I'm in the process of having to come up with a solution to some of my sites conferencing issues. My main issue is I need the ability to "Blast Dial" multiple directory numbers (both on and off-site) upto 24 end users, and join them to a conference once they answer the call.
It looks like the Cisco Meeting Place had this option, but it is EOL, and not available any longer. We currently satisfy the requirement with an old TDM conferencing system that ties into our CUCM 8.6 cluster via T1CAS links. This equipment is very old, and need to be replaced. I would really like to see if there's some kind of work around within CallManager to make this work, or if that can't happen, what Cisco product will meet these needs?
There's a couple of 3rd party vendors that do offer this type of feature, Voiceinterop, XOP, TCCOM to name a few.
Our current conferencing solution, Cisco WebEx Meetings Server should introduce such a feature in its upcoming 2.5 version (Fall 2014). I don't have the details about the full functionality at this time, but if you can afford to wait for a few months, that might be a solution for you.
In a nutshell, you could assign a phone number, host and participant PINs, and add participants to it. Once a host dials into the system using a dedicated number and enters the host PIN, the system starts a meeting and initiates a blast outdial to all the invited participants.
If you are not familiar with Cisco WebEx Meetings Server as a product, you can take a look here:
I hope this will help.
Thank you for your reply.
My customer is very particular in how they want the conferences to behave. They have been using reservation less conferencing for a long time, and to change that now would not go over well. I would love to be able to use the Meet-Me conference functions imbedded within CM but even it requires an IP phone to open the conference first. My customer does not have any IP phones, they are basic 2500 sets attached to a AVG.
They use conferences in 2 ways, blast dialing conferences in case of emergencies. Which is also tested twice weekly and random intervals to insure functionality. The other conferences are reservation less, users just dial into an open bridge with no passcode. Many of the participants are mobile users that do not have access to shared Outlook calendars or many do not have the technical skills to operate these new conference bridges. They don't want to remember passcodes, or worry if their passcode is valid in the case of a disaster or major emergency. They just need to respond quickly and stay in direct voice communication via cell phone to the bridge.
It sounds like either way I go, I will need external gear.
Well, MeetingPlace 8.6 is still being sold and I believe it can satisfy all those features for the customer. It hasn't been End of Sale yet.