In order of scalability, Cisco offers three call processing platforms:
- Cisco Unified Communications Manager Express (Cisco UCME)
- Cisco Unified Communications Manager Business Edition (Cisco UCMBE)
- Cisco Unified Communications Manager (Cisco UCM)
Cisco UCME is router-based, Cisco UCMBE runs on the MCS-7828 server, and Cisco UCM runs on the MCS-78xx series servers.
The extra processing power of the MCS-7828 allows Cisco UCMBE to run both Cisco UCM and Cisco Unity Connection on the same hardware at the same time; a “co-resident deployment,” as it’s called. At one time, this deployment was capped at 575 IP phones and 500 voice messaging users. If the customer wanted to deploy other Unified Communications applications such as Cisco Unified Presence Server (CUPS) or Unified Contact Center Express (UCCX), they could do so, but those applications required a separate server.
However, a new addition to the Cisco product family changes that. Quoting from the Cisco Website (http://www.cisco.com/en/US/products/ps11369/index.html), the Cisco UCMBE 6000:
“Contains voice, unified messaging, mobility, presence availability, contact center agent support, and video capabilities. These features are integrated as an all-in-one system using VMware server virtualization technology.”
Previously, this would have required three or more servers. It would stand to reason that a single server, even a beefed-up one at that, would cost less than three separate servers. But that’s only part of the story here. What Cisco is really doing is lowering the obstacles to a complete deployment of their Unified Communications suite.
When customers go beyond the basics and utilize applications like CUPS and UCCX, they really begin to unlock productivity and achieve the highest returns on their UC investment.