In my last post I said I would go into detail on the features offered by CUCIMOC. I do not intend to compare these to the features offered by Remote Call Control (RCC)\Dual Forking as these features are documented in a number of places and are a standard within OCS.
CUCIMOC offers a number of features which are identical to that of RCC\Dual Forking, it appears that Cisco did not want to take away any of the Voice functionality, it looks like only one Voice Feature has been added which is Call Park a feature often used within businesses but is missing not only from RCC\Dual Forking but also from the Enterprise Voice side of OCS as well.
Before going into further detail on the Client Features, I just want to comment on the CUCM aspect.
When running in RCC mode CUCIMOC is controlling a Cisco IP Phone, this phone retains all of the functionality it would have through being used manually.
When running as a Softphone, CUCIMOC is registered as a Cisco Unified Client Services Framework (CSF) device; this is a Phone created on the CUCM in the same manor as an IP Phone would be.
I have not tested what features are available such as Call Recording, Boss Secretary Working, Busy Lamp etc but I would assume that most of this functionality would work.
So lets look at what the Client has to offer.
The client offers some of the features that you have come to expect from a Cisco Client, such as Server Status and Create Problem Report; these aid in the troubleshooting and when escalating faults to Cisco support. These are added to the tools menu within Communicator and can be seen below.
The one of greatest interest is the “Select Device for Communication Pane” this allows the user to select which device they wish to use. This is useful if a user has multiple phones assigned to their user profile. Users are able to select any phone which is assigned to their CUCM User Account, the Directory Numbers can differ.
One slight bug appears to be that the number is only shown if you select the device.
It should be noted that if using CUCIMOC as a Softphone, it will only register the device it is using, other devices will show as unregistered. Due to this, there is a delay when switching between Desk Phone mode and Softphone mode and vice-versa this is due to the device being registered/unregistered.
Taking a look at the CUCIMOC Communications Pane, there are a number of options:
- Contacts and Number, are “Dragged and Dropped” here to dial a number
- Used to call Voicemail, when there are no Voicemails this is option is greyed out
- Displayed the Conversation (Call) History
- Switches between Softphone and Desk Phone Mode
- Dial Pad
I will come back to dialling and the in call features later. Clicking on the Voicemail icon simply calls through to Voicemail.
The Conversation History brings up the window shown below.
Users are able to double click a previous call to redial or they can right click to display other numbers to call, they also have the option to send an Instant Message or view the Contact Card.
I have shown the contact card below, since it looks different to the Communicator one, unfortunately there is no way to dial from the contact card.
Switch between devices is self explanatory, click and switch.
Moving on to the options, I have chosen to show these below as they are self explanatory.
When forwarding calls, the “Another of my phone numbers” provides a drop down box on selection to choose a number, and “Another contact or number” displays a Cisco version of the Contact List to either choose a contact or enter a phone number.
The final item in the Communications Pane is the dial pad, this allows user to place call by entering a number on the dial pad and selecting call, it can also be used for DTMF during a call, it is a nice addition and something that users often comment on as a missing feature from Communicator.
Moving on to look at placing a call and the features offered once the call has started, there are three ways to call a person, one is by right clicking a contact and clicking “Place a Call”, if the contact has multiple numbers it will always call the work number. The “Place a Call” option is added in by CUCIMOC.
Another method of placing a call is to drag the contact on to the Dial icon in the Communication Pane.
One thing to note is that the numbers for contacts are direct from an LDAP source, which each user is configured for, in my case this is Active Directory. This means that it does not use the contact numbers provided via Office Communicator. Due to this if a Federated Contact provides their contact numbers (Access Level Company and Higher) you will not be able to dial these contacts without manually entering their details.
Although users are able to call outlook contacts, by searching for a contact and either right clicking or by using drag and drop.
The final way of making a call is by escalating an Instant Message conversation to a Voice Call, this can either be a 2 Person Conversation or an IM Conference. This is performed through selecting the users at the top of the Instant Message window (multiple select via Ctrl) and then selecting “Place a Call”. Conferencing is handled as detailed later in this post.
Before looking at the in call features, lets take a look at how an inbound call in handled. When a call is received a Toast is displayed providing the option to either answer the call or send it to voicemail. If the number is within the LDAP source it will resolve the Caller ID to a Name (I think this may also be for Outlook Contacts but not 100% sure).
One thing to note is that there is no way to choose were to answer the call like there is with RCC\Dual Forking. It is answered using the currently selected device. Initially I viewed this as a problem, until talking to someone who pointed out that you choose the device you want to use when you start working, only changing it when you change location.
When a call in answered a new window opens showing the in call options, this is shown below.
- End Call, Further in Call Options
- Start an IM with the Caller
- Place Call on\off Hold
- Mute Call (Softphone mode only)
- Adjust Speaker Volume (Softphone mode only)
- Dial Pad for DTMF etc.
Each of the above is self explanatory so we will move on to the other In Call Options, these are shown below:
Conference and Transfer function in away you would expect from Cisco telephony, starting with Conference.
The user has the option to add people to the call creating a conference, this is done by calling the additional participant, talking to them then adding them to the existing call. This differs from the OCS route of just dumping people into a conference. This sequence is shown below:
People can also be added to the conference through drag and drop, but this will call the default number, as detailed above.
Transferring is handled in a similar way, the user selects who to transfer to, talks to the person they have called and then has the option to transfer the call, this is commonly known as an announced transfer. This is a useful addition as OCS only has announced transfer for RCC and when using the Attendant Console.
The main transfer dialog is shown below, the dialog for choosing who to transfer to is the same as the conference one shown above.
There is the option to not transfer, by selecting the End Call button or to complete the transfer by clicking Complete Transfer.
One thing I have noticed is that you can switch between calls, by clicking the Hold button, the problem is though that on switching back you lose the Complete Transfer option. I have only tested this in Desk Phone mode, I am unsure if this is the same in Softphone mode.
The final item to look at is Call Park, this functions as you would expect on a CUCM, the call is parked on a Pilot Number, and presented to the user to pass on.
As you can see from above, it is parked on 5990.
That brings to an end the review of the CUCM features, it has gone on longer that I thought but hopefully it all makes sense and is of use. I may have missed out a feature or two, but hopefully I have covered all the important ones.