As the unified communications landscape continues to evolve, there are more and more cloud calling platforms to choose from. Variphy has a large customer base of Cisco Unified Communications Management (CUCM) users, and we are seeing many of our customers use the Cisco FLEX licensing and move to a Webex Calling platform.
Webex Calling has become an umbrella term that may refer to two separate calling platforms: Webex Dedicated Instance (DI) and Webex Multi-tenant (MT). Each platform has its pros and cons, and I’ll provide a brief overview of each below.
Cloud calling refers to telephony services delivered by a third-party organization where the phone system resides in a hosted solution. Instead of using a landline, calls are made over an internet connection, eliminating the need for organizations to support and maintain on-premises telephony applications, ISP connections, and physical phones.
I’ve heard multiple times that companies “want out of the data center business.” Organizations are moving to cloud calling solutions for numerous reasons, including cost of ownership, maintenance, and technical support requirements. Cloud calling also eliminates the need to maintain your own hardware and software, reduces native multi-datacenter redundancy, and shifts expenses from capital to operational.
Webex Calling now offers a specialized, dedicated cloud instance option. This instance is built on the Cisco Unified Communications Manager (CUCM) framework we all know and love, hosted by Cisco.
Dedicated Instance (DI) is seamlessly integrated with Webex Calling and leverages the full spectrum of Webex platform services. This enables centralized administration and harnesses relevant cloud advancements developed across the Webex platform, enhancing the overall calling experience.
In addition to the Webex platform services, DI provides administrators access to the same CUCM interface they’ve previously used. DI gives organizations feature parity to their on-premises CUCM solution and provides support for legacy Cisco IP Phones that may not be supported on other cloud calling platforms.
Below is a simple diagram of how DI fits into an organization’s call flow.
Webex Calling Multi-tenant (MT) is a traditional Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) solution and the type of deployment I instantly think of when I hear the term ”Webex Calling.” This solution is accessible and fully managed via the Webex Control Hub.
MT leverages the previous Broadworks infrastructure, and you can leverage Cisco Calling plans, meaning Cisco is your telephony provider. Webex Calling MT does not have feature parity with CUCM or Webex Calling DI and requires specific phone models on specific firmware.
Multi-tenant does provide advantages over Webex Calling DI via a reduction of complexity. Configuring phones, setting up dial plans, and removing the need to manage upgrades allow organizations to focus their technical resources in other areas. Webex MT will allow for organizations of any size, whereas the minimum number of endpoints for DI is 250.
Overall, as more PBX vendors retire their on-premises applications, it’s time to start considering what the next step for your organization will be.
Cisco Collaboration has been a staple in UC environments for many years and continues to provide enterprise, mid-market, and SMB solutions along with their cloud calling offering. There are many factors to consider when moving to a cloud calling provider, and once you select one, it may have multiple platforms to choose from.
Make sure to do your homework, speak with your technology partners and peers, and do a proof of concept or trial when available.
To learn about how Variphy can help with your migration, click here.