Monday, October 28, 2013

2Ring COMPACT AGENT v1.1: Is this really just a minor release?

As I am writing this brief overview of 2Ring COMPACT AGENT v1.1.0, this fresh release has already been deployed in its first Cisco demonstration lab. It is also being deployed in another Cisco lab with the goal of testing this solution as an alternative (simpler) interface to Cisco Finesse for Cisco Remote Expert solution. We are very happy that we see a lot of excitement about this from all sides!

For those who don't know what 2Ring COMPACT AGENT for Cisco Jabber is, let's say that it is a simplified version of the Cisco Finesse agent desktop application utilizing Cisco Finesse API to connect to Cisco UCC Enterprise v9 and above or to UCC Express 10 and above. The first version of 2Ring COMPACT AGENT only provided an alternative user interface for agent state control and also for accepting/rejecting incoming phone calls. Cisco TechWiseTV recently did a nice overview of version 1.0 in one of its episodes here or you can watch a bit more detailed overview here. 

FEATURES THAT YOU EXPECT

1) Agent State Control including Delayed States
An agent can change his state to Ready or NotReady, including selection of the appropriate reason code. Also added was support for delayed agent states: an agent requests a change in his state, but he will not be switched to the desired state until it is possible (e.g., if an agent switched to NotReady - CoffeeBreak while on a call, his status is shown as "not ready - pending" and once the call is finished, he is free for his coffee break).

2) Comprehensive Call Control
It is possible to accept or reject incoming calls. On top of that, it is also possible to place a call by pasting or typing in a number that should be dialed. Calls can also be put on hold (and yes, they can also be resumed ;)). Agents can do call transfers (via a warm or single step transfer), join calls to a conference, or do consult calls.

3) Documentation
Detailed admin and user guides make deployment and configuration of the solution seamless. No need for 2Ring professional services, do it all on your own!

FEATURES THAT ARE EXCEPTIONAL

1) Powerful and Flexible Data Visualization
Not only is every incoming call (inbound or campaign call) accompanied by a display of call variables (as configured in Cisco Finesse), but it is also possible to extend the call context via the use of configuration of 2Ring COMPACT AGENT. This allows you to display custom labeled values as hyperlinks. To give you some practical use cases of what agents can use these links for:
  • open a caller's contact card in the company's CRM system
  • open a page with shipment details
  • open an IM / chat session (Jabber, MS Lync) with ADM (Account Delivery Manager) or AM (Account Manager)
  • open a new email message to a caller or other contact related to the caller's account
  • open a new project in a case tracking system
  • open a file-share with project documents
  • open a guiding workflow or advanced wrap-up form provided by 2Ring SCRIPTS&FORMS
  • ..
2) Touch-First
You will notice that the buttons have gotten bigger and generally, the entire UI was developed with users on touch-screen devices in mind first.
Remote Export / Agent on a call via 2Ring COMPACT AGENT v1.1 inside of Cisco Jabber Client for Windows
HOW CAN I GET MY HANDS ON 2Ring COMPACT AGENT?
Yes, there are multiple options:
  • Request a live demo and have a discussion about becoming a 2Ring ADVANCED PARTNER and about getting this installed in your lab
  • Go to Cisco dCloud. 2Ring COMPACT AGENT v1.0 and older version of our GADGETS are both part of the UCCE v2 environment. Please note that we can also share an updated version of the UCCE v2 environment with you. Updated means that it contains the latest 2Ring GADGETS and the latest 2Ring COMPACT AGENT. If interested in this option, please email us your CCO Login.
  • Wait a little bit and go to dCloud in Q1/2014. 2Ring GADGETS (incl. COMPACT AGENT) will be part of the final version of Cisco UCCX10 and UCCE10 environments that are currently being prepared.
To stay in touch (and be the first to learn about a video showing the new COMPACT AGENT), follow us on Twitter or sign up to the RSS feed on the right.

Cheers!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

2Ring PHONE SERVICES - Benefits for Education


My first two blog posts covered a bit of history and theory about reporting and alerting on 2Ring PHONE SERVICES. Now it is time to show you how to use this solution in real life. 

The first vertical that I am going to focus on is

EDUCATION
Generally speaking, in education, many IP systems are located outside (speakers, cameras, door entry system, safety devices), but even more of them can be found inside of buildings - in hallways, classrooms, .. (speakers, intercoms, cameras, emergency buttons, safety devices, IP phones). These are just the most common devices used for communication, live and periodic announcements, security, and emergency. 

Let's see how 2Ring PHONE SERVICES helps here:

Regular, Repetitive Tasks

  • Locks - group and schedule opening/locking of IP locks, so e.g., the main entrance(s) are  automatically locked / opened at different times than class locks
  • Announcementsschedule special broadcasts, e.g., school bells, prerecorded morning announcements, or closing time announcements, for the appropriate group of IP speakers. These announcements do not have to be limited to broadcasts, but they can also be delivered in the form of a text message or image displayed on Cisco IP Phones. 

