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Cisco® Unified Communications Manager is the heart of Cisco collaboration services, enabling session and call control for video, voice, messaging, mobility, instant messaging, and presence.
Over the past year, remote work has seen accelerated adoption. Analysts predict that in years to come, work will be a blend of in the office and remote. Key to a successful hybrid work model is empowering the workforce with the same collaboration capabilities they get in the office, from any work location.
Telephony remains a critical part of doing business for many organizations and supporting remote work from a voice and unified communications perspective remains a top priority for Cisco.
Cisco® Unified Communications Manager (UCM) is the core of Cisco’s collaboration portfolio. UCM has a rich feature set that supports calling, mobility, conferencing, and messaging features. Release 14 of UCM extends the product with new features for remote workers.
UC Manager is the industry leader in enterprise call and session management platforms, with more than 300,000 customers worldwide, and more than 120 million Cisco IP phones and soft clients deployed.
Release 14 is the latest feature release in market leading Cisco Unified Communication Manager. This release will further extend Cisco Unified Communication Manager’s leadership through features that enrich user experiences, simplify administration workloads, enhanced security and enhanced business and operational insights through Webex Cloud Connected UC services
Release 14 brings improved experience for users and administrators, including:
● Increased cluster capacity so that more devices can be supported without adding more resources
● Flexibility to move a registered phone from office to home without repeating the onboarding process
● Flexibility to move between Wi-Fi and LTE networks without dropping an existing call on
Cisco Webex® apps
● Operational workflow simplification by managing all certificates from a single portal
Table 1 lists major features in Cisco Unified Communications Manager Version 14
Table 1. High-level features in UCM Version 14
Enhanced user experience
Call persistency – LTE to Wi-Fi support
● Flexibility for users on the Webex app to switch between networks without getting disconnected from active calls
● When Cisco UCM detects that a client has lost connection with it, the call is not impacted. If the client connects back within 12 seconds, media is resumed with the client's updated connection address on a new network
● This feature requires the Webex app
MRA registration failover support
● The Webex app or Jabber can quickly detect any outage in the registration path if Cisco Expressway-E/C or CUCM is down and can re-register over a different Expressway-E/C path to CUCM
● Expressway-E/C uses adaptive routing to find the most optimal path to CUCM
UDS optimization for bulk search and high availability
● UDS is enhanced to perform better discovery of the home cluster of a user across remote clusters. This helps in avoiding the Cisco Jabber login failures and ensures geographical redundancy in the event of a data center failure or shutdown.
● The UDS bulk search by email enables Cisco Jabber to send requests in batches using the email attribute to prevent high CPU usage by UDS and Cisco Tomcat services.
AV1 codec support
● AV1 codec enables users joining meetings on low bandwidth to get same video quality as users with normal bandwidth. With this release CUCM 14 is AV1 codec ready. A Webex room device registered to CUCM can
Bidirectional presence sync between Webex app and desk phone
● A user’s shared IP phone device off-hook/on-hook status is integrated with the user’s Webex app presence
● When a user sets status as Do Not Disturb (DND) on the Webex app, the user’s IP phone status is set to DND
● Requires CUCM to be onboarded to Webex Cloud Connected UC (service release date will be announced later)
● Also supported with CUCM 12.5 SU4 and later
Headset-based Extension Mobility login
● Enables user to login or logout of Cisco Extension Mobility service with the user’s paired Cisco headset
Cisco Jabber® IM&P high availability with zero down time
● Significantly reduces downtime for Jabber user during server failover, fallback, and upgrades
● Requires Cisco Jabber release 14
Phone presence in centralized IM&P
● User’s phone presence is updated from CUCM to centralized IM&P in centralized deployments. There is no dependency on user having logged into Jabber
● Reflects correct phone presence for shared lines
Jabber out of office presence support
● When a user is Out Of Office (OOO), you can let others know through Cisco Jabber presence status. Requires Cisco Jabber release 14
● Enables lower deployment cost through a 25 percent increase in cluster scale. A standard cluster now supports registration of 50,000 devices, and a mega cluster supports registration of 100,000 devices.
Extension Mobility cross-cluster (EMCC) scale
● Enables enterprises to deploy EMCC for more users by supporting 7500 user logins. The login rate is increased from 90 to 150 per minute on a 10,000-user OVA.
High availability proxy and Tomcat restructuring
● Increases WebApp stability
● Restart individual Tomcat container/instances without impacting other web apps
● Faster startup time of web apps
● Better serviceability with new RTMT counters for monitoring a WebApp session
Fresh install with data import
● UCM-native virtual-to-virtual migration functionality, avoiding a refresh upgrade and external tool requirements
● Fast migration and major version skipping with less downtime than direct refresh upgrades and no need for a separate management app
● All-in-one solution for “repave” scenarios where the site, hardware, IP, and/or version need to change
Simple phone refresh
● Easy, intuitive Cisco IP phone migration solution native to Unified Communications Manager. It minimizes the cost and complexity of replacing deprecated or faulty phones.
