Is there a way to configure Call Manager to allow paging through the speakers of all or a grouping of IP Phones? I have a customer who has an existing PBX that allows them to dial a number and then verbally page a person through the speaker on every phone on the system (instead of installing a separate overhead paging system).
I haven't seen a Call Manager configuration like this.
I looked over Informacast and it looks to be a method for broadcasting recorded announcements, as opposed to replacing an overhead paging system. The customer wants to pick up their phone, dial a number, and have their voice broadcast out the speaker on every phone looking for someone in the building.
Has anyone seen an application like this for CM?
we used a ata-186 connected to a valcom overhead paging box.
customer dials a number the ata picks up the call and connects the call to the valcom box.
There are some third party packages, but they seem to be limited to small groups, not the entire system. It is doubtful that the feature will be included anytime soon, just think about the network traffic. If I have 100 phones to bradcast to, in a unicast environment my phone would have to digitize my voice and create the payload. Then create, address and send 100 packets every 20 milliseconds. Oh yeah, and some of the phones might be using a different codec, so 25 of the packets have to be G.729. This is just not within the processing capability of the phone, and could overwhelm the network.
The only way that group paging is going to work is using multicast. Everything will need to support it, the Network, call manager and the phones. Imagine a cutomer saying "I want group paging" and your response is that every router and switch must have a code upgrade plus the labor to implement. I doubt that anything but a greenfield install will invest the money.
I hope that cisco will come up with a good solution, but it may be a while.
I just did a lab set up with Berbee's Informacast.
And this will fit your needs and much more.
The only caveat to this is that when a person dials a number to page .
The messeage is first recorded to a wav file.
Then once the person hangs up the phone the message/page is broadcast.
This is the only good method to do this becasue if you try live paging not all phones will open up the speakers at the same time and you will hear partial paging on some phones.
You should contact Berbee .
I'm sure they will be more than happy to provide an 10 day trial period for there
In addition to Informacast from Berbee that might meet the needs, Netcom has an application called IP-Zonepage that might work:
I have a demo version of IP-Zonepage installed. We have a client that is looking for a solution to replace their overhead paging system as well. The IP-Zonepage does allow "live" broadcasting to up to 200 phones in each zone. We are working with their tech support to get that to also work with a valcom unit connected to an fxo port. Everything works fine except that the call to the fxo port does not disconnect when you hang up the phone. They are working on that now. The software did seem a little early development to me and the installation documentation was not very clear. I was able to get a tech support guy on the phone and he walked me through everything.
I also have a copy of the Berbee software, but have not installed it yet. My only concern about this one is that you must record your message and then send it. My client is a school district and I don't think that will fit their needs very well.
I have looked over both IP ZonePage and InformaCast and each one seems to have some of the features the customer wants, and some they don't.
IP-ZonePage's downside looks to be that each user has to have Netcom's Handsfree product installed and set to answer every call for you via speaker phone, or the pages won't go through. Unless there is a way to setup the handsfree product to only auto-answer calls to the page extension, that is a deal-breaker for that product.
InformaCast looks to be workable if it allows paging of a recorded message immeadiately after it was recorded.
That is not true about IPZonePage. In my demo system, the only thing that I had to install was their management software on a server/workstation. Nothing else needs to be installed for any of the users. The ipzonepage uses the same line appearance that the user has and their software takes care of everythign.
I would suggest calling them and getting a copy of the software with a demo license. They gave me 30 days to play with it - without any problem.