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New Member

Small Business Office Manager

Hello,

As a Cisco partner, and as an enginee,r who has been working with the UC500 series since its inception, I have a few concerns as it comes to recent developments with the product, specifically Office Manager.

It seems that functionality is being taken away from the customer admin with this product.  The web GUI no longer gives the customer admin access to phone adminstration, and Office Manager doesn't seem to be filling the void.

Here are the things that a customer administrator needs to be able to do, and cannot with the current load/Office Manager.

1.  Administer phone buttons.  Heck, administer the phone period.

2.  Upload/Download customer AA prompts(currently in web gui).

3.  Be able to create blast/hunt groups.

4.  Be able to add VM boxes(currently done in web gui)

5.  Be able to edit Inbound Call Routes.

6.  Be able to add/delete users(currently done in web gui)

I'm sure there is more, but this is what I have run across in the couple of installs that I have been on.  Let's not half-do this application.  It can be a good one for the customer admin, but right now it just doesn't have the functionality to be very usable, and there is too much back and forth to the web gui.  Thanks for your attention to this.

20 REPLIES
New Member

Re: Small Business Office Manager

Hi,

My name is Marcos Hernandez and I am the Product Manager for OM. Thanks for your feedback and observations. From the very beginning, it was our intention to release a tool that required little to no knowledge in terms of understanding the underlying PBX system. Pretty much all the use cases you describe were considered at some point in time, and subsequently discarded as product features. The rationale is that enabling them would result in complications of the interface which would have put us on the path of recreating a system-level configuration tool, such as CCA.

For example, add/delete a user. This is doable, but typically it doesn't end there. After you add a user, you are going to want to assign a DID to it, put it in a group, configure the call routing behavior, limit permissions, configure a button layout, etc. The typical small business administrator, the target persona of OM, will not know what all this means. The expectation is that the VAR/reseller does all this using CCA. In simplifying the behavior of Office Manager we are definitely sacrificing features. The answer is to fill that void with a system level tool, CCA.

Thanks for your patience and understanding.


Marcos

New Member

Re: Small Business Office Manager

Hello Marcos,

We have a client that has an office environment that requires are more than the usual number of moves/adds/changes of their phones.  We have deployed a UC-560 on Dec 2010 and since then they have had around 10-15 moves/add/deletes already.  We installed an Office Manager (ver 1.2) onsite hoping that the designated admin would be able to do this type of task. 

The client does not want to change the extension number but only the following:

Description (example John Doe)

button labels (example. John 111)

reset voicemail password

I myself have tried (making sure that we are using the proper administrative account - in one occasion the priv 15 that we ourselves as resellers use), but any changes on the particular user/ext does not trigger the SAVE button to be enabled.  It is grayed out and only the RESET button is available as a choice. 

We also installed and reinstalled on another workstation (one Windows 7 PRO 64-bit and the other XP PRO SP3) and the got the same results.

Are we missing something on the configuration?  Another thing also is the OMCONFIG.exe  does NOT work on the Win 7 Pro desktop). 

So far the only feature that has worked and the client has been happy with is uploading the MoH file.  They can change the MoH file to advertise whatever sales promotion they have.

Please advise.

New Member

Re: Small Business Office Manager

Hi Jerome,


If your system is 100% CCA-compatible (no CLI) then you are facing a serious bug and I would like to track it. Can you please open a TAC case and send it my way in a PM? OM is supported on Windows 7, no problem.


Thanks,


Marcos

New Member

Re: Small Business Office Manager

The UC 560 is running 8.0.2 and was configured mostly thru CCA. There are some configs done thru the CLI. Is this an issue?

Sent from Cisco Technical Support iPhone App

New Member

Re: Small Business Office Manager

Unfortunately, yes. If the system has CLI built into it, we cannot guarantee expected results and as such, we don't support this type of deployment.

New Member

Re: Small Business Office Manager

We can configure the UC system using CCA & CLI.  But for Office Manager to work correctly, the UC system has to be 100% configured using CCA.  Am I reading this right?

