Cisco Unified Communications (UC) integrates your company’s entire communications hub allowing business to be conducted seamlessly across voice, video, applications, data and mobile devices.
Cisco UC is an Internet Protocol (IP) based solution that takes network infrastructure, lifecycle services, network management products, security and mobility, third party communication and end-user packages, and wraps them all into one technology.
Comprised of four standard layers, the Cisco UC can manage video, voice and data traffic using a single network infrastructure and at the same time interface with all standards-based network protocols.
Components of layers
The Cisco UC is comprised of several layers, namely the infrastructure layer, the call control layer, the applications layer and the endpoints layer.
The function of the infrastructure layer is to carry data, video and voice between each network device and application – components of this layer include voice gateways, routers and switches.
The call control layer controls devices and call processing, and administers the dial plan and associated elements. The applications layer integrates applications via IP and allows them to function independently to the call-control utilities and voice processing infrastructure.
The end point layer is where applications are brought to the user’s VoIP phone, PC or video terminal. It also provides multiprotocol support.
Multi- channel communications
The ability of Cisco to provide multiple functions across the same network has transformed call centre environments enabling more efficient and effective customer interactions.
Cisco functions include packet telephony devices such as IP phones, digital video and audio devices, VoIP, converged messaging, conferencing, contact centres that operate various communication platforms and multimedia interactions. The Cisco UC can be operated by any user with familiar controls such as dialling a number.
Collaboration opportunities are enhanced within the Cisco functionality, with a virtual meeting environment created by the integration of IP based voice, video and web conferencing applicable across the world. Cisco also works with third party products and applications to find improvements in workforce participation and customer service.
Cisco’s directory service stores user details on its own database. Other directories are supported, facilitating centralized user management with user authentication executed either locally or against the external directory.
As part of the UC, the Cisco Unified Communications Manager controls all call processing and phone registration and allows audio or visual contact with co-workers or customers wherever they may be. It operates all the features of the phone systems including hold, music on hold, transfer, conference and extension mobility as well as the administrative functions. User profiles can be synchronized, allowing one ID to be applied across all applications and devices.
Cisco’s Disaster Recovery System (DRS) provides backup and restore functions, and also backs up the analysis, reporting database and customer interactions including records of call details and management.
Overall, the Cisco UC product suite has created a rich, collaborative environment that has changed the way contact centres operate and improved the way they can perform, by heightening functionality, streamlining configuration and maintenance needs, and providing synchronicity across multiple applications in a secure environment.