Cisco Unified Communications Manager (CUCM) is a proven communications tool that can meet the many demands of global enterprises. But it’s not foolproof. Routine provisioning tasks can be needlessly challenging and time-consuming.
As enterprises grow and scale, they find they need a unified communications solution to foster better collaboration and communication across the company. CUCM has fit the bill for many of them, offering numerous capabilities used by enterprise-scale companies across the world.
However, more capabilities mean more complexity. As it stands, there is no user-friendly way for UC engineers or end users to do many simple MACD (move, add, change, and delete) tasks in the Cisco apps themselves.
In addition, Cisco announced that it would be ending support for Prime Collaboration Provisioning, a provisioning solution with mixed reviews and usability. Currently, it is no longer receiving maintenance making it unviable for most enterprises.
Unfortunately, this has left enterprises with a lot of challenging, time-consuming manual work.
CUCM Provisioning and Management Challenges
Challenge #1 – Errors & Inconsistencies
Manual work leads to errors and inconsistencies. When provisioning a batch of users across many different Cisco UC applications, even the best UC engineers make errors.
That may not seem like much, but those errors can create outages and prevent those users from getting access to needed communication functions – hampering productivity and causing unneeded headaches.
On top of that, different UC engineers will do the same task in different ways. When the work gets done correctly, that problem may go unnoticed until a critical migration where consistency in data entry and configuration is needed for success.
In addition to provisioning, there is also directory number management. When done manually, it means tons of spreadsheets keeping track of numbers. Eventually, it becomes too much for one person or even a team of people to keep track of without errors.
Challenge #2 – The Nature of Manual Work
For large enterprises, UC engineers may have tens or even hundreds of MACDs to complete each week. Doing all those tasks manually is tedious and unfulfilling. In a tight labor market with a role requiring a specialized skillset, your enterprise must value its UC engineers to retain their services and talent.
Giving them a way to automate or offload that tedious work will give them time back in their day to focus on more strategic projects with greater business impact. A win for your organization, and a win for your engineers who are more fulfilled in their jobs.
Challenge #3 – Security
Because of the challenges manual provisioning poses, some enterprises will look to offload that work to a HelpDesk. This move can expose you UC platform and ultimately employee data to a wide variety of security risks.
On top of that, offloading all that manual work to a HelpDesk still exposes the process to human error, further increasing security risk.
Challenge #4 – A Lack of Simplicity for End-Users
Another way enterprises may try to offload work from the UC engineer is by giving end-users the power to make changes to their information and devices. But as we mentioned before, Cisco’s tools to make these changes aren’t user-friendly.
This lack of simplicity can create even more errors. On top of that, giving end-users access directly in the Cisco applications carries many security risks as well.
Challenge #5 – Merging Divisions in an Acquisition
Not every company has the same UC platform. During acquisitions, this can cause UC engineers tons of headaches as they either look to migrate the new employees to their UC platform or to build interoperability between the two systems.
While it is true that Cisco and Microsoft are working together to make their platforms interoperable, there are still challenges provisioning users manually in those environments.
Forward-Thinking Enterprises Turn to UC Automation
Modern UC automation solutions have made it possible to solve virtually all the challenges posed by CUCM provisioning. Enterprises that adopt them have been able to make routine provisioning and UC management tasks much simpler and less error-prone while increasing security and overall productivity.
With an automated provisioning, role-based access and directory management solution your organization can expect benefits like:
- Full-cycle, zero-touch provisioning to ensure the entire user provisioning process is automated
- Job templates that allow for consistent work, whether it’s migrations or bulk provisioning
- Role-based access to allow HelpDesks to make changes easily, outside of Cisco applications, reducing outage and security risks
- A self-service portal allowing end-users to make simple changes, like voicemail PIN resets
Conclusion – Work with a Proven UC Solutions Provider
If you want to get the most out of your UC investment, then automated UC provisioning and management solutions from Akkadian Labs can help. Our flexible solutions can act as a hub for your UC platform, whether it’s on-prem, in the cloud or a hybrid platform.
With digital transformation top of mind in almost every industry, don’t let your UC platform hold your company back from unlocking new efficiencies from UC automation.
Want to unlock more value out of your enterprise’s UC investment? Talk to the experts at Akkadian Labs. Schedule a personalized demo today.