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Unified Communications

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Here's an interesting case study on how to help retain employees and expand business by supporting a variety of working styles and creating a new foundation for teamwork. If you get a chance read how Japan’s Cybozu does it from the link below.

 

http://www.cisco.com/c/dam/en/us/solutions/collateral/collaboration/cloud-collaboration/cybozu-case-study.pdf

A collection of promotional, marketing and PR collateral Sei Mani produced as part of its adoption services of Cisco enterprise collaboration apps. Consumer style promotional material of Cisco unified communications technology in the digital workplace. In this case for our customer Musgrave, Ireland’s leading food retail and wholesale company, who are deploying Cisco Jabber for instant messaging and presence.

 

The core value proposition we use in training sessions, emails, and other communications is:

musgrave-jabber-inbox-2.png

 

It’s what we ask people to use if they’re explaining it to a colleague in the canteen.  Here’s a montage of materials and messaging used throughout the adoption campaign.

 

Screen Shot 2017-02-23 at 08.23.11.png

 

"The Sei Mani team demonstrated great flexibility and creativity in communicating a complex message to the internal audience at Musgrave and their input  was a valuable contribution to the overall success of the project. Michelle Walsh, Communications Manager, Musgrave Group."

Technology will never replace the chemistry of high value face-to-face meetings and even when people know each other well, there’ll always be a need to meet in person.  Technology has undeniably reduced the number of journeys people have to take dating back to the introduction of the plain old telephone service.

 

When large enterprises make investments in real time collaboration technologies, typically Skype For Business, WebEx and Telepresence (in all its forms) the business case is typically based around savings in Travel & Entertainment (T&E) expenses. It’s easy nowadays to benchmark and monitor T&E costs through individual expense claims – and if adoption is done well, use of the technology goes up and T&E goes down.

 

The stand out case study over the years is Vodafone’s massive investment in Cisco Telepresence and Skype For Business, which achieved a 20% reduction in travel expense, with employees avoiding 100 trips per month per location, saving 200,000 hours of time over 3 years.  Urban legend has it that Vodafone saved $400m over a ten year period.

 

But this isn’t the whole story and Vodafone didn’t get there with technology alone.  Other ‘compensating controls’ related to human behaviour were also necessary. Travel policy rules changed to prevent people from booking unnecessary travel.  They made it easier to book a video conferencing room than to book a flight, and when booking a flight people are prompted with reminders that immersive video rooms are available as an alternative.

 

Business relationships are crucial, especially in the early stages of development and we know that video meetings can never fully replace the chemistry of face to face meetings.

 

Adoption efforts continually communicate how video capable laptops and desktop video devices, through to purpose built video rooms, can be used for different types of meetings.  Based on our experience, we’ve defined what we believe are five types of meetings.

 

travel policy.png

This chart describes meeting types, their importance and the travel policy and protocol to be used in each with the corresponding process required to ensure people get the meeting experience they need.

imageLike with most new technologies, beginnings can be painful.

With ITSP trunks,it is no different.

The lack of specific rules and instructions can lead to a daunting experience when trying to deal with CUBE Registration with ITSP.

We have all been there, the rough first implementation of CUBE and the bliss of overcoming the obstacles, just to find out that the next CUBE implementation will lead us through a whole new path in an uncharted territory.


And it is not our fault either! We read, we researched, we took examples and yet, the the hurdles are just getting more complicated.

The problem is, there are too many possible scenarios. Some of the main reasons for the massive variations are:

  • ITSPs has to support a wide range vendors, thus, interpretations of IETF.
  • Different ITSPs use different vendors softswitches and architectures.
  • Our own designs, products and versions vary from customer to customer.

Hence, variations in deployments are unavoidable. Fortunately, these problems are solvable, as long as we understand some basic concepts.

 

In this post I'll cover the CUBE Registration and CUBE Authentication concepts as they are the core of our communication with the ITSP.

 

Get ready

 

The hard truth is, more often than not, the customer mails us this poor scanned fax that he received from the ITSP, which usually includes three lines: username, password and IP address.
Well yippiee ki-yay!! Didn't I just win the lottery!!
At times, it felt like it would be easier to extract information from a spy..
So, if we don't want to spend the night chasing ghosts, we have to ask the right questions!

 

The bare minimum that we have to discover is the ITSP's approach to registration and it's approach to authentication. Mentally note that these are two different concepts with different roles. Let's see what they are all about.


CUBE Registration


Ever wondered what registration to ITSP is really for? Well, I did, and to be honest, too late for my own good.

 

Simply put, registration is there for the ITSP to know that you are alive and kicking and more importantly, where to send your incoming calls. It's just like registering your name with your home address so that your bills will come to the right place.

 

In most cases, ITSP does not statically configure your CUBE's IP Address in their systems to send you the SIP traffic. That's what registration is for, to dynamically manage the location of each customer's DID.

 

This is obviously a great advantage for the ITSP, but we can find it handy as well, as you'll notice in the troubleshooting section.

 

Enough said, let's get to work.

