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December 05, 2008

Cisco Unified Communications System Release 7.0

By Sandra M. Gustavsen, Analyst, T3i Group LLC


At the recent Cisco (News - Alert) 2008 Collaboration Summit, the company unveiled a host of new solutions in multiple technology areas and presented its collaboration roadmap and vision. The Cisco Unified Communications (News - Alert) System Release 7.0 portfolio has been enhanced in three key areas: ease-of-use (for end users and administrators), interoperability (third party solutions and plug-ins) and reduced total cost of ownership (TCO).

 
Among the myriad of new product releases is Cisco Unified Communications Manager (CUCM) Version 7.0, the enterprise IP telephony call processing component of Cisco’s Unified Communications Solution. Version 7.0 lowers system and management costs with improvements to system administration, serviceability and performance, and end users can take advantage of some new mobility and telephony features, additional localizations and new SIP support.
 
Cisco highlights its Linux-based appliance model, available since 2006, as the platform of choice for Cisco Unified Communications Manager. The appliance bundles the database, operating system, drivers and firmware (lower TCO with fewer components to manage) and enables faster installations and upgrades. The appliance also facilitates the unified communications experience by supporting Cisco Unified Mobility software (included with Cisco Unified Communications Manager since Version 6.0). Unified Mobility software supports a broad range of solutions for today’s mobile workforce – teleworkers, campus workers and those who need wide area or cellular coverage. New 7.0 mobility features include Dial via Office, click to conference with IBM (News - Alert) Sametime and simultaneous ring on a Microsoft Office Communicator client, to name a few.
 
Cisco touts 800 new features within the many solutions under the Cisco Unified Communications System Release 7.0 umbrella. Among the long list of product upgrades are Customer Voice Portal 7.0, Unified Contact Center Enterprise & Hosted 7.5, Unified Contact Center Express 7.0 for SMBs, Unified Intelligence Suite 7.5, Business Edition 7.0, Unified Presence and Unified Personal Communicator 7.0, Cisco Unity 7.0, Cisco Unity Connection 7.0, Cisco Unity Express 7.0, and Cisco Unified MeetingPlace 7.0 with a new architecture for voice and video on one platform and a WebEx option. (Note that Cisco Unified Communications Manager Express (CME) is renumbered to 7.0 to align with Cisco Unified Communications versions, though the features are the same as Cisco Unified CME 4.3.) www.cisco.com
 
TelecomTactics Takeaway: At the recent Cisco 2008 Collaboration Summit, the company unveiled a host of new products and upgrades in multiple technology areas and presented its collaboration roadmap and vision. At a high level, the Cisco Unified Communications System Release 7.0 portfolio of solutions are enhanced in the areas of ease-of-use, interoperability with third party solutions and reduced total cost of ownership (TCO). More specifically, Cisco Unified Communications Manager (CUCM), the call processing component (or IP PBX (News - Alert)) has a new release, Version 7.0, which makes improvements to system administration and TCO, but also adds some new mobility and telephony features, including Dial via Office, click to conference with IBM Sametime and simultaneous ring on a Microsoft (News - Alert) Office Communicator client. Also of interest is the emphasis on the Linux Appliance platform for CUCM going forward; the Windows-based Cisco IP PBX (Version 4.3) is still offered, though future developments for this version are unclear. All in all, Cisco announced enhancements to nearly every product and application, touting 800 new features – see above for a partial list of new releases. www.telecomtactics.com

Sandra M. Gustavsen, senior analyst for T3i Group, contributes her TelecomTactics column to TMCnet. To read more of Sandra�s articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Tim Gray


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