Introduction to Cisco Unified Communications Components

Cisco Unified Communications Components

When getting started in the world of Cisco Unified Communications, it is easy to get overwhelmed with all of the available products, features and terms that encompass the Cisco unified communications world. This article takes a look at five of the most commonly used components available from Cisco:

  • Cisco Unified Communications Manager (CUCM)
  • Cisco Unified Communications Manager – Express (CME)
  • Cisco Unity Connection (CUC)
  • Cisco Unity Express (CUE)
  • Cisco Unified Presence (CUP)

If you’re thinking of going for your Cisco CCNA Voice Certification then this is a great place to start getting familiar with the different Cisco Unified Communications components.

Cisco Unified Communications Manager

One of the keystone products of Cisco’s Unified Communications products is Cisco Unified Communications Manager (CUCM). CUCM provides a product that enables the unification of voice, video, data and mobile application centralized through a single product. CUCM integrates into all of the other Cisco Unified products enabling support for a very large number of potential Unified Communication solutions. CUCM can be used as an appliance solution using Cisco’s 7800 Media Convergence Servers or Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS) B200 and C210 M2 Rack Mount and Blade Servers as well as installed on a number of different third party servers.

Cisco Unified Communications Manager – Express

The Cisco Unified Communications Manager – Express (CME) provides a scaled down version of CUCM that is able to be deployed on Cisco Integrated Servers Routers (ISR). CME is intended to be deployed in smaller businesses that don’t require the full CUCM solution or an enterprise branch offices that have limited connectivity into the main CUCM solution. CME provides most of the features that would be required in these offices and is a very popular solution in these situations. CME provides the ability to support many features that are conventionally associated with key systems and private branch exchanges (PBX) including IP telephony, voice gateway services, voicemail and auto attendant features (with Cisco Unity Express).

Cisco Unity Connection

Cisco Unity Connection (CUC) is a voice and unified messaging platform that provides the ability to access and manage voice messages in a number of different ways including through email, web browser, IP phone and smartphones. CUC also provides access to a powerful speech engine that is able to not only read text messages but also perform speech recognition. CUC can be installed on Cisco UCS B200 M2 and B210 Rack Mount servers and B200 M2 Blade servers.

Cisco Unity Express

The Cisco Unity Express (CUE) provides a subset of functionality that is provided by CUC in a smaller package that is deployed on Cisco Integrated Servers Routers (ISR). CUE can be integrated into a larger CUC and CUCM solution or implemented with only CME to a small business or office. CUE specifically provides local storage and processing of integrated messaging, voicemail, fax, auto attendant, and interactive voice response (IVR).  CUE can be deployed in a couple of different form factors depending on the series of ISR being used. When being deployed in Cisco 2800 and 3800 series routers, CUE can be deployed using the Cisco Unity Express Network Module (NME-CUE) or Cisco Unity Express Advanced Integration Module (AIM-CUE or AIM2-CUE-K9). When being deployed in Cisco 2900 and 3900 series routers, CUE can be deployed using the Cisco Integrated Services-Ready Engine (ISM-SRE-900-K9) and Service Module Services-Ready Engine (SM-SRE-700, 710, 900, 910-K9).

Cisco Unified Presence

Cisco Unified Presence (CUP) provides an enterprise instant messaging (IM) and network based presence solution that integrates into the Cisco Unified Communications products. CUE provides the ability for clients to support many different features including instant messaging, presence, click to call, phone controls, voice, video, visual voicemail and web collaboration.


Cisco’s unified communications solutions provide an organization, regardless of size, several options to maintain communications and collaboration. This is vital in modern organizations. This article provides just a brief introduction of the most popular of these options, if deploying this type of solution, take the time to review Cisco’s full product offerings.

 in Cisco


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