The robust support for SIP trunks that this solution offers now allows customers to take advantage of integrated offerings from Cisco IP Communications- and Cisco IP Communications Express-certified value-added resellers (VARs). These new offerings integrate T1 access solutions with Cisco Unified CallManager Express and will be sold, delivered, and supported by the VAR. CBeyond's BeyondVoice integrated T1 solution is one such access solution that has been tested as compatible with Cisco Unified CallManager Express and can be offered as part of the VAR's integrated solution.
Managed IP communications services based on Cisco Unified CallManager Express is available today.
Cisco Unified PhoneProxy solves critical problems related to mobility, security, and access management for companies that have adopted the Cisco Unified Communications platform. Cisco Unified PhoneProxy secures IP phones deployed to employees' homes and other remote locations without the need for a VPN router. It also secures traffic from Cisco Unified Communicator as it crosses from the data VLAN into the voice VLAN to proxy and protect Cisco Unified CallManager from security threats.
Planned availability for Cisco Unified PhoneProxy is Q4 CY2006.
Building on Cisco Unified CallManager Version 5.0, which includes new support for line-side SIP, presence, and appliance model capabilities, Cisco Unified CallManager 5.1 offers additional new features, while enhancing existing ones, to deliver a robust communications solution globally for large, medium, and small organizations.
The Cisco Unified CallManager 5.1 offers more features to enable localization and organizational productivity. In addition to Chinese, Korean, and Japanese introduced in Version 5.0, Cisco Unified CallManager 5.1 now supports Arabic as well. Scalability of the Cisco MCS 7815 Media Convergence Server is enhanced to support a maximum of 500 devices. In addition, Cisco Unified CallManager has enhanced the ability to immediately divert an incoming call or an in-progress call to voicemail. This feature has been enhanced to address transferred calls as well. Users now have the option to forward calls that have been transferred to them either to their own voicemail or to the voicemail of the original transferring party.
Customers who are currently using Cisco Unified CallManager 5.0 and 4.1 can migrate to Cisco Unified CallManager 5.1.
Planned availability for Cisco Unified CallManager 5.1 is Q4 CY2006.
The Cisco Unified IP Phone 7931G is the latest Cisco full-featured IP phone, providing functions that are commonly needed in the commercial and retail environments. This phone provides 24 lighted line keys and four interactive soft keys that guide users through call features and functions. In addition, it provides hard hold, redial, and transfer keys to facilitate simple and rapid call handling. It shares many industrial design features of the highly successful Cisco Unified IP Phone 7900 Series portfolio, but has a distinct industrial design to suit specific needs.
The Cisco Unified IP Phone 7931G is shipping today with Cisco Unified CallManager Express. Future releases of Cisco Unified CallManager will include support for Cisco Unified IP Phone 7931G.
Cisco Systems® is pleased to announce the availability of the Arc Express Attendant Console for Cisco® Unified CallManager Express. Arc Express, a PC-based attendant console developed by Arc Solutions and offered through the Cisco SolutionsPlus program, is now available worldwide through the Cisco price list to all Cisco IP Communications and IP Communications Express Specialized Partners.
Arc Express offers a scalable, modular solution for small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) wishing to enhance services to inbound callers. Arc Express supports up to four attendants, offering attendant resource appropriate for a fully populated Cisco Unified CallManager Express system of up to 240 phones.
Cisco Unified Customer Voice Portal, which provides automated speech-based self-service for contact centers, improves upon its market-leading capabilities with the introduction of Release 4.0. Cisco Unified Customer Voice Portal 4.0 focuses on enhancing the user's experience by providing numerous improvements, including the following:
• Improved service creation capabilities
• SIP call control
• OAM&P enhancements
• Reporting enhancements
• Support for Voice Extensible Markup Language (VoiceXML) 2.1 and Media Resource Control Protocol Version 2 (MRCPv2)
Cisco Unified Contact Center Enterprise and Hosted are shipping today.
Overall Unified Communications Management
Cisco Unified Operations Manager 2.0 and Cisco Unified Service Monitor 2.0
Cisco Unified Operations Manager and Cisco Unified Service Monitor are part of the Cisco Unified Communications Management Suite that provides a unified view of the entire Cisco Unified Communications infrastructure. The latest enhancements to Cisco Unified Operations Manager 2.0 and Cisco Unified Service Monitor 2.0 include the following:
• Modeling of trunk groups
Viewing the operational status and getting alerts and reports on usage can now be done at the trunk group level.
• K-factor support
Mean-opinion-score (MOS) information can now be received from the phone through Cisco Unified CallManager. Previous releases relied on the Cisco 1040 Sensors to collect real-time information from the switch to gather MOS score information. Now with the K-factor support, information can be gathered from the Cisco Unified CallManager after the call completes-enabling the customer to have a K-factor MOS score collection across the enterprise and use Cisco 1040 Sensors strategically for real-time data gathering.
• Additional tests
Cisco Unified Operations Manager has always had the ability to act like a phone to test functions. New tests have been added, such as the ability to perform end-to-end calls from two actual phones instead of requiring one end to be the Cisco Unified Operations Manager software. Other tests, such as phone registration, off-hook, conference calls, hold, park, transfer, as well as dial plan tests, etc., have been added to the list of tests the operations manager can invoke.
• Acceptance tests
Acceptance tests have been added to Cisco Unified Operations Manager. When deploying a new site (Day Zero) with Cisco Unified Communications, technical support teams want the ability to test to ensure that the configuration changes were successfully made, rather than being made aware that the changes were not successfully made through user complaints. Tests can be scheduled to run over the weekend or in the evening after moves, adds, or changes were made. This testing can find errors before users come to work in the morning to use their phones.
