Sharpen your machete and dust off the Snap Brim Fedora buried in that old trunk in the attic; you should also grab the bull whip hanging in the garage as a backup just in case we run into danger.  Cisco Unified Communications 9 licensing can be a daunting jungle to forge through and has become one of the top questions that surface during client engagements.  I was lucky enough to rip out a few pages from Indy’s journal containing clues to help us navigate our way to a better understanding of the licensing structure so gear up and get ready for the expedition!

Defining the Options:

There are two choices when it comes to licensing your powerful Cisco UC 9 platform, CUWL and UCL.  Most rookie adventurers might stumble on the first challenge of the journey but thanks to the ‘borrowed’ journal pages we will be able to pass through this obstacle with ease.

CUWL, or Cisco Unified Workspace Licensing, provides bundles of Cisco Collaboration applications and services in a simple package. It includes soft clients, applications server software, and licensing on a per-user basis.

UCL, or Cisco User Connect Licensing, is a per-user based license for individual Cisco Unified Communications applications that includes the applications server software, user licensing, and a soft client.

Breaking Through:

With our explorer senses on high alert due to the unfamiliar terrain, we can find a clue in each definition listed above.  Did you find the clues?  If not let me guide you through the thickest part of the jungle, time to get the machete ready!

Cisco Unified Workspace Licensing (CUWL) bundles products together for simple and consistent management in your environment.  This means that even at the Standard level of licensing, each licensed user is granted access to Communications Manager (Call Control), Unity Connection (Voice Messaging) and a one year subscription service for Jabber in the cloud (IM & Presence).  Need contact center, WebEx Meetings and Webex Social?  No problem, simply select the Professional edition of CUWL to unleash the full potential of your Cisco Unified Communications 9 platform.

Cisco User Connect Licensing (UCL) provides user-based licensing for individual Cisco Unified Communication products.  UCL is further broken down by device type for Communications Manager and is viewed as the replacement for the ‘DLU’ (Device License Unit) licensing model of historic versions of Communications Manager.  Individual Basic Messaging licenses will also need to be purchased in addition to the UCL licensing for each user that needs voice messaging. UCL can be cost effective for organizations with common location devices such as lobby phones or warehouse phones that do not require voice messaging.  UCL also offers the customized ability to weigh license costs against desired functionality throughout the organization.

Choosing a Path:

As a group, we have managed to navigate through the challenges with success and are now presented with one final task in order to achieve our ultimate goal.  Displayed in front of us are two options, CUWL and UCL, but how do you decide which one is right for your organization?

The answer to this question can be determined by how many devices each of your users are associated with.  If you primarily have users with multiple devices (up to 10, including Desk Phone, Softphone, Jabber for iPad, Jabber for iPhone, etc) you will want to focus on CUWL licensing.

On the contrary, if your organization has users that have one or a maximum of two devices then it would be recommended to look into UCL licensing.  UCL can also be more cost effective for organizations containing greater amounts of common phones.  Standard DLU to UCL migrations simplify upgrades of Communications Manager, so if you are upgrading (and if not you should be!), then UCL can be a helpful option.

A Mystery Remains:

How exactly did I manage to get the two pages out of the journal belonging to Dr. Jones?  Some things will always remain a mystery; at least CUWL and UCL licensing will no longer fall into that category.

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