Cisco Unity Connection and Cisco Unified Presence Overview

Cisco Unity Connection Overview

Unity Connection is the voicemail solution where we can tie in up to 20,000 users per server for voicemail and of course it does all the basic auto attendant functionality which says, “Hi welcome to our company if you know your party’s extension dial it now”, all of that is programmable. We also have the ability again because we’re using Voice over IP Technology we can tie into existing LDAP Compliant Databases, what does that mean, I could tie into Microsoft’s Active Directory infrastructure. So if you already have all of your users created in Active Directory with user names and passwords we can actually leverage that in our Unity Connection solution. We also have the ability to support integration with e-mail solutions like exchange, for example: with exchange I could pull up my e-mail from my inbox, it’s an attachment and that’s that voice profile for internet mail solution. I can also respond and, you know, record all of things you could pick up that you would need due to that voicemail message through your e-mail client. We can also leverage the Calendar. So the Calendar maybe if we set a meeting between 10 and 11 we can have this system look at that calendar and say “Okay from 10 to 11 let’s reroute that call to the voicemail system because Michelle’s not sitting at her desk she’s busy in a meeting”, so we do have a lot of options too with our voicemail solutions tied into our Communications Manager solution.

Voice Messaging Systems

There are bunch of platforms in which you can purchase your Unity solution for smaller offices, branch offices, maybe you have a Communications Manager Express.

Platform Redundancy
Cisco Unity Express 300 Router No
Unified CM Business Edition 500 Appliance No
Cisco Unity Connection 20,000 per Server Appliance Active / Active
Cisco Unity 15,000 per Server Windows Server Active / Passive


You might look at the Unity Express because the max mail boxes are 300, it is router based, it could either be a dotter board or it’s a card that you slide into your router platform. We also have the Unified Communications Manager Business Edition, which is, it’s basically an appliance, everything is kind of tied into one unit this supports up to 500 mail boxes, then you’ve got Unity Connect and Unity. The Unity Connection has about 20,000 mail boxes per server and Cisco Unity has about 15,000 users per server. So, long story short here, if you’re looking for the voicemail solution. What I would do is first decide how big do I need it, how large, how many mail boxes do I need to support then I would go out and see, okay now what’s specific features do I need for my voicemail solution and that should help you narrow down which system or platform you want chose.

Cisco Unity Connection Architecture

Cisco Unity Connect or Connection has a different type of storage of your messages than Cisco Unity. Cisco unity actually needs an external e-mail solution such as Exchange or Lotus Notes because it leverages the exchange database store to actually store your voicemail messages with Cisco Unity Connection all of the messages are stored locally in an IBM Informix Database. So, we don’t have to rely upon, in other words that exchange server to be up and running in order for our messages to be stored, so it’s a little bit different than your Cisco Unity Product.

Unity Connection High Availability

Unity Connection has a high availability solution as well. We are able to have like a publisher and a subscriber, both be in the active-active state within the cluster. So in other words, if I leave a message then it is being sent between the two servers, so if one server were to go down then the other server would have my message and I’d be able to go in and retrieve it, for example. Both of the servers accept audio calls, HTTP and IMAP requests and we really have the ability to set up one server as the primary node. They own the database in the message store and the secondary node is a replication of the publishers, is basically how it works, but because it’s that active-active state, it gives us instantaneous fail over instead of a active passive solution that you may run into where one is sitting there kind of waiting and everything went down on the active side I’m now the active server and then it would come online. Here, we’re ready to go instantaneously.

Cisco Unified Presence Overview

With the Presence integration to our solution we have the ability to let people know if we’re available or not basically to take a phone call, for example or if we press like do not disturb button on our phone we can change our status from being available, to not available at that point in time and the Unified Presence incorporates something called Jabber Extensible Communications Platform or XCP. This is actually an industry standard and it can be used between different clients, so again we’re getting open architecture solution with our Presence capabilities. We’ve the ability to support really instant messaging type environments that’s what we’re looking at with Presence capability. It lets people know just like you have in a lot of your instant messaging clients, if you are away, if you are on the phone, that sort of thing can be indicated and we can use this with Mobile Advantage Integration, what that really means is any device that is compliant can see the status of that individual user.

Cisco Unified Personal Communicator

The Cisco Unified Personal Communicator is instant messaging, it allows you to chat. But it also gives you visual indicators such as if you have voicemail coming into you or if you need to tie into any type of LDAP support for additional user information. It’s compatible on tons of different system from Windows XP on up to Windows 8, it will run on an Apple Mac OS and there’s a 32 and a 64 bit version, it also allows you to do your voice and video through this client as well.

Cisco Unified Presence Deployment

With your Presence environment you can utilize LDAP Authentication, which allows you to tie into a directory for the company.

Cisco Unified Presence Deployment

You can find an individual and then communicate with them and it also allows that presences status, so if I am on hook or I am off hook that is indicated to anybody that I’ve would allowed to have my presence status. And in order to receive that presence status, we are using SIP the Session Initiation Protocol, and we’re using SIMPLE which is SIP for Instant Messaging and Presence Leveraging Extensions, that’s what that stands for. So SIP and SIMPLE allows us to get that notification, in other words from the Communications Manager cluster as to the status of that individual.

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