● End user or an administrator can easily migrate all the settings from an old phone to a new phone with a simple user interface
Flexible infrastructure support
● VMware ESXi 7.0 and 6.7 support
● More flexibility with virtual machine configurations and CPU minimum hardware requirements
● Easier to accommodate customer hardware standards and operations
● Easier to adjust resources to scale or to improve performance, without hardware restructuring or UCM reinstallations
Phone ITL Mismatch reporting
● ITL Mismatch reporting has been introduced to allow for easy identification of phones that have mismatched ITL hashes
GUI banner ads to give notice of ungraceful shutdown
● A UI alert is triggered, and an administrator is notified when a system rebuild or upgrade is required
PCD Release 14 improvements
● Configurable performance parameter to more efficiently handle deployments with a very high numbers of nodes, clusters, and/or tasks
● Usability improvements
Jabber location migration support
● Jabber location can be migrated from one cluster to another using BAT. Useful in migration from standard deployment to centralized deployment
Security and compliance
Accessibility for self-care portal
● The self-care portal is enhanced with the following accessibility improvements:
● Font type and size – consistent usage of a sans-serif font type with a minimum DPX size of 10 across the portal
● Keyboard navigation – better navigation for support pages under Phones>My Phones
● Screen reader and compatibility – easy-to-view content and navigation for screen reader users
Simple phone security with SIP OAuth support for Cisco IP Phone 7800 and 8800 Series
● Cloud-aware ready with OAuth tokens enabling a simplified phone security experience for Cisco IP phones
◦ Simplified configuration
◦ Simplified deployment for office use (on-premises) and home (Mobile Remote Agent [MRA])
◦ Simplified migration between the office and a home
● Improved security and compliance with calling encryption from end to end and secure registration
Enable Single Sign-Out
● Single Sign-Out or Single Logout SAML flow implemented on UCM allows users to log out from all SSO-authenticated nodes, improving security
Improved security and compliance through Cisco’s Secure Development Lifecycle (CSDL)
● Release 14 has gone through Cisco’s CSDL process and is more secure in:
◦ Administrative access security
◦ Application security
◦ Threat surface reduction
◦ Logging and auditing
◦ Web security (XSS, injection vulnerabilities)
◦ Privacy and data security
◦ Vulnerability management
◦ Cryptographic support (X.509)
Emergency 911 (E911) regulatory compliance
● Cisco UCM software, when installed using a United States time zone, proactively checks for the presence of a direct 911 dial pattern, creates it, and notifies an administrator to perform the required configuration or waive it where E911 regulatory laws are not applicable.
● Cisco Emergency Responder provides advanced emergency calling to Unified Communications Manager. It assures that UCM will send emergency calls to the appropriate Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) for a caller's location, and that the PSAP can identify the caller's location and return the call if necessary. In addition, it provides local onsite notification through several methods, including phone alert, web portal alert, email, and text alert. Deploying this capability helps ensure compliance. (See https://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/products/unified-communications/next-gen-karis-law.html for more details.)
Certificate OCSP enhancements
● Implementation of the Online Certificate Status Protocol, which is used by certificate authorities to check the revocation status of an X.509 digital certificate
Centralized certificate management
● Single place to manage certificates of CUCM, IM&P, Unity Connection and CER through Webex Cloud-Connected UC (CCUC)
● Monitor and manage both identity and trust certificates across your clusters
● Ability to distribute certificates across the UC Applications trust stores
● Quick dashboard to view expired or about to expire certificates
● Insights for certificate consolidation and out of compliance
● Webex Cloud-Connected UC analytics reports
● Endpoint KPIs, headset KPIs, endpoint deployment distribution, headset deployment distribution
● Call quality, call status
● Call count, call duration, endpoint utilization, headset utilization
● CPU utilization, memory utilization, disk utilization, cluster and node availability
Note: Some features have dependency with the Webex app, Cisco Jabber, and Cisco Expressway™. For release compatibility with other products, refer Release 14’s Release Notes.
Cisco Webex Cloud-Connected UC features, like certificate management and analytics, are release agnostic. These features are compatible with CUCM and IM&P versions 11.5, 12.0, and 12.5 as well.
Simplifying Release Number Scheme: Please note, for Cisco Unified Communications Manager v14 onwards, Cisco has adopted a whole number release numbering structure. There will be no (dot)releases, like (dot)5 in past version releases. Service Upgrade release will be published on top of the main release through its Software Maintenance cycle.
