We like the Attendant Console in its current configuration and aren't interested in any new bells and whistles that are offered in the fee based offering. All we need is a quick way for our receptionist to transfer calls.
Thank you for your posts. The information below might be useful to yourself and others:
Background on the Cisco Attendant Console/Cisco Unified Attendant Console
Feedback received from end customers and channel partners indicated that the Cisco Attendant Console/Cisco Unified Attendant Console, the software-based console which was bundled with Cisco Unified Communications Manager and the solution to which you refer, lacked the feature set customers typically need and are seeking to enhance the competitiveness of their business, when compared with other vendor solutions available today. The Cisco Attendant Console/Cisco Unified Attendant Console was developed back in 2000. Its last feature enhancement was made back in 2004. No roadmap to bring it to a current feature status could realistically be developed, while retaining it as a no-charge offering. Given the console's ongoing support issues, a new console solution was determined to be the best course of action to take in the interest of Cisco Unified Communications customers.
Thus, the Cisco team moved forward on a replacement for the Cisco Attendant Console/Cisco Unified Attendant Console, which is called the Cisco Unified Enterprise Attendant Console. This new console is now available for order as of March 6, 2009. The Cisco Attendant Console/Cisco Unified Attendant Console has in turn, been assigned End-of-Sale status effective April 17, 2009 for new console purchases. Here is the link to the End-of-Sale Notification.
Quick Summary of the Cisco Unified Enterprise Attendant Console
With the Cisco Unified Enterprise Attendant Console, a number of feature enhancements have been delivered which our research suggests should resonate well with customers. In fact, 7-times the number of features of the Cisco Attendant Console/Cisco Unified Attendant Console have been delivered with the Cisco Unified Enterprise Attendant Console.
1) The Cisco Unified Enterprise Attendant Console offers six directory search field filters (i.e., first name, last name, department, extension, job title and location) versus three for the Cisco Attendant Console solution.
2) The Cisco Unified Enterprise Attendant Console supports Windows Vista - the Cisco Attendant Console/Unified Attendant Console does not.
3) The Cisco Unified Enterprise Attendant Console introduces customizable queue features with support of up to 50 custom queues. With customizable queue features, customers can establish queues for "Sales" or "Service", as examples, and prioritize say, inbound sales calls for the attendant to address first to better meet their business needs. The Cisco Attendant Console/Cisco Unified Attendant Console does not support customizable queues.
4) The Cisco Unified Enterprise Attendant Console is also positioned for accessibility with support of Freedom Scientific's JAWS screen reader for operators who are sight impaired (this feature available in July).
5) Finally, customers are able to integrate Cisco Unified Presence with the Unified Enterprise Attendant Console as an option. This provides operators access to the presence status for employees for enhanced service levels.
Benchmarking versus other solutions available in the market today was performed to ensure that the Cisco Unified Enterprise Attendant Console, while a chargeable solution, is competitively priced and delivers the business value customers need. Offering customers both the features they need for today plus a roadmap for feature development in the future.
Some resources where you can find additional information about the new Cisco Unified Enterprise Attendant Console are below:
Partner Central (Cisco partners have access): (overview presentation including a feature comparison versus the Cisco Attendant Console/Cisco Unified Attendant Console) along with ordering guide information can be found here:
Hope this background and information resources are useful to you and others who may share your experience at this time.
Attendant Console is still a part of UCM in v 7.1.3. Would you know if it will be removed in the future versions? It will be a shame if it is removed in the next version which will left us scrambling and force us to get the new version with its new requirements.
Shown below is a link to the End-of-Sale and End-of-Life notification, published on Cisco.com, that addresses the planned timelines for the Cisco Attendant Console/Cisco Unified Attendant Console.
Collaboration Solutions Marketing
According to the document the last date when Cisco may release a final version is April 2010. Regardless of the relase dates of future UCM version (7.5 or 8.x), will Cisco going to keep attendant console a part of UCM? If UCM 8.x is released before April 2010 then I am assuming that attendant console will be included in it?
In short, besides the dates mentioned in EoL bulletin, is there a version f UCM where attendant console is not going to make it in the UCM install?
Thanks for your response.
It will no longer be available for upgrades with the next major release, which is planned for Unified Communications Manager Release 8.0 and targeted for availability in CY 2010. There should be more information on 8.0 targeted timelines available to us soon.
Now that the 8.0 release is bringing traditional atdt console to a close, it's become apparent that cisco has made a product marketing error in deciding to no longer offer a bundled atdt console options. Most, if not all of Cisco's competitors offer such an option and now, as partner positioning Cisco UC, I often find myself in the unfortunate position of explaining why an additional server and a (not minor) software, ESW, and UCSS is cost is needed for this funcionality. I find it odd that cisco often positions the release of the re-branded ARC products as a natural by-product of end user dissatisfaction with Cisco's previuous atdt console product offering. Well, that is only because cisco decided to not make any investment in keeping it's product current! Please cisco, recognize this error and add a native option back to CUCM.
I have implemented this solution for the 3rd time and now having issues again even to have it communicate with Communications Manager 8.0. In my experience, I would NOT recommend the CUBAC software to any client until the following criteria has been met or resolved.
1. Like any other UC product especially since it is a seperate physical server that is being enforced just for support for an application there should be a backup option built into to point to a network shared drive or SFTP. I do not understand why clients have to go through the trouble of copying certain folders and going through the registry and sql database to create a backup. Why did the client even purchase this server version?
