Cisco® Unified CallManager Attendant Console is an application from Cisco Systems® that supports the traditional role of a manual attendant-console hardware device. Associated with a Cisco Unified IP phone, the application allows the attendant to quickly accept and dispatch calls to users. An integrated directory service provides traditional busy-lamp-field (BLF) and direct-station-select (DSS) functions for any line in the system.
Cisco Unified CallManager Attendant Console integrates traditional time-division multiplexing (TDM) telephony functions with advanced IP telephony applications and services such as Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) directory. A primary benefit of Cisco Unified CallManager Attendant Console over traditional attendant-console systems is its ability to monitor the state of every line in the system and to efficiently dispatch calls. The absence of a hardware-based line-monitor device offers an affordable and mobile attendant solution.
Important Features and Benefits
Companies today can choose to route inbound telephone calls through numerous methods. These methods are either completely automated, manually directed, or some hybrid of automated and manual operation.
A separate product, the Cisco Automated Attendant application can accept inbound calls, query the caller for destination information, and rapidly dispatch the call without operator intervention. Automation of inbound call dispatch is efficient and affordable.
Alternatively, many businesses see the benefit of handling each inbound caller through a specially trained and equipped operator. This operator assesses the caller's purpose and intended destination and uses tools to dispatch the call reliably and efficiently. The benefit of such a function is a heightened sense of customer satisfaction and, in many cases, a more reliably dispatched call.
The Cisco Unified CallManager Attendant Console is designed to more efficiently automate both the user operations and the administrative operations of a manual attendant function. The attendant console uses an intuitive and configurable graphical user interface as the primary means of call handling and line-state monitoring. The software nature of the attendant console allows assignment of line-state monitors without the need of physically relabeling extender boxes with each line-monitor change. The directory pane displays the results of queries into the directory of all users in the system. The line-state and call-forwarding status of each user's primary line is presented with each record entry. The benefit over traditional consoles and line extenders is that each user's line is monitored, as opposed to monitoring only a select few in a TDM-based system (refer to Figure 1).
Figure 1. The Cisco Unified CallManager Attendant Console Uses an Intuitive and Configurable Graphical User Interface as the Primary Means of Call Handling and Line-State Monitoring
Advanced drag-and-drop capabilities and access to corporate LDAP directories combine to offer critical advantages over traditional manual attendant stations. In a system with hundreds or thousands of users, the attendant-console operator can accept calls and perform directory lookup by selecting the field title in the directory section and typing in the first few characters of the user's last name, first name, or department. A directory search that matches the query is returned.
The operator can view the status of the user's line (forwarded, busy, idle, or ringing) and advise the caller of the line state. The operator can then transfer the call to the user by either initiating a traditional transfer sequence through the transfer function key or dragging and dropping the call from the selected loop to the desired user's record. The primary benefit of this user interface is quicker transaction time and subsequent customer satisfaction improvement.
Even nonoperators can benefit from the line-monitoring features of the Cisco Unified CallManager Attendant Console; by configuring the user interface to show only the speed-dials pane, regular phone users can monitor the state of their peers' phones and be more aware of their availability (refer to Figure 2).
Figure 2. The Cisco Unified CallManager Attendant Console User Interface Is Flexible Enough To Be Used as a Small Line-Status Tool
The Cisco Unified CallManager Attendant Console is scalable. Call-distribution groups can be assigned to any pilot number, which can in turn be assigned to one or more attendant-console loops. These loops represent answerable lines in a multiple attendant system. Calls are queued to one or more online attendant loops, thereby allowing scale and distribution among multiple operators. Multiple attendant consoles can be configured to monitor the same lines, affording scale to multiple operators when conditions require. Equivalent functions on a traditional system would require the purchase and administration of a line-extender device for each operator.
Access to directory services and content extends the attendant toolbox for providing efficient, courteous service well beyond the capabilities of equivalent, traditional manual attendant functions.
