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ASK THE EXPERT- CISCO PERSONAL ASSISTANT

Welcome to the Cisco Networking Professionals Ask the Expert conversation. This is an opportunity to discuss Cisco Personal Assistant, a CallManager companion application, with Cisco expert Monica Shen Knotts. Monica is a Product Engineer in Cisco’s Enterprise Voice, Video Business Unit. Feel free to post any questions relating to Cisco Personal Assistant.

Monica may not be able to answer each question due to the volume expected during this event. Our moderators will post many of the unanswered questions in other discussion forums shortly after the event. This event lasts through August 3. Visit this forum often to view responses to your questions and the questions of other community members.

19 REPLIES
New Member

Re: ASK THE EXPERT- CISCO PERSONAL ASSISTANT

My company has a corporate directory that is separate from the Cisco CallManager directory. Can I use name dialing to dial someone in the corporate directory?

New Member

Re: ASK THE EXPERT- CISCO PERSONAL ASSISTANT

Yes. Cisco Personal Assistant has the ability to tie into the Cisco CallManager directory and also read from a separate LDAP compliant Corporate Directory.

Silver

Re: ASK THE EXPERT- CISCO PERSONAL ASSISTANT

How many users can be supported on a single Personal Assistant server?

TIA

New Member

Re: ASK THE EXPERT- CISCO PERSONAL ASSISTANT

A single MCS-7835-1000 can support a maximum of 750 users and 24 speech recognition sessions. An MCS-7835-1000 with only the Personal Assistant server installed can support a maximum 1750 users, and an MCS-7835-1000 with only the speech recognition server installed can support a maximum of 36 speech recognition sessions.

A single MCS-7825-800 can support a maximum of 550 users and 20 speech recognition sessions. An MCS-7825-800 with only the Personal Assistant server installed can support a maximum 1250 users, and an MCS-7825-800 with only the speech recognition server installed can support a maximum of 24 speech recognition sessions.

New Member

Re: ASK THE EXPERT- CISCO PERSONAL ASSISTANT

Does each Personal Assistant licence come with a speech recognition licence or must they be purchased separately?

I unserstand the number of sessions is a function of server capacity and performance.

New Member

Re: ASK THE EXPERT- CISCO PERSONAL ASSISTANT

For a small CM & PA deployment (100 users) could the PA server be installed on the CM server or is this unsupported?

New Member

Re: ASK THE EXPERT- CISCO PERSONAL ASSISTANT

Contacts List - Since VoIP has limited speed dial capabilities, and many users would like to set up speed dials for people outside of their corporate directory, is there a way that their Contacts list within Outlook can be linked to Personal Assistant?

Cisco Employee

Re: ASK THE EXPERT- CISCO PERSONAL ASSISTANT

There are three ways for users to quickly dial people outside of their corporate directories:

1) Personal Address Book, available in Cisco Personal Assistant today. A user can enter names, nicknames and numbers into the Personal Address book. Speed dial PA and say, "Call Michael Jordan" or "Call Mom." If the user has added her mobile phone or home phone as a "personal destination," she will be able to access people in her personal address book from those phones as well.

2) Personal Contacts and Fast Dials, available with CallManager 3.1 (end of July). Personal Contacts will allow the user to synchronize contacts from Microsoft Outlook into the personal address books, so they will then be available from Personal Assistant. In addition, Fast Dials allows the user to index up to 99 contacts for quick dialing from the IP phone.

3) The next release of Personal Assistant, scheduled for approximately six weeks after CallManager 3.1, will allow the user to synchronize contacts from Microsoft Exchange into the personal address book as well.

New Member

Re: ASK THE EXPERT- CISCO PERSONAL ASSISTANT

Does Personal Assistant integrate with the Microsoft calendar? If so, which versions?

New Member

Re: ASK THE EXPERT- CISCO PERSONAL ASSISTANT

Cisco Personal Assistant integrates with both Microsoft Exchange 5.5 and Exchange 2000. A user can set up a call routing rule depending on whether or not her schedule is blocked. For example, "If my calendar is blocked, forward the call directly to voicemail and page me. If my calendar is not blocked, ring my desk phone."

New Member

Re: ASK THE EXPERT- CISCO PERSONAL ASSISTANT

We were exploring PA with our local Cisco office, and got a demo-eval of the PA install. I installed it on a 7835 under the direction of our local SE team (who were versed with PA). We have Unity and Exchange 5.5. Although the PA is setup with the "Administrative" rights to open mailboxes and knows about the Unity server, we couldn't get it to work with either.

