Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Cisco RCC/CUCILYNC/SIP interoperability advantages and considerations with Lync

The following post outlines the functionality, integration benefits and considerations for the three methods of interoperability with Cisco Call Manager. It is not meant to be an all inclusive list but trying to capture the high level details on each type of integration.

1.1.1             Remote Call Control

In Microsoft Lync Server 2013, support for remote call control scenarios enables users to control their private branch exchange (PBX) phones (in this case, the Cisco IP Phones) by using Microsoft Lync 2013 on their desktop computers. This is accomplished by using a SIP/CSTA gateway (a SIP/CSTA gateway is a gateway between SIP and a computer-supported telecommunications application (CSTA). In the case of Cisco, this would require the Cisco Unified Presence Server which is also used with Jabber clients. The Presence bits are now colocated with Cisco CallManager.

Functional Specifications include:
Make an outgoing call by Click-to-Dialing contacts from Outlook and the Lync client.
Control the deskphone (or softphone) using the Lync client.

Integration Benefits
Benefits include:
Leverages existing PBX (CUCM) infrastructure for voice, voicemail, etc…
Voice workload is anchored on Cisco UCM. Predictable call flows
Switch between controlling Cisco handset or softphone with Remote Call Control Plug-in
Single Dial plan
Ability to still leverage Audio\Video MCU to make a PC to PC Lync audio and video workloads and conferencing
Cisco Phone Presence off hook status is displayed in Lync
Possible Dial out conferencing support.  Needs to be tested with Lync 2013 client.

Integration Considerations
Considerations include:
Can’t perform drag and drop conferencing with an RCC Call. Conferencing on Cisco phone must be initiated from Cisco phone.
RCC does not work with remote users unless a VPN connection is established as CSTA/SIP gateway which is the Cisco Presence server is not exposed to the Internet.
Can’t escalate a RCC call to a video call without hanging up and making it a Lync call.
Remote user will get a red exclamation mark indicating phone control is not accessible as Cisco presence server is not reachable without a VPN connection.
Mobile clients on the IPhone, Droid, and Windows mobile will not be able to control call forwarding settings of Cisco Phone.  Will need to use the Full Lync desktop client to control Call Forwarding settings of Cisco Phone.
Requires the Lync Voice CAL.
Needs to be tested in VDI environment

1.1.2             CUCILYNC

Cisco UC Integration™ for Microsoft Lync (CUCI-Lync) is a desktop integration that provides access to Cisco Unified Communications from the Microsoft Lync client. There is also support for Cisco VDI environments. The product no longer adds an additional pane at the bottom of the Lync client but uses a separate dockable client that intercepts Audio/video communications and passes them off to the Cisco registrars and MCU’s. For more information please see the following YouTube video and datasheets.

Functional Specifications include:
Use the Lync client for IM and Presence Features
Provide softphone capability and desktop phone control using the Cisco UC client for Lync.

Integration Benefits
Benefits include:
Leverages existing PBX (CUCM) infrastructure for voice, video, voicemail, etc…
Requires only the Lync standard CAL in some cases
Enterprise CAL required if dial out Conferencing to Cisco handset is required.
Ability to switch between Cisco Phone and Soft client for phone calls.
Single dial plan.
Visual voicemail access to Cisco Unity.
Desktop sharing and application sharing using Lync.

Integration Considerations
Considerations include:
Disable A/V MCU functionality in Lync is highly recommended to avoid call confusion. All Lync to Lync A/V scenarios would be disabled in this configuration including the ability to make a Lync to Skype A/V call.
All video calls would be peer to peer unless leveraging a Cisco video MCU for conferencing.
The user cannot use CUCI-Lync functionality through the Lync Edge servers (meaning, they will be required to VPN in to the environment to utilize CUCI-Lync, or implement Phone Proxy on an ASA).
Single Sign On (SSO) is accomplished through a third party server running Linux. (OpenAM server 9.0 supplied by ForgeRock).
No mobile phone or MAC support.
Additional piece of software to manage on desktop that uses resources.
Not Microsoft supported.
Microsoft updates could break client side application.
Support lags 12 months behind new product releases

1.1.3             SIP Trunking with Cisco Single Number Reach (SNR)

Functional Specifications include:
Virtual SIP trunks configured between Cisco CUCM and Lync Pools.
Both Cisco and Lync endpoints ring for all incoming calls.

Integration Benefits
Benefits include:
Utilize same number on Lync and Cisco endpoints or route using SIP URI.
Calls that originate from Call manager will go to Unity Voicemail and follow the CUCM VM path when Setting ‘Do Not Disturb’ in Lync when the Cisco Phone ring time expires.
Easily escalate a Lync voice call to a video call or a conference if call is answered with the Lync client.
Setting Do Not Disturb (DND) prevents the Lync client from ringing and the call will be answered by the Unity voicemail system as the call is rooted on the Call Manager. DND is useful to set in situations when the user is in Conference call and does not want the Lync extension to ring during this time.
Ability to simultaneously ring more than a single number.
End user chooses the endpoint to answer call with.
Works with mobile client and external remote Lync users without VPN.
Can be configured so anytime a Lync user makes a call to another Lync user the Cisco endpoint also rings.
Do not need to install any additional software’s on desktop.
Lync user can join a Lync conference via Lync; have system dial-out to Cisco or Mobile phone or use Lync mobile clien twithout having to dial in.

Integration Considerations
Considerations include:
Lync dial plan required.
Calls answered on Cisco Phone will generate a missed call notification for Lync user.
Requires the Lync voice CAL
Lync client does not control the Cisco endpoint like RCC or CUCILYNC
Cisco on hook off hook status will not appear in Lync.  Phone presence will appear for users making Lync calls. To see phone presence of Cisco phone consider Lync Integration for Cisco Call Manager (LICC) from Bridge Communications to see call presence of a Cisco handset user. http://www.bridgeoc.com/products/licc/licc.htm
With SNR configuration Media flows between two Lync clients could be hair pinned through the Lync Mediation Server. See Figure 15.

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