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Cisco Personal Assistant

Cisco Personal Assistant FAQ

Document ID: 42669

Updated: Jan 31, 2006

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Introduction

Cisco Personal Assistant (PA) offers personal call rules, speech recognition, and productivity services for Cisco IP Phones. Enabled by Cisco Architecture for Voice, Video and Integrated Data (AVVID), Cisco PA interoperates with Cisco CallManager and scales in order to meet the present and future needs of the Enterprise network.

Cisco PA provides speech-enabled access to Cisco Unity voice messages, the corporate directory, and personal contact lists from any telephone. The web-based and telephone user administration interfaces help prevent missed calls or untimely interruptions by providing the ability to forward or screen calls in advance or in real time

This document addresses common questions and answers related to Cisco PA.

Refer to Cisco Technical Tips Conventions for more information on document conventions.

Q. What is the Cisco PA/Cisco CallManager compatibility matrix?

  • Cisco PA versions 1.3.1, 1.3.2, and 1.3.3 only work with Cisco CallManager versions 3.1 or 3.2.

  • Cisco PA version 1.3.4 only works with Cisco CallManager versions 3.1, 3.2, or 3.3.

Q. What hardware platforms does Cisco PA currently support?

A. These platforms are supported for single-language use and multiple-language use of Cisco PA version 1.3(4):

  • Cisco Media Convergence Server (MCS) 7835-1266—Features a 1.26 GHz Intel Pentium III CPU, 1 GB of 133 MHz registered SDRAM, and dual 18.2-GB Ultra3 Small Computer Systems Interface (SCSI) hot-plug hard disks with Redundant Array of Independent Disks (RAID) support.

  • Cisco MCS 7825-1133—Features a 1133-MHz Intel Pentium III CPU, 1 GB of SDRAM, and a single 20-GB Ultra Analog Telephone Adaptor (ATA) hard disk.

  • Compaq ProLiant DL380G2.

These platforms are also supported for single-language use of Cisco PA version 1.3(4):

  • Cisco MCS 7835-1000

  • Cisco MCS 7825-800

  • Compaq ProLiant DL380

  • Compaq ProLiant DL320

Refer to the Release Notes for Cisco Personal Assistant Release 1.3(4) for more information.

Q. What optional software does Cisco PA support?

A. This optional software is qualified for use with Cisco PA:

  • Cisco Intrusion Detection System (IDS) Host Sensor.

  • McAfee NetShield version 4.0.

  • NetIQ VoIP Manager version 2.0 (Install only the agent on the Cisco PA server.).

The support policy is that customers can deploy software for backup, monitoring, and security on the Cisco PA server. However, it is expected that customers (or their systems integration partner) have tested the interoperability of such products with Cisco PA before the products are deployed. This mitigates the risk of problems being discovered within the production environment between PA and the optional products loaded on the PA server.

If a customer calls Cisco Technical Support with a problem, a Technical Support engineer can require that such optional software be turned off or even removed from the Cisco PA server at the time of troubleshooting. If it is determined that the interoperability between the optional software and Cisco PA is the root cause of the problem, then the optional software is required to be disabled or removed from the PA server until such time that the interoperability issue is addressed. This is so that the customer can continue to have a functional PA system.

Refer to the "Optional Software" section of the Release Notes for Cisco Personal Assistant Release 1.3(4) for additional information.

Q. What precautions need to be taken while I install or upgrade Cisco PA?

A. Make sure that the anti-virus software is disabled before you start to install or upgrade Cisco PA. If anti-virus software is installed and enabled, it can interfere with the installation of Cisco PA and can cause it to fail.

Q. While I install Cisco PA, I get an error that states "Connected successfully using the information supplied, but could not find a Cisco Call Manager database on the server. Please check the information and retry."

A. Manually create a System Data Source Name (DSN) to the Cisco CallManager database and repeat the installation using this procedure.

If the installation of Cisco PA reports errors about connection to the Cisco CallManager database, use this procedure in order to create a system data source in the Open DataBase Connectivity (ODBC) Data Source Administrator to use TCP/IP to connect to the Cisco CallManager database. You need to repeat this procedure on each Cisco PA server.

