Cisco Business Edition 7000 Packaged for the Enterprise
Cisco has introduced a new Business Edition platform that is packaged and price-optimized for enterprises with 1,000 to 5,000 users (although there is no enforced capacity limit). The new Business Edition 7000 comes preloaded with a number of Cisco unified communications (UC) and collaborative applications and is ready-to-run without the complex installation, setup and management typically associated with Cisco’s Unified Communications Manager and add-on collaborative solutions. In addition, scaling up to add more users, devices and applications is more easily accomplished due to the system’s modular, stackable design.
The Business Edition 7000 preloaded server sells for about $23,500, with licenses for users and applications sold separately.
Like its predecessor, the Business Edition 6000 designed for the mid-market (up to 1,000 users), the new Business Edition 7000 is a telephony and UC platform that uses VMware virtualization technology to consolidate multiple applications - voice, video, conferencing, messaging, instant messaging and presence, contact center and more - on a single platform for a lower total cost of ownership (TCO). Business Edition platforms also support high availability features for mission critical environments and utilize a centralized branch deployment architecture that unifies dispersed offices and remote employees into a single, cohesive system.
To be specific, Business Edition 7000 uses VMware virtualization technology to run multiple Cisco applications together on Cisco’s UCS C240 M3 rack servers. Typical deployments will include two to four physical servers with four to six application instances per server to accommodate an organization within the “sweet spot” of 1,000-5,000 users. There is no imposed maximum on physical servers, however, so it is possible to configure and run larger deployments by using more Business Edition servers. For example, a 30,000 phone IP telephony deployment would require 11 instances of Cisco Unified Communications Manager which could run on 4-5 Business Edition 7000 servers.
The following applications come preloaded on the Business Edition 7000. The first four applications listed (Unified Communications Manager, Unity Connection, Jabber and Prime Collaboration Provisioning) are considered “foundational” applications since these are typically used together to deliver core voice and UC features; the remaining applications complement the core applications and are available and ready-to-activate as needed. Note that the customer must separately purchase the licenses for users and applications (Cisco User Connect Licenses (UCL) and Unified Workspace Licensing or UWL) since no licensing included with the Business Edition 7000. (The earlier Business Edition 6000 differs in that it includes a reduced-price 25-user starter license bundle designed to help smaller companies adopt the solution more affordably.)
- Unified Communications Manager (call processing)
- Unity Connection (voice and unified messaging)
- Jabber (client portfolio for IM & Presence)
- Prime Collaboration Provisioning (initial provisioning and day-2 adjustments)
- Paging Server (point-to-point and group audio paging)
- Unified Contact Center Express (agent-based services, self-service applications, ACD, IVR, CTI)
- Unified Attendant Consoles (receptionist/operator solution for incoming calls)
- Emergency Responder (tracks and routes emergency calls to a Public Safety Answering Point)
- Expressway (advanced video integration; licensing included in some of the Cisco UWL options)
- Telepresence Conductor (conference resource management)
- TelePresence Video Communication Server (4-way HD video conferencing; shipping May 2014)
- TelePresence Server Virtual Machine (in next update)
- TelePresence Management Suite (in next update)
Additionally, Business Edition 7000 can integrate with Cisco's cloud-based WebEx Web conferencing and collaboration service. Customers can also deploy a subset of Cisco-approved virtualized third-party UC applications selected from the Cisco Developer Network, Marketplace Solutions Catalog for Collaboration.
Cisco's Business Edition 7000 has been orderable since December 20, 2013, but was formally announced at the recent Enterprise Connect 2014 conference event in Orlando, Fla. The new version joins Cisco's Business Edition 6000 for mid-market businesses (to 1,000 users). Two earlier Business Edition products, Business Edition 5000 (to 500 users) and Business Edition 3000 (to 300 users) are no longer available for new sales.
Edited by Alisen Downey