due to global circumstances resulting from COVID-19 (Coronavirus disease), many customers are looking to deploy rapidly softphone and virtual meetings services to allow their users to work and meet remotely.
This post focus on CUCM/BE6K customers that need softphones services.and could utilise Jabber for that reason.
For virtual meetings using Webex cloud, please see relevant post here:
What are Jabber softphone services and why do I care?
To enable remote working, you need to allow users to be able to make/receive calls from/to their office number regardless of their location. This is what softphones offer, the ability to have your ''office phone/number'' with you running on your laptop or smartphone.
So when you make a call from your laptop/smartphone via Jabber, this is routed via your Enterprise PBX and is like calling from your office phone. Same when someone calls you from PSTN, the call comes from PSTN provider to your PBX(CUCM/BE6K in this case) and then routed to your smartphone or tablet that runs Jabber (wherever you are). A colleague or customer could dial your office number and does not need to care if you are in the office or remote working, Both your office phone and jabber softclient (on laptop or smartphone or both) will ring and you can answer the call from your preferred device. Jabber also offers a lot of other services like directory search, chat, voicemail access, etc.
This way, a user could work from any place and maintain the collaboration tools they have in the office and be even more productive. Remote working is a common place for many orgs worldwide.
How can I add Jabber softphone services on my CUCM/BE6K solution?
Jabber softphone requires proper licenses but note that CUCM/BE6K allows a customer to deploy more licenses than purchased by offering a graceperiod for that overage (60 days). When this happens, admin webGUI will display a notification that you are running in overage and you have 60 days till you add the proper licenses. After graceperiod(60 days) expire, you need either to delete the extra Jabber or purchase proper licenses.
So for 60 days, system allows you to deploy more Jabber softclients quickly to cover your immediate needs.
Components and dependencies:
If you deploy Jabber as softphone and IM/Presence services then you need CUCM/BE6K AND Presence Server deployed.
if you already have Presence this is fine but if you don't have, no worries: You could deploy Jabber as softphone only (no IM/Presence) (this is called Jabber Phone-mode) then you would need CUCM/BE6K only (no need for Presence server deployed). Please consult with your cisco partner for details.
Important -dependency on Expressway MRA
Jabber requires connectivity to your CUCM/BE6K server so this is solved when you are inside the corporate network or if you run Jabber over VPN. if you need to have Jabber working outside the office (as the current situation implies) and without VPN, then you need to have an Expressway MRA component deployed. Expressway MRA solution allows remote Jabber users to connect to CUCM/BE6K server in a secure way. If you have Expressway MRA deployed already, then fine. If you have not deployed, then note that Expressway MRA does not require a license so potentially, you could examine to deploy this now (need to coordinate with your partner on installation/deployment services).
DISCLAIMER: this post was created in order to provide useful info to Cisco partners and customers in my area (Greece/Cyprus and Malta). For official and updated information, please consult cisco documentation, datasheets and ordering guides.
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