We’re thinking of moving to Cisco phones at work. Now, I know a bit about phones, but what I know is about 2-3 years out of date and very specific to one company. I thought it would be wise to go and get my CCNA Voice done and then at least I should have an understanding of how it all should be setup in the ideal world. A few weeks back I booked on to the QA Introducing Cisco Voice and Unified Communications Administration course in London. There are eight people on the course with me, all with backgrounds that are either traditional telephony, or networking, there is one lady who is more of a service manager/team leader I think… Our trainer is a chap called Dave Looby, it became immediately clear that Dave knows exactly what he is talking about. He’s a fantastic trainer. I’ve been on courses where trainers kind of wing it, bumbling along following the course material - this has not been the case.
We started the course with Dave going over in detail a background in VoIP - explaining in a good amount of detail how packets are formed, how Codecs work, how SCCP an SIP are different, etc… I realised a few hours in I should have been making more notes that I had been, this was really, really interesting. We then started the course and went into how Cisco Unified Communications is structured as a solution, going over the history, the architecture and how it is typically setup. We also talked about the different types of hardware both for UCS and Gateways. This was almost equally as interesting especially how the software has changed since I worked with it last.
In the later half of the day we went over some high level Cisco slides about the software. We learnt about what each role does (e.g. Unity, Call Manager, Presence) how it is managed, why it is managed like that etc.. User roles and how to configure and change those roles was also discussed. This was less interesting, but still key, especially to those who are totally new to Cisco Voice.