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Cisco Hosted Collaboration Solution Overview

Networking Solution Solution Overview

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Updated:August 26, 2019

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  • PDF
    (521.8 KB)
    View with Adobe Reader on a variety of devices
Updated:August 26, 2019


Think about how the way you work has evolved. Chances are it’s no longer 9 to 5. And it’s not all in one office. Work today requires collaboration and involves teams that are spread across continents and time zones. Organizations everywhere are seeking stronger employee engagement and customer experiences to enable more productivity and greater business agility. More effective collaboration helps organizations work smarter. To achieve such high levels of collaboration and productivity, people use a variety of collaboration tools: IP telephony for voice calling, web and video conferencing, voice mail, mobility, desktop sharing, instant messaging and presence, and more. Unified Communications (UC) solutions deliver integration of these tools to help people work together more effectively. The Cisco® Hosted Collaboration Solution (HCS) incorporates industry-leading Cisco cloud collaboration applications and services to bring real-time, integrated communications from phone and conferencing solutions together with messaging, chat, and more, including everyday business applications via API integration. Cisco HCS and the Cisco UC applications provide seamless user experiences for end customers. Cisco cloud provider partners can implement Cisco HCS for end customers as a partner-hosted solution or a partner managed solution in a subscription-based-as-a-service (UCaaS). Anywhere, on any device.

End-customer benefits

Cisco HCS is a hosted private unified communications offering that incorporates Cisco’s comprehensive, industry-leading collaboration services for organizations as a cloud service, hosted and delivered by partners that are certified to offer Cisco Powered cloud services. As a result, HCS provides the flexibility and security of a dedicated Cisco premises solution while being available globally. Cisco HCS offers your organization the following benefits:


Free up IT resources to focus on strategic priorities. Pay for what you need with a simple monthly subscription. Realize predictable costs as you shift from Capital Expenditures (CapEx) to Operational Expenditures (OpEx).


Easily scale up to extend secure collaboration services quicker to align with fast-moving business needs.


Empower employees to reach new levels of productivity and innovation by providing the broadest portfolio of collaboration applications with the latest capabilities.

If you are already using Cisco Unified Communications Manager (UCM) on-premises, you can maintain the same familiar user interfaces and experiences, reducing training and deployment costs as you transition to HCS to benefit from the cloud model.

Significant features and capabilities of Cisco HCS include:

     Industry-leading UC services - Get all the capabilities of UCM hosted in our partners’ clouds

     Endpoint choice - Cisco HCS supports the full line of Cisco voice and video endpoints, including Cisco Jabber®

     Deployment customization and flexibility - A dedicated, virtualized instance of UCM allows you to set a class of restrictions, deploy flexibility with dial plans, and more

     Interoperability - Cisco HCS is standards-based and open, enabling seamless integration with existing third-party systems and applications

     Data sovereignty - Cisco HCS is hosted in over 50 countries, helping to meet compliance and regulatory requirements

     Proven - Introduced in 2011, Cisco HCS is used by more than six million people and deployed at thousands of customer sites worldwide

Figure 1 outlines the many Cisco HCS deployment options available.


Figure 1.           

Cisco HCS deployment options.

Cisco unified communications and collaboration

Cisco HCS incorporates the following applications to support real-time unified communications with seamless user experiences that foster collaboration, improve productivity, and help people work together more effectively:

     Cisco Unified Communications Manager

     Cisco Unity® Connection

     Cisco Unified Presence with Cisco Jabber messaging

     Cisco Mobility clients

     Cisco Webex® Meeting Center

     Cisco Webex Teams

     Cisco Unified Contact Center

     Cisco Unified Enterprise Attendant Console

     Third-party business solutions integrated via APIs

Delivered through flexible Cisco Cloud and Data Center Validated Designs

A Cisco Validated Design (CVD) is a specific bundle of products—Cisco products as well as products from our partners—designed to address the business needs of customers. CVDs are created based on Cisco’s observation of market trends and inside knowledge of future directions of Cisco and its partners. As a complete solution, each CVD consists of both hardware and software. Implementing a CVD optimizes the capabilities of the Cisco HCS components to maximize speed, performance, stability, and reliability. Most important, each CVD has been extensively tested, validated, and documented. The CVDs were designed to facilitate faster, more reliable, and more predictable customer deployments.

