What is Cisco Unified Communication Manager?

Cisco Unified Communications Manager (formerly Cisco CallManager, now known as Cisco Unified CM or CUCM) is a reliable, secure, scalable, and manageable enterprise call and session management infrastructure that streamlines team communication and collaboration for today’s hybrid workforce. Cisco UC is part of an integrated solution that includes network infrastructure, security, mobility, network management products, lifecycle services, flexible deployment and outsourced management options, end-user and partner financing packages, and third-party communication applications.

Cisco Unified Communication Manager unites registered IP phones, mobile devices, desktop computers, and other endpoints into a single UC platform – regardless of end user location. It’s the architecture that makes it possible for teams and customers to connect on their preferred devices across multiple channels, including:

  • VoIP Telephony

  • Video and Rich-Media Conferencing

  • Instant Team Chat Messaging with User Presence

  • Customer Contact Center

  • External Applications

  • Data Integration

Cisco UC Voice infrastructure model consists of four standard layers and the components that make up those layers.

Figure 1 : Cisco UC voice infrastructure model

The components of the standard layers are as follows:

  • Infrastructure layer: The infrastructure consists of routers, switches, and voice gateways. The infrastructure layer carries data, voice, and video between all network devices and applications. This layer also provides high availability, management, quality of service (QoS), and network security.

  • Call control layer: The call control layer provides for call processing, device control, and administration of the dial plan and features.

  • Applications layer: Applications are independent from call-control functions and the physical voice-processing infrastructure. Applications, including those listed here, are integrated through IP, which allows the applications to reside anywhere within the network:

    • Voice mail, integrated messaging, and unified messaging applications are provided through Cisco Unity, Cisco Unity Express, or Cisco Unity Connections products.

    • Contact centers of various sizes can be built with Cisco Unified Contact Center and Cisco Unified Contact Center Express.

    • Cisco Unified MeetingPlace and MeetingPlace Express are medium- to large-scale conferencing servers that support video integration.

    • Cisco Emergency Responder (ER) enhances the existing emergency functionality offered by CUCM.

    • The Cisco Unified Presence server collects information about the availability and communications capabilities of a user and provides this information to watchers of the user as a status indication.

    • Standard protocol interfaces, including Telephony Application Programming Interface (TAPI), Java Telephony Application Programming Interface (JTAPI), Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP), Q.SIG, H.323, Media Gateway Control Protocol (MGCP), and Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) are available to support third-party applications.

  • Endpoints layer: The endpoints layer brings applications to the user, whether the end device is a Cisco IP Phone, a PC using a software-based phone, or a communications client or video terminal. Cisco UC provides multiprotocol support for Skinny Client Control Protocol (SCCP), H.323, MGCP, and SIP.