  1. From the Windows Start menu, select Settings > Administrative Tools > Data Sources (ODBC).
  2. Click the System DSN tab and click Add.
  3. In the Create New Data Source dialog box, select SQL Server and click Finish.
  4. Complete these steps in the Create a New Data Source to SQL Server dialog box:
    1. Enter a name (for instance, PACCMDB) and description for the data source in the applicable fields.
    2. Enter the hostname/IP address of the primary Cisco CallManager server in the Server List box.

      Note: The hostname or IP address of the primary Cisco CallManager server entered in the System DSN must match the hostname or IP address in the Host name entry of Cisco CallManager Database Location window. In other words, if you configure the DSN with the IP address but use the hostname in the Host name entry of Cisco CallManager Database Location window you receive the previous error message. If the IP address is used instead, the installation continues as expected.

    3. Click Next.
  5. Click Client Configuration. Complete these steps in the Edit Network Library Configuration dialog box:
    1. Confirm that the correct Cisco CallManager hostname/IP address is displayed in the Server Alias and Server Name fields.
    2. Click TCP/IP under Network Libraries.
    3. If required, update the Port Number field.
    4. Click OK.
  6. Click With SQL Server Authentication Using a Login ID and Password Entered by the User and enter the Login ID and Password for the Cisco CallManager publisher database.
  7. Click Next until you get to the last dialog box, then click Finish. In the dialog box that appears, click Test Data Source.
  8. Confirm that Tests Completed Successfully is displayed on the results page.
  9. Click OK to complete the configuration.

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    For additional information, refer to the "Adding a System Data Source" section of the Release Notes for Cisco Personal Assistant Release 1.3(4).

Q. Why does Cisco PA not work after the installation of a new Cisco CallManager server?

A. In this situation you need to re-run Cisco PA Setup and point to the new Cisco CallManager server, since the Cisco PA still tries to connect to the old Cisco CallManager server.

Note: Due to the dependencies between the Cisco PA server and the Cisco CallManager server, your PA server and PA user information from the old Cisco CallManager server is lost. The exception is unless you recover from a backup and all data is backed up prior to the removal of the old server.

Q. Why does Cisco PA not work after installation of the Active Directory plug-in on the Cisco CallManager?

A. You need to re-run the Cisco PA Setup after you install the Active Directory plug-in on the Cisco CallManager.

Note: Cisco PA server and PA user data is lost unless the data is migrated from DC Directory to Active Directory at the time of the installation of the Active Directory plug-in. Refer to Installing Active Directory Plugin for Cisco CallManager for further information on the Active Directory plug-in.

Q. What do I do if the Cisco PA services do not start after the installation?

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A. There are several possible reasons why the Cisco PA services do not start. Begin to troubleshoot with this procedure:

  1. Make sure that the account that runs the Cisco PA Services is part of the local admin group and has those corresponding rights.
  2. Make sure that your Open DataBase Connectivity (ODBC) connection is setup properly. If it is, reset it.
  3. Do a search on your hard drive for the pabootstrap.properties file. With the help of Notepad or a similar tool, change the entry in the file from LDAPURL=ldap://<Call Manager Name>:8404 to LDAPURL=ldap://<Call Manager IP Add>:8404.
  4. Restart the Cisco PA server. This allows the Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) to search through IP address instead of Domain Name System (DNS).

Q. How do I reach the Cisco PA Admin Page if it shows blank or gives some Java Exception error?

A. Use this procedure in order to reach the Cisco PA Admin page.

  1. Perform a search on your hard drive for the pabootstrap.properties file. With the help of Notepad or a similar tool, change the entry in the file from LDAPURL=ldap://<Call Manager Name>:8404 to LDAPURL=ldap://<Call Manager IP Add>:8404.
  2. Restart the Cisco PA server.
  3. Try to use the IP address of the Cisco PA server while you access the Admin pages and see if it works.
  4. Make sure that the account that runs the Cisco PA Services is part of the local admin group and has the corresponding local admin rights.
  5. If you have installed a new Cisco CallManager server, then you have to rerun the Cisco PA Setup and point to the new Cisco CallManager server.
  6. If you installed Active Directory plug-in on the Cisco CallManager to point to your Active Directory network, then you need to reinstall Cisco PA.

