I was wondering, we've an operational Callmanager 4.1 that has been running for quiet 4-5 years and never felt like we've to upgrade until recently that we're being pushed by Cisco to upgrade our applications\servers as their End-Of-Life has been announced and we'll be soon left out of support! My question is from business perspective, what're the key features\benefits we'll get if we upgrade let's say to the latest version of UCM 7.X? How do you explain (in simple language) some critical enhancements\improvements that we'll get especially in terms of functionality, if we upgrade our Callmanager 4.x to UCM 7.0? Thank you all!
I was wondering, we've an operational Callmanager 4.1 that has been running for quiet 4-5 years and never felt like we've to upgrade until recently that we're being pushed by Cisco to upgrade our applications\servers as their End-Of-Life has been announced and we'll be soon left out of support!
My question is from business perspective, what're the key features\benefits we'll get if we upgrade let's say to the latest version of UCM 7.X? How do you explain (in simple language) some critical enhancements\improvements that we'll get especially in terms of functionality, if we upgrade our Callmanager 4.x to UCM 7.0?
Thank you all!
Tere has given some great reasons. I will throw a few more into the pot.
1. Click to Call Widget
This is a free piece of software for Windows that enables Click to Call from many applications
Using it saves time and also helps avoid lazy people using their cellphones for every call just because their contacts are stored in it.
2. Cisco Mobility
Provides Single Number Reach (calls to deskphones can be extended to cellphones/home numbers etc.) and Dial via Office - these features are great if you have workers that travel. They do need Device License Units to enable though.
3. LDAP Integration
In CUCM 5 and later it becomes far easier to integrate with LDAP e.g. Active Directory. This allows the AD credentials to be used to validate login to UC applications.
4. Simplified upgrades
UCM 5 and later servers have two partitions. You can install an upgrade on the inactive partition during working hours and restart the server using the new partition during a maintenance window. Result is you spend far less time at weekends patching your systems compared to the CCM4.x where you have to patch Windows, SQL and CCM.
5. SmartPhone Integration.
If your company decision makers use iPhones then show them the product below - they will probably sign off the upgrade straight away
One thing to be aware of is that the Cisco Attendant Console that ships with CCM4.1 is only supported for upgrades to UCM7 (not new installs) and support for it will be withdrawn in April 2012. There is no support for it at all in UCM 8. Cisco offer a range of Attendant Consoles for various business sizes that run on a separate Windows server (which sucks when UCM has moved to Linux) and which are a cost option.
Also note that you will need to provide an SFTP server to backup UCM to. This is not a big problem as there are various Windows apps around that provide this functionality some of which are free.
Overall I would definitely recommend the upgrade as the system is far nicer to work on and support. The number of extra menu options can be a little intimidating at first but a decent partner should be able to tell you what is relevant to your system and which can be ignored.
Here are some reasons why you should upgrade to a later version:
1. As you just mentioned EoS/EoL. Older versions might be hitting bugs which will not be fixed
by the developers 'cause usually they fix new bugs on later versions. Also the support you can
get from TAC will end on EoS.
2. CUCM 5.X through 8.X versions run on Linux, whether 4.X version used Windows. Linux is
an appliance model which is faster, more robust, provides more security and is not affected
by viruses. Besides the installation is easier and faster, you don't need to install first an OS
and then the CUCM. No need for Microsoft patches, CSA, anti virus, etc. The Linux OS and
CUCM SW come embedded so you just need one installation disk.
3. With newer CUCM versions, newer features are introduced. For example older 4.X versions
do not support SIP endpoint registration, if you want to use newer features you will need to
upgrade. There have been several features introduced on newer versions, you can check them
on the Release Notes:
4. If you are using other UC product such as Unity, CUC, UCCX, CUPS probably you'll need to
upgrade them too in case you want a new feature too. UC products have a compatibility between
them... it's important to check if you upgrade your CUCM if other products will need and upgrade
too or viceversa.
Compatibiliy info between CUCM and other UC products can be found here:
5. Newer versions such as 8.0 which can run on VMware. This means you can install it on a blade
server along with other UC coresident applications. Check out the requirements at:
6. Just like with the CUCM SW, phone firmwares are also updated for later CUCM versions.
7. With newer CUCM versions you can use newer phones. Suppose right now you are fine with
7940s and 7960s... but as they are EoS/EoL when you want to buy new phones, your CUCM 4.X will
probably not support them and you will need to upgrade.
Unified Communications PDI Team