New Member

Re: Small Business Office Manager

The UC540/560 are designed to be deployed with CCA, as such, Office Manager is designed (and supported) for CCA installed and supported configurations. While you can make configurations and changes with CLI, Office Manager at that point can no longer be supported.

New Member

Re: Small Business Office Manager

Are there any plans to support "mixed CCA/CLI" setups in the future? 

New Member

Re: Small Business Office Manager

Jerome,

There are no plans to support mixed CCA/CLI deployments.

Thanks,


Marcos

New Member

Re: Small Business Office Manager

Marcos,

Thanks for your comments.  I think that you underestimate your customer when you make the statement that the "average" customer admin would not understand how a phone system works or would want the functionality to do this in one tool.  I find the opposite to be true.  The customer admin wants to understand and be able to administer their phone system.  We used to be able to administer the entire phone system with the web GUI, but it seems that functionality is being taken away from that tool with no attempt to replace it with something else. 

While I understand that CCA can do all of the described and more, these are services that the customer will have to pay a Cisco partner to do.  While this is not necessarily a bad thing, the UC500 series was designed to be able to be administered by the customer admin.  CCA is a partner only tool, OM is basically useless(other than being able to upload MoH), and the web GUI is being stripped of functionality.  We might as well be selling CME if partners are going to have to administer every move/add/change that a customer makes.

Up to this point, there was progess made in making the administration of this system more end user friendly.  In my opinion, the changes made in the current software pack is taking 3 or 4 steps back, and I don't think that I'm the only one that has this viewpoint.

New Member

Re: Small Business Office Manager

I am taking note of your comments and I will bring them up in our next OM executive review. You make a good point, and before we say "sorry", I will do my best to socialize it with the broader Team.

Thanks for your patience. Expect to hear from me soon.


Marcos

New Member

Re: Small Business Office Manager

Thanks Marcos.  Please understand my comments weren't directed at you, I'm just frustrated to see the product come this far, then stall.

New Member

Re: Small Business Office Manager

I completely understand and I did not feel you were attacking me. You make a good point and I will make sure your voice is heard.


Thanks,


Marcos

New Member

Re: Small Business Office Manager

Good feedback, I see Marcos has it. Thank you.

One point of clarification in your comment " the UC500 series was designed to be able to be administered by the customer admin" ... This is not true. UC5xx has always been designed 100% for the partner. Office Manager has been our first development for the end user. CCA is NOT designed for end-users.

New Member

Re: Small Business Office Manager

10.1.10.2/CCME.html give you the CME administration that was removed from the 10.1.10.1 address.

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New Member

Re: Small Business Office Manager

Hi Marco,

I agree with "rowseyba1"

There is no functional reason what so ever to reduce the role of the web GUI, there are many benefits to having it and even increasing its capabilities as apposed to the direction it would seem the Cisco design team is heading.

  • The web GUI allows for a broader range of configuration which was more stable and easier to work with than CCA when CCA was in its infancy, you could build the entire system using the web GUI with only clean up via CLI required
  • The web GUI had a great CUE management and it just WORKED!!! and rarely did you experience issues with it, in fact if you did any CLI work the web GUI would recognize it and would allow you still continue to make changes to the system, and if something was broken it would fix it
  • The web GUI was brilliant for training Receptionists, Admin staff or even managers on how to use it, they understood it and found working within a web environment familiar territory, why you would remove this is at odds with basic fundamentals
  • The web GUI allowed the designers (I.E Me) to lock the system down and just allow a user to log in via the web GUI and do basic configuration to their phone I.E speed dials, forwarding, voice mail etc..etc... WHY would you want to remove this if indeed this is the direction you are looking to take?
  • CCA is a partner tool, a design tool and to some degree a management tool, however the one thing the web GUI did that CCA and even OM could not is allow for decent remote management via web interface either through port forwarding or VPN connectivity and or remote desktop, again I am not sure why you would want to cut us off at the knees, this to me was a vital tool and I am sure it was for many others
  • Office Manager might be a good client tool, but if it does not match that of existing capabilities what is the true intentions of it then? If you intend to replace one system with another, normal practices dictate you at least offer equivalent or near equivalent capabilities or significant advancements, OM does not even come close to this.\
  • OM is also quite testy, if the slightest thing is out or wrong it wont work, where as the web GUI just worked straight out of the box, it worked in complex subnet arrangement where OM does not
  • I simply cannot see how any person would consider offering CCA either, but I think every single person knows that CCA is not designed for the end user, although I have in the past seen some Cisco VAR's offer it anyway, I guess as a way to get their clients of their backs because of the lack of GUI training and or lack of ability for the client to do Add/Move/Changes

