News Release

Cisco Systems Introduces Cisco Unity 3.0 Unified Messaging Solution For Enterprise Customers

SAN JOSE, Calif., September 5, 2001 — Cisco Systems, Inc.,
Sep 05, 2001

SAN JOSE, Calif., September 5, 2001 — Cisco Systems, Inc., the worldwide leader in networking for the Internet, today announced the general availability of Cisco Unity 3.0, a scalable, enterprise-class unified messaging (UM) software solution, based on Microsoft Windows 2000 and Exchange 2000, that allows employees across the enterprise to seamlessly access and manage voice, fax and email messages from any device — desktop PC, touch-tone telephone, or the Internet - from any location. Cisco today also announced general availability for its Cisco Personal Assistant 1.2 voice application.

As part of Cisco AVVID (Architecture for Voice Video and Integrated Data) and Cisco's strategy for delivering IP telephony solutions to enterprise customers, Cisco Unity 3.0 provides greater system scalability and reliability in addition to other new features such as language support for Mandarin Chinese and Japanese. Built on open standards, Cisco Unity 3.0 works seamlessly and simultaneously with both legacy circuit-based and packet-based switches, such as Cisco CallManager, helping companies extend investments in TDM (Time Division Multiplexing) technologies as they migrate towards an Internet Protocol (IP)-based infrastructure to take advantage of voice and data convergence.

Nationally recognized for the quality of service they provide, the staff at the Idaho Department of Labor wanted to continue this tradition even in the face of increased communications traffic. "As we continued to grow, we recognized the need for a communications solution that would help us effectively manage our traffic and give Idahoans the level of service they'd come to expect from us," explained Duane Lamm, Information Technology resource manager at the Idaho Department of Labor. "In Cisco Unity 3.0, we found a solution that had the simplicity and features we required for both end-users and system administrators with high levels of reliability and scalability. As a result, we are now well equipped to continue and even elevate our proud service history through greater responsiveness to customers and peers."

Designed to take full advantage of the convergence of voice and data through its IP-centric, unified design, Cisco Unity tightly integrates with Windows 2000 for greater system interoperability, management and feature enhancement capabilities.

"The combination of Cisco and Microsoft products brings tremendous business value to any organization," said Pieter Knook, vice president for Network Service Providers at Microsoft Corporation. "Cisco Unity 3.0's design, functionality and ease-of-use based on its tight integration with the Windows 2000 and Exchange 2000 platforms give enterprises proven technology to deploy a powerful, scalable communications management solution to take control of their communications environment for increased business productivity."

Cisco Unity 3.0 Features and Benefits

Key features and benefits of the new Cisco Unity 3.0 solution include:

  • Enterprise-class scalability and reliability: Cisco Unity 3.0 supports up to 5,000 users per server and up to 100,000 users. With support for multiple Cisco CallManager clusters, Cisco Unity 3.0 provides ensured call delivery and up-time. Cisco Unity supports both Exchange 5.5 and Exchange 2000.
  • International localizations: Cisco Unity 3.0 is a truly international product with localizations in the United States and United Kingdom English, Mandarin Chinese, Japanese, Australian and New Zealand English, French, German, Dutch, European Spanish, and Colombian Spanish.
  • Truly unified design: In addition to a unified data and message store for simplified administration, Cisco Unity 3.0 is designed to leverage all the inherent benefits of a converged IP voice/data network in order to quickly introduce next generation convergence-based communications services.
  • Designed for convergence: Compatible with a legacy circuit-based switch, a packet-based switch or a mixed switch telephone system, the dual-switch integration capabilities of Cisco Unity 3.0 allow customers to leverage legacy investments and move at their own pace as they transition towards a single voice and data network. This helps them take advantage of the total cost of ownership benefits associated with an IP network.
  • Software-only integration with Cisco CallManager: Cisco Unity 3.0 is interoperable with Cisco CallManager and its Media Convergence Server 7835 and 7825 platforms as a software-only solution, resulting in a UM solution that is seamlessly tied to the traffic routing capabilities of Cisco CallManager and is significantly easier and more cost-effective to deploy.

Cisco today also announced the availability of Cisco Personal Assistant 1.2, an enterprise-class IP telephony voice application that fully interoperates with Cisco Unity 3.0 and extends the real-time connection oriented functionality of Cisco's Call Manager 3.1 with personalized call look-up and forwarding tables as set by each individual employee, and scales to thousands of employees with a robust distributed and redundant architecture. Cisco Personal Assistant 1.2 further offers enhanced speech recognition with new grammar for fast efficient searches when call connecting through spoken directories.

Pricing and Availability

Cisco Unity 3.0 is available today from Comm Data, Ingram Micro and Tech Data. Pricing for Cisco Unity 3.0 starts at U.S. $145/seat. A voicemail-only Cisco Unity 3.0 solution is also available starting at U.S. $70/seat. Pricing for Cisco Personal Assistant 1.2 starts at U.S. $175/seat.

Service and Support for Unity 3.0

Delivered directly or through an ecosystem of best-of-breed partners, Cisco provides technology management services and support for Unity 3.0. Cisco and its qualified partners provide technical support, advanced and advisory services to ensure for maximum utilization by its customers with Cisco Unity 3.0. In addition, customers can elect to participate in a variety of Cisco's service programs for tiered technical support and access to future releases of Cisco Unity software.