Difference between Cisco CallManager Express and Cisco CallManager

Cisco CallManager Express (CME) Vs Cisco CallManager  (CCM)

Now you can find the difference between Cisco CallManager Express (CME) and Cisco CallManager  (CCM). Both CallManager and CallManager Express are different products with their own strengths. CallManager Express has less feature set or scalability as compared with CallManager therefore the price to make it more viable for smaller businesses

Cisco CallManager express (CUCME) is a full UC solution integrated inside the Cisco ISR Router targeting SMB customers.

Cisco CallManager (CUCM) is a full UC platform, providing IP Telephony, Mobility and Collaboration services to large Enterprise Customers,

Cisco Unified CME is a feature-rich entry-level IP telephony solution that is integrated directly into Cisco IOS software and it runs on a Router, specifically any of the ISR 2800/3800 or the ISR-G2 2900/3900 series Routers. Both network and voice services bundled into one Cisco IOS platform.  Cisco Unified CME allows small business customers and autonomous small enterprise branch offices to deploy voice, data, and IP telephony on a single platform for small offices, thereby streamlining operations and lowering network costs. Example: It will allow us to deploy a small office with Firewall/VPN/DHCP/PBX/Voicemail/Switching in one box and even throw in redundant WAN connections if you were so inclined. They support traditional PSTN connectivity such as PRI/FXO as well as IP trunks such as SIP or H323. Multiple offices can be interconnected providing 4 digit dialing between sites/offices or for least cost call routing.

Cisco CallManager is a server based product, now referred to by Cisco as an “appliance”. It’s basically an HP, Dell or IBM server with the hardened Linux OS with the Call Manager software bundled into it. Appliance is a good description of it since you basically just manage it through the web interface and even if you were to login to it at the console level you would only get the customized administrative shell with no access to the underlying OS.

The primary difference is in scalability and redundancy. CallManager was designed for the large enterprise market. The system can be designed with multiple levels of redundancy for call routing and fail over such that there would be no single point of failure and could survive multiple failures if that level was required. CallManager are deployed in clusters and can support up to 30,000 phones per cluster. Clusters can be inter-connected to provide a seamless voice system. CME on the other hand was designed to be a single site solution and it excels at that. Some enterprises actually use a combination of the two solutions and inter-connect them with IP trunks. It is also very good for some businesses where network management is localized vs. centralized.

Cisco CallManager supports more set of features as compared with CallManager Express. Cisco makes some additional products (Presence Server/WebEx Connect/Meeting Place/PC based Attendant Console) that can integrate into the CallManager to provide enhanced services. And that goes for third-party software as well. This is a weakness of CME, there is very little additional software support for it.

Cisco CallManager features and Capabilities 

  • Cisco Unified Communications Manager provides services such as session management, voice, video, messaging, mobility, and web conferencing.
  • Cisco Unified Communications Manager is available in a choice of different deployment models: public cloud, private cloud, on-premises, remote, or hybrid.
  • Reliability
  • Lower cost of ownership
  • Interoperability and standards support
  • Scalability for up to 40,000 users, extensible to 80,000 users


Filed Under: CUCM


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