2. Why is it a requirement that CUBAC/CUDAC or whichever version be installed only in a physical server for support? This application can be installed on VMware. It's not a big application such as CUCM or UCON? Now I'm stuck with not having more support just because of it.
3. The BLF status is ridiculously slow. There are a few seconds before the user searched in the Directory displays the current status. The point of the software is efficiently reflect the status of the called user whether on the call or not. The old attendant console reflected the Call Forward to Voice Mail why is that not included? I've had to open up a TAC case just for this, change the Service Parameters in CUCM 7.1.3 which by the way is not in the install guide, but another work around to fix such a required feature. And even after the CTI parameter has been changed we could barely tell the improvement of the BLF status. We scroll through the client and it shows quite a lag in displaying the BLF status.
4. The old Attendant Console allowed users to manipulate the menu and move it around as they needed. I don't agree with the locked down menus for users.
5. I have opened up quite a bit of TAC Request Services the first time I deployed on a live environment and still continue to do. One example is why did I have to go through the registry just to get consult transfer to user through the console working? This is a very basic feature that all operators and regular users use.
6. An application such as this should not require another server. It should just be a plugin as before that can be downloaded.
7. The queue option why is it that everybody can see it. There should be options to only have the members/operators of that queue or add options for members to be added to a specific queue so that Operators are not confused which calls are coming in.
8. The dial pad. Why is it so small and all the way in the button of the application? It is very hard for the users to see. The point of the application is to make easier to see or have better visibility and making it easier for users to type in the numbers they call besides the corporate users.
9. The point of the matter is I have a difficult time recommending a PURCHASED software that has limited features compared to the old Attendant Console. Everything else that was good in the old has been degraded to a less efficient and less customizable application.
10. Same goes for the scheduling as a global setting. Why should it be limited to a global setting? The scheduling should be allowed to be changed for all queues. Not all queues apply the same schedule. These are different departments most of the time.
11. Control shortcut keys. Why is it that there are no control or shortcut keys for the end call, transfer, conference and such? So now we have to right click at everything?
12. Speed dials. The old Speed Dials features not only were speed dials but also indicated the status of the user. Now the new CUBAC only shows a lighting symbol. To me this is another lack of feature. The point of speed dials is to have the most common people be monitored for status.
13. In the installation guides there is no reason to be using an End User for an application user account to integrate to CUCM. Why is this documented as such? I've had to ask clients over and over again that we have to create an end user account in AD and not have the password expire. End users should be user accounts not application accounts.
14. Licensing is such a complicated process. Why is it that there is a section in the registration where it asks the reseller or clients that are going to use it? Other clients should not see different clients listed that have ran this application. This is a privacy matter. Not to mention that you have to get the LAC code and then only be able to get the Registration code after we installed the application. 5 days for trial is way too short. It should follow the length of trial same us CUCM and other UC servers during demo mode.
15. Again I see NO reason to require a physical server for this just we can open up a TAC case.
16. Older users and especially once that migrate from analog to VoIP solutions really could careless to use an application to answer a call. I find that most of them do blind transfers regardless of the users state.
17. Another question that came up was since they are paying for a paid version why is there no reporting for calls with this application? It makes sense. This is not a cheap solution, why is reporting not included with this? Supervisors/Managers asked if they can monitor the queue to see if calls are really handled by the Operators. They can't if they don't have enough Operator license. They understand this is not UCCX, but it is a legitimate question. They should still be able to see at least the queue status. They don't expect to control the calls like CAD for UCCX but at least have realtime reports. That is the purpose of the queue in CUBAC I would hope.
18. The client pop up behavior. The users should have the option to change when the menu pops up. It should not be limited to just popping up every time. Clients that send pages through the webpage or use databases to access information have to deal with the CUBAC client console popping up and rushing to put the menu down to see what they are doing. This is really unacceptable.
There are other minor benefits to this application but the many issues I've encountered as explained above makes it an undesirable UC solution especially for the price that clients pay.
Maybelyn H. Plecic
I call this a real kicker...
The NEW Enterprise, Business, and Department Attendant Console is NOT UPGRADEABLE! What is up with that? We installed 3.1 with a bug and had to blow it away to install 3.1.5. I checked Arc Solutions webpage and it says that only THEIR Arc Solution Enterprise can be upgraded.
Would you mind clarifying the upgrade issues you're experiencing? If you're referring to version upgrades, e.g. going from 18.104.22.168 to 22.214.171.124 to 126.96.36.199, etc. within a single product, e.g. Cisco Unified Business Attendant Console, that is achievable with a straightforward over-the-top upgrade. A little over halfway through the over-the-top install, you'll hit the database update section. You'll see a dialog box with the question: "A database with this name already exists. Do you want to overwrite the existing database?" If you answer Yes, the database will be blown away along with all of the system's original settings. If you want to keep your system configuration, choose No - do not overwrite the database.
Is this along the lines of what you're referring to?
Product Manager, Cisco Unified Attendant Consoles
That is what I'm referring to. After selecting to overwrite the database it
blew away my configuration. I then checked the ARC Solution Slides I
received from Cisco. It states that none of the Attendant Consoles are
upgradeable on slide 18 (attached). If by selecting no to the database
overwrite then I am wrong and will be sure not to make that same mistake