Unified Communications Featured Article

Cisco Expands UC Services with Release 9.0

June 26, 2012

Any phone at any location from any vendor can now provide the same functionality as a Cisco endpoint. That’s as a result of new functionality delivered in Cisco Unified Communications Release 9.0, officially unveiled today and generally available in late July or early August.

This new capability, Extend & Connect, leverages Cisco Jabber to bring any UC phone into the Cisco environment. To use it, telecommuters and business travelers input the phone number of their preferred voice device into a Jabber session on their PC device, and CUCM routes voice traffic directly to that phone number. The enterprise call control, meanwhile, is anchored in the Jabber client.

Release 9.0 also delivers dial by e-mail functionality, prepackaged call center solutions, fixed mobile convergence, network management enhancements, support for more video endpoints, native call queuing, one-button record and other functionality.

Cisco also ushers in a new licensing model for the Cisco Unified Communications Manager.

The dial by e-mail feature applies Uniform Resource Identifier technology to reach any endpoint by dialing an e-mail opposed to a phone number.

UC 9.0 release introduces what Cisco calls Packaged Contact Center Enterprise, which provides Cisco’s enterprise contact center software in a format designed to be quick and easy to administer.

The FMC feature gives mobile phones deskphone-like features including caller ID, conferencing and the like.

Release 9.0’s inherent Call Admission Control creates a logical view of the network so the system can dynamically update traffic management across clusters and locations to ensure optimal call quality, even during peak usage periods, according to Cisco in a recent statement.

And new endpoint support for devices such as the new Cisco TelePresence TX9000 comes along for the ride.The new licensing model is more user-centric, whereas Cisco’s UC licensing is traditionally device-centric.

Cisco evolved this licensing model to address the different types of users typically found in the enterprise, according to Tim Keighley, Cisco’s senior manager of strategic pricing and licensing. That includes desk-less workers, who may have basic telephony requirements; desk-based workers, tethered to a desk most of the time and have more requirements than the previous group; hybrid workers, who have a higher need for UC, but don’t have major mobility requirements; and mobile workers, who require both advanced UC and mobility.

Thomas Wyatt, vice president and general manager for Cisco’s Collaboration Infrastructure, says all of the above answer end users’ desire for more consistent experiences across devices, a choice of devices, better options for transparent mobility, and ease of use; IT users’ need for easier interoperability, and simplicity of management and deployment; and executives’ interest in reducing cost of ownership while allowing for better collaboration.

Want to learn more about the latest in communications and technology? Then be sure to attend ITEXPO West 2012, taking place Oct. 2-5, in Austin, TX. ITEXPO offers an educational program to help corporate decision makers select the right IP-based voice, video, fax and unified communications solutions to improve their operations. It's also where service providers learn how to profitably roll out the services their subscribers are clamoring for – and where resellers can learn about new growth opportunities. For more information on registering for ITEXPO click here.

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Edited by Braden Becker

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