Unified Mobility

The biggest challenge in any phone system is having your customers reach your key employees, despite the employee’s location or telephony device(s) they are using.

If you take a quick inventory, you’ll note that most of your employees have an average of three phone numbers by which they can be reached. At one point I was on a flight next to a sales engineer for a very large fortune 500 corporation, and he had three cell phones and one sky pager, yikes!

So the key issue is, you don’t want your customers dialing three or four different phone numbers trying to reach the people they need — especially during times of emergency. The answer to this dilemma is Unified Mobility.

The main thrust behind Unified Mobility is the ability to reach any employee within your company – regardless of how many phone devices they use – with just one phone number. So as a customer, I can call my service representative at his or her company number, and then a Unified Mobility application will deliver the call not only to the office phone, but to any other associated phone to reach that person, even if they are enjoying the beaches in Hawaii or simply working from home that day. Also, employees can call their customers and have the caller-id appear to have come from their office phone so not to confuse their customers.

Since all customers will use the primary office number to reach company representatives, if the person is not available, the voice mail will be centralized at the office. This saves time and energy since the employee does  not have to check their cell phones’ voice mail and company voice mail server for customer messages.

Many cellular companies like Verizon and BlackBerry are rushing development and release of this particular application, but so has Cisco Systems. This was first offered by Cisco with Unified Communications Manager (CUCM) 6.x where it was built right into the IP PBX. Through this capability, a single number or call could be presented to a maximum of 10 additional devices, along with their IP Phone. This service also requires an H.323 gateway in order to apply an application to T-1 in bound calls.

But what if you have an older version of Call Manager like 4.x or 5.x? Cisco now sells a separate appliance device called Unified Mobility 1.2 offering the same capabilities.

Author: Joe Parlas

Image by JanneM

Editor’s Note: To take this solution for a test drive and learn to configure it, Joe recommends Implementing Cisco Unified Communications IP Telephony Part 2 v8.0 as the course you should consider taking.

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