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New Member

CallManager vs CallManager Express

Hi Everyone,

Would someone be able to clarify when someone should migrate from CCME to CCM. Is there a specific phone/feature ratio that seems to be the standard?

I am debating if going to CCM (one central) is a better option then CCME (each location). Staff moves in the organization is minimal. We have about 60 locations within the city that we would like to have all call be routed.


-- Dominique


Re: CallManager vs CallManager Express


This completely depends on how you want to rollout the deployment as well as which deployment model best fits your call processing needs. I have had customers who start IPT deployment for one of the smaller sites replacing a key system or a low end PBX with callmanager express. Once they completely move to IPT with Callmanager at the central office, they may leave the CME router at each remote site as such or convert them to SRST. You also have investment protection if you buy CME now and later having to conver to SRST, you dont need to buy SRST licenses.

Callmanager is equivelent to a legacy PBX.

Callmanager Express is equivalent to a key system.

There are different types of deployment models available IP Telephony. The one that best fits your environment is either

a. Centralized callmanager, Unity etc with remote sites running SRST


b. Distributed callmanager model where each site has its own call processing.

i. Individual CM, Unity at each site (expensive)

ii. CM and Unity centralized, each site has CME router.

iii. CM and Unity centralized, each site has CME and CUE. (administrative hassle)

Option b is usually expensive if you are planning to use individual callmanager at each site. Instead you may be able to use CME at each site and have H323 trunks piped back to the central site which runs callmanager. CME can also integrate with Unity at the central office for voice mail.

The real choice between CME and CM at each site depends not just on the number of phones, but also on the amount of features you need at each site. A site running on CME will not get all the features that CM can offer. Also CME has a limitation of up to 240 phones on a 3845 router.



PS: Please remember to rate replies!


Re: CallManager vs CallManager Express

The most annoying thing is:

1. CM doesn't support paging (so need 3rd party like berbee) while CME supports it

2. CM supports Jtapi applications (cer, pa, ipcc, icm, etc..) while cme doesn't

3. CME can only have 3 in a conference call while CM can have more

There's some little minor stuff but the above is the most annoying.

Re: CallManager vs CallManager Express


I thought Cisco was gonna work on resolving option 3. There have been a few threads floating around in this forum, that CME 4.0 will have more participants. (atleast 6). It doesnt look like the new Cisco unified CME 4.0 has that feature yet...

New Member

Re: CallManager vs CallManager Express

In a somewhat related vein I'm interested in providing an initial Cisco IPT solution for a prospect who has a legacy InterTel PBX at his main office. He's looking to bring up a new satellite office and would like to be able to run 3 phones that tie in to the main office over a fast Internet (cable, DSL) link. Eventually I would like to replace all of the customer's legacy phone equipment at all sites with Cisco IPT, but a forklift up front is not going to work.

So, I was thinking along the lines of an 800 series router to provide switching, VPN and QoS, and WLAN if desired, and a few hardware IP phones at the new satellite office. Maybe a slightly more robust ISR with a PoE switch module if necessary.

At the HQ location I was thinking a 2800 series ISR running CME to provide call processing for the satellite phones, (and maybe a few IP Communicators sprinkled around to build interest), and the 2800 would also host a module of some kind (VIC-FXO?) to provide a connection to the InterTel for routing calls between the systems. (I'm not a voice engineer and am not sure if that would be a tie line, or trunk, or??)

Anyway, just trying to come up with something that satisifies the need and keeps the cost down up front. Over time as we get to know the customer better we would push to migrate other satellites and eventually the main office to a proper, full blown CallManager implementation.

Has anyone done this? I've been getting pushback from some tech folks that this is not practical, but I can tell you there are a lot of SMB prospects that fit this profile and this approach needs to be an option.

TIA for any feedback.


New Member

Re: CallManager vs CallManager Express

Both soultions have specific markets.

CME is targeted at Small to Medium Enterprises and Call Manager is Medium to Large.

If you have 60 locations a express solution might prove to be a nightmare to manage. Especially if each location has a gateway to the PSTN. Also full blown Call Manager offers a bit more redundancy when designed properly. If you have multiple locations you can design a redundancy group across the WAN as well as use features like extension mobility for mobile users.

Also it seems there are a bit more third party apps for Call Manager than Call Manager Express. I noticed you are with a School System, in your profile. There are 3rd party paging,emergency notification and attendance systems that run on this platform.

Just my 2 cents