Q. What do I do if I cannot access Cisco PA User Admin Pages or cannot authenticate?

A. These are some suggestions you can use in order to solve this problem:

  • Try to use the IP address of the Cisco PA server while you access the User Admin Pages instead of the DNS name.

  • Make sure that the account that runs the Cisco PA Services is part of the local admin group and has the corresponding rights.

  • You probably need to login to the Cisco PA Admin Page, go to the Speech Services page, and choose one of the supported locales as the system default locale.

  • If you have installed a new Cisco CallManager server, then you have to rerun the Cisco PA setup and point to the new Cisco CallManager server.

  • If you installed the Active Directory plug-in on the Cisco CallManager so that it points to your Active Directory network, then you need to reinstall Cisco PA.

Q. What codec types does Cisco PA support?

A. Only G.711ulaw is currently supported.

Q. What do I do if my Interceptor Port, Route Point, and AA Route Point do not come up?

A. Verify this configuration on Cisco CallManager:

  1. Make sure that you have created computer telephony integration (CTI) Route Points on Cisco CallManager for all the Interceptor Ports (IP), Route Point (RP) and AA Route Point (AARP). Make sure that they match the Cisco PA configuration.
  2. Make sure that the Java Telephony Application Programming Interface (JTAPI) User/Password selected for Cisco PA in the Cisco CallManager Global Directory matches the JTAPI User/Password that is configured in PA .
  3. In addition, make sure that the CTI Use Enabled radio box is checked.

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  4. Make sure that you have associated the IP, RP, and AARP to the JTAPI user that you have created in Cisco CallManager.

Q. What do I do if Cisco PA does not recognize the calling party as a valid user or says a wrong name?

  • Make sure that the user is in the Corporate Directory and has their Telephone Number field completed in their users properties.

  • If you just added the user or made any changes to the user, try to refresh the speech server from the Cisco PA Admin Page.

  • Make sure that multiple users do not have the same telephone number in the Corporate Directory.

Q. Cisco PA is not able to answer calls from a remote location. What can be the problem?

A. Make sure that you do not use G.729. Cisco PA only supports G.711 for now. You probably need to use a transcoder in order to convert the G.729 stream to G.711 so that Cisco PA is able to correctly interpret the stream.

Q. Cisco PA drops the call as soon as I call PA or transfer to another extension. How do I correct this?

A. Make sure that the recorded name of the user is not in G.729. This issue can be due to the spoken name sync between Cisco Unity and Cisco PA .

Q. What do I do if the Cisco PA Speech Services do not run ?

A. On the Cisco PA server, make sure that the speech license is provided in the PA Admin Speech Server page. If the speech license is not provided, then the speech services do not work correctly.

There are some issues with pervious versions of Cisco PA. An upgrade to Cisco PA version 1.3.4 fixes issues related to special characters in names.

In Cisco PA select Refresh Manually from the PA Admin Speech Server page. This forces a refresh in case updates have been made.

Q. What do I do if I cannot address some users in Corporate Directory by spoken name?

A. It is possible that they were added recently and a refresh of the Speech Server has not taken place. Do a manual fresh to force an update of the changes.

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Also, check to see if there is a valid Telephone Number field populated in the Corporate Directory for that user, or perhaps there are multiple users with the same telephone number. There needs to be only one telephone number per Cisco PA user.

Q. I cannot use Cisco PA to conference and to address users in the Personal Address Book. What can cause this and how do I fix it?

  • Cisco PA is not able to contact the Cisco CallManager SQL database publisher to get the dynamic grammars that contain Personal Address Book user spoken names. In this situation, make sure that you have full connectivity to the Cisco CallManager database.

  • Upgrade to Cisco PA version 1.3.4 because PA is not able to compile the spoken name list for Personal Address Book entries due to some special characters in the names.

  • If you recently upgraded to Cisco PA version 1.3.4 and Cisco CallManager version 3.3, you probably hit the field alert Field Notice: *Expired* FN - 23474 - Unable to Access TUI Features after PA 1.3(4) Upgrade.

