Unified Communication Manager Evolution Blog Series

The evolution blog series focuses on the latest developments of Unified Communications Manager, what’s new in the latest versions, the best functions and features that clearly demonstrate the value of upgrading older versions, whether that’s on-premise, in the cloud with Cisco Unified Communications Manager Cloud, or a Cisco Hosted Collaboration solution. The world is changing and evolving… These blogs explore why, and so must we.

Cisco Unified Communications Manager – Built to Survive

It took humans thousands of years to evolve. It took centuries to get from the Iron Age to the industrial and now the information age. Now every decade brings more innovation. So, what is the rush?

The world is changing exponentially everyday with innovation and change in every corner of the globe. Competition for your business has never been tougher or more dynamic. Change is now measured in single digit years and even in some cases months. The pace of change is staggering, often unseen until it is too late. The power of newer more agile business start-ups, with new business models using the latest technology are quicker to get to market. They are quicker to respond to demanding customer requirements and changing market conditions.
Anything that slows your business or your people down exposes you to unnecessary risk. It means you are running the gauntlet of survival of the fittest. If it is not today, it might be tomorrow that someone steals your customers if you are not evolving your business at pace.

Let’s take consumers and phones for example. We all do it; we upgrade to the latest phones for the best in cool new features and functionality. We want to be more connected and productive with our time, integrated into our groups of friends and contacts on a multitude of apps and channels. Do you remember when cameras on phones were a novelty? Now they are indispensable and integrated with apps and functions such as submitting your expense receipts. It has to be faster, smarter and more intuitive every time we upgrade.

The Cisco Unified Communications Manager Evolution -Only the Fittest Will Survive

However, it is not just about the cool features. If we do not upgrade our operating systems and applications, we run the risk of losing our privacy, getting hacked, scammed or defrauded by others. Therefore, we spend our time constantly upgrading just for security reasons alone. In today’s world, there are daily alerts and very compelling reasons to upgrade individual apps and platforms. We all recognize we cannot stand still in this ever-changing world. Finally, yet importantly, the upgrade process has to be made simple and easy. Otherwise as consumers we quickly loose interest and move on elsewhere.

Overcome the Inertia and Build for Success

So why is it then for some their Unified Communications Manager (Unified CM) deployment has stood still? Are businesses sweating their assets? Is the upgrade too much of a forklift exercise? Is it too complex? Do businesses have resource constraints? Is it not part of the business strategic initiatives? Are you waiting to move to the cloud? Are the features and functions offered not compelling enough or explained sufficiently? Are people wary of change or having to learn new interfaces and processes? Are the perceived costs of change to great? Maybe simply, “if it isn’t broke don’t fix it”?

Whatever your reason for every argument that suggests you want to maintain the status quo, there are many compelling reasons to upgrade today. This especially true for your Cisco Unified Communications Manager deployment. It is time for you to break the inertia and plan your evolution. At Cisco we have built very compelling features and enhancements at every major and minor release from early 9.x versions to the very latest in capabilities in release 12.5.

We have continued to enhance the solution, guided by the following principles:

  • Delivering new, improved user experiences
  • Simplifying administration and lowering the cost of ownership
  • Enhancing security and compliance
  • Connecting on-premises with Webex cloud collaboration capabilities

We have clear roadmaps to for customers wishing to move to full collaboration in the cloud. At the same time, we realize that many can not move and wish to remain on-premises. Our Collaboration Flex Plan enables you to plan transitions at your own pace; adding cloud-connected services like WebEx Teams and Meetings and offering options for hybrid deployment models. We are innovating and leading the development of intelligent systems that make the collaboration experience cognitive. We also want you to be able to take advantage of those capabilities as quickly as you can.
Either way we want to help your modernization journey and over the next few months. During this time, we will be sharing more detail on some of those compelling reasons to upgrade your Unified CM estate. In this series of evolution blogs, we will provide some compelling reasons to upgrade your Unified CM estate. The first of these has to be how we address the complexity and pain of upgrading on-premises systems.

Reduce Upgrade Effort by 50% With “One-Touch” Upgrades

So, we hear you! Our customers have been asking Cisco to simplify the upgrade process. In Unified CM 12.5 we did exactly that. We introduced “one touch upgrade” capabilities that reduce downtime and simplify the number of tasks you need to perform. This lets you ensure your network is ready to upgrade by spotting common problems and possible glitches that could cause your upgrades to fail. We are reducing and simplifying the steps you need to make to accomplish your upgrade. We have also optimized the upgrade and database replication process itself so that it takes less time and can be accomplished prior to your maintenance window. Watch this short video now to understand how “one touch upgrades” will give you an effective journey to quicker adoption of new releases, faster than ever before.

Holding on to old and out dated versions and endpoints, means ultimately, you miss the latest cool features and benefits. It exposes you to potential security issues, and the reality is even with the long lifetimes we support that you cannot keep older technology forever. Eventually the software and hardware will expire, and older versions will have to go out of support as the markets and business requirements constantly evolve and develop.
There never been a more compelling time to get current and keep your business agile, responsive to market conditions and customer demands. By using the very latest in Unified Communications and collaboration, your staff can be more pro-active and agile at taking the fight to your competitors.

Talk to your Cisco Account Manager or Trusted Cisco Partner today to find out how.

Up next in the series: an evolution blog on securing your business transactions in 12.5: PCI Compliance.


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Connect with others blogs in the Unified Communication Manager Evolution Blog Series 



Wade Hamblin

Director of Product Management

Collaboration Infrastructure Business Unit