Voice and Video Collaboration Engineer
Buffalo, New York
I’ve been in the Information Technology field for over 15 years. While I’ve worn many different hats, the majority of my career has been focused on telephony. I have felt the struggles of designing, managing, and maintaining both small and large scale Unified Communications environments. In my opinion, the primary objective of most telephony systems is to provide a simplified and effective communications vehicle for end-users to successfully conduct business. It’s been my job to make this happen. Although the end goal is a stable and simple experience, the road to get there is cumbersome, difficult and has many curves and deadends. However, despite the many roadblocks, with the right tools, day to day tasks become less painful.
For years I’ve relied on Variphy for help with Call Detail Record (CDR) Reporting as well as with other CUCM Management tasks. Variphy outperforms in Call Analytics, but their solution is well rounded and can include additional modules. Variphy helped me with Change Management (Audit), Directory Number Management, Remote Phone Control, and a Broadcast tool that allows you to send text messages directly to Cisco desk phones. There are other new great features like UCCX Historical Reporting and Wallboarding that helped make my job easier.
CDRs are incredibly difficult to look at directly in CUCM, but they are extremely powerful and a great source to track and identify possible technical issues. Not to mention the only way to provide management with the productivity reports they need to make important business decisions. However, this is only possible if you have the right reporting platform. Variphy has made this extremely easy for me.
The Change Management (Audit) module is also super easy to use. You define a schedule for server snapshots. These become reference points of your configuration, and you can then report against these. The reports can be “As-Built” type or “Comparisons,” in which you get to see the components that have changed between a snapshot and the real-time server configuration. I found myself quickly able to troubleshoot misconfigurations made by others. Capturing serial numbers, firmware versions, and CDP details was also a breeze.
Phone Control allowed me quick access to remote endpoints. This basically allows you to do anything you normally have to be in front of a phone to do. I found myself using it for test calls, although there isn’t audio via the application, I was able to use it to dial my cell phone from the remote device and validate things were working. This module also allowed me the ability to quickly run macros and delete ITL and CTL certificates, saving me many hours of running around.
Like with all software, Variphy’s solution may not be right for everyone, but they offer an evaluation program that lets you test drive it at no cost and see the value for yourself. I found the Variphy engineers extremely knowledgeable and helpful. Like with the interface, the initial setup is very intuitive. The complete solution can be deployed in less than 20 minutes using their Linux vm. In the end, I believe the best part about using Variphy was interacting with their sales and support staff. They always went out of their way to help and accommodate our needs.