Unanswered Question
Jan 30th, 2009
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Welcome to the Cisco Networking Professionals Ask the Expert conversation. This is an opportunity learn about UCSS, an offering that allows customers to purchase major software version upgrades at a reduced cost with Cisco expert Ron Lifton. Ron is a product manager for Cisco unified communications software subscription (UCSS). He has previously held various marketing positions within the Cisco software group that included responsibility for business development, alliances, outbound marketing, and complete lifecycle product management. Prior to joining Cisco he was an executive at a start-up acquired by Cisco and a senior manager at Nortel. Ron holds a bachelor of science degree in business administration from San Diego State University and master of business administration degree from California State University, Sacramento..

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Loading. Mon, 02/02/2009 - 00:46
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Where I can read about % disconts with using UCSS.

Which unified products go through UCSS?

As I know, if I will buy UCSS for 1 year is cheaper then for half a year.

rlifton Mon, 02/02/2009 - 19:36
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Hello. UCSS has built-in price discounts based on subscription term. For example, the price per year for a 3 year subscription term will be at a lower price compared to a subscription for only one year. UCSS has 1,2, 3, and 5 year terms. The minimum term for UCSS is one year for individual Cisco Unified Communications products and 3 years for Cisco Unified Workspace Licensing. Please discuss UCSS prices with your local Cisco account manager or Cisco channel partner. The UCSS Ordering Guide is posted on the Cisco Partner Central web site and accessible by Cisco channel partners and Cisco field only.

Please go to and take a look at the UCSS overview to see a list of UC products covered by UCSS.

pbaustin Mon, 02/02/2009 - 07:01
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Hi Ron, I'm quite confused about UCSS and the licensing that comes with it. We've purchased the UCSS upgrades but trying to get a new license file i.e. IPCC to CUCCX is just so problematic it really devalues the program. Should I automatically have a license file upgrade as part of UCSS and if so, how do I get it even if cisco licensing don't quite understand?


rpadden Mon, 02/02/2009 - 17:39
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You will not automatically receive a license file upgrade as part of UCSS. UCSS is a subscription to major software upgrades becomes entitled once the UCSS has been registered and activated to the corresponding ESW contract. Activation directions are located at

UCSS does not have licenses associated with it.

Once your UCSS is activated, you will be able to order your major software upgrades through the Upgrade Tools. The upgrades will ship physical media and a new Product Activation Key (PAK) that is specific to the upgrade that you ordered through the upgrade tool. When you register the PAK associated with the specific upgrade version ordered, you will receive a new license file via email within hours of this registration.

rlifton Mon, 02/02/2009 - 19:20
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Removed reply. Addressed to wrong post. Sorry.

Jeff Garner Mon, 02/02/2009 - 18:28
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If we purchased UCSS for Cisco Unity, would we be entitled to move from that Unity Platform to Cisco Unity Connection?

rlifton Mon, 02/02/2009 - 19:35
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With your UCSS for Unity you are entitled to move from Cisco Unity to Cisco Unity Connection.

Jason Nash Tue, 02/03/2009 - 10:25
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Looking for some advice, we have an active UCSS-UCM contract. I have used the PUT tool to order the relevant upgrade kit to go from 4.1 to 6.0. The tool only allowed me to select a quantity of 1 of each kit/part. We have a two node setup when I register the new license will I receive sufficient licenses for both the nodes or do I need to have two separate license packs? Wed, 02/04/2009 - 19:02
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Just a quick question. Can you briefly explain the difference between Cisco Essential Software and Cisco UCSS?

And, it is compulsory to purchase both ESW and UCSS when ordering any UC software?


rlifton Wed, 02/04/2009 - 19:44
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Hello. Cisco offers a comprehensive and smart way to maximize your investment in Cisco Unified Communications by offering software subscription, service and support. The combination of Cisco Unified Communications Software Subscription (UCSS) and Cisco Unified Communications Operate Service (ESW), allows you to get Cisco's latest software upgrades and updates, including major, minor and maintenance releases, as well as access to online tools and communities that helps you solve issues quickly. Both of these offerings are available for a range of Cisco Unified Communications products including IP Telephony, Conferencing, Messaging, Presence, Mobility and Contact Center.

