Guys, my company is looking at deploying either WebEx Connect or OCS R2 and we already own CCM 6.1, IPCC 7.0 & Unity 5.0. Traditionally I have been extremely Cisco friendly over the years and I always have a tendency to gravitate towards Cisco products. However I need to remain unbiased in order for our business units to make a clear choice so that they don't think we "sold" them something that we wanted, and it truley wasn't in their best interests because the data was weighted in favor of Cisco. My question is does anyone have any experience integrating WebEx Connect and or OCS with their Cisco AVVID platforms and can you share your experiences and caveats to watch for? I have already compiled a list of OCS R2 caveats based on a mini pilot I ran. If anyone can confirm/deny or comment on these that would be helpful too. Since I have not been able to run a pilot of WebEx Connect yet, I guess I am also looking for caveats on that product to balance against my list of OCS caveats. Before you comment please consider that we already have the Cisco suite mentioned above and we are not going to rip out our existing Cisco platform so this isn't a perfect "green-fields" scenario.
The caveats I have found with OCS R2 when integrating are:
- No ability to create custom status. Available, Away, Be Right Back, Do Not Disturb, Busy, Inactive & Offline is all you get. ie) No: I'm in a call, I'm with customer, Running Late etc.
- MS does not officially support Cisco Unity VM so we will be counting the a ringer timeout on Cisco to get the call to the correct VM system.
- When you set your OCS IM client to do-not disturb your phone will go to fast busy because of the above limitation. (your OCS client will timeout first because of the DND status set in IM; thus the Cisco phone never even gets a chance to ring & redirect to Unity because MOC took over quicker via DND (Workaround: use Exchange UM exclusively so call can be dumped into VM when DND IM status is set )
- Loss of inbound caller name from the PSTN. This feature doesn't exist in their SIP stack and will not exist in the 2010 release.
- No ability to check VM through 1 button press in the MS client. You have to manually dial the VM pilot # (Unless you use MS Exg UM exclusively)
- Once converted to MS Exchange UM you need a 3rd party program to light the MWI on all Cisco phones.
- Once converted to MS Exchange UM you will experience loss of features
<---I'M NOT SURE ABOUT THIS; PLEASE COMMENT. This is just something I heard.
- Converting to Exg UM would require a prolonging battery of system tests especially for Call Center (IPCC) and other xfer to VM applications ie) Attendant Console etc.
- Complicated Architecture to produce true redundancy. Even with infrastructure in place for redundancy at multiple locations potential outage risk still exists since users accounts are hard coded into a specific server and need to be manually moved if one location goes down. ie) no dynamic recovery.
- Difficult integration with Cisco Voice. Requires additional administration on both Cisco Phone & Unity VM systems and and in MS OCS platforms to make sure every person's client is set up correctly.
- Client's settings and preferences are set by the user locally at the PC client. The Administrators have no ability to see those settings or preferences and therefore cannot remotely fix them for users through a Admin console.
- No ability to forward calls to a remote phone and upon no ring pull back to corporate VM. (Not sure this truly exists in Cisco either. PS) “Mobility” in CCM does not count. I'm referring to the old Avaya way of making this work.)
Thank you everyone for your time and input