Communications Manager Express – Installation and Upgrade Overview


The Unified Communications Manager Express (CME) solution provides the ability to supplement or replace existing voice solutions while also taking advantage of equipment that can support not only a voice solution but also data feature support requirements. This article discusses how the Unified Communication Manager Express software is installed on supporting equipment.

Unified Communications Manager Express Files

The installation of the Unified CME software onto supporting equipment is not a complex task but does require the knowledge of the different files that are required for each of the different Unified CME features. The following table goes over the required files and what they are used for:

Basic files The basic files for Unified CME are typically packaged into a tar archive and contain all of the files required to have the Unified CME feature operate.This archive also contains the many of the phone firmware files that are required.
Graphic User Interface (GUI) files The Unified CME solution can be provisioned using a GUI that can be installed on the supporting Unified CME equipment; this GUI is contained within a separate tar archive then the basic files. The basic setup of CME with basic files is required before the GUI can be utilized.
Phone Firmware Files Each of the supporting phones that are going to be deployed with Unified CME must be running the same version of the firmware that is installed on the supporting equipment as well as be running a version of the firmware that is supported by the existing Unified CME installation (SIP or SCCP). Many of these are included within the basic tar archive.
XML Template file The xml.template file is included in both the basic and GUI tar archives and can be used to restrict the use of specific GUI functions to customer administrators.
Music-on-Hold file The file is used to provide on-hold music when a live feed is not configured. This file is contained within the basic tar archive.
Script files Certain functionality can be added though the use of Tcl scripts; different scripts can be downloaded from Cisco to add support for these various features.
Bundles TSP Archive file Another tar archive file is available from Cisco that includes several files used to support Telephone Application Programming Interface (TAPI) – Telephone Service Provider (TSP) files. These are required if TAPI-capable PC software will be used.

Unified Communications Manager Express Installation

The installation of Unified CME files onto a supporting piece of equipment is rather simple. The following steps should be used to perform installation on a supporting Unified CME device:

Step 1. Go to in a web browser, log in and download the required files (A support contract is required)

Step 2. Copy or move the archived zip file onto the TFTP server that will be used by the Unified CME device

Step 3. Extract the contents of the archived zip file into the TFTP download directory

Step 4. Login to the Unified CME device and move into enable mode

Step 5. If the file to download is not a tar archive, use the copy tftp flashcopy tftp flash: command to move the file from the TFTP server to the Unified CME device (i.e. copy tftp:// flash:)

Step 6. If the file to download is a tar archive, use the archive tar command to extract the files from the archive on the TFTP server to the Unified CME device (i.e. archive tar /extract tftp:// cme-basic- flash:)

Step 7. Associate a phone type with a specific phone firmware file using the load phone-type firmware-file (i.e. load 7960-7940 P0030702T023)

Step 8. Build XML configuration files required for SCCP phones with the create cnd-files command.


The installation of the Unified Communications Manager Express software onto a supporting device is only the first step in the configuration. There are a number of different configuration steps that can be followed to provide support for a number of different features. This article focused on the steps required to install the Unified CME software onto the supporting equipment so that it is ready to support further configuration. Hopefully, the information in this article can be used to get started learning to deploy the Unified Communications Manager feature and functionality.