Cisco® CallManager Attendant Console 1.2 is an application from Cisco Systems® that supports the traditional role of a manual attendant console. Associated with an IP phone, the application allows the attendant to quickly accept and dispatch calls to enterprise users. An integrated directory service provides traditional busy lamp field (BLF) and direct station select (DSS) functions for any line in the system.
Cisco CallManager Attendant Console 1.2 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 CallManager Attendant Console 1.2 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 a much more affordable and distributable manual attendant solution than traditional consoles.
KEY FEATURES AND BENEFITS
Enterprises today may 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 manual attendant console has served as the primary tool for such a function for many years. Traditional manual attendant consoles are typically telephone sets with expensive hardware line extender devices on which are located a large number of buttons and lamps. These lamps monitor and indicate the state of assigned telephone extensions (lines). The buttons allow inbound calls destined for those lines to be rapidly selected by the attendant operator and the call dispatched to that line.
Administrative and capital cost of such a hardware-based extender device is high. The attendant was also required to know which lines had been statically assigned to the device, an administrative task normally fraught with error.
The Cisco 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 is used to display the results of queries into the directory of all users in the system. The line state of each user's primary line appearance 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.
Figure 1. The 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 key 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 (busy, idle, or ringing) and advise the caller of the line state. The operator may 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.
The Cisco 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's 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 functionality 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 manual attendant's toolbox for providing efficient, courteous service well beyond the capabilities of equivalent, traditional manual attendant functions.
• 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, hold-drag call from loop key to line monitor key or directory record for transfer
• Per call hold timers with visual indicator that changes over time from green to yellow to red.
• Headset capabilities of Cisco IP phones
• Answer and release
• Log on, log off
• Make attendant busy/available
• System supplementary features-hold, resume, transfer, consult transfer, park, conference, call waiting, interposition call transfer
• 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
• Configurable keyboard shortcuts for alternative to mouse operation
• User interface internationalization and localization
• 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 CallManager cluster
• Query-Searchable by any field in the directory
• Sort-By last name, first name, extension, department
• Call Forwarding status - icon indicator of call forwarding of user's line to voicemail or another number number for up to 10 entries in a directory search result.
• Remote system/device installation and configuration through a Web browser
• Simultaneous line monitor by multiple operators-Any operator can view line state of any line from his or her 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 50 pilot numbers/distribution groups
• Availability-Provision for multiple operators on same loop/pilot and monitoring same line; operator station fails or is off line, calls distributed to all other operators with same loops
• Manageability-System device configuration and operation through Web interface; no operator applications to install at each operator's PC
• Affordability-No line-extender hardware devices
• Up to sixty four hunt group members in a hunt group (pilot number) for a Cisco CallManager cluster with the following restrictions:
–Sixty four hunt group members for single hunt group configurations
–Sixteen hunt group members in up to thirty two huntgroups
–Twelve hunt group members in up to fifty huntgroups
• Three hunting algorithms: Longest Idle, First Available and Circular
• As many call loops per attendant console as lines are configured on the controlled IP phone device-Any loop may be assignable as a hunt group member
• Two hundred Cisco CallManager attendant consoles per cluster
• Maximum of 512 simultaneous calls on as many as 200 configured attendant consoles
• Pentium II 366-MHz processor PC
• 128 MB of RAM
• Microsoft Windows 2000 or Microsoft Windows XP
• Any Cisco Media Convergence Server (MCS) or third-party server platform certified to run Cisco CallManager 3.2 or 3.3
• Cisco CallManager 3.2 or 3.3
Cisco CallManager Attendant Console 1.2 is shipped with each Cisco CallManager 3.3 application and available as a download on Cisco.com for Cisco CallManager 3.2 customers. Cisco CallManager Attendant Console 1.2 is not orderable separately. The client and server applications are installed as plug-ins from Cisco CallManager Administration screens.
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