Laurence Andrews

Cisco ICOMM v8 Day 4

Today was a long day, but lots got done. I made the most notes so far today, which must be a good sign that some interesting things were being learnt. We started with BAT, the Bulk Administration Tool. It seems to work fairly well, although it isn’t exactly, what’s the word… Professional? It’s just excel files. I was kind of hoping for something better, but I suppose it does the job alright enough. We imported a phone using BAT as part of a lab.

After BAT we went over LDAP integration. I’m  glad we spent quite a lot of time on this as it’s obviously very important, especially in a big corporate environment. I envisage that we may need to make some changes to tidy up the directory prior to the synchronisation with Active Directory but it’s clearly the most efficient way of handling users in Call Manager. One thing that concerns me slightly is that if you do elect to use AD integration there is no manual way of adding end users to call manager, it’s very much all or nothing. I can’t think of an immediate issue, although it’s difficult and impractical to add users willy nilly to AD should the need arise.

Extension Mobility was covered, which is a feature I’m totally new to. It wasn’t in use when I had been involved with Cisco phones before - I thin the reasoning was that it was still quite immature and buggy. From what we tested the mobility (or ‘Hot Desking’) seems to work very well, and is almost entirely integral to Call Manager - in fact, depending on how you setup your handsets it can be entirely integral.

In the afternoon we did lots of lab work reviewing most of the major features on the Cisco endpoints. This was very useful, I’d like to think that something like this - perhaps a more cut down version would be great as part of an introduction or staff training session. It’s all well telling me how they work but it’s the users that will know if the features are any use to them. Busy lamp fields are a personal favourite, as with call parking - both things I had not really been aware of in the past.

No picture today I’m afraid, there simply isn’t much else to take pictures of! I tried to find RNLI Tower but think it’s up river more from where I am, which is a shame.

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