Cisco® Unified Communications Solutions unify voice, video, data, and mobile applications on fixed and mobile networks, delivering a media-rich collaboration experience across business, government agency, and institutional workspaces. These applications use the network as the platform to enhance comparative advantage by accelerating decision time and reducing transaction time. The security, resilience, and scalability of the network enable users in any workspace to easily connect anywhere, anytime, and anyplace, using any media, device, or operating system. Cisco Unified Communications is part of a comprehensive solution that includes network infrastructure, security, wireless, management applications, lifecycle services, flexible deployment and outsourced management options, and third-party applications.
Cisco Unified Communications Manager (formerly known as Cisco Unified CallManager) is the powerful call-processing component of the Cisco Unified Communications system. It is a scalable, distributable, and highly available enterprise IP telephony call-processing solution. Customer needs are continually evolving, and Cisco Unified Communications Manager evolves to meet those needs. Version 6.1 of Cisco Unified Communications Manager includes features that will benefit enterprise-sized business customers as well as smaller businesses by increasing collaboration and access to resources.
What's New in Cisco Unified Communications Manager 6.1
Cisco Unified Communications Manager, Version 6.1 adds to the innovation brought forth in earlier versions through a set of new features. The features deliver the high end call processing that enables benefits such as cost savings, productivity, and process transformation that organizations have come to expect of Cisco Unified Communications Manager.
Faster Access, Improved Collaboration
Cisco Unified Communications Manager 6.1 introduces two new features that help increase collaboration and improve access to coworkers. The first one is the Join Across Lines feature for connecting multiple calls or conferences and the second is a Single Button Barge feature that allows authorized users to enter a call as an additional party by pressing a single key.
Join Across Lines
When the Join Across Lines feature is enabled, users can join calls across different lines that appear on their phone. The feature enables the executive staff and other users to swiftly connect different parties into a conversation.
A further refinement of this feature is a "join-pending" mode. This mode is invoked through a softkey when there is only one joinable call in progress. In join-pending mode, the primary user is prompted to join more calls and may complete the joining process as additional calls come in or are dialed out.
With the Join Across Lines feature, conference chaining is also possible. When two or more calls are already in a conference, users can chain together conference calls that appear on their phones.
Single Button Barge
When the Single Button Barge feature is enabled, end users can press a single line key to join a call in progress. If the line has multiple calls connected, then the authorized users can view the calls simultaneously on the phone screen and determine which one to enter.
Performance Improvements to Existing Features
The 6.1 release of Cisco Unified Communications Manager also offers the following performance improvements on the infrastructure side, enabling a more a robust platform for delivering an efficient and cost-effective communications infrastructure for organizations.
• Callback support for voice gateways: Cisco Unified Communications Manager has long supported automated callbacks where, for example, Caller A calls Recipient B and, finding B is busy on another call, activates a callback feature for automated connection to whenever B is available. Such a callback feature is now also available for analog phones in addition to Cisco IP phones. To avoid situations where, for instance, Caller A might be busy on another line when the callback is activated, the callback feature now withholds the call initiation until Caller A is able to receive the callback.
• Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) trunk device identification: Cisco Unified Communications Manager 6.1 offers improved call admission control (CAC), media resource selection, call routing, and codec selection through better identification of devices on SIP trunks. Instead of relying on IP address and signaling port, Cisco Unified Communications Manager is now able to better identify a device on a SIP trunk even when a SIP proxy is inserted into the signaling path. The early detection allows for more optimal use of the bandwidth and network resources.
Localization and Security Enhancements
Thai and Turkish localization is now supported on Cisco Unified Communications Manager 6.1 and the Cisco Unified IP Phone 7911G, 7941G, 7961G, 7970G, and 7971G models.
A newer version of Cisco Security Agent 5.2 is available on Cisco Unified Communications Manager 6.1 to monitor and manage security threats. Cisco Security Agent software provides threat protection for server, desktop, and Point-of-Service (POS) computing systems. This security software goes beyond conventional endpoint security solutions by providing an industry-leading defense against targeted attacks, spyware, rootkits, and day-zero attacks.
Features and Benefits
Cisco Unified Communications Manager 6.1 builds on 6.0 by continuing to support the following features.
Simplified Access to Powerful Call Processing and Messaging for Medium-Sized Businesses
Medium-sized business customers will benefit from the ability to run Cisco Unified Communications Manager and Cisco Unity® Connection on a single Cisco Media Convergence Server. This compact solution offers reduced complexity and management by providing a single server for powerful call control and voice messaging requirements. Targeted for customers requiring support of 150 to 500 users, this solution is designed for simplicity and includes an easy-to-use configuration tool. Cisco Unified Communications channel partners will particularly benefit from the new import/export tool, which allows creation of formulaic configurations that can be duplicated, reducing installation time.
For businesses with mobile workers, Cisco Unified Communications Manager 6.1 supports Cisco Unified Mobility. Two key features introduced earlier in Version 6 include the integration of the Cisco Mobile Connect feature into Cisco Unified Communications Manager software, and the support of dual-mode devices. Because the Cisco Mobile Connect function is now native to Cisco Unified Communications Manager software, customers no longer need to purchase the Cisco Mobile Connect application separately - eliminating the need for an additional server.
With the integrated Cisco Unified Mobility feature, organizations can take advantage of their investment in call-processing technology to deliver a host of productivity benefits to both mobile and non-mobile workers. Following are some of the Cisco Unified Mobility capabilities that enable workers to use devices most convenient for the task, regardless of their location.
• Single Number Reach and a single business voice mailbox: Cisco Unified Mobility allows workers to consolidate all their incoming business calls into a single business phone number and receive them wherever they are working. If mobile workers are unable to answer a call, Cisco Unified Mobility stores the unanswered calls in a single business voice mailbox on the Cisco Unity® system or other business voicemail system. With Cisco Unified Mobility, workers no longer have to share multiple phone numbers with business contacts or check multiple voice mailboxes.
• Transparent movement during ongoing calls: Mobile workers in the office often prefer using a speakerphone or other IP phone services on their Cisco Unified IP phone at their desk. Cisco Unified Mobility provides transparent transition of ongoing calls from mobile phones to desk phones, and conversely, so workers can continue a conversation without needing to hang up even when they switch phones. This approach takes advantage of least-cost routing of mobile calls across the company's IP communications infrastructure while in the office.
Support for dual-mode devices will benefit mobile users who move between wireless campus environments and external cellular network environments. These devices can manually transfer calls from a cellular Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) network to an 802.11-based wireless LAN.
Cisco offers two deployment models for Cisco Unified Communications Manager: Version 4.3 on the Windows 2003 OS, and Versions 5.x and 6.x as a Linux-based appliance model implementation. Existing customers using earlier versions of Cisco CallManager 4.1 and 4.2 can upgrade directly to Cisco Unified Communications Manager 6.1.
Cisco and its certified partners can help you deploy a secure, resilient Cisco Unified Communications solution, meeting aggressive deployment schedules and accelerating business advantage. Cisco's portfolio of services is based on proven methodologies for unifying voice, video, data, and mobile applications on fixed and mobile networks.
Cisco's unique lifecycle approach to services defines the requisite activities at each phase of the solution lifecycle. Customized planning and design services focus on creating a solution that meets your business needs. Award-winning technical support increases operational efficiency. Remote management services simplify day-to-day operations, and optimization services enhance solution performance as your business needs change.