What is the equivilance [if there is one] to Avaya Vectors in the Cisco VoIP system? We have an Avaya system we're looking to replace, and Cisco is on the short list of replacements. We're also looking at Mitel. We currently use vecrtoring for call routing etc. based on the extension, time of day, etc.
Thanks in advance!
Cisco has nothing in its base form...
Avaya vectoring is intergrated within it communication manager and with cisco you will need something like ICM or the likes to replicate the Avaya vectoring... That being said, alot more servers and $$$$
This is where cisco has been lacking from the start. others like NEC, Fujitsu, Nortel Avaya and others have been doing this for years, but that being said, they are of a PBX origination where cisco is not.
Oh, and another thing...
Even if you do go down the track of Cisco, there equivilent is far more complicated then the Avaya. i.e. what takes you say 15 minutes to set up a basic queue with a few announcements and options will take you a few hours in CISCO.
Thanks for the quick reply! That's unfortunate. I was hoping it would have something like that in it's base platform. I hate the idea of having to go ICM and an expensive add-on for that...
We recently migrated from Avaya to Cisco and we purchased Cisco UCCX to implement something similar to Vectors. We route calls from CUCM to UCCX and then back again to CUCM and the handsets. UCCX is a seperate server and is cumbersome and difficult to administer. As mentioned above, it takes hours to configure something simple in UCCX, where in Avaya it would take minutes.
The functionality on the handsets is also poor compared to Avaya. They don't deliver a good user experience and seem to be developed by people living in a cave. They don't even offer basic functionality like "Incoming Calling Name Display" from contacts, which is something that's been around for decades.
Also Cisco's use of the word "Unified" is way off the mark. Compared to Avaya there whole system is "decentralised". Multiple applications, servers, tools etc required to administer the system while in Avaya everything could be done via Site Administrator.
If I were you, if moving from Avaya I'd stay well clear of Cisco.
Thanks for the info on the UCCX. I've never had to deal with a Call Center enviornment, so the whole part about queues, etc. is fairly new to me.
On the other items I can't say that's been my experience. I've maintained a few phone systems over the years, and I find the Cisco admin and phone themselves far more intuitive that Avaya. Could be that I'm familiar with Cisco, but I always found Avaya a mess. I guess everyone's opinions are different on this, and I'm sure its all about familiarity.
I'd also suggest that depending on your detailed requirements, you may not even need UCCX. Basic hunt pilot/group configurations and time of day routing, including options to queue calls are built in to Cisco's Communications Manager. Very often these can be combined with the 'call handler' functionality in the voicemail system, Unity Connection, to meet basic requirements. More sophisticated needs might require UCCX, but with newer features in CUCM, I've even been able to migrate customers away from UCCX, in certain environments, as part of an upgrade.
Thanks, that's extremely helpful! What we have is a Call Center for Owners and Staff on the road to call into and get updates on various pieces of informaton. We do have our agents "logged in". Managers of that area would like to eventually record calls to that agent/user. So I don't know if that's a need for UCCX or not? I've done some of the time/day, routing, etc. you mentioned with older versions of UCM, but that was a few years ago. Not sure what else has changed/added?
I can say that I miss the Cisco handsets, IM, etc. features, incl admin. It seemed to work better overall, IMO. I'm sure its all about familiarity. But the systems I had were always rock solid.
Generally recording options are used in conjunction with UCCX. UCCX includes the ability to allow a remote user to dial in, authenticate, and silently monitor either a particular agent, or a specific queue; however that is not the same as either ad hoc or continuous recording of calls. Ad hoc is normally initiated by a supervisor through a Windows-based desktop application, and the recording is saved to the supervisor's desktop. Cisco is transitioning to a web-based agent/supervisor application, but full feature parity isn't yet present.
For continuous or workflow-based recording, typically a separate application is used, the Cisco product is called Quality Management. UCCX will also have more reporting/monitoring capabilities than what CUCM can provide.
As an FYI, on CUCM, there is an option to put a softkey on a phone that is part of a hunt list, so the phone can be logged in/out of the hunt list by the end user. Again, though, CUCM will provide just basic functionality.
Not much has really changed with time of day routing in CUCM. You can use schedules on the voicemail side for playing day of week/time of day appropriate greetings for auto attendant type functions, to include holiday schedules. Aside from the addition of built in holiday support, that scheduling function hasn't changed too much from the old Unity product.
Thanks again Erik...
So the recording piece is a UCCX function/feature? Or is that a UCM feature? And is the QM portion part UCCX, or is that too another add-on.
Sorry for all the questions, but this will greatly help our decision.
Many thanks again, you've been extremely helpful!
Monitoring (not recording) is a UCCX feature. Ad hoc, on demand recording by a supervisor is a UCCX feature.
More sophisticated recording, to include always on or automatically triggered recording (aka workflow), is an additional application that leverages UCCX (so you need UCCX to use the recording product). There are third party solutions for recording as well, that could be used for CUCM in the absence of UCCX, but then you do without other UCCX features.
Keep in mind, too, that there are 3 different UCCX license options available, depending on exact features you need: Standard, Enhanced, and Premium. A basic matrix of features is shown at this page:
UCCX is licensed per concurrent user, so if you had 300 agents, running 3 shifts of 100, you'd need 100 seats. A supervisor counts as a seat, too.
For the Cisco-branded recording product, there are two license levels, standard and advanced. Advanced will do agent screen recording too, for example. The Cisco product uses named user licensing for recording licenses.