● Starting with CUCM 12.0 and continuing with CUCM 14, only Smart Licensing is supported. Licenses are Smart Entitlements. Customers must create a Smart Account. For details on Smart Licensing refer to:
● Cisco Smart Software Licensing – https://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/products/software/smart-accounts/software-licensing.html
● Cisco Smart Software Manager – https://www.cisco.com/web/ordering/smart-software-manager/index.html
● Cisco Smart Software Manager satellite – https://www.cisco.com/go/smartsatellite
● Cisco Smart Accounts – https://www.cisco.com/web/ordering/smart-software-manager/smart-accounts.html
Cisco Unified Communications Manager software and user licenses are ordered through Flex, with the following options: A-Flex-3, A-Flex-3-EDU, or A-Flex-3-FEDRAMP. Refer the Flex 3.0 Ordering Guide for more details: https://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/partners/tools/collaboration-ordering-guides.html
New purchase of Cisco Unified Communications Manager Version 14
Customers ordering Cisco Unified Communications Manager may select Calling Options under A-Flex-3, A-Flex-3-EDU, or A-Flex-3-FEDRAMP. Choose the appropriate buying model—Enterprise Agreement (EA) or Named User (NU). Customers are required to select a UCM deployment option (on-premises, hosted, or UCM Cloud) as well as either Knowledge Worker or Named User (Professional, Enhanced, Access). Choose your software version. Refer to the Flex 3.0 Ordering Guide for full details: https://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/partners/tools/collaboration-ordering-guides.html
Upgrades with SWSS to Cisco Unified Communications Manager Version 14
Customers with Software Support Service (SWSS) should use My Cisco Entitlements (MCE) to order the Unified Communications 14 server software suite and upgrade licenses for the SWSS term. The Global Licensing Operations (GLO) team can assist customers in upgrading licenses if you experience any issues in the MCE conversion portal. Raise a GLO case at: https://mycase.cloudapps.cisco.com/case
Upgrades without SWSS to Cisco Unified Communications Manager Version 14
Customers not adding SWSS and upgrading to Cisco Unified Communications Manager 14 may order an EA or NU option in Flex (A-Flex-3) and maintain their subscription. Customers are required to select a UCM deployment option (on-premises, hosted, or UCM Cloud) and Knowledge Worker or Named User (Professional, Enhanced, Access). Choose your software version. Refer to the Flex 3.0 Ordering Guide for full details: https://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/partners/tools/collaboration-ordering-guides.html
● Customers must create a Smart Account and a Virtual Account before starting a migration or upgrade. For more details on Smart Accounts and Virtual Accounts, refer to: https://www.cisco.com/web/ordering/smart-software-manager/smart-accounts.html
● Migration to a smart license-enabled version is available only with an active SWSS contract
● Moving from Version 10 and Version 11 classic licenses to Smart Licenses can be performed on Cisco Smart Software Manager (CSSM) and from the traditional License Registration Portal (LRP). These are self-service portals.
● Two types of migration are supported:
◦ PAK-based - Migration can be done for already fulfilled, partially fulfilled, and unfulfilled PAKs
◦ Device-based - Can be used to convert Cisco Prime License Manager (PLM)-based licenses to smart entitlements
● PAKs or devices (PLM) can be assigned to a Smart Account and Virtual Account in LRP and then converted to Smart Licenses. Select your version (either 14 or 12).
● The Global Licensing Operations (GLO) team can assist customers in converting classic licenses if they experience any issues in the self-service conversion portal on LRP or CSSM. Raise a GLO case at: https://mycase.cloudapps.cisco.com/case
You can deploy Cisco Unified Communications Manager IM and Presence Service in various configurations, depending on the number of devices and data center requirements, through the Cisco UCS virtual model, which offers deployment choice and scaling flexibility.
For Centralized IM&P deployment, refer to: https://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/td/docs/voice_ip_comm/cucm/im_presence/configAdminGuide/12_5_1/cup0_b_config-and-admin-guide-1251/cup0_b_config-and-admin-guide-1251_chapter_01000.html.
To help you choose the correct IMP VM configuration, see 'IM and Presence Service Deployment Sizing' in 'Configuration and Admin' at: https://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/support/unified-communications/unified-presence/products-installation-and-configuration-guides-list.html.
Supported Open Virtual Appliances (OVAs) and their associated characteristics (vCPU, vRAM, vDISK, and vNIC) can be found at: https://www.cisco.com/c/dam/en/us/td/docs/voice_ip_comm/uc_system/virtualization/virtualization-cisco-ucm-im-presence.html.
Sizing tool for IM&P.
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For more information on installation or upgrading from older versions of Unified Communications Manager, visit: https://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/support/unified-communications/unified-communications-manager-callmanager/products-installation-guides-list.html?dtid=osscdc000283.
To view Unified Communications preferred architecture guides, visit: https://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/td/docs/voice_ip_comm/uc_system/design/guides/PAdocs.html?dtid=osscdc000283.