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Cisco Unified Communications Components

The Cisco Unified Communications suite of products has many different components that provide a variety of different services.  Let's discuss the "big picture" in this post so that you can start to gain an overall understanding of the components and features provided.  Note that I have kept things at a high level intentionally.

Among the most popular components found in a Cisco Unified Communications System are the following.  These products provide enterprise-grade IP telephony, messaging, voice mail, presence, and contact center functionality:
  • Cisco IP Phones
  • Infrastructure including Switches, Gateways and Gatekeepers
  • Unified Communications Manager
  • Unity & Unity Connections
  • Unified Presence
  • Unified Contact Center
Seems pretty straight forward, doesn't it?  Well, take a look at the full suite of voice and unified communications products offered by Cisco.  Don't let this seem overwhelming, I've summarized down below so it's not quite so intimidating.

Cert Alert:  CCNA Voice students should review this post to begin understanding all that Cisco Unified Communications can provide.   Note the topics included on the CCNA Voice exam and the additional resources provided at the bottom of this post.

Cisco's Channel Update on CUCM 8.5 and Updated Features

Voice and Unified Communications Architecture

The diagram below, from the Cisco Unified Communications 8.x SRND, does a very good job illustrating how products and services are layered upon one another.  Take some time to absorb this diagram as it follows a similar format to the OSI model you may already be familiar with from the CCNA certification.

Cisco Unified Communications Architecture, CUCS SRND 8.x
Voice and Unified Communications Products

Finally, the product groups below summarize the voice and unified communications products nicely. Click on the title of each group to get more detail.
  1. Communications Infrastructure : Switches w/ PoE, Voice Gateways, and Voice Servers
  2. Customer Collaboration : Unified Contact Center products and Unified Voice Self-Service products
  3. IP Telephony : Hard and Soft IP Phones, Cius, and Call Control (includes:  CUCM, CUCMBE, Unified Mobility, Unified SIP Proxy, Unified SRST)
  4. Cisco Telepresence : Telepresence Manager, Switch and Systems
  5. Unified Communications Applications : Unified Presence, Conferencing, Telephony Applications, Unified Communication Clients, Voice mail and Unified Messaging
  6. Unified Communications Network Management : Unified Operations Manager, Service Monitor and Provisioning Manager
  7. Virtualization Experience Client : Cius and Virtualization Experience Clients
Additional Information

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