Cisco UC Provisioning Explained
Cisco Unified Communications is a powerful platform for connecting employees, customers, suppliers and partners. Mediums and devices used include voice, video and messaging which create a richer collaboration experience and ultimately boost productivity.
But while the benefits of Unified Communications for the enterprise are typically felt throughout an organization—from IT to customer service to human resources—one aspect that is often less visible is the day-to-day management of user provisioning through Cisco Unified Communications Manager.
Why Unified Communications provisioning matters
It’s worth gaining a full understanding of exactly how Unified Communications provisioning is done in your environment because optimizing the process can:
1. Save the valuable time of skilled IT staff
2. Streamline the onboarding of new employees to collaboration systems
3. Reduce the amount of errors made when entering or changing user settings in the system
4. Enhance the end user experience with the organization’s communication tools
The provisioning process explained
In simple terms, Cisco UC provisioning is the process of entering and configuring the settings for users of phone systems, instant messaging, telepresence and other collaboration channels used in the environment. While these moves, adds, changes and deletes (MACD) may sound like routine tasks, there is actually a bewildering amount of attributes to configure for each user. Adding to this complexity is the fact that the out-of-the-box method for performing these MAC-Ds is through the user-unfriendly interface of the Unified Communications servers. Because of this, the provisioning process is usually intricate and technical enough to require the attention of a higher skilled member of the IT team—often a network engineer or other mid- to senior-level resource. It’s not unusual for this process to take 20-30 minutes per user while still being prone to configuration errors.
Ways to simplify provisioning
With a provisioning add-on tool like akkadian Provisioning Manager Express (aPME), the user provisioning process is greatly simplified with an intuitive web graphical user interface (GUI) that consolidates all Unified Communications user settings in a single pane of glass. This makes it possible for less skilled IT staff like help desk administrators to execute MAC-Ds and do it in less than a minute, even as errors are significantly reduced. Not only are new employees onboarded to the system faster and existing user changes completed quicker, but senior IT staff are no longer wasting time managing these daily tasks. It’s a true win-win-win for IT, end users and the organization as a whole. In the case of aPME, we find that a typical customer sees complete return on investment within 12 months of purchase.
If you don’t have a clear picture of your current Cisco UC user provisioning, begin the discussion with your network team to find out if they’re bogged down by an inefficient process. You can also learn more about simplifying your process by watching this quick video, Cisco UC Provisioning in 40 Seconds.