UCSS is a subscription product that entitles the user to major software version upgrades when linked to an active ESW service contract. Customers are able to stay current by getting the latest product features and capabilities whenever there is a major software release -- at no additional charge--for the duration of the subscription agreement, which can be 1, 2, 3 or 5 years. Many customers will optimize savings and gain the most value for their money with a UCSS term that covers 3 years.

ESW compliments UCSS by providing access to Cisco's latest software application updates, including minor and maintenance releases, and extensive technical support resources.

It's advised to combine UCSS and ESW with UC software so you can increase employee productivity, maintain a competitive advantage and enhance organizational performance by staying current with new software. You can take advantage of UCSS and ESW with either Cisco Unified Workspace Licensing to experience the full power of Unified Communications, or with individual Cisco Unified Communications products.

ajenks Fri, 02/06/2009 - 03:06
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Hello. I am hoping that you can help with with a couple of questions :

1. Are UCSS contracts bought entirely on user count, irrespective of number of servers. Eg. If I had 500 users and 3 CM6.1 nodes, would I be looking to buy UCSS-UCM-1-500 equivalent ? ie. 500 users with no reference to the number of CM servers, and still have full upgrade entitlement ?

2. As I understand it, UCSS is sold per user, not DLU. What is you definition of a user vs ATAs, handsets in meeeting rooms etc. ?

3. As users count increases, additional UCSS "licences" will need to be purchased. How do you recommend managing staggered renewal dates effectively ?

Many Thanks,

rlifton Fri, 02/06/2009 - 12:31
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Hello. Yes is the answer to all questions raised in (1), except you would order 5 times UCSS-UCM-1-100. (there is no single UCSS-UCM SKU for 500). Also, UCSS must be linked to a valid current ESW maintenance/support contract, which covers each Cisco UCM server software.

For (2), a user (seat) is defined as all administered users plus all public space devices. A public space device may be a conference room phone, a fax machine, or any other device that is on the Unified Communications Manager system that is not directly associated with a specific user. There are many different types of configured devices available for the Unified Communications Manager system, including but not limited to:

•Cisco Unified IP phone

•Cisco Unified wireless IP phone

•Cisco Unified IP conference station

•Cisco IP Communicator

•Cisco Unified Personal Communicator

•Cisco Unified Video Advantage

•Third-party Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) phone

•Analog phone

•Fax Machine


•Soft Phone

For (3), when adding-on Cisco UCM users, customers may co-terminate the additional UCSS-UCM with the existing system or cluster's UCSS-UCM term end date.

As a reminder, UCSS must be purchased within 90 days of an initial system purchase or within 90 days of purchasing a major release software upgrade.

rlifton Sat, 02/07/2009 - 07:59
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A couple of other thing to clarify. UCSS must be ordered by number of users per cluster and not one set of UCSS for all clusters. Also, if users have multiple devices (ex. IP phone and a Cisco IP communicator) this should count as one user, not two.

WIRELESSEMPIRE Sat, 02/07/2009 - 09:15
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I give up. I know I am in the wrong place for this post.

HOW do I register my rvs4000.

The linksys site points me to Cisco.

This is really half baked, but tag, you are it.



rlifton Mon, 02/09/2009 - 09:23
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Thanks for you inquiry. This is not the appropriate forum for your question, please review the other topics to see if there is a more appropriate conversation to post your question. Also, you can go to and at the top of the web page you will see the "Register Products" hot link.

WIRELESSEMPIRE Mon, 02/09/2009 - 17:44
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I know this is the wrong place.

I also told you that linksysbycisco has removed the registration of small biz equip from their site.

If you are employee of Cicso I implore you to find this out for me. Blame Cisco Management for removing registration from the consumer site, while not have an obvious method on the main Cisco site.

Thank you,


rlifton Mon, 02/09/2009 - 18:33
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There are a couple of other routes to take. Contact your local reseller or Cisco support. Here's a web site, Small Business Support, to point you in the right direction:

You can call the support number. From what I understand, and I'm not the best source, support is based off of the serial number and RVS4000 product registration is not required.

r-thatcher Sat, 02/07/2009 - 10:17
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I have a couple questions but not sure if they would fall under UCSS specifically.

