Cisco® Paging Server is designed for applications of any size for customers of Cisco Unified Communications Manager (Cisco UCM). The InformaCast software application offers essential paging functions through Cisco IP Phones with emergency notification capabilities built in. The solution provides business-critical corporate communications as well as reliable security awareness for unlimited numbers of industries.
Enabled by virtualization technology, the Cisco Paging Server is an application to be deployed in a virtual machine and run co-resident on Cisco Unified Communications Platforms. This combination is ideal for Cisco UC on UCS® and Cisco Business Edition 6000 (BE6000), product deployments. These products consolidate multiple collaboration applications in a highly available solution that enables midsize and enterprise businesses to reduce their total cost of ownership (TCO) and increase their return on investment (ROI) through its flexible architecture that grows with business needs.
Cisco Paging Server uses the InformaCast product from original equipment manufacturer (OEM) partner Singlewire. This software solution transforms Cisco IP Phones, overhead speakers, and other devices into a powerful IP paging and emergency notification system. The Cisco Paging Server ships as a DVD with Cisco Unified Communications Manager Version 9.1 and later versions and is available for download from Cisco.com for customers who have deployed Cisco UCM Versions 8.5, 8.6, and 9.0 with a valid Essential Operate Service (ESW) contract. InformaCast is also one of the preloaded virtual applications on the Cisco BE6000, and is typically deployed as a virtual appliance co-resident with larger installations of Cisco UCM as well. You do not need to order an additional SKU with Cisco UCM to receive the paging software.
Solution Components: Features and Benefits
InformaCast operates in two modes: Basic Paging and Advanced Notification. Basic Paging provides phone-to-phone and group live audio paging to Cisco IP Phones. All users of the system can participate in making and receiving pages, and the administrator can define an unlimited number of paging groups. Basic Paging will be provided at no cost to all Cisco UCM customers running Version 8.5 or later and all BE6000 customers. The limitation of the basic paging feature is that a maximum of 50 users can be included in a single paging group. This limitation does not prevent a user from being in multiple paging groups, nor having multiple groups with a maximum of 50 users in each, yet no more than 50 can be paged simultaneously.
InformaCast Advanced Notification is a full-featured emergency notification solution that allows you to reach an unlimited number of phones with text and live or prerecorded audio messages. Advanced optional features are available on the same software that comes with Cisco UCM. With advanced features you can send important life-safety information to your organization through a wide variety of endpoint devices and systems. There are no license requirements for basic paging, but advanced notification requires a license. You can easily unlock InformaCast Advanced Notification with the purchase of a license key.
Advanced features include:
● Ability to transmit live or prerecorded audio and text to endpoints: Send audio and text notifications to a variety of devices both inside and outside your organization, including Cisco IP Phones, analog and IP overhead speakers, digital display monitors and systems, smartphones, email systems, and more.
● Ability to take advantage of existing analog PA systems: Connect your existing paging systems through the Singlewire Legacy Paging Interface (LPI).
● Ability to broadcast to IP speakers: For areas where you do not already have analog speakers, add IP speakers that run on Power over Ethernet (PoE). IP speakers can also serve as your clock system and can scroll text across their LED panels.
● Ability to reach computers and signage: Pop a brightly colored window to the front of your computer screen with the InformaCast desktop notification client. Audio is broadcast if speakers are present. Text and audio notification can also be sent to your digital signage displays.
● Ability to reach remote users: Reach your users wherever they are through their mobile devices. Notification can reach users through webpages, social media sites, cell and smartphones, home phones, and more.
● Support for Cisco Jabber™ IM: Send an alert to your Jabber® IM client on whatever device it is running on. This alert can be sent with a text notification message as well as with a link to play back the audio broadcast.
● Emergency call monitoring, recording, and notification: When someone in your organization dials an emergency number from one of the system phones, a text and audio broadcast can immediately be sent to your safety team along with access to a recording of the call.
