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Cisco Smart CallConnector

Cisco Smart CallConnector Server

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For small business employees to communicate effectively with suppliers and customers in today's competitive business environment, they need ready access to information, updated in real time. They also need to stay connected - to one another and to the business applications they use to do their jobs. With the right solution, your business can collaborate more effectively and problem-solve like never before.

Solution Overview

Cisco ® Smart CallConnector Server (SCC-Server) is tightly integrated with the Cisco Smart Business Communications System and the Cisco Smart CallConnector Advanced and Operator clients to enable users to send instant messages, view presence and telephone status, click to make and control the calls on their phone, view archives of instant messages and call histories, visually access voicemail, and use their contact information from the directories.
Cisco Smart CallConnector Server offers businesses the flexibility of rich, easy-to-use applications that streamline the communications of their employees by providing them with real-time information on the presence status or availability of people that they want to communicate with, and offering multiple methods for communicating with them. Cisco Smart CallConnector Server provides:

• An integrated presence and telephone status server that delivers real-time availability information on other CallConnector users, including whether they are on a call

• A graphical management interface for configuring and setting up the Cisco Smart CallConnector solution

• Centralized directories and archives of instant messages and call histories for retrieval by the CallConnector clients

• Local management of the Advanced Client licenses to view, reserve, deallocate, and add additional licenses

• Support for multisite deployments with connections to multiple Cisco UC500 systems

Cisco Smart CallConnector Server is the server component of the Cisco Smart CallConnector solution, a suite of server applications that connect to the Cisco Small Business Smart Communications System to make the unified communications services available to the CallConnector clients (Figure 1).

Figure 1. Cisco Smart CallConnector Server and Clients

CallConnector Presence, Telephone Status, and Instant Messaging

Cisco Smart CallConnector Server maintains user presence information and provides real-time updates of presence state changes to all connected clients. It also enforces the access rules to the presence information. Administrators can set up rules governing access to the presence information for each group or department.
Users can update their own presence status, a manager can update the status of any member of their group, and operators and administrators can change the presence information of anyone in the organization.
Cisco Smart CallConnector Server maintains four categories of presence information: availability, location, away message, and telephone status. Table 1 briefly describes each category.

Table 1. Presence Information Maintained by Cisco Smart CallConnector Server

Availability

Availability states include Available, Busy, Away, and Unavailable. Users can make changes to their availability from the CallConnector clients.

Location

Location information specifies where the user is at the present time. The options include At Work, At Home, On the Road, or On Vacation.

Away message

The away message is a free-format text message with which the users can leave instructions or provide additional information on their whereabouts to their colleagues.

Telephone status

The telephone status is based on extension numbers and indicates whether the number is idle, ringing, or in a connected state.

Business Instant Messaging

The CallConnector solution provides a feature-rich instant messaging capability to provide users with another method of real-time communication (Figure 2). Using the server's capabilities, the CallConnector clients provide personal instant messaging, group chat, and the ability to escalate an instant message (IM) session to a voice call or to sending email or text messages.

Figure 2. Cisco Smart CallConnector Instant Messaging Window

Chat Session Window When Receiving Transfer File.png
Instant messaging features include:

• User-to-user instant messages, consisting of short messages exchanged between two users in the business.

• Group chat that allows users to create a temporary IM conference and invite other users to join. All users in the chat group receive the messages entered by chat session participants.

All instant messages are stored on the CallConnector Server until they are backed up or removed based on the rules set by the administrator.

Cisco Smart CallConnector Clients

Cisco Smart CallConnector Operator: A feature-rich desktop attendant console designed specifically for the fast call handling plus contact management and messaging requirements of a small business operator position (Figure 3). With Cisco Smart CallConnector Operator, operators can:

• Handle incoming calls quickly and transfer them to the appropriate and available employees with ease

• View incoming calls for answering at a glance, plus view the status of parked, transferred, and held calls

• Easily send instant messages, email, or text (Short Message Service [SMS]) messages to employees who are not available to take calls

• Quickly search for users in the directory and manage the organization's directories

• View and update the availability, location, and telephone status of all employees

Figure 3. Cisco Smart CallConnector Operator Console

SCC_Operator_1
 
Cisco Smart CallConnector Advanced Client: A single unified client for Windows PCs that provides quick and easy access to powerful communications tools. Key features include presence, instant messaging with federation, visual voicemail access, PC-based click-to-call capability, employee directory, communications history, and Outlook contact integration. Customers can also use toolbars in Outlook and Internet Explorer for accessing the unified communication services (Figures 4 and 5).

