Cisco On-Premises Calling End-of-Life Options and Next Steps

By: Taki Gikakis | March 14, 2023

If you are running Cisco on-premises Calling applications (including Cisco Unified Communications Manager), be aware that the end-of-sale date for Version 12.5 is August 31, 2023.

This applies to these releases and applications:

  • Cisco Unified Communications Manager 12.5 (CUCM)
  • Session Management Edition 12.5 (SME)
  • CUCM Instant Messaging & Presence Service 12.5 (IMP)
  • Cisco Emergency Responder 12.5 (CER)
  • Unity Connection 12.5 (CUC)
  • Cisco Paging Server 12.5 (CPS)
  • Cisco Prime Collaboration Deployment 12.6 (PCD)

[See a detailed breakdown of the end-of-life dates at the bottom of this blog.]


For new on-premises clients, we recommend deploying version 14. For existing clients, the last day to renew or add version 12.5 to your existing Flex subscription is August 31, 2025. We are seeing this impact clients of ours that need to make a change to their existing Flex subscription because the projected subscription term end date for new or changing subscriptions needs to be on or before the Last Date of Support.

Cisco On-Premises Calling Applications End-Of-Life Options

Core BTS recommends that clients upgrade to the latest release of on-premises Calling or consider migrating to Cloud Calling under your Collaboration Flex Plan.

Upgrade Cisco On-Premises Calling

Depending on your existing environment, different methods are used for upgrading your system to the latest version. Before we begin an upgrade, we verify that your current hardware, EXSi, and network meets the requirements of the new release. We also confirm your existing licensing subscription and entitlements in your SMART account. Based on this information, we will recommend either an upgrade or migration path.

A direct refresh upgrade is a direct upgrade where you need to upgrade both the application software and the underlying ESXi software. This would typically be used if you’re upgrading from one major-minor release to another where the ESXi version requirements are different for the two releases (for example, moving from 11.5(1) to 14).

A direct migration is used where multiple factors exist that can’t be addressed with just a direct upgrade – such as server hardware replacement, an ESXi upgrade or virtual machine configuration change – or complexity factors such as service impact or a large deployment (for example, moving from Unified CM 11.5(x) on ESXi 6.5 and Cisco UCS M5 generation hardware to 14(x) on ESXi 7.0 and Cisco UCS M6 generation hardware).

Migrate to Cloud Calling

We have extensive experience in migrating our clients from existing on-premises Calling and Contact Center to a cloud calling and contact center solution.

One effective method we use is to trunk your on-premises UCM (Unified Communications Manager) to your new Webex Calling instance during the migration. This allows us to maintain communications between users on both systems as we move them over to the cloud in phases.

Client Example

At a national professional organization, we deployed this connection and migrated their knowledge workers over to Webex Calling. We kept the CUCM and UCCX in place for their call center agents, so their contact center had no downtime. Once the Webex Calling Migration was competed, we deployed Webex Contact Center in parallel to their UCCX, tested the queues, trained the agents, and moved them over to the cloud contact center. Once the new cloud contact center was live, we decommissioned their CUCM and UCCX. (We have used a similar migration strategy for many clients.)

Client Example

At a healthcare organization, we moved them from on-premises calling and contact center to Webex Cloud Calling. We didn’t need to deploy Webex Cloud Contact Center because we used a feature (Group Call Management) included with Webex Calling that replaced the call center functionality to handle patient scheduling.

Manage Your Transition to the Cloud

To help you manage your transition to the cloud, Cisco Control Hub provides an administrative portal to provide IT administrators visibility into their on-premises Cisco Unified Communications Manager as well as Webex Cloud Calling environments, making migration progress easy to track. Control Hub also provides detailed analytics and reporting metrics – giving system administrators critical system information before, during, and after Webex Calling migrations.

Next Steps: On-Premises Upgrade or Cloud Calling Migration

Core BTS can help you assess your collaboration needs and help you make a better decision on whether to stay on-premises, move to the cloud, or keep a hybrid approach. Understanding your business needs, technical requirements, and end-user profiles will help you select the best calling and collaboration platform for your organization.

We examine your current system, analyze how you are using it, and identify any gaps in collaboration capabilities. With hybrid work becoming the norm, we focus on how your decision will work for in-office, remote, and hybrid workers.

If you are ready to begin to transition your calling and collaboration systems to the cloud, we can help. Even if cloud collaboration isn’t on your immediate roadmap, we can help you upgrade your on-premises UC solution while simultaneously preparing you for a future cloud transition when you are ready to make the change.

Contact us today to schedule a consultation on your next steps.

End-of-Life Announcement DateThe date that announces the end of sale and end of life.3/1/23
End-of-Sale DateThe product is no longer for sale after this date.8/31/23
End of SW Maintenance Releases DateThe last date that Cisco Engineering may release any final software maintenance releases or bug fixes. After this date, Cisco Engineering will no longer develop, repair, maintain, or test the product software.8/31/24
End of Change / Renewal DateThe last date to Renew or Add to an existing subscription.8/31/25
Last Date of SupportThe last date to receive applicable subscription entitlements, service and support for the product as entitled by active subscriptions and service contracts (as applicable) or by warranty terms and conditions. After this date, all subscription and support services for the product are unavailable, and the product becomes obsolete.8/31/25
Taki is our National Practice Director of Collaboration Solutions with over 25 years of experience. He leads an effective results-oriented collaboration practice with the right balance of skillsets and capacity to provide and support advanced collaboration solutions for our valued clients.

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