I have been using CLI and SSH in order to remotely make changes to the configuration on the UC520, and I have been using this approach frequently over the last 2 years. We and other SBCS partners have a real need for a GUI-based tool for remotely performing post-install management, configuration, and troubleshooting tasks on the UC500 series without any CLI or VPN clients. In addition to CCA, this GUI is important because it enables SBCS partners to deliver enhanced support for the UC500 series, addresses needs that are not addressed by CCA, and reduces the need to use CLI. If this GUI were ever developed and the necessary enhancements were made to CCA, we would use this GUI and CCA instead of CLI to install, deploy, configure, and manage the UC500 series. The discontinuation of the Cisco Monitor Manager, Linksys One solution, and the SPA9000 phone system, along with the discontinuation of CLI support for new UC540 and UC560 deployments starting on January 3, 2011 have increased the demand for a GUI-based tool for remotely managing the UC500 series without CLI or VPN clients. This GUI-based tool would enable Cisco to better compete with other SMB VoIP solutions, lead to increased satisfaction by customers and partners, and increase sales of the SBCS solution.
Even without official support from Cisco, we can train our employees on CME CLI and train employees how to remotely manage the UC500 series through CLI. We can still sell, deploy, install, and support the Cisco SBCS solution today without the GUI-based post-install remote management tool being available. However, a GUI-based tool for remotely performing post-install management of the UC500 series without CLI or VPN clients delivers the following advantages over a CLI and SSH-based approach:
Reduces the learning curve for our employees
Enables our employees to manage multiple sites simultaneously, as CCA does not currently have this capability
Is less error-prone than CLI
Is less likely to break CCA compatibility
Is more convenient than launching CCA and the VPN client
Easier to use than CLI
We do not expect the GUI-based tool for remotely managing the UC500 series to have all of the features as CCA, nor do we expect the GUI-based tool to serve as a replacement for CCA. We really like CCA and the Office Manager, but we have been using CLI because several of the UC500 features that our UC500 customers use are not CCA configurable and we often make changes to UC500 configuration remotely (which currently either requires launching both the VPN client and CCA, or launching a SSH terminal to access the UC500). We also like the enhancements that are already planned in CCA 3.x.
Here are features that need to be in a GUI-based tool for remotely managing the UC500 series:
Support for the UC520, UC540, and UC560
Remote management of telephony features
Simultaneous access to multiple UC500 devices
Ability to remotely manage VPN settings
Use of secure protocols to remotely access the UC500 series
Hi John, great points and suggestions. We are exploring some different tools and services to help support this, nothing immediate but not too far off. Sounds like you have some existing best practices we can learn from. I would like to follow up with you separately, perhaps on a WebEx session to learn more about how you approach this and share some additional thoughts. I'll send you a follow up email.