Figure 4. Cisco Smart CallConnector Advanced Client Outlook 2010 Toolbar

AdvancedClient_tb_2 
 

Figure 5. Cisco Smart CallConnector Advanced Client

AdvancedClient_1 

Centralized Administration of CallConnector Solution

The CallConnector Configuration Manager provides a graphical interface for point-and-click configuration of the CallConnector solution. This allows the CallConnector clients to be centrally administered, making it easier for partners and administrators to manage the deployments across many desktops. From the Configuration Manager, administrators can:

• Download the Cisco Unified Communications 500 Series (UC500) phone configuration parameters with the click of a button

• Add user accounts and associate a phone with each user

• Import contact data into the CallConnector directories

• Set up the operator parameters for the call queues and park queues, speed numbers, and so on

• Activate the Server and Advanced Client licenses

• Publish new software versions for the clients to automatically upgrade

Table 2 describes the tasks that administrators can perform using the Configuration Manager.
The Configuration Manager runs on the CallConnector Server in two modes: as a standard Windows application (Figure 6) when started from the Configuration Manager icon or Programs menu, or as a service without a graphical interface when run from the command line from the Windows Task Scheduler. The service mode allows the Configuration Manager to be scheduled to run and automatically perform tasks.

Figure 6. Cisco CallConnector Configuration Manager

 

Table 2. Administrative and Management Services Available from the Configuration Manager

Run navigation wizards for step-by-step configuration instructions

The navigation wizards open the required configuration page and provide detailed instructions for the configuration task. They provide steps for day 0 and day N tasks such as setting up the CallConnector Server or an operator console, adding or removing a user, or downloading the router configuration.

Activate CallConnector Server and Advanced Client licenses

Convert the CallConnector Server trial license to a full license by entering the PAK ID and registering (activating) the software. The Advanced Client licenses are also activated from this interface.

Manage Advanced Client licenses

View the allocation of the Advanced Client licenses to users, reserve licenses for specific users, and deallocate licenses that have been assigned for moves and changes.

Perform maintenance functions

Back up the databases and set up SMTP server parameters to send email notifications to users, among other tasks.

Publish software updates

Download new releases of the CallConnector client software and publish them. The clients query for this information at startup and can automatically upgrade to the newer version.

Download UC500 configuration information

Once the configuration changes have been made on the UC500, the Configuration Manager can download them to the CallConnector Server.

Set up the dial plans

The dialing rules are specified centrally in the CallConnector Server for all clients. The CallConnector clients query the server for formatting the lookup and dialable numbers.

Configure the parameters for obtaining telephone status information

Information on the status of an extension is obtained from the UC500 using the Radius messages. The Configuration Manager provides a one-click method to set up the required parameters on the router.

Select the phones for use by the CallConnector Server

Select the phones for the CallConnector Server from the list of all the phones configured on the UC500.

Setup external IM server parameters

IM federation allows users to send and receive instant messages to people outside the organization. The parameters for the external servers are set in the Configuration Manager.

Add, modify, or delete CallConnector users

Add, modify, or delete the contact information, the login user name and password, phone, voice mailboxes, and so on for CallConnector users.

Import users and contacts

Import contact information to the corporate and external directories from multiple sources including the UC500, Exchange, or Active Directory.

Add, modify, or delete groups or departments

Add, modify, and delete the names of the organization's groups or departments.

Set up parameters for the operator console

Configure the parameters for the operator console, including the call queues, page and speed numbers, and so on.

Start, stop, and restart server applications

Some configuration changes require the CallConnector Server applications to be restarted. The Configuration Manager provides interfaces to view the running status and options for stopping and starting these server applications.

