Unity vs Unity Connections

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Oct 22nd, 2008
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We're planning a UCM deployment using CUWL licensing. It's my understanding that we could deploy Unity or Unity Connections.


We have 650 users, so I think either would work. Also, we don't need exchange integration -- we'll use IMAP to access our voicemail through Outlook.


So are there any other factors to help guide our selection of Unity vs Unity Connections?

Thanks!

Correct Answer by Rob Huffman about 8 years 7 months ago

Hi Shane,


As Steve nicely suggested (+5 Steve :) it sounds like UC would be an excellent fit here. The feature sets are getting closer and closer with Unity and UC. This doc nicely encapsulates some of the differences. UC is not integrated with Exchange but can currently support up to 7,500 users (and this number is increasing - see below) Also, UC 7.0 supports Active-Active redundancy which was a stumbling block for many enterprise type deployments that require full redundancy. Another rather large difference is that Unity is a Windows based model and UC is a Linux based appliance like the newer 5.x, 6.x and 7.x Communication manager versions.


Unified Communications Applications: Unity Connection 7.0 EFT Opportunity


http://forum.cisco.com/eforum/servlet/NetProf?page=netprof&forum=Unified%20Communications%20and%20Video&topic=Unified%20Communications%20Applications&CommCmd=MB%3Fcmd%3Dpass_through%26location%3Doutline%40%5E1%40%40.2cbeeab0



The differences are nicley encapsulated in these docs;


Cisco Unity Connection - with Video


http://www.cisco.com/cisco/web/solutions/small_business/products/voice_conferencing/unity_connection/index.html



Cisco Messaging Products: Feature Comparison


http://www.cisco.com/en/US/prod/collateral/voicesw/ps6789/ps5745/ps2237/product_data_sheet0900aecd806bfc37.html



There is also a doc (attached) called "Selling Cisco Unified Communications Express". It gives a feature comparison between CUE, Unity and Unity Connection.


Hope this helps!

Rob


PS: We just placed our order for UC 7.0 after testing in the lab for a fair bit :)



Correct Answer by slongewa about 8 years 7 months ago

If you're just going to use IMAP, Unity Connection would most likely be the way to go. Typically Unity is used in situations where the customer requires full unified messaging, or a legacy integration that needs the Dialogic card support that Unity provides. I do have some customers that have a Unity system in place currently, and are planning on moving over to Unity Connection. Hope this helps,

Steve

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Correct Answer
slongewa Wed, 10/22/2008 - 04:52
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If you're just going to use IMAP, Unity Connection would most likely be the way to go. Typically Unity is used in situations where the customer requires full unified messaging, or a legacy integration that needs the Dialogic card support that Unity provides. I do have some customers that have a Unity system in place currently, and are planning on moving over to Unity Connection. Hope this helps,

Steve

Correct Answer
Rob Huffman Wed, 10/22/2008 - 05:14
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Hi Shane,


As Steve nicely suggested (+5 Steve :) it sounds like UC would be an excellent fit here. The feature sets are getting closer and closer with Unity and UC. This doc nicely encapsulates some of the differences. UC is not integrated with Exchange but can currently support up to 7,500 users (and this number is increasing - see below) Also, UC 7.0 supports Active-Active redundancy which was a stumbling block for many enterprise type deployments that require full redundancy. Another rather large difference is that Unity is a Windows based model and UC is a Linux based appliance like the newer 5.x, 6.x and 7.x Communication manager versions.


Unified Communications Applications: Unity Connection 7.0 EFT Opportunity


http://forum.cisco.com/eforum/servlet/NetProf?page=netprof&forum=Unified%20Communications%20and%20Video&topic=Unified%20Communications%20Applications&CommCmd=MB%3Fcmd%3Dpass_through%26location%3Doutline%40%5E1%40%40.2cbeeab0



The differences are nicley encapsulated in these docs;


Cisco Unity Connection - with Video


http://www.cisco.com/cisco/web/solutions/small_business/products/voice_conferencing/unity_connection/index.html



Cisco Messaging Products: Feature Comparison


http://www.cisco.com/en/US/prod/collateral/voicesw/ps6789/ps5745/ps2237/product_data_sheet0900aecd806bfc37.html



There is also a doc (attached) called "Selling Cisco Unified Communications Express". It gives a feature comparison between CUE, Unity and Unity Connection.


Hope this helps!

Rob


PS: We just placed our order for UC 7.0 after testing in the lab for a fair bit :)



Chris Deren Wed, 10/22/2008 - 05:56
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Actually UCON has now more end user features than Unity and if you follow Cisco's direction closely we will notice that most of their efforts in the Unity BU is going towards UCON with significant feature additions in each new release vs. couple small changes on Unity. I am not going to discuss the reasons behind it, but if it was me and I did not need true UM I would definitely go with UCON.


HTH,


Chris

Rob Huffman Wed, 10/22/2008 - 06:07
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Hi Chris,


Thanks for weighing in on this (+5 for your wisdom here :) These comments from you make me feel much better about our decision to go with UC 7.0


Cheers!

Rob

Chris Deren Wed, 10/22/2008 - 06:09
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Rob,


As always thanks for great feedback.


Perhaps one day Cisco will have it's own UM solution not dependant on 3rd party mailstore, however that evolves ;-)


Chris

shanepresley Wed, 10/22/2008 - 08:49
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Excellent replies all, thank you.


Rob, those documents were great :)


It looks like UC7 will work perfectly for us.

Rob Huffman Wed, 10/22/2008 - 12:44
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Hi Shane,


You are most welcome! This is one of my favourite new Cisco products. Seems very well thought out and well designed :)


Cheers!

Rob

blackmichael Wed, 10/22/2008 - 16:00
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Unity connection is great and with HA coming in 7 its very exciting.


Out of all the Unity Connection systems i have installed I have had 1 feature limitation bit me in the but. I am not a huge fan of IMAP since must users want to see their voicemails from their home outlook web access and blackberries, so IMAP is only good for workstations that have it configured on. You can send an email message the user to let them know they got a voice mail, but you cant attach the message.


I never understood this since Unity Express lets you do this.


I ended up using a tool to poll the imap mailboxes to foward the messages to the users but you must know everyones password and with LDAP intergration it didn't work so great.



James Hawkins Fri, 10/24/2008 - 01:06
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Unity Connection is easier to install, maintain and backup than Windows based Unity.


You do not need anti-virus software or SQL and Exchange backup agents which makes the deployment easier.


If Cisco (or someone else) would only make a decent low cost SFTP server then it would be even better!


Re. IMAP what you can do is use an Outlook rule to move messages in the IMAP inbox to your Exchange inbox. It is a bit clunky but works ok for most users.

blackmichael Fri, 10/24/2008 - 04:09
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point taken about rules in outlook,


but what about when the user shutdowns their pc. You cant setup exchange to poll an imap?


Cisco needs to add the feature in Unity COnntion to send the voicemail an an attament. Thre is no great work around.


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