● Weather monitoring and notification: Directly monitor the National Weather Service for specific weather events in your area using the Common Alerting Protocol (CAP) feature. A notification with details of the alert can automatically be sent to your organization.
● Panic-button implementation: Configure push buttons, switches, function keys on a workstation keyboard, and more to activate an emergency notification.
● Facilities integration (control lighting, door locks, motion detectors, access, and fire alerts): Automatically trigger text and audio alerts when external sensors are activated. Alternatively, when a lockdown message is sent the system can lock the doors.
● Dynamic conference call to bring response team together: When an emergency occurs, an automatic conference call bridge can be initiated with predetermined users. InformaCast calls all the phone numbers listed on file for each individual and gives those joining the call the option of listening to a recording of the notification.
● Event accountability with message confirmation and reporting: Verify that a notification has been received by your organization by requiring a confirmation response.
● Building evacuation or lockdown capabilities: Let users know when there is a security threat. Options exist for sending notifications to all devices immediately or reaching selected devices with specific information. For example, a building administrator may want the option of sending a discreet text message to managers to alert them of an event versus sounding a campuswide alarm.
● General-purpose and shift or bell schedulers: Schedule class-passing bells for schools, shift change bells for manufacturing plants, or end-of-day closing announcements.
● Inbound and outbound application programming interface (API): Configure the monitoring of remote systems or the ability to remotely activate or trigger systems and devices on your network.
Additional information and demonstration videos about features of InformaCast are available at:.
Solution Technical Specifications
The following guidelines are for Cisco UCM installations outside of Business Edition 6000. The BE6000 ships with InformaCast OVA preloaded with the appropriate specifications for that Cisco Unified Computing System™ (Cisco UCS) server.
InformaCast Virtual Appliance requirements follow:
● VMware ESX 4.0 or later
● 4 GB of memory
● A dedicated virtual CPU (virtual CPU [vCPU]) is recommended
● Speed of at least 2.3 GHz for the VMware server host CPU
● A single virtual network interface card (NIC) configured for bridging, not Network Address Translation (NAT); InformaCast will not work through network connections that use NAT
● 80-GB disk, which can be either a local disk or storage area network (SAN)-attached disk (the SAN can be of any type supported by VMware)
● Cisco UCM V8.5 or later with IP Multicast-enabled network (Unicast gateway is available for WAN if needed)
Cisco recommends that you use VMware ESXi to host your InformaCast virtual machine, because it provides the lowest overhead of the VMware products. Other VMware products such as VMware Player or VMware Server will work for lab or demonstration purposes.
To learn more about the services and products compatible with InformaCast, including versions of Cisco UCM, phones, and more, visit our online compatibility matrix at.
To obtain the Cisco Paging Server with InformaCast software along with a Cisco UCM purchase, you do not need to order a separate SKU. The product automatically ships as a DVD as a component of the Cisco UCM media kit for enterprise deployments. For midsize solutions with the Business Edition 6000, the Cisco Paging Server is a preloaded virtual application on the server delivered from manufacturing. You can order Advanced Notification licenses for InformaCast by two different methods - perpetual or subscription. For perpetual licenses you can order from the Cisco Global Price List using the SolutionsPlus SKUs:
● Advanced Notification license for 50 users: SP-INFORMACST-50=
● Advanced Notification license for 250 users: SP-INFORMACST-250=
● Advanced Notification License for 1000 users: SP-INFORMACST-1K=
● Advanced Notification License for 2500 users: SP-INFORMCST-2500=
You can include these SKUs in the same quotes alongside other Cisco products for simplicity. You need maintenance for perpetual licenses for upgrades, fixes, and support. For subscription licenses, you can purchase annual licenses directly from Singlewire. Multiyear discounts are available, and these licenses include maintenance.
To place an order, contact your local Cisco representative or visit thetool on the Cisco website ; search on Advanced Unified Communications or Cisco Authorized Business Edition Reseller to find a certified unified communications partner in your local area.
For More Information
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