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Cisco hosted Call Manager and Unity Solutions

Posted on 2010-11-11
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Last Modified: 2012-08-14
We have a site with about 75 users. It is running an older version of Cisco Call manager (4.1) and Unity. The hard drive on the Unity server died and because the product is end of life, i can't get support on it. So i'm dealing with the nightmare of everyone being without voicemail.

I want to push these services on the cloud and want to know if anyone can recommend some service providers who provide hosted Cisco solutions. I guess it could also be non Cisco since I believe the 7940 and 7960 phones are all SIP compatible.

Thanks!
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Question by:crdixon
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Expert Comment

by:Alex Bahar
ID: 34172609
IMO you might be better off by migrating to a CUCMBE CUCM Business edition (CUCM and Unity Connection in one Linux server), or Call Manager Express, because you have already invested into the CUCM and Unity licences. A hosted solution may become more expensive in the long term. You only have 75 users. A Call Manager Express on a 2921 ISR router with ISM-300 Unity express will be sufficient. In my opinion a CUCM+Unity cluster is an overkill for only 75 users.
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Author Comment

by:crdixon
ID: 34173798
We are on trying a hosted solution on a trial basis with M5net. The implementation of this has been pretty easy. We are actually going live today on it. I believe this is going to be very cost effective for us and we will be nearly eliminating the managment headache for and on site Cisco equipment.
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Expert Comment

by:Alex Bahar
ID: 34176881
You will not have the luxury of being able to do everything you like whenever you wanted, but on the ohtner hand you do not need to employ a qualified/competent ip telephony system engineer, and worry about backups etc either. When you think that a single CUCM server can handle about 2500-7500 handsets, obviously it is targeted for medium to large organizations who can afford a competent IP teephony enabled systems engineer. Especially with the version you have, you also need to take care of the windows servers, and as the devices get older, best practices for backups etc become more important. A single site with just dial tone and voice messaging for 75 users definitely does not justify maintaining a CUCM cluster.

I hope the hosted solution works well for you.
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Author Comment

by:crdixon
ID: 34275647
So far so good with the hosted solution. Hosted solutions generally want a point to point T1 installed to insure good voice quality. However, after doing some tweaks to prioritze the VoIP traffic, I'm not not even sure the dedicated circuit will be necessary. The voice quality is very good after the tweaks. At this company anyways, people are waaaay more upset if there is a problem with being able to browse the internet then surf then using the phones. Plus these days, who doesn't have a cell phone?
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Alex Bahar earned 500 total points
ID: 34275749
Exactly! If you like to provide a backup line, you can install a simple FCT (mobile gateway) with SIP proxy functionality. So, if you lose your connection to the voip provider, your IP phones can transparently register to the SIP proxy of your local FCT. Then your FCT will make calls via the mobile network. You can also use this FCT to cut down your mobile phone bills. Your mobile employees can simply call the office phone via the FCT from outside the office, similarly you can call other mobile phones from the office via the FCT. In many countries, calls within the same mobile network is free. You can check the products of 2N Mobile gateways. 2N Officeroute will provide you the IPPBX, WAN backup (UMTS/3G) Fax Server (SMTP/POP) etc.
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Author Comment

by:crdixon
ID: 34438469
Kind of glad to be off the Call Manager/Unity upgrade cycle, with all the Smartnet and everything else it is just too expensive.
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