Parameters required:

  • Username
  • Password
  • Registrar server IP/FQDN
  • Realm (domain)

Do note that these are the parameters required for registration alone. For a successful cut-off, more information is needed. You can find the full list here.

Command syntax:

sip-ua
registrar [dns:/ipv4:/ipv6:] registrar-server-address
credentials username username password [0/7] password realm realm

For example:

  • Username: ucpros
  • Password: 123456
  • Registrar server IP/FQDN: SIP.ucpros.net
  • Realm: ucpros.net

 

sip-ua
  credentials username ucpros password 0 123456 realm ucpros.net
  registrar dns:SIP.ucpros.net


Verify and troubleshoot

The first step would be making sure we are not shooting blanks!
Easiest method to verify that we are indeed registered to our ITSP is running:

CUBE#show sip-ua register status
Line                             peer       expires(sec) reg survival P-Associ-URI
================================ ========== ============ === ======== ============
ucpros                           -1         56           yes normal
CUBE#


If our first attempt was unlucky we would need to understand why.
Run both of the command below to see CUBE registration attempts:

Debug ccsip messages
Debug ccsip non-call

Watch the response code from ITSP to understand the reason for the failure. It should put you back on the right track.

Remember me mentioning in the beginning that dynamic registration to ITSP can help us with our troubleshooting? We'll, I wasn't lying!

 

Dynamic Registration means that you can actually register to your ITSP from every device who has the right credentials. Although not the most uplifting thought security wise, it means that if everything you try fails, try and register a softphone with the ITSP using the same credentials. The advantage of it is, that usually these softphones only require the most basic info like username, password and domain. The softphone will then automatically apply this info into the SIP messages.

Personally I use MicroSIP but there are many other options.

 

If you manage to register with your softphone, it means that the ITSP is at least doing something right, so open your Wireshark and compare the SIP messages from CUBE registration attempts with the ones generated by your softphone. Watch the differences in the SIP headers to understand what went wrong.

 

Using a simple softphone is also great for troubleshooting a lot of other CUBE problems. Whenever you reach a dead end, use it to compare CUBEs behavior with another device.


CUBE Authentication


As opposed to registration, authentication is actually a method that ITSP uses to verify your identity.
Essentially, it uses authentication to decide whether we are allowed to make this call.
The role of authentication, from ITSP's point of view, is to allow you to make outgoing calls. Without it, every call attempt would be accepted and that's, well.. unacceptable!

 

In most cases, authentication should be pretty straight forward, if you pay attention to details that is (clue: skip to the troubleshooting section if you can't bear the suspense)

Parameters required:

  • Username
  • Password
  • Realm (domain)

Command syntax:

sip-ua
authentication username username password [0/7] password realm realm

For example:

  • Username: ucpros
  • Password: 123456
  • Realm: ucpros.net

 

sip-ua
  authentication username ucpros password 0 123456 realm ucpros.net


Verify and troubleshoot

Configuring authentication seems simple enough, but whenever it poses an issue or outgoing calls are failing, open your eyes for the following common pitfalls.

 

Now, let's get to business and turn the debug ccsip messages on!

 

This is what you would usually see: (showing only communication between CUBE and ITSP to simplify the output)

 

Following is an Invite message sent from CUBE to ITSP.

 

Watch the from field. The syntax should contain either your username or a number out of your allocated DID range! Anything other than that and your call won't go through.

Do pay attention to the number of digits as different ITSPs might have different requirements for the calling number. What some of us are missing, is that the from field is actually one of the authentication parameters.

Oct 23 12:15:13.648: //44/570577000000/SIP/Msg/ccsipDisplayMsg:
Sent:
INVITE sip:403454@iptel.org:5060 SIP/2.0
Via: SIP/2.0/UDP 192.168.1.20:5060;branch=z9hG4bK3AD75
Remote-Party-ID: "ucpros" <sip:100@192.168.1.20>;party=calling;screen=yes;privacy=off
From: "ucpros" <sip:ucpros@ucpros.net>;tag=345CA8-1182
To: <sip:403454@iptel.org>
Date: Sun, 23 Oct 2016 12:15:13 GMT
Call-ID: 2F3B7D9F-985111E6-8008865A-F6ED7E07@192.168.1.20
Supported: timer,resource-priority,replaces,sdp-anat
Min-SE:  1800
Cisco-Guid: 1459975936-0000065536-0000000001-0167880896
User-Agent: Cisco-SIPGateway/IOS-15.5.3.S2
Allow: INVITE, OPTIONS, BYE, CANCEL, ACK, PRACK, UPDATE, REFER, SUBSCRIBE, NOTIFY, INFO, REGISTER
CSeq: 101 INVITE
Timestamp: 1477224913
Contact: <sip:100@192.168.1.20:5060>
Call-Info: <sip:192.168.1.20:5060>;method="NOTIFY;Event=telephone-event;Duration=2000"
Expires: 180
Allow-Events: telephone-event
Max-Forwards: 68
Session-Expires:  1800
Content-Length: 0

