Cisco Small Business Office Manager

Category: Articles
Published on Thursday, 14 April 2011 Written by Matt

This article is another in a series to help small businesses in a trying economy.

Cisco has been the leader in VoIP technology for several years now. If you are saving money on your phone bills by using the Cisco UC500 series of telephone systems you know what I’m writing about.

Making changes to the configuration of these systems once they are installed has been a big problem for users because changes can be complicated. A single mistake can take down the phone system. While you are waiting for the engineer to arrive to fix it, you might be losing business.

Cisco has taken a step towards resolving this problem by releasing Small Business Office Manager 1.0 for the UC520, UC540, UC560 telephone systems. This free application allows someone with only a little training to make changes to the phone system’s configuration.

I’m not going to say that it’s going to prevent any mistakes from being made. Someone who hasn’t been exposed to phone system terminology and doesn’t understand blast groups or bandwidth utilization is probably going to need some training. It’s also still possible to break an extension by making a change, but it’s now very difficult to take the entire phone system completely down.

It is currently only a Windows application, so it requires Windows XP, Service Pack 3 or any version of Vista or Windows 7. Adobe Air is installed too. Office Manager should only be installed and customized by a Certified SBCS reseller. There are a couple of tricky questions during the installation so I would recommend you get an expert’s help.

Here is an incomplete list of features.

Modify User Settings

  • View or edit settings for a single user of all users (bulk edit).
  • Disable a user account (removes phone and VPN access).
  • Change the first and last name displayed on phones and in the local directory.
  • Change a user’s password.
  • Reboot a user’s phone.
  • View the buttons and extensions configured on a user’s phone.
  • Set call forwarding options for a user’s phone.
  • Set calling permissions for a user’s phone (internal, local, international, etc)
  • Block caller ID display for outgoing calls on a user’s phone.
  • Enable or disable VPN access for existing VPN users configured on the Cisco Unified Communications 500 Series for Small Business.
  • Enable or disable voice mail for a user.
  • Change the voice mail pin for a user.
  • Set transfer destinations for a user’s voice mail.

Manage Phone System Features

  • Add and remove local directory numbers.
  • Add and remove local speed dials
  • Modify the business hours and holiday schedules used by the auto attendant.
  • Enable or disable music on hold (MoH) and upload a different music file (.mp3, .wav, or .au) or company message.
  • View information about the auto attendant greeting and prompt files on the system and about the prompt management extension, and see a list of users with prompt management privileges.
  • Specify an operator user and extension on the system. The operator extension can be selected as a voice mail transfer destination.
  • View the capacity, amount used, and voicemail message counts for user and group voice mailboxes on the system.
  • View or edit members and descriptions for hunt groups, call blast groups, call paging groups, and call pickup groups.
  • Modify night service schedule.
  • View how inbound calls are routed through Direct Inward Dialing (DID) numbers to internal extensions
  • In addition to the lists above, you can also view status information such as bandwidth utilization and view video from Cisco PVC2300 cameras.

    There are some features I would like to see in this application, such as the ability to add users and handsets, but this product is definitely a step in the right direction considering it’s price.

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