We are soon upgrading to CM 3.3.3. When will cisco get on the ball and offer paging on the cisco phones without the need for a third party app, or shared line appearance set to auto answer to speaker? This is basic PBX 101... Intercom.... Is there something on the radar screen for this? Im constantly being asked why this is not a function.
The only option Call Manager has is an "Auto Answer" function. This takes up one line on the phone.
berbee.com offers a paging application, but this is probably by who or what you meant by "third party app"
IMHO, I believe that CallManager will have to "grow" like the Traditional PBX did. All the functions they have now on a PBX did not exist in the beginning and was added 1 step at a time. I think Cisco is taking the right approach in developing CallManager. They have to work out bugs with every new function I am sure and that takes time!
I am sure it does take time... But they knew what they had to mimic with PBX options. Those were things thought of over a long period of time... These are the things that are most asked for... why not include them in from the gound up. What they should be "Growing with" are things that PBX's can't do... like the phone services that cisco offers, etc.. the data apps...
I just had this conversation with our local Cisco System Engineer (Sales Engineer?). We have been begging for this since entering the Cisco IP Telephony arena 1-1/2 years ago. Here is what he said:
There is no plan to add an "all page" or intercom feature to CallManager. They have requested it but are required to show how adding that feature would increase revenues. Other features apparently have a more attractive ROI to engineer this feature.
Then, he did a demonstration of us of the new CallManager Express which runs on a 3700 series router. Out of the box it INCLUDES the Intercom feature as well as DND.
no plan to add because they could not show how it would increase revenues? For themselves, or for the customer? Its the customers who are looking for the feature. If they are not doing it because they can't show how it would increase Cisco Revenues... well I wish I had heard that before I just filled out the Cisco online Survey
I know this doesn't help but think about another problem.
Call Manager supports multi-site deployments, and of course this involves WAN of various sizes. Extension mobility allows users to go sit at any phone they choose, including those on remote sites.
If a user is a member of a page group and then logs on remotely, Not only do you have to configure multicasting on the LAN but also the WAN, this then adds call addmision control to the problem,
The multicast stream is passed accross the wan and consumes WAN bandwidth which must be prioritised as part of the QOS policy, so now you have to prioritise multicast traffic as well as voice. How do you seperate that out from other multicast traffic without yet more complicated configuration?
I could go on but I'm sure you can see it's a little bit more difficult to do this over IP than it is in the TDM world.
BTW the reason it's in ITS and CM Express is becasue they are single site boxes, NO WAN so no problem.
Not sure how Berbee have overcome this problem or if they have, any chance of a comment from them?
It is frustrating to not have some of the more basic features but the technical solution may be a little bit bigger than you realise.
IMHO There are much more preesing needs in Call Manager, such as real hunt groups, a real attendant console, IVR that supports G.729, realising that the rest of the world doesn't use the NANP, etc., etc. etc.
you raised a bunch of issues, but then saw the light... Berbee has overcome many of these issues... their informacast seems to work... so again I say... if a third party can make it work on ciscos equip, CISCO should be able to make it work on their own equip... sorry this just adds up to be common sense. I agree there are other pressing issues which they should also be addressing... no doubt there.. Cisco employees many many many bright engineers, who should all be figuring this out if berbee is able to ... (and this is certainly no offense of any kind to folks at berbee... if anything its a kudos to figuring it out first)
While all call paging is definitely "PBX 101", the task is more difficult with IP Telephony. Here is a scenario- You lift the handset and dial a paging number that represents 50 phones. In the current system your phone would have to digitize the voice, create 50 unicast IP packets and put them on the wire every 20 msec. This is just not physically possible, and if it could make that many packets, how much bandwidth would that take up?. Scale that to 100 or 200 phones and you see the issue.
The only solution is multicasting. If you look at the latest SDK, the phone now support a multicast send and recieve XML tag, so the phone load is capable. But the customer would have to have multicasting enabled on the entire network to make it work, and that is just one more layer of configuration (and complexity) in your network.
Note: Call Manager Express (ITS) has paging functionality using multicasting.
It looks like all of the pieces are there, it just has to become a button to press in Call Manager. If you are smart enough, you can implement a multicast all-call page now using an XML service.
Its not a matter of being smart enough.
Its a matter of finding the time to learn a new skill.Most people here are Network engineers and spend most of their time performing this function.
Not programming and creating XML services.