Oct 23 12:15:13.759: //44/570577000000/SIP/Msg/ccsipDisplayMsg:
Received:
SIP/2.0 100 Trying
Via: SIP/2.0/UDP 192.168.1.20:5060;branch=z9hG4bK3AD75;received=87.71.31.219
From: "ucpros" <sip:ucpros@ucpros.net>;tag=345CA8-1182
To: <sip:403454@iptel.org>
Call-ID: 2F3B7D9F-985111E6-8008865A-F6ED7E07@192.168.1.20
CSeq: 101 INVITE
Content-Length: 0

Next, we can see a challenged response from ITSP

 

Pay attention to the Digest Realm field. That is the realm you should configure in your Authentication command under sip-ua

Oct 23 12:15:13.766: //44/570577000000/SIP/Msg/ccsipDisplayMsg:
Received:
SIP/2.0 407 Proxy Authentication Required
Via: SIP/2.0/UDP 192.168.1.20:5060;branch=z9hG4bK3AD75;received=87.71.31.219
From: "ucpros" <sip:ucpros@ucpros.net>;tag=345CA8-1182
To: <sip:403454@iptel.org>;tag=78A48057-580CA9D1000A93BC-CAD9A700
Call-ID: 2F3B7D9F-985111E6-8008865A-F6ED7E07@192.168.1.20
CSeq: 101 INVITE
Proxy-Authenticate: Digest realm="ucpros.net", nonce="WAysJlgMqc7UL30vd9AwPJsK+KVESIx/"
Server: ser (3.3.0-pre1 (i386/linux))
Warning: 392 192.168.0.85:5060 "Noisy feedback tells: pid=1812 req_src_ip=192.168.0.155 req_src_port=5060 in_uri=sip:403454@iptel.org:5060 out_uri=sip:403454@iptel.org:5060 via_cnt==1"
Content-Length: 0

Oct 23 12:15:13.767: //44/570577000000/SIP/Msg/ccsipDisplayMsg:
Sent:
ACK sip:403454@iptel.org:5060 SIP/2.0
Via: SIP/2.0/UDP 192.168.1.20:5060;branch=z9hG4bK3AD75
From: "ucpros" <sip:100@ucpros.net>;tag=345CA8-1182
To: <sip:403454@iptel.org>;tag=78A48057-580CA9D1000A93BC-CAD9A700
Date: Sun, 23 Oct 2016 12:15:13 GMT
Call-ID: 2F3B7D9F-985111E6-8008865A-F6ED7E07@192.168.1.20
Max-Forwards: 70
CSeq: 101 ACK
Allow-Events: telephone-event
Content-Length: 0


Here CUBE sends another invite, this time with the Authentication details:

Oct 23 12:15:13.767: //44/570577000000/SIP/Msg/ccsipDisplayMsg:
Sent:
INVITE sip:403454@iptel.org:5060 SIP/2.0
Via: SIP/2.0/UDP 192.168.1.20:5060;branch=z9hG4bK3B6A8
Remote-Party-ID: "ucpros" <sip:100@192.168.1.20>;party=calling;screen=yes;privacy=off
From: "ucpros" <sip:ucpros@ucpros.net>;tag=345CA8-1182
To: <sip:403454@iptel.org>
Date: Sun, 23 Oct 2016 12:15:13 GMT
Call-ID: 2F3B7D9F-985111E6-8008865A-F6ED7E07@192.168.1.20
Supported: timer,resource-priority,replaces,sdp-anat
Min-SE: 1800
Cisco-Guid: 1459975936-0000065536-0000000001-0167880896
User-Agent: Cisco-SIPGateway/IOS-15.5.3.S2
Allow: INVITE, OPTIONS, BYE, CANCEL, ACK, PRACK, UPDATE, REFER, SUBSCRIBE, NOTIFY, INFO, REGISTER
CSeq: 102 INVITE
Timestamp: 1477224913
Contact: <sip:100@192.168.1.20:5060>
Call-Info: <sip:192.168.1.20:5060>;method="NOTIFY;Event=telephone-event;Duration=2000"
Expires: 180
Allow-Events: telephone-event
Proxy-Authorization: Digest username="ucpros",realm="ucpros.net",uri="sip:403454@iptel.org:5060",response="sad234324fsd234sadAWD12315",nonce="WAysJlgMqc7UL30vd9AwPJsK+KVESIx/",algorithm=md5
Max-Forwards: 68
Session-Expires: 1800
Content-Length: 0

Oct 23 12:15:13.875: //44/570577000000/SIP/Msg/ccsipDisplayMsg:
Received:
SIP/2.0 100 Trying
Via: SIP/2.0/UDP 192.168.1.20:5060;branch=z9hG4bK3B6A8;received=87.71.31.219
From: "ucpros" <sip:ucpros@ucpros.net>;tag=345CA8-1182
To: <sip:403454@iptel.org>
Call-ID: 2F3B7D9F-985111E6-8008865A-F6ED7E07@192.168.1.20
CSeq: 102 INVITE
Content-Length: 0


Wrap-Up


True, setting up CUBE registration and authentication with ITSP can be a frustrating task, but when you understand the concepts and the minimum required, to allow incoming and outgoing calls you are halfway there :)

 

Our spiritual father, Alexander Graham Bell said:

Before anything else, preparation is the key to success


Bell is here to remind us, that in order to make it look easy, we have to do our homework and get the max info we can from ITSP before D-day. We must show up to the cut-off, as prepared as possible.

