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Technology Roundup: Unified Communications

These resources can help you choose the right UC solution to improve collaboration, productivity

In this always-on world, even small businesses are expected to be reachable anytime, anywhere. With unified communications (UC), you can be. UC makes it easier to communicate and collaborate with coworkers, customers, and partners in real time. It increases employee productivity and efficiency, and improves the ability to make accurate decisions and enhance customer service.

In this latest installment of our Technology Roundup series, we provide the resources to help you determine how UC can help your small business and which components might be most useful for your company.

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Essential Skills for Today’s Unified Communications Operations Staff

Just a decade ago, supporting enterprise voice services was simpler, our voice operations support scope was smaller, and one person could be proficient in everything you needed to know for voice operations. But as IP telephony capabilities grew into Unified Communications, the skills our engineers had to be proficient in grew exponentially.

Today, we support UC systems and collaboration platforms, both on traditional hardware and now on virtualized server platforms (Cisco UCS). We still support phones and softphones, but now we also support mobility services, video phones and mobile devices like the Cisco Cius, voice and video conferencing, menus of phone-based services, and ever-more sophisticated customer support tools in our contact centers. There are now so many things within the scope of the UC systems that we manage that it would be extremely difficult in an enterprise the size of Cisco to be an expert in everything. So, individuals on our voice operations team need to specialize.

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TechWiseTV and the Post-PC Experience

One of the reasons I personally love our collaboration technologies is that I am a productivity nerd. I am a zero-inbox follower of David Allen’s GTD methodology that loves nothing more than tinkering with my ‘perspectives’ in Omni-Focus. It is a great time to be at Cisco and I am blessed to have this TechWiseTV show that affords me access to the best engineering minds and the latest technologies.

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Migrating a Cisco UCM Cluster to UCS from a Small Village

Upgrading a critical enterprise call processing system to a completely new virtualized server platform sounds pretty tricky. Doing it from 5,000 miles away, in the public square of a sleepy Spanish village using your laptop and a VPN connection over the free municipal WiFi service sounds … well, maybe a little crazy. Recently, I did just that, migrating our Cisco Unified Communications Manager (UCM) cluster in Johannesburg, South Africa to the Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS) platform from the small village in Spain where I was vacationing.

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How Cisco IT Migrated 87,000 Voicemail Boxes in a Weekend

Changing voicemail systems–or the servers they run on–can be a big, time-consuming, and difficult task. Yet recently we did both.  We migrated our application platform from Cisco Unity 7.0 (2) running on Cisco 7800 Series Media Convergence Servers,  to Cisco Unity Connection 8.5 running as a virtual machine onthe Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS) platform. What’s more, we completed the cutover of more than 87,000 voicemail boxes to the new platform in a single weekend.
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