Cisco UCM 9.0 Takes Collaboration Further

Charlene O'Hanlon

June 26, 2012

2 Min Read
Cisco UCM 9.0 Takes Collaboration Further

Cisco Systems (NASDAQ: CSCO) has added additional functionality to its Unified Communications Manager (UCM) to keep users productive no matter where they are and what device they’re using.

UCM 9.0’s features focus on promoting flexibility, bridging systems together and investment protection for enterprises, said Thomas Wyatt, vice president and general manager of the Collaboration Infrastructure Business Unit at Cisco. “We have almost 100 new features and capabilities aligned with those three user themes.”

Among the new features that align of each theme:

Flexibility: Cisco has designated four types of UCM users — deskless, deskbound, hybrid and mobile — and has created a licensing structure that includes “bundles” of features for each type, with the ability for users to add features in an a la carte fashion.

In addition, the latest version of UCM comes with Jabber preinstalled at no additional charge. And improvements to its fixed mobile convergence capabilities enable users to have the features of UCM 9.0 on their mobile devices including caller ID, single-voice mailbox, etc., without having to download a custom app.

Bridging Systems: Cisco is confident video is the next voice, Wyatt said, and so has included the ability for all endpoints — software, UC and IP telephony phones and video endpoints — to be registered and set up through UCM 9.0. Additionally, IT administrators now have the ability to prioritize traffic for video calls and do it in an intelligent way, he said.

UCM 9.0 also offers e-mail-style dialing, so rather than click on or dial a phone number to call someone, a user simply clicks on that person’s e-mail address to ring all the endpoints registered to the person.

Finally, Cisco has extended IM and presence capabilities into 9.0’s back end to bring the unified communications experience to any third-party endpoint. “The benefit is companies are able to get desktop features on any endpoint,” Wyatt said. “If I’m a network administrator and I’m doing a slow migration to a UC environment, this enables me to extend these capabilities using my legacy phones.”

Investment Protection: Along with the ability to have UC features on legacy phones, UCM 9.0 also now supports native call queuing, so inbound callers and groups of callers can be automatically put on hold and properly routed into a queue and given custom greetings and announcements. Another new feature, which Cisco calls “One Button to Record,” enables users to start or stop call recording directly from an endpoint.  Customers can configure One Button to Record to comply with local call-recording regulations, such as notifying all parties that call recording is in progress.

“From partner point of view this brings together the promise of what we laid on the table two years ago with the Tandberg purchase,” said Richard McLeod, senior director of Worldwide Partner and Collaboration Sales at Cisco. “This is now an opportunity for our channel partners to go back to their customers. It’s new revenue, services opportunities and extending collaboration.”

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