 

If you encounter difficulties, follow the troubleshooting steps, they will point you in the right direction.

 

Don't be afraid to use a softphone if troubleshooting hits a dead end, It's like getting a second opinion. It will also help you determine, whether the problem lies with your configuration or the ITSP's.

 

Understand the concepts described here, and this post will be a long forgotten memory.

 

If you need help with other aspects of CUBE, I've written two-part, step-by-step post that covers the main concepts. You can also download the CUBE Config Utility to help you create clean, professional, resource sensitive and best practice driven CUBE configuration.

 

Best of luck!

 

Pasha.

The NBA and Cisco are taking the fan experience to the next level.  Learn why there's never been a better time to be an NBA fan.  Tweet using the hashtags below and get your customized digital jersey.  #NeverBetter

 

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Hi everyone ...

 

I'm one of the platform product managers in Cisco's UC Technology Group.  I cover hardware platforms, OSes and virtualization strategy for Business Edition 6000/7000, UConUCS and 3rd-party options.  I also cover Cisco Prime Collaboration Deployment for those of you thinking about or performing migrations.

 

Our team will be checking in periodically to answer any questions you may have on BE6000.  Just click the "Start a Discussion" link and one of us will respond.

 

I'm based in Orlando, FL and will be taking questions during EST hours.  My team-mates in UK and California will also be hopping on during their days.   Looking forward to hearing from everyone!

 

-james

Hi Everyone, I am one of the product managers in the Commercial UC platforms team, looking after various aspects of out Business Edition portfolio.  I'll be here this week with my colleagues to answer any questions you have on the BE6000 or other related aspects of this product line.  Please feel free to ask questions by clicking the "start a discussion"  link in the blue Actions box on the right.

 

I'm based in the UK, so will be happy to respond during "European" hours.  My colleagues in the UK, Florida, California and India will also be available to get you a response as soon as we can.

 

Andy

Cisco Unified Communications Delivers a Full Experience

As I read the latest Gartner Magic Quadrant for Unified Communications by Bern Elliot and Steve Blood, August 10, 2015, one word stood out: full.

full:  adjective – not lacking or omitting anything; complete

It’s a word that Gartner mentions when describing leaders.

“Leaders have a full UC offering and strong market presence, and demonstrate success in the field. They have a strong presence in related markets to expand their footprint in UC. These vendors and their channel partners have experience delivering UC to a broad range of enterprise types and into most geographic regions.”

We believe our position as a leader for unified communications in this year’s report reflects that fullness. This is especially evident in our position as furthest to the right for “Completeness of Vision.”

cisco UC MQ blog - thomas mccafferty 8_2015

In recent years, we’ve focused on defining and executing a product vision to deliver the most value to you, our customers. This comes with an emphasis on three key initiatives:

  • Deliver the best premises-based experience.
    We’re simplifying everything from purchasing and licensing to provisioning and configuration. We’re delivering an unmatched in-meeting experience across every device and application.
  • Expand our cloud-collaboration footprint.
    New cloud-first SaaS applications and services like Cisco Spark, Collaboration Meeting Rooms, and more build from the Cisco Collaboration Cloud Platform. (Learn more from Jonathan Rosenberg’s post.)
  • Seamlessly connect on-premises infrastructure and endpoints with cloud offerings.
    Our strategy is to ensure that Cisco and our partners can always deliver the right service to the right user at the right price.

Check out this year’s report and let me know what you think of Cisco’s full UC offering.

Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in its research publications, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings or other designation. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner’s research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.

does anyone know about cisco call manager 8 being compatible with ciso 2901 and 2911 routers

In this month's post, I'll be explaining the new call grading mechanism.  I would really like to hear your thoughts about this as well as encourage you to share this out to others for their input. 

Mean opinion score is no longer the best way to grade audio quality. Concealment-related metrics with Cisco Prime™ Collaboration Assurance and Analytics offers many advantages including simplicity, better SLA enforcement, and codec independence. This blog explains the rationale behind replacing MOS with new call-quality metrics.

