What Is Cisco UC and How Does It Work?


All over the world, employees are looking for greater mobility and flexibility. Most of them no longer wish to commute to the workplace. Instead, they prefer to do their job from the comfort of their homes with a suite of remote work tools to keep them connected. For most businesses, this means increased use of unified communications – or the consolidation of existing communications tools into a single platform. Most companies have already migrated or are planning to migrate to cloud-based unified communications such as Cisco UC as their preferred UCaaS solution.

What is Cisco Unified Communications Manager?

Cisco UC is an enterprise call and session management solution used to streamline team communication and collaboration. Cisco UM unites registered IPs, mobile devices, desktops, and other such devices into a single communication platform, irrespective of the end-user location. The architecture is designed to facilitate the connection of the preferred devices across multiple channels, such as:

  • VoIP telephony
  • Video and rich media conferencing
  • Instant group chat messaging with user presence
  • Customer contact centre
  • External applications
  • Data integration

The Cisco UC architecture allows the internal and external teams to connect various communication channels at any time, from anywhere, and on any device. With the Cisco UC, users can take business calls even on analog desk phones or desktop computers, send a chat message on a tablet, and start a video call from a smartphone. The unified communication system also facilitates essential call management features such as call processing, dial plan administration, and directory services. Another feature is the seamless interoperability with a wide range of Cisco applications such as WebEx, Cisco Jabber, and Cisco Unified Contact Centre Enterprise. Furthermore, it also works well with various third-party apps like Microsoft Teams and Slack.

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Another salient feature of Cisco UC is its scalability, which means you can improve communication at each phase of your business growth without paying for features you don’t need.

How does Cisco UC Work? 

The Cisco UC combines voice, video, and data traffic in a single network infrastructure. The equipment manages all this traffic while interfacing with the standards-based network protocols. It leverages a multi-layered system to offer a network of integrated, coordinated products.

Here’s a quick round-up of the component layer and how they work together to provide UC services.

  • The infrastructure layer is made up of routers, switches, and voice gateways and transports data, voice, and video between network devices and applications. Hence, high availability, better management, high-quality service, and enhanced network security are assured.
  • Call control layer handles all call processing, dial plan administration and features, and device control functions. These are independent of the infrastructure layer. This makes sure that calls processed between geographic locations do not lose call quality.
  • The applications layer is independent of call control functions and the physical voice-processing infrastructure. The applications are integrated via IP, which allows them to exist anywhere within the network.
  • The endpoints layer is responsible for bringing the CUCM application and functionality to the user. In short, it connects the communication channels and features to the “endpoint” or user’s current communication device.

Cisco provides a wide range of tools allowing users to structure the platform according to their specific needs with the added advantage of low cost. Cisco has been offering IP communications services and applications since 1997 and thus has a proven track record that most other providers can’t match. Cisco UC provides quick communication solutions which eliminate the need to constantly switch between applications and lets the users choose their preferred communication channels. All these features make Cisco UC a notch above its rivals.

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