Migrating from a non Cisco to a Cisco UC environment

Cisco’s Unified Session Manager edition offers customers a unique migration strategy from a traditional telephony platform to a converged SIP centric UC enabled architecture. In doing so the key benefits will be investment protection in the existing installed base as well as the insertion of new features on user and business demand basis.

For large enterprises, Cisco SME & CUBE is the core communications platform that removes complexities and continually helps evolve the network to extend rich collaborative services like voice, video and mobility to any endpoint, anywhere in cost-effective way.  This solution saves money, simplifies the architecture and creates a flexible foundation that speeds deployments and minimizes changes during times of evolution.

In order to achieve a transitional architecture Cisco proposes as strategy termed The NET Effect. With this process we can design a solution that offers a user based migration as well as protection the investment while offering a strategy that will bring about effective business change.

First, we start with SIP trunking.  It not only saves money, but it lays the foundation for collaborating with customers, partners or anyone beyond the enterprise using IP.

Then we develop a centralized architecture that helps not only improve efficiencies now, but creates a flexible foundation to help you evolve you network in ways that make sense for your business.

Step 1 in the NET effect is to Normalise the technology. The system today is based on a combination of vendors using TDM or perhaps some IP based interconnectivity. Insertion of an additionalSIP based call control platform (PABX) will present several technical challenges. Through Normalisation we can introduce a mediation layer that is SIP centric. Existing PABX’s can connect to this new layer over legacy TDM protocols. Normalisation is achieved using Cisco’s Unified Session Management Edition.


SME Offers these unique benefits:

  • More than just a SIP network. Supports many other protocols (H.323, QSIG, XMPP), leverages what you have and deploy services you require now and in the future.
  • Choice of architectures – distributed, centralized or hybrid SIP trunk architectures with the ability to support SME in on-prem, virtually or as part of Siemens.
  • SME offers the ability to normalize differing SIP messaging allowing full interoperability between vendors.
  • Investment protection. SME can be deployed on a  CUCM cluster. Deploy CUBE on an ISR’s, often with just a simple SW upgrade and with additional services.  This flexibility continues as your network evolves.
  • Experience better end-user quality by leveraging the capabilities of the network
  • Offer faster problem resolution through a centralized architecture that leverage the benefits of the network.
  • Leverages Cisco Unified Communication Manager interfaces making transitioning to SME easy

Cisco® Unified Communications Manager Session Management Edition (SME) is a key enterprise transformation solution that builds upon Cisco Unified Communications Manager’s heritage of multi-protocol support (SIP, SCCP, H.323, Q.SIG, MGCP) and its native SIP back-to-back user agent (B2BUA) capabilities. It enables and coordinates progressive, rich-media communications for your users through the “point” introduction of applications and features.

For example, employees could start a chat session after noting one another’s real-time presence on the Cisco Quad enterprise collaboration portal. They might then escalate this interaction to a phone call using Cisco Unified Communications Manager, and eventually engage other interested parties in an audio-visual conference in a Cisco Unified MeetingPlace®, Cisco WebEx®, or a Cisco TelePresence® session. This is the progression of a conversation through successively richer communication channels that today’s enterprise users have come to expect.

You can centrally deploy any or all of the Cisco Quad enterprise collaboration platform, Cisco Unified MeetingPlace, and Cisco TelePresence applications with Session Management Edition. In turn, this edition uses its session-management and multi-protocol interworking capabilities to make each of these applications available to all your users, whether they are located at your primary site, a branch office, or are telecommuting from home or from on the road.

You can make these applications available to users of your legacy PBX infrastructure without the need for a “rip and replace” strategy. Upgrades to or replacements of existing equipment (for example, improved desk sets or new video endpoints) can be made on your schedule, as your budget and resources allow. In the interim, all phones and other endpoints – whether they be based on SIP, SCCP, H.323 or legacy TDM or analog standards – can participate in the use of these centrally deployed features according to the native capabilities of the device and their call processing agents. Other vendors’ offerings simply do not have the flexibility or multi-protocol interoperability to offer this.

For a more indepth look at SME go here: http://www.cisco.com/en/US/prod/collateral/voicesw/ps6788/vcallcon/ps10661/data_sheet_c78-684404.html


The second stage in the NET Effect is to address user needs and demands. By doing this we are enhancing the user experience and productivity. Cisco Unified Communication Manager 9.0 has some key technical benefits that allow for the retention of legacy TDM handsets while participating in a SIP based services architecture. Essentially the user can retain their Siemens or Mitel handset where appropriate and use Cisco Unified Communications technology to control that phone. This feature is called “Extend and Connect”.

A worthwhile  exercise is an end user analysis. This can assist HSE East to assign services to users based on function and job classification. For example a deskbound user may simply require a phone with a voice mailbox, while a mobile user will require a Cisco Softphone with GSM integration.

A mobile executive may require GSM features with Softphone and Tablet UC capabilities.

The last step in the three stage process is to allow UC to effect business change, and thereby transform the business. Cisco Jabber along with SME presents multiple  API’s and interfaces that allow the company’s business to tightly couple into the UC applications.