Cisco Prime Collaboration Assurance and Analytics uses mean opinion score (MOS, including Cisco® Voice Transmission Quality [Cisco VTQ] and the K-Factor algorithm) reported by IP phones to grade listener audio quality. The latest Cisco IP Phones (Cisco DX Series and Cisco IP Phone 7800 and 8800 Series devices) as well as future IP phones no longer report MOS. In addition to the reason for changing how we measure call quality, I'll explain:

 

  • The advantages of using concealed seconds (CS) and severely concealed seconds (SCS) metrics, a process that is more efficient and reliable on a typical enterprise environment
  • Usage of SCS Ratio (SCSR) (explained later) in Cisco Prime Collaboration Assurance and Analytics to grade audio quality


To enhance end-user experience, many Cisco IP Phones support wideband audio codecs (such as G.722, AAC-LD, and up-coming Opus). With this transition, MOS scores are no longer optimal to grade call quality:


  • MOS scores don't scale to wideband codecs.
  • The value of MOS scores is codec-dependent.
  • Wideband code uses the same algorithm as low-band code, but at an incompatible scale. A great, unimpaired wideband G.722 call will score lower than a corrupted, narrowband 711 call.
  • “Average MOS” over a 2-hour call has little or no meaning. Long calls will have an underweighted MOS score, short calls overweight.
  • The MOS score is not ideal for service-level agreement (SLA) enforcement because MOS scores can’t be added or averaged across calls of different duration or codecs.

 

Because of the nature of voice over IP (VoIP), loss and jitter are inevitable. If for any reason an IP phone doesn't have valid audio to play, packet lost concealment (PLC) is used to smoothly fill in the gap with “made-up” audio. Concealment statistics measure packet (frame) loss and its effect on voice quality in an impaired network.

 

All Cisco IP Phones report the following concealment-related metrics (refer to Table 1 and the call detail record (CDR) and call management record (CMR) administrator’s guide at this example).

 

  • CS: Concealed seconds represents the time during which some concealment is observed during a call.
  • SCS: Severely concealed seconds represents the time during which a significant amount of concealment is observed. If the concealment that is observed is usually greater than 50 milliseconds or approximately 5 percent, the speech probably does not seem very audible.


Cisco Prime Collaboration Assurance and Analytics 11.0 uses SCSR (that is, SCS ÷ call duration to grade good, acceptable, or poor) listening audio quality. The advantages of using SCSR include the following:

  • It is simple and intuitive because SCSR is based on raw, network-oriented, packet-related counts.
  • It is standardized; Cisco publishes values openly as a component of the draft RFC RTCP-HR (Real-Time Control Protocol - High Resolution).
  • It can add CS and SCS across thousands of calls, for SLA. It does not over- or under-weight calls based on duration.
  • It is codec-independent. It reflects dynamic quality of transmission, not the codec baseline.

 

SCSR grades calls with below-default configurable thresholds.

Table 1 Call Grading Guidelines.PNG

Note that all audio quality metrics listed in Table 1 are stored in the CMR. For phones that do not generate CMR, such as Cisco TelePresence® TC, CE, CTX, and IX endpoints; Jabber® platforms (all platforms); Cisco IP Communicator; and Cisco Unified Personal Communicator, grading will be “N/A”.

 

Let me know what you think about the new way of call grading.  Are you implementing? Let's discuss.  Check out more information about Cisco Prime Collaboration.

Imagine if you will, a company hosting its first-ever global sales meeting – online. Virtually connecting 140 salespeople in 12 countries and as many time zones. It could have been a nightmare, but the meeting went off without a hitch. How? ...


Check out the rest of Mark Royle's post about Unified Communications Manager.

In this month’s blog, I want to discuss troubleshooting top 5 VoIP issues faced by IT using Cisco Prime Collaboration Assurance. Cisco Prime Collaboration Assurance offers monitoring and troubleshooting of Cisco TelePresence solutions and the entire Cisco Unified Communications system, including Cisco Unified Communications Manager, Cisco Unity Connection and Cisco Unified Contact Center Enterprise.


Here are the top 5. Have you experienced these issues in your environment?


1.  Poor call quality:
The following metrics can affect call quality:

  • Latency: Latency measures the time taken for a voice packet to reach its destination. Higher latency leads to delay in reception as well as overlap issues with one speaker interrupting the other.
  • Jitter: Jitter is defined as a variation in the delay of received packets. At the sending side, packets are sent in a continuous stream with voice packets spaced evenly apart. Due to network congestion or configuration errors, this steady stream can become lumpy, or the delay between each packet can vary instead of remaining constant resulting in choppy call quality.
  • MOS: Measure of audio call quality that is audio codec dependent. Rule of thumb: Higher the MOS score, better the call quality.

 

All of the metrics as well as access switches and routers involved in a conversation can easily be accessed from Top 5 Poor Voice Call Quality Locations dashlet that is available from Service Experience dashboard. With a few clicks, network engineer can quickly obtain visibility into above metrics.

image 1.jpg
2.  Lack of sufficient bandwidth:

Ensuring adequate bandwidth is allocated is a key requirement of VoIP networks.

Audio and video quality can begin to degrade when too many active calls exist on a link and the amount of bandwidth is oversubscribed. Call admission control regulates audio and video quality by limiting the number of calls that can be active on a particular link at the same time.

