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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.


In the past ninety days, the global business environment has been adopting futuristic workplace practices at an accelerated pace. Fortunately, Cisco just made it a lot easier to get business phone features that serve the needs of everybody – customers, employees, IT, and management – in a work from anywhere world, as easily as in an office.

Business Quality you Can Take Home

One of the first challenges for the home worker is having the same business-class calling features at home. There are many options for using smartphone apps, leveraging over-the-top cloud services, but these services don’t offer features, like multi-line and executive-to-admin functionality, that are essential for many business workflows.

Cisco Unified Communications Manager (UCM) Release 12.5 addresses these issues, enabling employees to take their Cisco IP phones home, or activating a new phone for home use.  Enabling their desk phone at home gives remote workers all the UCM features enjoyed in the office.  Cisco has made the process of connecting a business IP phone at home extremely simple. Employees can install their own, secure Cisco IP phone at home by entering an activation code on their phone. This eliminates any logistics and configuration effort on the part of IT.

Work from home employees can also use their Jabber or Webex Teams client for messaging and calling from their smartphone or laptop. These UCM connected devices will experience high quality, dedicated connections for voice, and video. CUCM 12.5 has implemented media path optimization (ICE), which ensures all voice and video travels the best path possible for calls over the internet.

Work From Anywhere Flexibility

Additional new features benefit mobile workers. One example, UCM Release 12.5 supports the new mobile push notification services for both iOS and Android devices. This enables mobile users with Apple devices, running iOS 13 to make and receive calls and messages on their Jabber or Webex Teams clients. UCM 12.5 also includes persistent chat rooms for mobile phones.

UCM Extension Mobility has been simplified. This gives enterprises the ability to deploy a shared workspace environment with hoteling locations. One innovative first, Cisco has added the ability for workers to use their Cisco headset as a means of authentication, for logging on to an IP phone at a shared workspace. By doing so, that shared work phone temporarily becomes their primary phone, with all the properties of their personal desk phone, including extension number, Jabber/Webex Teams integration, and more.

Additionally, as the accepted standard for IP addresses moves toward IPv6, CUCM 12.5 allows you to deploy endpoints on IPv6-only networks, thereby ensuring your installation is future-ready. This is especially valuable for remote working arrangements when service providers are only issuing IPv6 addresses.

UCM Release 12.5 offers improvements in Emergency Call (E911) treatment for your mobile workforce on Jabber clients, with enhanced location services support through Cisco Emergency Responder (CER). The solution also enables you to be compliant with recent regulations, like Kari’s Law for E911, which took effect in Feb 2020. Read more about Kari’s Law requirements here.

Administration That’s Simple, Centralized, and Costs Less

IT teams find the new CUCM 12.5 “one-touch” upgrade process delivers a massive reduction in their maintenance windows and an estimated 50% reduction in IT time spent managing upgrades. This comes as the result of one-touch execution of the pre-upgrade readiness check, as well as cluster-wide upgrades, reboots, and file specification processes.

We’ve simplified our license management by aligning to Cisco Smart Licensing. With Smart Licensing, customers can re-assign their UCM licenses to any site, at any time, for optimal license utilization.  We have improved licensing reporting and Smart Licensing is always connected to the Cisco Smart Software Manager (CSSM) which means you will always know exactly what your entitlements are.

Simplicity Features in CUCM 12.5 displayed in a colored wheel and includes smart account smart licenses and Cisco smart software manager (CSSM)

Here are 3 additional simplicity features in CUCM 12.5:

  • We’ve eliminated the need for XML file uploads to each Jabber client. Jabber clients now get configuration settings from the service profile. Administrators can create configuration templates by site, by user group, or other grouping conventions.
  • Cisco headsets can now be managed by UCM. No additional hardware, software, or licensing needed.
  • Full provisioning of Cisco video endpoints. This enables endpoint migration from Video Communications Server (VCS) to UCM.

Broader Security and Compliance

Cisco has made the most secure UC platform more secure. Enhanced cipher management and controls, allows you to address InfoSec compliance, including environments with selective remote work policies. UCM 12.5 with the Cisco Unified Border Element (CUBE) 12.5 media proxy, gives you a fully redundant call recording solution. This solution forks a call recording channel to multiple media recording appliances. This helps financial institutions meet MiFID II and similar recording compliance requirements.

Your endpoints are more secure with the support of SIP OAuth, which simplifies certificate management when you need to enable secure, encrypted communications from your Jabber clients.

UCM Release 12.5 has achieved FIPS 140-2 and DoD UC APL certification, making it fully compliant for use by the US Federal government.  However, even if you are not a federal company, you still benefit from higher application security.

If you have been waiting to upgrade your UCM solution, now is the time to modernize your unified communications experience. UCM 12.5 is an essential, transformative UC Solution. Reach out to your Cisco account team, or Cisco authorized partner today and make sure your business is ready for what tomorrow will bring.

Learn more about Cisco Unified Communications Manager (CallManager)

I also invite you to join us for the virtual Cisco Live event, which will be held online on June 2-3. There will be four learning tracks both days, as well as plenty of on-demand material, including a more detailed overview of UCM Release 12.5.

Register for the Cisco Live Virtual Event on June 2-3

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

2020 is Calling: Cisco UCM Cloud Momentum and Benefits

Get Out of the ‘Phone Business’ with Cisco Cloud Calling

What is Cloud Calling? Why is it Better than Legacy PBX?