Ad-hoc & Emergency Events

  • Live & Ad-Hoc Announcements - allow authorized users to start live announcements to specific groups of numbers (e.g., to the whole school or teachers' offices, ..)
  • Locks - open or lock appropriate locks directly from Cisco IP Phones, smartphones and/or tablets. When a call arrives from a door entry system - when someone presses a button on the door-entry system to open the door, a phone, such as the one on the teacher's desk in the classroom displays a picture from the camera as well as a button (soft-key) for door opening 
  • Cameras - access streams from IP cameras on Cisco IP Phones, smart phones, and tablets
  • Panic buttons - launch predefined actions (play audio sound, send messages or even call specified numbers, open / lock locks, etc.) directly from Cisco IP Phones, smart phones, or tablets as well as from selected hardware solutions.
  • 911 alerts - a call to 911 (or to other defined numbers) can start an alert in the background allowing security personnel to receive information immediately

Mobility
Remote users are other important alert targets. Using your regular home phone or smartphone, you can start or receive a page voice broadcast. If you have your smartphone around, you can use it to open/lock locks and receive messages - e.g., those sent by 2Ring PHONE SERVICES alerting.


Summary
Create your own special configuration with respect to your emergency procedures, and prepare everything to keep your students and staff safe even in situations like these:

  • Fire & Weather Emergency
  • Water or gas leak, or other facility/equipment malfunction
  • Chemical alert in a lab
  • Intruder
  • ..
Last but not least, you manage everything from above via a single web GUI. 

Please do not hesitate to send us feedback, feature requests, and questions regarding the solution. We will listen and work hard to add features that meet your needs.


Jiri Princ

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

What’s new in 2Ring PHONE SERVICES v6.4?

The brand new 6.4 version, already available as a 60-day trial here, adds another rich set of features enhancing Cisco IP Phones:

1. New, even more powerful, CLID information
Now receive even more detailed information about every incoming call. CLID info can cover any contact information synced to the database of 2Ring PHONE SERVICES (e.g. site, supervisor, VIP status, revenue generated in the last year, etc.).
2. Real-time notification of your missed calls
Have an email or a text message (SMS) sent to you about missed calls (to all extensions that are assigned to your user account). Not only will you get notified about the number trying to reach you, but if the number is already part of 2Ring PHONE SERVICES, then you will also get complete information about the caller (name, surname, company) so you can call him back from wherever you are.
3. More Universal Voice Paging

You can still use your Cisco IP Phone as a universal paging system – broadcast your message to Cisco IP Phones, IP speakers, and overhead systems. Now, traditional paging via multicast can also be extended with calls to Cisco Jabber or any external, e.g. mobile, numbers. Plus, you can start the broadcast from you cellphone – all you have to do is to call a dedicated extension registered on CUCM – and if you use this type of broadcast, you can first record your message, listen to it, and if it is all good, then send the broadcast.
4. Cisco IP Phone Background / Wallpaper Changer
Administrators, change the background/wallpaper on IP Phones with ease.
5. Initiator of paging gets to see the list of paging members 
View a list of active/inactive extensions directly on your IP Phone.
6. RSS Reader
View personalized RSS feeds.
7.     Weather Forecast
View current weather info and weather forecasts (in pure text form).
Please help us spread the word about all these new features added to 2Ring PHONE SERVICES (IPPS) v6.4 - Advanced Edition.

Cisco Support Community is still full of posts about problems that could easily be solved by using 2Ring PHONESERVICES. Therefore, if you like our 2Ring PHONE SERVICES, please spread the word around and let other folks know that they do not really have to work hard to build their own custom directories, phone-lock service, caller identification, blacklists, and more. The full list of features provided by 2Ring PHONE SERVICES is available here.

Take advantage of your Cisco IP telephony like never before.
The 2Ring Team





Tuesday, October 15, 2013

2Ring at GITEX

GITEX TECHNOLOGY WEEK is the biggest technology event of the year in the entire Middle East. This event will take place in the Dubai World Trade Center October 20-24th. We would be more than happy to see you at our partner’s booth at Zabeel Hall Z-B30 Cisco/B-Smart where 2Ring will be represented by our EMEAR Channel Director Peter Kolenic



Peter and our partners from B-Smart will be presenting a number of awesome 2Ring solutions. Get ready to see in the action new version of 2Ring PHONE SERVICES IPPS v6.4 and 2Ring DASHBOARDS& WALLBOARDS. Make sure to ask Peter about our solution GADGETS for CiscoFinesse and much much more. 

And that is not all. Whether you have deployed Cisco IP Telephony or Cisco Call Centre make sure to stop by. You will be amazed by our solutions we have to offer to enhance your IP telephony and/or Cisco Contact Center.

So, do not hesitate and stop at B-Smart (our ME partner) to learn more about Cisco IP telephony enhancements. In case you cannot make it to the GITEX, give a shout out to Peter on twitter @Peter_Kolenic  to ask him anything or just network.

We hope to see everyone there,

2Ring TEAM