 

Prime Collaboration Assurance provides information about voice, video and immersive bandwidth utilization including number of calls failed due to lack of enough bandwidth.

image 2.jpg


3.  High Trunk Utilization:

Prime Collaboration Assurance provides visibility for SIP Trunks, MGCP Gateways as well as H.323 Gateways.

image 3.jpg


4.  Unregistered endpoints

Endpoint diagnostics provides information about all endpoints. Users can also view switch or switches connected to these endpoints. This capability is very useful when troubleshooting unregistered endpoints – visibility of associated switch or switches enables users to quickly isolate whether there is a problem with the switch or switches connected to these unregistered endpoints.

image 4.jpg

5.  UC Infrastructure Failure

UC Infrastructure consists of many components such as CUCM, Unity Connection, Voice Gateways, SIP Gateways amongst others. Any of these components may fail causing outages. It is crucial for network engineers to get alerted so that corrective action can be taken. Prime Collaboration monitors all the UC components and alerts the user when a fault occurs. Alarms are categorized as ‘Critical’, ‘Major’, ‘Minor’ and ‘Warning’. These can be forwarded to another network management system via SNMP traps or forwarded via email. The alarms contain detailed description as well as recommended course of action that the network engineer could take to resolve the issue.

image 5.jpg

image 6.jpg


I would really like to hear from you. Have you experienced these issues in your environment?  What other VoIP issues have you experienced?  Have you used Prime Collaboration Assurance to solve these VoIP issues?

 

Please comment to this blog and share it out to others that might be interested.  You can also learn more about Prime Collaboration.

Are your customers hanging up on you? Is employee productivity impacted due to Unified Communications network issues? Let's talk about understanding the business impact of a poor Unified Communications system.


According to a survey conducted by Webtorials, an IT research organization, about 72% of enterprises have either partially or fully deployed Unified Communications solutions. About 71% of enterprises have deployed a VoIP network. The VoIP Services Market is expected to reach USD 136.7 Billion by 2020, growing at a CAGR of 9.7% from 2014 to 2020. This presents a significant growth opportunity for service providers. Over the last few years Unified Communications has really taken off resulting in its widespread adoption.

 

UC is absolutely crucial in ensuring employee productivity. Whether it’s a patient attempting to communicate to a nurse or a salesman pitching his company’s offerings to a prospect, UC is mission critical.  The cost of a poor unified communications system could result in huge costs for an enterprise. According to a TRAC Research survey, about 48% of organizations typically spend over 60 minutes per incident diagnosing network problems and organizations lose $72,000 on average for every minute of network downtime.

 

For service providers, poor call quality could result in higher churn, higher costs (due to penalties/refunds or costs involved in reacting to UC issues) as well as adverse impact to sales due to negative reviews.

 

Using a 24x7 UC monitoring and troubleshooting solution is therefore vital to an enterprise’s or service provider’s operations. IT can achieve the following benefits by deploying a UC network monitoring solution:

  • Increased return on UC investment
  • Improved overall network performance that is optimized for UC
  • Reduced operating costs
  • Reduced time to resolution

 

In my next blog, I’ll discuss top 5 most common call quality issues and how Prime Collaboration Assurance can help you resolve those issues.


Cisco’s portfolio of UC solutions includes a 24x7 UC network management solution. Cisco Prime Collaboration is a single integrated solution for provisioning Unified Communications services, monitoring/troubleshooting Unified Communications network as well as enabling resource optimization and capacity planning initiatives based on reliable insights obtained over the long term. Cisco Prime Collaboration offers real-time monitoring and troubleshooting of Cisco TelePresence solutions and the entire Cisco Unified Communications system, including Cisco Unified Communications Manager, Cisco Unity Connection and Cisco Unified Contact Center Enterprise. The solution expedites operator resolution of service quality issues before they affect end users and helps avoid system and service outages for a greater end user qualify of experience.


Cisco Prime Collaboration also provides historical reporting of key performance indicators and enables IT network managers to analyze trends for capacity planning, resource optimization, and quality of service. The solution helps track collaboration technology adoption rates in the network and provides metrics to help analyze how users are actually using the collaboration endpoints daily. It also can show status and rollout progress of a collaboration network deployment.


Learn more about Prime Collaboration.

For the seventh year in a row Cisco was positioned as a leader in the August 2014 Gartner Magic Quadrant forUnified Communications. In the accompanying Critical Capabilities for Unified Communications document, published July 2014, Cisco also received the highest ratings in Full UC with Strong Telephony and Ability to Offer Hybrid Solutions use cases. We believe our continued recognition in these key industry assessments demonstrates that the focus on simplicity and user experience across the Cisco Collaboration portfolio is delivering our customers the productivity gains they are looking for through a collaboration experience that only Cisco can deliver.

According to Gartner,  “The primary goal of unified communications (UC) is to improve user productivity and to enhance business processes. Gartner defines UC products (equipment, software and services) as those that facilitate the use of multiple enterprise communications methods to obtain that goal…UC products integrate communications channels (media), networks and systems, as well as IT business applications and, in some cases, consumer applications and devices.” Cisco shares this vision for UC and continues to deliver key innovations and integrations to ensure our customers are clearly benefiting from the full suite of Cisco’s leading  telephony, video , web conferencing , messaging , IM/P and contact center offerings.