In addition to CVDs, employing the Cisco SAFE Security architecture bolsters the security strategy of the deployments. The Cisco SAFE security reference architecture model helps to ensure a secure infrastructure design for the edge, branch, data center, campus, cloud, and WAN. The framework encompasses operational domains such as management, security intelligence, compliance, segmentation, threat defense, and secure services.

Cisco HCS system capacity that is deployed upon these architectures is determined by system performance requirements rather than by strict limits. Overall system performance is impacted by key parameters such as customer size, network topology, subscriber feature profile, redundancy, and call profile. Dedicated virtual applications per customer and separation of network and data traffic secures the end customer’s applications and helps to ensure that the traffic is coming only from trusted customers.

These capabilities are delivered via a combination of the Cisco Unified Computing System (Cisco UCS®), VMware vSphere, Fibre Channel SAN storage, and Cisco Nexus® switching platforms. Figure 2 shows these components in a data center model.


Figure 2.           

Cisco HCS data center architecture

Connected through a service provider system architecture

Cisco’s cloud-to-client approach unifies multivendor solutions into a streamlined open network architecture that is simple, resilient, and automation-ready. Migration to Cisco HCS offers several benefits. Customers can:

     Extend collaboration applications to anyone, anywhere

     Free up IT resources to focus on core business

     Increase agility to quickly scale

     Minimize or eliminate capital expenses in favor of one monthly fee

     Reduce Total Cost of Ownership (TCO)

     Replace an aging voice or video communication system

Execute strategies using differentiators

Cisco partners can increase customer value by building upon the Cisco HCS foundation with their own products and services, differentiating themselves in the collaboration market.

Cisco partners can deliver a consistent user experience across the three main consumption models (customer premises, hybrid, and cloud). Partners can also offer the full collaboration portfolio from the cloud (software as a service).

Finally, partners can deliver higher levels of service and faster deployment times for customers.

Capitalize on the cloud market transition

With hosted collaboration, partners can deliver the most up-to-date collaboration services, everywhere. Partners can employ the growing portfolio of Cisco Collaboration applications, which are delivered from a single infrastructure and architecture. As a result, partners can spend minimal time and effort deploying and upgrading applications and avoid the risk of technology obsolescence.

Cisco HCS partners use mobility solutions and a variety of deployment models, including private cloud and managed services. Enterprise service delivery is carrier-grade on a virtualized architecture that supports collaboration services and maintains high security, flexibility, and application functionality.

An end-to-end validated management system, designed for cloud services, is utilized to oversee the Cisco HCS service.

Increase market strength and differentiation

Cisco HCS partners are leading the market transitions of both cloud and collaboration. The Cisco Cloud Partner Program is helping to cloud-enable all unified communications and collaboration partners. The program also helps partners expand and grow through relationships with one another.

Cisco is committed to our partners, and to promoting partner flexibility and encouraging partners to build upon their relative positions of strength.

Cisco quality

Implementing Cisco HCS helps to ensure continued enhancements to the solution and the collaboration applications, guided by the following principles. Cisco is committed to:

     Delivering new, improved user experiences

     Simplifying administration and lowering the cost of ownership

     Enhancing security and compliance

Cisco releases updates to the Cisco HCS in conjunction with new releases of applications, so partners and end customers always have access to the latest collaboration software and solution features.


The Cisco Hosted Collaboration Solution supports the delivery of Cisco collaboration applications in on-premises, hybrid, and cloud models. These models allow certified HCS partners to create differentiated service bundles and additional revenue streams while lowering investment risk and improving operational efficiency. This approach helps ensure that collaboration services can be delivered at the lowest cost to the customer.

For more information

For more information about the Cisco Hosted Collaboration Solution, visit: https://www.cisco.com/go/hcs.

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