Manage Server and Advanced Client Licenses

Cisco Smart CallConnector Server and the CallConnector Advanced Client require registration or activation of the license to make them operable. The Advanced Client licenses are available in increments of eight. Once a license pack has been activated, the administrator can manage the allocation of the individual licenses to the client application installed on each user's desktop. The Configuration Manager supports the following license management capabilities:

• View the status of the CallConnector Server license

• Register or activate the Server license

• Activate the Advanced Client license pack

• View the available Advanced Client licenses

• Allocate, deallocate, and reserve the Advanced Client licenses for specific users

Synchronize with Cisco Smart Business Communications System Configuration Changes

Cisco Unified CallConnector Server downloads and uses the phone-related configuration information in setting up connections to the UC500 and providing services to the CallConnector clients. When changes are made to the UC500 phone-related configuration, the information at the CallConnector Server may no longer be correct. Administrators can manually redownload the UC500 configuration or they can schedule automatic downloads. The Configuration Manager can be scheduled to run at specified date and times using the Windows Task Scheduler and instructed to perform the one or more of the following services:

• Stop the CallConnector Server applications

• Start the CallConnector Server applications

• Download the UC500 phone configuration

• Import user information from the UC500

• Purge and remove deleted database records from the log databases

With the automation of these functions, the administrator can make changes to the UC500 and have the changes applied on the CallConnector Server.

Publish Software Updates

When new versions of the client software are available, they can be automatically propagated to the users' desktops using the Publish Software Updates feature of the Cisco Smart CallConnector Server. Administrators can download the newer CallConnector client versions from the Cisco download site and copy them to a network drive. They can then make this version available to the clients from the Configuration Manager. During startup, the Advanced and Operator clients check for newer versions and, with user approval, download and install the updated version.
The Publish Software Update feature makes the deployment of newer versions of the CallConnector clients much easier for partners and administrators.

Centralized Directories for All CallConnector Clients

Cisco Smart CallConnector Server provides centralized directories for corporate and external contacts. A directory database is used to store the contact information. The CallConnector clients download and display the directory information from the server. The CallConnector Server provides the following facilities for managing the centralized directories:

• Graphical interfaces for adding, modifying, and deleting the directory contact information

• Import of CallConnector users from the UC500

• Import of users from Active Directory

• Import of contacts into the corporate and external directories from UC500, Exchange, Active Directory, and text files

• Ability to change the contact information from the operator console

Archive of History of Calls and Instant Messages

Cisco Smart CallConnector Server archives the communications history on the server database. These archives consist of the transaction information of all calls and the summary and details of the instant messages, and they can be viewed from the Advanced Client application. If the automatic purging rules have been set for the server, logs older than the maximum save duration are removed.

Support for Multiple Customer Sites

Cisco Smart CallConnector Server can be configured to support multiple sites each with its own UC500 (Figure 7). Please see the Administrator's Guide for deployment guidelines.

Figure 7. Cisco Smart CallConnector Server Multisite Deployment

Deploying Cisco Smart CallConnector Server

The Cisco Smart CallConnector solution is a suite of client/server applications that require the Smart CallConnector Server. The Cisco Smart CallConnector Server makes deploying and using the client applications easier by:

• Configuring client parameters on the server

• Performing all license management

• Configuring dialing plans on the server, instead of in each individual client

• Importing contact information from Active Directory or Exchange

• Initiating client software updates

Servers can be installed in virtual machine environments for ease of server management. An easy-to-use installation GUI is provided that connects to the Cisco UC500 for configuration information, imports the user contact information, and sets up the call control parameters.
Table 3 gives licensing options for Cisco Smart CallConnector Server and the Advanced Client.

Table 3. Licensing Options for Cisco Smart CallConnector Server and Advanced Client

Description

Benefit

Smart CallConnector Server (includes 8 Advanced Client licenses)

Server license includes 8 Advanced Client licenses. This simplifies and reduces the cost for smaller deployments.

8-user license PAKs

Additional Advanced Client licenses are available in sets of 8.

System Requirements

Table 4 lists the computer requirements for the Cisco Smart CallConnector Advanced Client, Table 5 lists the requirements for the Smart CallConnector Operator Client, Table 6 lists the requirements for the Smart CallConnector Server, and Table 7 lists the software version needed for the Cisco UC500.