In the 2014 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Unified Communications, Gartner once again positioned Cisco as a leader for ability to execute and completeness of vision.  The report identifies strengths and cautions for individual vendors and we feel the strengths for Cisco UC offering are:

End-to-End portfolio:  We are particularly proud of the full suite of solutions that Cisco offers and the level of integration happening across those solutions to enable enterprise, B2B and B2C unified communications that are comprehensive and interoperable.

Management: One of the strongest pieces of the Cisco UC solution is our unified management offering. Prime Collaboration provides a single pane of glass for configuration, provisioning, monitoring and analytics that now spans voice, video, endpoints, messaging, presence and mobility.

Buyer Reach: Great effort goes into educating and training a global network of Cisco partners, consultants and employees on how to deploy and configure Cisco UC solutions to ensure our buyers get the best UC experience available.  Thanks to all of them for helping us earn this recognition.

Deployment Flexibility:  An end-to-end portfolio and a history of delivering SaaS offerings have afforded Cisco and our partners many opportunities to deliver UC services from the cloud as well as spanning cloud and premises with new innovative hybrid models.

In the 2014 Gartner Critical Capabilities for Unified Communications, Gartner evaluates the effectiveness of vendors in addressing users’ needs in four primary use cases. Cisco received the highest product score in two out of four use cases ( Full UC With Strong Telephony Requirement and Ability to Offer Hybrid Solutions – scores below) and scored second highest in the other two use cases (Full UC with Strong Collaboration Requirement andAbility to Work with Other Vendorssee report for full scores and details). We feel this once again highlights our strength in Telephony, our commitment to Collaboration, our demonstrated Interoperability and our innovation in Cloud and Hybrid offerings.

Gartner Critical Capabilities for Unified CommunicationsGartner Critical Capabilities for Unified Communications

With an end-to-end portfolio of solutions encompassing everything from infrastructure to endpoints, spanning voice, video, IM/P, conferencing, contact centers and more, I’m continually amazed by the innovation and visionary thinking that happens in this organization. With these reports and recent recognition from multiple analysts for our leadership in Video Infrastructure, it’s evident that analysts and customers feel the same way.

Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in its research publications, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings or other designation. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner’s research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.

*NEW* Effective May 9, 2014, Cisco Unified Communications Manager 10.5(1) is now shipping with 10.X orders. (Effective January 10, 2014, Cisco Unified Communications Manager 10 was orderable.)

 

For electronic SW and License Delivery (highly recommended) use one of the following top level part numbers: 

 


  Cisco UC Manager 10

 

User Connect License (UCL)

Unified Workspace License (UWL)
 

 

New and Add-ons

 

R-UCL-UCM-LIC-K9

R-CUWL-STD-K9                       CUWL-PRO-K9 (physical delivery) L-CUWL-ADD-PRO-K9 (add-ons)

 

Migrations
 

 

R-UCL-UCM-MIG-K9*

 

R-CUWL-STD-K9, CUWL-PRO-K9

Upgrades
 

R-CUCM-UPG-K9

 

(via PUT tool)
 

 

For Physical delivery use: UCL-UCM-LIC-K9, UCL-UCM-MIG-K9, CUCM-UPG-K9, CUWL-STD-K9, CUWL-PRO-K9.

 

*Migrations for UCL are now under a separate top-level R-UCL-UCM-MIG-K9 (from R-UCL-UCM-LIC-K9).  R-UCL-UCM-MIG-K9 now includes upgrades with UCSS under Get Current Stay Current, version 9 to version 10 upgrades as well as feature upgrades.  For upgrades without UCSS use the Upgrades top level R-CUCM-UPG-K9.

 

Product Documentation Guides

 

Documentation Guide for Cisco Unified Communications Manager, Release 10.5(1)

http://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/td/docs/voice_ip_comm/cucm/docguide/10_5_1/CUCM_BK_C2CFB1F8_00_cucm-documentation-guide-1051.html
  

Documentation Guide for Cisco Unified Communications Manager, Release 10.0(1)http://www.cisco.com/en/US/partner/docs/voice_ip_comm/cucm/docguide/10_0_1/CUCM_BK_C08E97F6_00_cucm-doc-guide-1001.html

  

End User Guides for Cisco Unified Communications Manager

http://www.cisco.com/en/US/products/sw/voicesw/ps556/products_user_guide_list.html

    

Maintain and Operate Guides for Cisco Unified Communications Manager

http://www.cisco.com/en/US/products/sw/voicesw/ps556/prod_maintenance_guides_list.html

 

Product Documentation

 

Cisco Unified Communications Manager Version 10.5(1), Release Notes

http://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/td/docs/voice_ip_comm/cucm/rel_notes/10_5_1/CUCM_BK_CE15D2A0_00_cucm-release-notes-1051.html

 

Cisco Unified Communications Manager Version 10.0, Release Notes

http://www.cisco.com/en/US/docs/voice_ip_comm/cucm/rel_notes/10_0_1/delta/CUCM_BK_C206A718_00_cucm-new-and-changed-1001.html