• Video endpoint enhancements
Cisco Unified Operations Manager can now automatically discover, report on, and generate alerts for video endpoints.
Planned availability for Cisco Unified Operations Manager 2.0 and Cisco Unified Service Monitor 2.0 is Q4 CY2006.
The Cisco Multiservice IP-to-IP Gateway is a session border controller (SBC) that interconnects independent VoIP networks for data, voice, and video transport. SBCs are critical components for scaling networks from islands within a single customer network to an end-to-end IP community. The Cisco Multiservice IP-to-IP Gateway is an integrated Cisco IOS® Software application that runs on the Cisco 2800 and 3800 Series Integrated Services Routers, Cisco 7200 Series Routers, and Cisco 7301 Routers, and Cisco AS5350XM and AS5400XM Universal Gateways.
The enhanced Cisco Multiservice IP-to-IP Gateway is used by service provider, enterprise, and commercial customers to interconnect SIP and H.323 voice and video networks to normalize SIP trunking. The Cisco Multiservice IP-to-IP Gateway provides support of supplementary services, dual tone multifrequency (DTMF) interworking, and extended SIP options for transparent connection between Cisco Unified Communications customer premises through a SIP trunk to a service provider.
The Cisco Managed SIP Trunking solution is a simple yet powerful interface between Cisco Unified CallManager Express and service providers. The solution empowers service providers and their VARs by providing an efficient and cost-effective solution to rapidly deploy and interconnect leading-edge Cisco Unified Communications solutions to the network.
The rich set of tools provided by the Cisco Managed SIP Trunking solution accelerates time to deploy and augments traditional public-switched-telephone-network (PSTN) interconnects with IP-based trunking, thus enabling service providers and VARs to roll out revenue-generating value-added services at a faster rate. Cisco products featured in the Cisco Managed SIP Trunking solution include the Cisco 2800 and 3800 Series Integrated Services Routers, the Cisco Multiservice IP-to-IP Gateway, the Cisco AS5000XM Series Universal Gateways and the Cisco IP Communications Express Quick Configuration Tool (QCT).
The Cisco Managed SIP Trunking and Cisco Multiservice IP-to-IP Gateway solutions are available now.
Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series and Cisco 7600 Series Communication Media Module
Cisco Communications Media Module (CMM-XM) is a new Cisco IOS Software-based high-performance voice service module for the Cisco Catalyst® 6500 Series and Cisco 7600 Series. The Cisco CMM-XM is an enhanced version of the Cisco Catalyst 6500 and Cisco 7600 Series Communication Media Module (CMM), with doubled DRAM and flash memories and higher-performance CPU. As a result, the Cisco CMM-XM Service Module processes more voice calls, and is highly scalable in enterprise voice deployments.
Planned availability for the Cisco CMM-XM is Q4 CY2006.
Channel Partner Tools
Cisco Solution Expert 3.4
Cisco Solution Expert, a design and quoting tool, is available to Cisco sales and partner system engineers who have Cisco Unified Communications specializations. Cisco Solution Expert guides users through the design process and offers the flexibility to create customized solutions consisting of products and supporting services. Solution deliverables include a bill of materials, Visio network diagram, design guides, and other information useful for deploying Cisco Unified Communications networks.
Cisco Solution Expert 3.4 supports most Cisco Unified Communication 5.1 products, and enhances usability with many new features that simplify solution design.
To access Cisco Solution Expert and for more information, go to http://www.cisco.com/go/sx. For an overview of how to use the tool, refer to the introductory PDF on the homepage.
Planned availability for Cisco Solution Expert is Q4 2006.
Cisco Quote Builder
Cisco Quote Builder produces a verified and orderable bill of materials with services and list prices, eliminating many of the steps needed to build an offer and reducing the time required to quote a solution from hours to minutes. Additionally, it reduces deployment risks because the solutions it creates are validated to meet common customer requirements. Enhancements to the Cisco Quote Builder with this announcement include global availability, improved user interface and flexibility, and expanded product coverage to include unified communications, wireless, and security technologies.
Cisco Quote Builder can be used to create and quote solutions for environments with up to 5 offices and 20 teleworkers, and up to 300 phones. It supports quotes that include Cisco Unified CallManager and Cisco Unified CallManager Express, as well as Cisco Unity Unified Messaging; Cisco Unity Voicemail, Cisco Unity Connection, and Cisco Unity Express; Cisco Unified IP Phones; Cisco wireless LAN access points, controllers, and wireless control systems; security, including Cisco ASA 5500 Series Adaptive Security Appliances, Cisco Security Agent, and Cisco NAC Appliance (Clean Access); and routing and switching to support the solutions.
The target user for Cisco QCT is the Cisco Unified Communications Express specialized reseller focusing on sales of IP telephony systems to commercial SMBs. By using Cisco QCT as part of their deployment methodology, Cisco resellers can improve their ability to achieve profitable sales of IP telephony systems to the commercial SMB market.
Cisco QCT 3.0 allows partners to use Microsoft Excel to save and import configurations, configure VLANs, autoreset, and enable advanced T1/E1 configurations, including SIP trunk provisioning with approved SIP providers.
Cisco Unified Communications Express Quick Configuration Tool 3.0 is available now.
For more information about the Cisco Unified Communications products and features mentioned in this product bulletin, visit http://www.cisco.com/go/unified or contact your local Cisco account representative.