Q. What do I do if Cisco PA is not able to play my voice messages?

A. Make sure that the recording format is not set to G.729 in Cisco Unity. Cisco PA only plays messages recorded in G.711.

Most of the Personal Address Book issues are resolved in Cisco PA version 1.3.4. Cisco recommends that you upgrade to Cisco PA version 1.3.4 before you troubleshoot any Personal Address Book issues.

Extension numbers in the Phone Numbers section of Microsoft Exchange contacts are now removed when synchronizing with Personal Address Book entries. This allows users to dial the contacts by name using Cisco PA.

While Personal Address Book synchronization is in progress, do not allow synchronization for the same user again. Contacts with only a first name or only a last name are also added to Personal Address Book. Users can dial these contacts in Cisco PA by speaking the name of the contact.

Q. How do I configure Cisco PA to access my Cisco Unity voicemail and how do I troubleshoot it?

A. Refer to Configuring Cisco Personal Assistant and Cisco Unity Integration for information on this.

Q. How often does the Exchange calendar sync with Cisco PA? Is there an easier way to make a calendar change reflect immediately without having to shut down and restart the Outlook client?

A. Yes, you can increase the frequency of the amount of time Outlook updates this information.

From your Outlook Client, select Tools > Options > Calendar Options > Free/Busy options and change the value in the Update Free Busy information every x minutes. By default, it is set to 15 minutes on your Exchange Client application.

Q. Callers hear "We are experiencing technical difficulties. Please call back later." How can this be resolved?

A. Check these items tf users call Cisco PA and consistently get this message:

  • Check the Speech Services and make sure that they are active.

  • Make sure that the proper license is entered into the Speech Server page located from the Cisco PA Admin page.

  • Use the control center (select System > Control Center) in order to see if the speech servers and license managers are active. Stop and restart these services to see if this resolves the problem.

  • Click the Refresh option on the Speech Services Configuration Cisco PA page in order to refresh the speech grammar. Select System > Speech Services in order to do this.

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Q. How do I change the IP address of my Cisco PA server?

A. You can change all references to the IP address of the Cisco PA server, mostly in the Speech Services page. Select Personal Assistant Server > License Manager > Speech Server to get to the Speech Services page. You can also change all references from the Server Configuration page (failover server). When finished, save and restart the Cisco PA server(s).

Q. Can I use my Cisco PA server with different Cisco CallManager clusters?

A. No, you can only use one Personal Assistant server with one Call Manager Cluster.

Q. Can I have multiple Cisco PA servers that communicate to the same Cisco CallManager cluster?

A. No. Each Cisco CallManager or CallManager cluster can only communicate with one Cisco PA server or one PA cluster. Internally, each Cisco PA server stores its configuration under a PA node in the directory on the Cisco CallManager. Therefore, all Cisco PA servers are forced to share the same Cisco CallManager node.

Q. How do I configure the failover Cisco PA server?

A. In order to install Cisco PA on the failover server, configure Telephony providers and also the Cisco PA server. However, do not provide any information for the Media or Route points. Configure the primary Cisco PA server to point to the second PA server at the time of failover from the Server Configuration page. When the primary server goes down, the secondary Cisco PA server registers the primary servers media and route points.

Q. How do I back up the Cisco PA system?

A. Since the Cisco PA rules and personal settings are stored in the Cisco CallManager directory, the Cisco CallManager system back-up can also serve PA. The system administrator needs to communicate with the Cisco CallManager system administrator in order to verify back-up frequency and content.

Q. How do I un-install a Cisco PA server?

A. There is no automatic uninstall for Cisco PA. Complete these steps in order to manually remove Cisco PA:

  1. Stop Cisco PA services and the IIS server.

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  2. Delete the %paroot% folder which is found under c:\program files\cisco systems\personal assistant.
  3. Remove the registry keys HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Cisco Systems, Inc.\AVVID PA and HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrenControlSet\Services\[PAServer|PASPCS_en_US|PASPNLM| PASPREC_EN_US|PASPRM|PAWebamin] .
  4. Reboot the Cisco PA server.

Related Information

Updated: Jan 31, 2006
Document ID: 42669