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Attendant Console for CUCM 8 and above, My Solution.

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Mar 2nd, 2012
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I work for a community college in which we employ a full time operator and have several people to fill in for breaks and vacations. Having an attendant console is very important. To complicate matters, we need to have more that the corperate directory in the console for numbers such as departments (Admissions, Financial Aid, etc.) as well as fax numbers and other references.


The attendant console that Cisco provided up untill version 8 met our needs. We upgraded and purchased CUEAC. And for 3 grand, we got a pile of crap with only one seat. The big problem is that it does not support directory integration, does not support incremental search, and has one of the worst implementation designs I have yet to see.


We have tried many consoles, all lacking in one area or another. The one that best met our needs was the most expensive, and had the smallest feature set. We could not justify spending money on somthing that is not at least as good as the free product that cisco once offered.


My crazy solution: Use CUCMAC (Assistant Console). For reference, we have UCCX with Basic Seats (No Desktop Agent).


Cons: Does not support imcremental search or directory integration.

Pros: Free, Unlimited seats, one search entry searches all fields.


Implementation:


Created a dummy "Manager" which allowed me to be able to create "Assistants" (operators).


At this point each person that is to act as an operator can now log into this software with their network username and password (we are LDAP Integrated). They can see and control the lines on their phones, and the software is almost identicle to the Attendant Console Software they were use to.


Created and ACD queue for the operator and added an ACD DN to each phone. The users go Ready and Not Ready using the IPPA.


In our situation, we have the full corperate directory, which for most companies is fine. In our case we need additional numbers for the Departments and such. Becuase we are LDAP integrated, we will need to sync to an additional Directory source for the missing numbers. I wish we could use " Contacts" in AD, but becuase they dont have user ID's, cisco will not import them.




To summarize operation, the operator logs into the ACD queue and used Assitant Desktop as a user interface for the phone. The only thing that differs from Attendant Console, is that you have to use the phone to log in and out, not the desktop software.


Please let me know what you thing, and any ideas how to improve this setup would be greatly appreciated!

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jamgale Thu, 03/08/2012 - 09:20
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Bradley,


I cannot comment on the implementation you have gone through but I can comment on your comments about CUEAC.


There is going to be a new release in June this year which will support directory integration directly to AD as well as the CUCM sync which is available today.


The GUI iteself is to undergo a redesign in version 10, the date on this release is not yet known.


Incremental search is something which is not on the roadmap but is something I will discuss with the Product Manager to see if it can be considered.

bradleyroehrig Thu, 03/08/2012 - 09:49
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Jamie-


Thank you for taking the time to reply. I hhpe you understant my intention is not to have a "lets bash CUEAC" party, but to discuss work arounds. I am glad to hear there will be some much neaded design changes. I am a big fan of only using Cisco Products, and I guess my dissapointment with this product got the best of me.


Im not sure how entitlement works, but will the newer revisions be avalible for download for free? Thank you again for the information!

jamgale Thu, 03/08/2012 - 10:32
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  • Cisco Employee,

Upgrading our solution if you are using CUEAC already is free if you have a valid ESW/UCSS contract in place but there will likely always be a charge for purchasing from new.


All the versions however are available to download and install on a 60 day evaluation license, this can be done by visiting www.cisco.com/go/ac

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