1. When using the PUT tool to upgrade UC products for customers, I find the quantities are hard to understand. A lot of UC products look to give user counts instead for quantities and not server or product upgrade counts. For example, the last customer had around 270 for the quantity for IPCC. I called TAC/PDI Helpdesk/Pre-sales/Entitlement to try to get an answer. I knew from past experience that if I ordered 270 for the customer they would receive 270 boxes of IPCC software. The answer I got from entitlement was to put quantity 2 down for the number of servers they had and that worked. This is more often the case for all UC products that I have seen in PUT including Unity/MeetingPlace/IPCC. CUCM seems to match up from what I remember.

2. Second, I ordered an upgrade part number for Unity for this last customer and it added 15000 UM Subscribers(they only had 75), 64 ports (they only had 32), added VPIM/AMIS, and maxed the languages/RealSpeak/etc counts. I know the UM counts are meaningless but not sure why the port count was upgraded and VPIM/AMIS added. TAC said if it was on their contract they were entitled, but this just generates questions from the customers that I can't answer.


rpadden Mon, 02/09/2009 - 11:45
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Hi Ryan,

1. When ordering from the upgrade tool, you should only order the number of copies associated with the number of servers that you have. In the case of CUCM, it is a little more straightforward because the upgrade tool pulls based on the software coverage on the contract (CUCM is a one to one relationship).

2. This is slightly related to your first question. What displays in the upgrade tool is related to what appears on the ESW contract. In the instance of Unity, you will always see a higher number of copies that what you need to order (because you should only order enough copies for the number of servers that you have). In order for all the correct pieces of software to ship the upgrade tool reflects the individual components in PUT, however upgrades are still ordered by the number of servers you have. Please feel free to contact [email protected] for further clarification on the ports and licenses. We will need some additional information to help diagnose what occurred.

beth-martin Mon, 02/09/2009 - 09:00
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If a customer adds phones and user licenses to a cluster or application system during the Cisco Unified Communications Software Subscription term, is it possible to add software subscriptions to cover the added seats and use the existing termination date?

a-vazquez Tue, 02/10/2009 - 15:43
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How do I get major application software release upgrades after Cisco Unified Communications Software Subscription has been activated?

rlifton Tue, 02/10/2009 - 21:10
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If UCSS has been activated, it means a Cisco UCSS line item has been added to the appropriate ESW contract so that you can use the product upgrade process to request major version upgrades. Information about this process is available at: Please note that you will use your ESW contract in the upgrade tools to access the list of available software upgrades.

For inquiries and escalations on shipment of major version upgrades, please contact the Upgrade Team at [email protected].

To order Cisco Unified Intelligent Contact Management, Cisco Unified Customer Voice Portal, or Cisco Agent Desktop upgrades, please visit:

Please order one copy of the software for each server that you are upgrading. The number of valid copies is dictated by the servers covered on your ESW contract. Wed, 02/11/2009 - 01:44
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Hello every body.

I have 2 questions about UCSS and Major upgrade.

I use now CUCM 6.X and IVR 5.X.

Beacause of UCSS I also have ordered new software CUCM 7.X and IVR 7.X

Now I have received this software, but there are 10 disks with CUCM and 8 disks with IVR 7. Prod CM7.0-K9-UPG= with description SW Upgrade CM 6.0/6.1 to CM 7.0 for SASU or UCSS and IVR UPG 5.0-7.0 - Qty 8

1st question

Is it normal that I have reveived so much disks? If yes, where I can use these 10 CUCM and 8 IVR?

2nd question

Should I register all software on Cisco site till now or itsn't necessarily by moment when I want to upgrade my CUCM from 6 -> 7 ?

Thank you!

rpadden Wed, 02/11/2009 - 16:41
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Hi Alexandr,

Typically the number of disks sent relates directly to the number of copies ordered through the Upgrade tool. The quantity selected should match the number of servers that you have under contract.

You should register the software when you want to do the upgrade. Registering is what triggers the licenses to be generated for the upgrades ordered.

I would be happy to look at the specifics of your order and will provide a more specific and comprehensive response if you would like to contact me directly at [email protected] with the details.



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