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Updated:Mar 14, 2007
The Cisco® IP Interoperability and Collaboration System (Cisco IPICS) portfolio of products and applications streamlines daily operations and allows organizations to rapidly respond to incidents or emergencies. It dissolves communications silos between disparate Land Mobile Radio systems and devices such as mobile phones, landline phones, IP phones, and PC clients-users can communicate with whatever device they have, from wherever they are. Users can be paged or emailed with the status of an event, and can be automatically called and invited to join a virtual conference, further improving situation awareness and reducing response time. Cisco IPICS provides flexible and scalable communications interoperability, enhancing the value of existing and new radio, telephony, and IP communications networks.
IPICS Phone Client application (Figure 1) enables push-to-talk (PTT) functionality on select models of Cisco Unified IP Phones, a capability previously reserved for radio-only users. It allows users to communicate over and monitor broadcasts of channels of communications. With a push of a single button on the phone, a user can communicate over a channel to other users monitoring that channel.
Figure 1. Cisco IPICS Phone Client
The Cisco IPICS Phone Client for Cisco Unified IP Phones extends communications of existing PTT radio or broadcast networks. With the Cisco Unified IP Phone, users can also respond to incidents or emergencies by using the Cisco IPICS Phone Client, boosting organizational responsiveness as well as operational efficiency and effectiveness.
Cisco IPICS Phone Client users can be added to new communication channels as incidents or needs arise. Users have communication access not only to PTT radio channels, but also to online Cisco IPICS Push-to-Talk Managemenr Center (PMC) users, or groups made up of multiple channels and communication device types such as mobile phones and IP phones. The availability of these channels is managed remotely by an operations manager or dispatcher, allowing for quick and efficient response to escalating events.
An integral component of Cisco IPICS, the Cisco IPICS Phone Client is a licensed application hosted by the Cisco IPICS Server. The Cisco IPICS Phone Client works in conjunction with the Cisco IPICS Server to receive its configuration, updates and upgrades, management, authentication, and alert tone distributions. Other Cisco IPICS system components include the Cisco IPICS Policy Engine, Cisco IPICS PMC, Cisco IPICS Operational Views (Ops Views), Cisco Land Mobile Radio (LMR) gateways, Router Media Service (RMS) gateways, and Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) telephony gateways.
Cisco IPICS is a systems-level, network-based solution for voice interoperability. It takes full advantage of open IP standards and IP network infrastructure for greater resiliency, scaling, and security, and is part of a complete communications solution for organizations of all sizes (Figure 2).
Figure 2. Cisco IPICS Solution
Features and Benefits
Extension of Traditional Push-to-Talk Network to IP Network
The Cisco IPICS Phone Client extends voice reachability from PTT radio or broadcast networks to Cisco Unified IP Phones.
Multiple Channel Types
Cisco IPICS Phone Client users have communication access not only to PTT radio channels, but also groups made up of multiple channels and communication device types such as mobile phones, and IP phone.
Easy Remote Access
With VPN, authorized Cisco Unified IP Phone users can utilize the Cisco IPICS Phone Client remotely from anywhere in the world.
Quick and Dynamic Access to Communications Channels
Cisco Unified IP Phone users with the Cisco IPICS Phone Client can choose from a list of communication channels to participate and monitor, thereby replacing or reducing the number of desktop endpoints or handheld radios needed.
Should the Cisco IPICS server be unavailable, Cisco Unified IP Phone users with the Cisco IPICS Phone Client can continue to communicate over the selected channel and operate in an offline mode.
The Cisco IPICS Phone Client is managed securely and remotely through the Cisco IPICS server for configuration changes, and other updates, such as information, resources, and permissions. Server-managed configuration alleviates the need for time-consuming and costly onsite IT resources, improves ease of use, and facilitates service offerings.
Audio through the Cisco IPICS Phone Client is multicast, allowing scalability and improving network performance.
Cisco Unified IP Phone users with the Cisco IPICS Phone Client can monitor channels in listen-only mode even if permission to talk is not provided.
Table 1 describes product specifications.
Table 1. Product Specifications
G.711 and G.729
Up to 32 channels
Voice streams per channel
Maximum of 3 simultaneous multicast voice streams
Minimum System Requirements*
• Cisco IPICS v2.1(1)
• Cisco Unified IP Phones with Skinny Client Control Protocol (SCCP):
The Cisco IPICS server checks the license count for concurrent Cisco Unified IP Phone with Cisco IPICS Phone Client license usage. Each Cisco IPICS Phone Client that is logged into the Cisco IPICS server consumes a license. If one user logs in to multiple Cisco IPICS Phone Client sessions from different Cisco Unified IP Phones, that user will consume multiple licenses (one for each Cisco IPICS Phone Client session). This means that the Cisco IPICS Phone Client can be installed on as many Cisco Unified IP Phones as needed and the licensing is based upon the Cisco IPICS Phone Client sessions that are in use at any given time.
As organization's needs evolve, additional licenses of Cisco IPICS Phone Client can be purchased and added, thereby allowing customers to grow and scale deployments over time.
To place an order, visit the Cisco Ordering Home Page. To download software, visit the Cisco Software Center.
Table 2 gives ordering information.
Table 2. Ordering Information
Cisco IPICS Phone Client License For IPICS 2.0 or Higher
Cisco IPICS Phone Client License For IPICS 2.0 or Higher, 10 Units
Cisco IPICS Phone Client License For IPICS 2.0 or Higher, 50 Units
Cisco IPICS IP Phone Client License For IPICS 2.0 or Higher, 250 Units
Service and Support
Using the Cisco Lifecycle Services approach, Cisco and its partners provide a broad portfolio of end-to-end services and support that can help increase your network's business value and return on investment. This approach defines the minimum set of activities needed, by technology and by network complexity, to help you successfully deploy and operate Cisco technologies and optimize their performance throughout the lifecycle of your network.
For More Information
For more information about the Cisco IPICS product and solution, visit
http://www.cisco.com/go/ipics or contact your local Cisco account representative.