    

Features and Services Guide for Cisco Unified Communications Manager Release 10.0(1) 

http://www.cisco.com/en/US/docs/voice_ip_comm/cucm/admin/10_0_1/ccmfeat/CUCM_BK_F3AC1C0F_00_cucm-features-services-guide-100.html

 

Release Notes for Cisco Prime License Manager 10.5(1) 

http://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/td/docs/voice_ip_comm/cucm/plm/10_5_1/releasenotes/CUCM_BK_P64D2D8C_00_plm-rn-1051.html

 

Cisco Prime License Manager 10.5(1) User Guide 

http://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/td/docs/voice_ip_comm/cucm/plm/10_5_1/userguide/CPLM_BK_UD1156AD_00_user-guide-rel-1051.html

    

Cisco Prime License Manager 10.0 User Guide

http://www.cisco.com/en/US/docs/voice_ip_comm/cucm/plm/10_0_1/CPLM_BK_U7066CD8_00_user-guide-rel-10-0-1.html

 

System Documentation

 

Cisco Collaboration Systems 10.x Solution Reference Network Designs (SRND)http://www.cisco.com/en/US/docs/voice_ip_comm/cucm/srnd/collab10/collab10.html

  

Cisco Unified Communications System Documentation 

http://www.cisco.com/en/US/docs/voice_ip_comm/uc_system/unified/communications/system/ucstart.htm

  

Cisco Unified Communications System Release Compatibility Matrix

http://cisco.com/go/unified-techinfo

 

Cisco Unified Communications System Release Compatibility Tool

http://tools.cisco.com/ITDIT/vtgsca/VTGServlet

 

Ordering Tools

 

Cisco Commerce Workspace (CCW)

https://cisco-apps.cisco.com/cisco/psn/commerce

 

Product Upgrade Tool (PUT)

https://tools.cisco.com/gct/Upgrade/jsp/index.jsp

 

Software download

 

Downloads
Home > Products > Unified Communications > Call Control > Cisco
Unified Communications Manager (CallManager) > Cisco Unified Communications
Manager Version 10.0

http://software.cisco.com/download/type.html?mdfid=284603137&flowid=47762

 

Licensing Information

 

Cisco Unified Communications Licensing

http://www.cisco.com/go/uclicensing

 

Cisco Unified Communications Software Subscription

www.cisco.com/go/ucss

  

Obtaining Demo/Evaluation Licenses

  

UCM9.X/10.X installs and can operate without any licenses installed and remains in
this ‘demo mode’ for a 60-day period.

 

For demo/evaluation temporary licenses, customers should access the www.cisco.com product license registration page to request temporary licenses.

Fromwww.cisco.com/go/licensing, select ‘Get Demo’ to request Demonstration and Evaluation Licenses.  Select ‘Unified
Communications Products’ and the product demo licenses you are requesting.  Here is the direct link: 
https://tools.cisco.com/SWIFT/LicensingUI/demoPage

  

For CUCM and Unity Connection v9.x/10.x, this issues 20 CUCM CUWL PRO, 20 CUC CUWL
PRO, and 5 TelePresence Room licenses.  This
is component CUWL PRO licenses for CUCM and CUC and is not full CUWL PRO
entitlement.

  

If there is a requirement above and beyond what is issued under this license
issuance, open a case with Cisco licensing by sending an email to
licensing@cisco.com , and include:

-              CCO id 

-              Target PLM license request

-              Entitled ELM/PLM license request (if different than above)

OR MAC/PAK/SO/ESW/UCSS contract number for entitled pre 9.x systems

-              Quantity, Type, and Duration for requested licenses 

-              Licensee Contact Name, email address

-              Company Name, Company address

-              Reason for the request

 

The requests may have to be escalated to the BU – so please allow time for BU approval. 

  

Licensing Support

 

Licensing Support:  Contact licensing@cisco.com (include cisco.com user id) OR www.cisco.com/tac/caseopen with the subject of “licensing”.

 

UCSS Support: ucss-support@external.cisco.com

 

Migration Information

 

Cisco Prime Collaboration Deployment Administration Guide, version 10.5(1)

http://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/td/docs/voice_ip_comm/cucm/pcdadmin/10_5_1/CUCM_BK_U35347D2_00_pcd-administration-guide-1051.html

 

Cisco Prime Collaboration Deployment Administration Guide

http:/​/​www.cisco.com/​en/​US/​products/​sw/​voicesw/​ps556/​prod_​maintenance_​guides_​list.html

 

License Count Utility User Guide

http://www.cisco.com/en/US/docs/voice_ip_comm/cucm/upgrade/uct/9_1_2/CUCM_BK_U0AE00F5_00_uct-admin-guide.html

 

License Count Utility

http://software.cisco.com/download/release.html?mdfid=284603137&flowid=47762&softwareid=282204704&release=LCU&rellifecycle=&relind=AVAILABLE&reltype=latest

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