Cisco Call Coverage, Part 1

Let’s contrast how Microsoft OCS R2 call coverage compares with Cisco call coverage features natively supported in Unified Communications manager and how it will be configured using Cisco Unified Communication Manager 7.0 version which at the time of this writing is Cisco’s mainstream release.

The two main methods available for call coverage are forwarding routines using the configuration of the device or setting up the Hunt feature.

The first method can be set up by the individual user either on the phone itself using CFWDALL softkey to forward all their calls to a particular number where they can be reached. Or via the user’s web page http://<server-name-or-ip-address>/ccmuser, where they can choose their device and configure call forward, call busy, or call no answer to any number they want an internal or external call forwarded to.  Now, you’ll notice this is a little rigid since you can only enter one number to be direct calls to.  This is a very convenient, but limiting, hunt since it does not require CUCM administrator for the setup process.

The second method is to forward calls from a user’s phone to a hunt pilot number and then through different hunt algorithms, in an effort to get the called answered.  This approach gives more granularity than just directing the call to a single number as mentioned above. It’s especially useful if an IP Phone has multiple lines, like an executive assistant’s phone that may have up to 34 lines.  The initial call could come on the first line, than have the other lines hunt down, giving the assistant additional time to pick up the incoming call while on the phone with another party.  Another possibility would be a project manager who needs to forward a call to anyone on his/her team in case of their absence from work or during an important meeting.  This can only be set up and enabled by the CUCM administrator, so it will take some quick planning and additional work to make this approach happen.

In my next post, we will look in depth on how both call coverage’s can easily be setup, the first one by the end user and the second one by the CUCM administrator.

Author: Joe Parlas

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