What will phones in the future look like? If our experience at Cisco is any guide, there will be more and more phones, and they will look like almost anything. They will all have two things in common: they will all bring people together – and they will do it with voice and video. Always video.
The video may be on a small screen that fits in your pocket, or expands to your pad or laptop, a bigger screen that fits on the desk, or screens that cover the wall bringing people, lifesized, to your meetings from around the world.
At Cisco, we’re using all of these “phones” (although only one or two looks at all like a phone), and they all work together to bring people together, face to face. Some share more than voice and video, adding presence information and contacts and instant click to call or click to chat or click to share desktops
Here’s Rich Gore from Cisco IT, to give a quick look at these different “phones” in use at Cisco today.
Cisco employees are moving towards a mobile collaborative office environment – within the workplace. We sit where we like and log into the nearest phone, using extension mobility. But when we traveled to different Cisco offices around the world, we couldn’t log in to the Cisco IP phone: extension mobility only worked at certain limited locations within our home region.
Now, employee phones can essentially follow them to any Cisco office worldwide because Cisco IT deployed the Extension Mobility Cross Cluster (EMCC) feature on Cisco Unified Communications Manager (Cisco UCM).
To serve our headquarters campus in San Jose, California, Cisco IT deployed one of the world’s largest Cisco Unified Communications Manager (Cisco UCM) clusters, with 9 pairs of subscribers and a publisher supporting this one campus. Together with these main 19-servers the campus cluster also includes Unity node servers, presence servers and management servers, for a total of 48 Cisco MCS 7845s. In June 2012, we migrated these legacy servers to virtualized machines running on Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS) servers over a single weekend. Read More »
Securing Cisco IP phone communications is important that helps organizations protect trade secrets and facilitate business and compliance requirements. Cisco IP phones support secure communication for both control and data channels. The security that is incorporated into Cisco IP phones includes the encryption and authentication of signaling communications between the Cisco IP phones and the Cisco Unified Communications Manager. Moreover, Cisco Unified Communications Manager supports encryption, authentication, and anti-replay protection of the voice packets that are exchanged between Cisco IP phones.
How many people does it take to manage the service infrastructure supporting over 150,000 hardware phones, 50,000 soft phones, and 10,000 room and desktop video devices. That’s the size of our UC infrastructure at Cisco, and today we manage all our voice, voicemail, and video services with an integrated voice and video Tier 3 operations team of 25 people, and another 5 people supporting contact center applications and services. We do this by continually finding new efficiencies – learning new ways to support existing services so we can spend more time learning how to support the new technologies.