Table 4. Cisco Smart CallConnector Advanced Client Requirements

Parameter

Requirement

Disk space

200 MB free hard disk space. Reserve an additional 100 MB for upgrades

Hardware

3.2-GHz or faster dual-core or compatible processor for workstation

Memory

2 GB RAM minimum

Operating system

Microsoft Windows XP Advanced (Service Pack 2 or later), Windows Vista, or Windows 7 (32-bit or 64-bit version)

Note: Windows 7 Terminal Server or Citrix client environments are not supported.

IP phone

Cisco Unified IP Phones 7931G, 7940G, 7941G, 7942G, 7945G, 7960G, 7961G, 7962G, 7965G, 7970G, 7971G, 7975G, 6921 or 6961 or Cisco SPA 500 Series IP Phones

Table 5. Cisco Smart CallConnector Operator Client Requirements

Parameter

Requirement

Disk space

250 MB free hard disk space

Reserve an additional 150 MB for upgrades

Hardware

3.2-GHz or faster processor for workstation

Memory

2 GB RAM minimum

Operating system

Microsoft Windows XP Advanced (Service Pack 2 or later), Windows Vista, or Windows 7 (32-bit or 64-bit version)

IP phone

Cisco Unified IP Phones 7931G, 7940G, 7941G, 7942G, 7945G, 7960G, 7961G, 7962G, 7965G, 7970G, 7971G, 7975G, 6921 or 6961, or Cisco SPA 500 Series IP Phones

Table 6. Cisco Smart CallConnector Server Minimum System Requirements

Parameter

Description

Disk space

• Smaller sites (up to 25 users): 1 GB free hard disk space
• Sites with 25 to 75 users: 3 GB free hard disk space
• Larger sites with 75 to 250 users: 5 GB free hard disk space

Hardware

• Smaller sites (up to 25 users): 2.66-GHz or faster multicore processor
• Sites with 25 to 75 users: 2.66-GHz or faster quad-core processor
• Larger sites with 75 to 250 users: dedicated 3-GHz or faster quad-core processor

Memory

• Smaller sites (up to 25 users): 2 GB system memory
• Sites with 25 to 75 users: 4 GB system memory
• Larger sites with 75 to 250 users: 8 GB system memory recommended

Operating system

• Microsoft Windows 7
• Microsoft Windows XP Professional (Service Pack 2 or later)
• Windows Vista
• Windows Server 2003 or 2008 (recommended)
• Windows Small Business Server
• 32- or 64-bit versions of Windows OS supported

IP phone

• Cisco Unified IP Phones 7931G, 7940G, 7941G, 7942G, 7945G, 7960G, 7961G, 7962G, 7965G, 7970G, 7971G, or 7975G, or Cisco SPA 500 Series IP Phone for media handling

Applications

• Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.0 with Service Pack 2 or Internet Explorer 7.0 to 8.0

Multisite

• Up to 5 sites, 250 users max across sites

Table 7. Cisco Unified Communications 500 Series Requirements

Software Version

Software pack 8.0 or later

Ordering Information

To place an order, contact your local Cisco representative, visit the Ordering home page on the Cisco website, or refer to Table 8.

Table 8. Ordering Information

Parameter

Description

Cisco Smart CallConnector Server

SW-SCC-SERVER

Small Business Support for Cisco Smart CallConnector Server

CON-SBS-SVC4

Cisco Smart CallConnector Advanced Client (8 PAK)

L-SW-SCC-8ADVANCED

Small Business Support for Cisco Smart CallConnector Advanced Client

CON-SBS-SVC3

Cisco Smart CallConnector Operator Client

L-SW-SCC-OPERATOR

Small Business Support for Cisco Smart CallConnector Operator Client

CON-SBS-SVC3

For More Information

For more information about the Cisco Unified Communications 500 Series solution, including the Cisco Smart CallConnector Advanced and Operator clients and Cisco Smart CallConnector Server, visit http://www.cisco.com/go/smartcallconnector.

Cisco Smart Business Support Service

The Cisco Small Business Support Service provides "peace of mind" coverage at an affordable price, and helps you get the most value from your Cisco Small Business solution. This device-level, subscription-based service includes software upgrades and updates, extended access to the Cisco Small Business Support Center, and next-business-day hardware replacement as necessary. It also provides community-based support to enable small businesses to share knowledge and collaborate using online forums and wikis to help boost business efficiency, identify and reduce risks, and serve customers better.