Cisco Attendant Console End of Sale Announcement

Cisco has officially announced the End-of-Sale (EoS) and End-of-Life (EoL) of the Cisco Attendant Console on October 17th, 2008. The official announcement is available on Cisco’s website, but requires a valid CCO username and password to access the document. The same announcement is available on ARC’s website. This blog will discuss some background on Cisco Attendant Console and discuss the replacement products. Cisco Attendant Console (CAC) is a Computer Telephony Integration (CTI) application that allows operator level call management of incoming calls through a graphical user interface (GUI). The product data sheet for CAC is available at The internal call hunting algorithms used by the CAC product go back as far as Call Manager version 3.0 in a client/server product called Web Attendant. The client side of the web attendant received a major upgrade in Call Manager 4.0. The upgraded client side was re-branded as the Cisco Attendant Console. Cisco maintains an excellent question and answer (Q&A) document related to CAC at the following URL: Notice that the URL mentions Web Attendant instead of Attendant Console in some of the questions and answers. The back end call routing of both web attendnt and attendant console are very similar. The objective of the Cisco Attendant Console/Web Attendant product was to allow call routing from a main phone number to an operator who could dispatch the calls. Large enterprises environments may have very large call volumes at peak times, so multiple attendant consoles can be used to manage calls coming from the same phone number. The phone number responsible for triggering the call routing treatment is called the Pilot Point. This same concept was used in Call Manager 4.0 when call coverage was introduced with the Hunt Pilot (HP) -> Hunt List (HL) -> Line Group call routing hierarchy. The Pilot Point used with the attendant console is associated with one or more Hunt Groups and then there are Hunt Group Members which represent one or more end user phones that will be controlled via the attendant console software application. The entire call routing process of the attendant console application relies on a Call Manager service called the Telephony Call Dispatcher (TCD). The attendant console application was the only way of managing calls for other individuals up until Call Manager 3.3. Corporations began running attendant console to manager calls for individual departments and managers, but large enterprise customers quickly ran into scalability limitations. 96 instances of the attendant console can be run in one Call Manager cluster. Call Manager 3.3 introduced a new CTI application for managing calls between managers and administrative assistants called Cisco IP Manager Assistant (IPMA). IPMA has since been re-branded as Cisco Unified Manager Assistant (CUMA). Since the original intention of attendant console was an operator console and not a department level call routing component, Cisco introduced two other applications to manage calls using a graphical user interface which are still supported and sole by Cisco. These products are mentioned below: Cisco Unified Department Attendant Console: • Up to 150 IP phone users • Supported on Call Manager version 4.3, 5.1, 6.0, 6.1, 7.0 Cisco Unified Business Attendant Console • Up to 500 IP Phone users • Supported on Call Manager version 4.3, 5.1, 6.0, 6.1, 7.0 Cisco recommends the use of the ARC Enterprise Solutions Plus available from for environments with needs above 500 IP phone users. Please read the end of life announcement for more specifics:


Copyright © 2008 IDG Communications, Inc.

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