New Features in Version 1.4
• Enhanced keyboard shortcuts to simplify navigation of user-interface elements; full mouseless operation is now possible
• Audible alerts provided on various call-related events
• Auto Hold option for invoking transfer, consult transfer, or conference
• Loop keys (simultaneous management of all lines available on associated phone)
• Line states-idle, active, ringing, and unknown
• User label per line-monitor key for easy reference to user
• Per-call drag-and-drop transfer and hold-drag call from loop key to line-monitor key or directory record for transfer
• Per-call hold timers with visual and audible indicator that changes over time from green to yellow to red
• Headset capabilities of Cisco Unified IP phones
• Answer and release
• Direct transfer
• Call join
• Log on and log off
• Feature to make attendant busy or available
• System supplementary features-hold, resume, transfer, consult transfer, park, conference, call waiting, and interposition call transfer
• Support for shared lines
• Support for more than two calls per line
• Extended audible alert on call presentation
• Single-button direct transfer to destination user's voicemail
• Display of all calls parked by any operator in a cluster
• Manual retrieval of parked call from display
• Display of all calls in broadcast hunt group with audible notification of new calls
• Manual retrieval of calls in broadcast hunt group
• Configurable keyboard shortcuts for alternative to mouse operation
• User-interface internationalization and localization to all Cisco Unified CallManager-supported languages
• Unlimited speed-dial keys with line monitoring
• Key grouping in multiple tabs
• Optional Notes field for more labeling options
• Line state: One record for every line appearance in the Cisco Unified CallManager cluster
• Query: Searchable by any field in the directory
• Sort: By last name, first name, extension, or department
• Call-forwarding status: Icon indicator of call forwarding of user's line to voicemail or another number for up to 10 entries in a directory search result
• Remote system or device installation and configuration through a Web browser
• Simultaneous line monitor by multiple operators: operators can view line state of any line from their console user interface
• Call distribution from a single pilot number to multiple directory numbers or user-line pairs
• Simultaneous monitoring of inbound calls from multiple operator positions
• Creation of up to 500 pilot numbers or distribution groups
• Availability: Provision for multiple operators on same loop or pilot and monitoring same line; if operator station fails or is off line, calls are distributed to all other operators with same loops
• Manageability: System device configuration through Cisco Unified CallManager Administration Web Interface
• Affordability: No line-extender hardware devices
• A maximum of 500 Pilot Points and 500 Attendants are supported per CUCM Cluster. For this maximum support level, the 500 Attendants and 500 Pilot Points must be distributed across multiple servers in groups of no more than 125 per server (for 7845), no more than 100 per server (for 7835), and no more than 75 per server (for 7825).
• Four hunting algorithms: Longest Idle, First Available, Circular, and Broadcast
• Ability to queue up to 32 calls (on hold) to a pilot point
• As many call loops per attendant console as lines configured on the controlled IP phone device-Any loop can be assignable as a hunt-group member
• Five hundred Cisco Unified CallManager Attendant Consoles per cluster
• Busy hour call attempts (BHCAs) of 57 per attendant
• Pentium II 366-MHz processor PC
• 128 MB of RAM
• Microsoft Windows 2000 or Windows XP
• Any Cisco media convergence server (MCS) or third-party server platform certified to run Cisco Unified CallManager 4.1 and above; no separate server required for Cisco Unified Attendant Console
• Cisco Unified CallManager 4.1
Cisco Unified CallManager Attendant Console 1.4 ships with each Cisco Unified CallManager 4.1 application. Cisco Unified CallManager Attendant Console is not orderable separately. The client and server applications are installed as plug-ins from Cisco Unified CallManager Administration screens.
Cisco Unified Communications Services and Support
Cisco Unified Communications services and support reduce the cost, time, and complexity associated with implementing a converged network. Cisco Systems and its partners have designed and deployed some of today's largest and most complex IP communications networks, meaning that they understand how to integrate a unified communications solution into your network.
Cisco design tools and best practices help ensure that the solution fits your business needs from the start, eliminating costly redesigns and downtime. The company's proven methods help ensure a sound implementation that will deliver the functions and features that you expect-on time. Support services include remote network operations, network management tools to administer the converged application and network infrastructure, and technical support services.
Through these services, your organization benefits from the experience gained by Cisco and its partners. Relying on this valuable experience, you can create and maintain a resilient, converged network that will meet your business needs today and in the future.