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Unified Communications Server Architecture: Location Matters

Cisco has consolidated our unified communications server architecture twice since we first transitioned from PBX systems. Initially, we deployed Cisco Unified Communications Managers in all 256 global Cisco offices.

The first big shift came when we moved to a centralized Unified Communications architecture, deploying 15 Cisco Unified Communications Manager clusters worldwide, which support more than 130,000 hardware phones and 70,000 software phones. The centralized clusters deliver voice services to other Cisco offices over the Cisco global WAN.

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Using Synthetic Transactions for End User Experience Metrics

One of the most important aspects of voice service management is the assurance of user satisfaction.  In Cisco IT, we utilize Unified Operations Manager, a Cisco product, to measure and report on End User Experience Metrics.  Specifically, we utilize UOM’s synthetic transaction capability to replicate user experience by making periodic test calls and off hook tests.  This provides statistics of service availability for basic dial tone as well as supporting applications like Unified Messaging. 

The synthetic tests serve to replicate user activity (receiving a dial tone, making end-to-end phone calls, leaving voice mail, and creating/joining conference calls). These tests can verify the functional availability of the supporting infrastructure and validate different configuration aspects such as route patterns, route lists, inter-cluster trunks, and gateway dial peers. 

What follows is how we use thse synthetic tests at Cisco, to measure the availability and quality of our voice network.

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Developing Integrations for Business Applications with Cisco UAE

How often does a business process in your organization come to a stop because something is waiting for an approval? One example of how we have improved a Cisco business process is by integrating applications with unified communications technologies through the Cisco Unified Application Environment.

This Environment helps us to easily write integrations from our enterprise applications into Cisco Unified Communications by using a library of application modules. The modules cover a variety of functions such as the click-to-call links in applications or on web pages, the ability to see a colleague’s presence information, and one-click conferencing

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Why We Love Cisco Unified Personal Communicator: Three “Aha!” Moments

During a typical workweek, I tend to collaborate with the same 20 people; just trying to reach them used to take up a lot of my day. Since we’ve implemented Cisco Unified Personal Communicator, I’m much more likely to reach them on the first try, making me more productive.

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Rolling Out Web 2.0 in the Enterprise: Cisco’s Integrated Approach

In my last blog I talked about some of the IT challenges of rolling out Web 2.0 in the enterprise. Like many companies, Cisco needed to stem the tide of employees who were taking Web 2.0 matters into their own hands, and find ways to balance their growing demand with business and IT requirements. So about two years ago we started to address some of the challenges by making many of the desired Web 2.0 tools and applications IT sanctioned and accessible to employees, including wikis, discussion forums, blogs, RSS feeds, video sharing, social bookmarking, and more. These were the building blocks of what soon would be wrapped into a broader Cisco initiative called the “Integrated Workforce Experience,” or IWE (more on that in a minute).

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