No matter which way you look at it, I will always advocate strongly for an on system configuration solution, CCA is great (And think it is a brilliant concept) but an on system solution is by far more superior then any application, it is native to the system, operates from a local perspective, is not subject to firewalls, network cards and other stupid things that tend to have a negative effect on CCA, can be worked on from remote sessions, can provide anything that a desktop application does and in my opinion more. Why Cisco is ignoring this is still unknown, never in my advocating have I ever been given a rebuttal or a proper answer, which indicated to me back then that you never had one, and I believe you would not have one now either. or if you did you could be soundly argued.

If there is one thing I respect Cisco for, it is because you guys love to listen to your partners/engineers, it would make it even better if the consensus was taking into consideration at times before you venture of down the development cycle, you did this with CCC which would have change the whole landscape, and for no apparent good reason, you are now appearing to do it again.

I beg of you, consult your VAR's and the people who work on your system, please...please...please take their thoughts into consideration, it is part of the reason why I needed a break from working with Cisco and just needed to go about doing something else, but alas the itch posses me

Well that is my 2c worth...

Cheers,

David.

Cheers, David Trad. **When you rate a persons post, you are indicating a thank you or that it helped, but at the same time you are also helping to maintain the community spirit - You don't have to rate posts and you wont be looked down upon :) *
New Member

Re: Small Business Office Manager

For Web GUI changes, (like, a year ago)

All they did was take out the CUCME programming out of the CUE web interface and changed the CUE web interface a little.  As posted above, you can go to the same place you could always go on CME routers, {Router IP}/ccme.html.  So for UC500's, it can be 192.168.10.1/ccme.html, 10.1.1.1/ccme.html or 10.1.10.2/ccme.html.  All 3 interfaces are on the router and allow a connection to the "CUCME Web Interface."  So the only problem which is small, is that there are two places to go.  A user can still log on to the ccme.html page with the username and password field on their ephone, and they can log onto the CUE web with their CUE username and "Password" (not PIN).  You can still make someone an admin for CUCME by increasing the privilege level of a router username.  You can make them an admin on the CUE with the group.

I want a tool where I talk and it makes the changes I say, but for now, we have what we have.  Web for both works nice for customers. 

Re: Small Business Office Manager

The reason the functions seen in the ccme.html interface were removed from the CUE GUI is because no one is managing or maintaing it any longer and on the CME ISR front, they are using CCP and on the UC5xx fron we are using CCA and OM.

The support center are good people and will always try to help you if you suddenly notice CCA or OM no longer read your configuration, after making changes with either CUE or CCME GUIs.  Especially in the case where CCA or OM provides the capability, you will find a hard time getting support to make CCA or OM work again.  Some changes should be harmless, but unless someone in Cisco solution test team tells me that they are system testing all the GUIs together (which we are not), I am nervous about using these GUIs.

There is of course the new option of NON GUI partner practice, if you have advanced UC specialization and dont care to use CCA or OM, then you can use CLI and then use the CCME and CUE web interfaces with minimal concern, but you will get CLI support (only).

Steve

New Member

Re: Small Business Office Manager

Hi Steve,

Does this mean there is now CLI support for the UC540 and UC560?

Regards,

Mario

Re: Small Business Office Manager

Read more about it here... Posted Jan 21st by 2 BU VPs and the Support Director.

https://supportforums.cisco.com/docs/DOC-14855

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