For some reason it wasn't ever looking or adhering to my calendar. Also when I asked it to "transfer" to voice mail, it would complain that it couldn't open my Unity mailbox.

I'm at a loss to debug this; actually opened a TAC case but then closed it since the local team is working with me. The local SE is supposed to be onsite next week (Monday) to see if we could get it fully working; so I can justify the cost to the upper management.

If you have suggestions/recommendations on how to debug this, I would appreciate it. It's a "way cool" product!

Cisco Employee

Re: ASK THE EXPERT- CISCO PERSONAL ASSISTANT

A few suggestions of things to check from our engineering team (if you continue to have trouble, please post again):

- is the profile created on PA server to access the

unity server message store? (check using "control

center -> mail -> show profiles")

- Can you access the messages using Outlook on the

PA server machine?

- Do the users have same email id in Call Manager

and unity accounts? "Couldn't open unity mailbox"

could most likely be due to this error.

Regarding the Calendar problem: Make sure you have

entered right Mailbox name in the PA sysadmin interface.

See the PA release notes for information on this.

Also check how often the Calendar is set up to

synch up the schedules with the server:

Outlook -> Tools -> Options ->

Calendar Options -> Free/Busy Options

Here, the "Update free/busy information on the server

every x minutes" should be set to a lower value

New Member

Re: ASK THE EXPERT- CISCO PERSONAL ASSISTANT

Yep, I had the same problem. In the end it seemed that the Unity user creates an Nt account with an alias name. This alias name has to match the Call Manager name. PA looks at the Call Manager names via SQl when it starts and then uses this name to access the exchnage account. Took me 2 days to get over this.

New Member

Re: ASK THE EXPERT- CISCO PERSONAL ASSISTANT

Dear Monica,

Since I haven't received any replies to my question and no helps in searching forums and TAC, I thought this is the best place to ask:

As Cisco and Vocaltec has announced, Cisco telephony architecture and Vocaltec's VEA are fully compatible, so I was wondering how is possible to register Vocaltec's Surf and call(part of VEA) into a Cisco Gatekeeper.

Any helps would be appreciated, Thanks in advance.

Cisco Employee

Re: ASK THE EXPERT- CISCO PERSONAL ASSISTANT

Just checked with the CallManager also to confirm - Vocaltec is not related to Cisco AVVID. Sorry to not have related information.

Bronze

Re: ASK THE EXPERT- CISCO PERSONAL ASSISTANT

This is a very basic question but I was wondering what are the main features of Cisco Personal Assistant?

New Member

Re: ASK THE EXPERT- CISCO PERSONAL ASSISTANT

new question.

What version of IOS do you need for the conference feature. I found an issue where the user cannot hit one to accept a conference. An FXO port works ok but a T1 port does not. I am using 12.1.5(T).

Michael Oldham

Cisco Employee

Re: ASK THE EXPERT- CISCO PERSONAL ASSISTANT

From our engineering team: The issue here is not with the conferencing feature itself, but the ability of the gateway to transmit out of band DTMF sequences to the PA device. You would have to configure "dtmf -relay h245-alphanumeric" on the dial peer.

New Member

Re: ASK THE EXPERT- CISCO PERSONAL ASSISTANT

Cisco Personal Assistant provides a speech recognition interface that allows users to use simple voice commands to perform tasks. Users verbally dial entries that are in their personal address books or the corporate LDAP directory. In addition to placing regular calls, users can direct Cisco Personal Assistant to establish conference calls with spoken commands.

Speech recognition also empowers users to voice navigate messaging functions such as retrieval, replying, recording, and deletion of voice messages. Cisco Personal Assistant currently supports Cisco Unity voice mail.

In addition, Cisco Personal Assistant allows users to unify how and where they wish to receive calls. Using a web interface to create rules, users forward and screen calls based on caller-identification, time of day, and meeting schedules. Users can also instruct Personal Assistant to forward selected calls to a series of phone numbers. Cisco Personal Assistant processes the user-configured rules and dispatches the call accordingly.

Example: A user might configure a rule to forward an important sales call that is expected between 10:00 AM and 11:00 AM to directly go to the user’s cellular phone, while simultaneously sending calls from colleagues to voice mail and a pager. Establishing easy Personal Assistant rules helps users improve productivity and concentrate on tasks requiring immediate attention.

More information is located at the following url:

http://www.cisco.com/warp/public/cc/pd/unco/persasst/

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