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Create a Training Curriculum for Users and Administrators

Training is an important part of any implementation. Your users need training on the most-used functions of their phones and user-accessible web pages. Administrators must understand all aspects of the system so that they can perform daily management and monitoring, as well as moves, adds, and changes.

You should also consider appointing employees in each department to undergo training before the cutover or initial deployment. That way, on the first and second day that the new system is deployed, employees can ask knowledgeable peers for help.

User Training Techniques

How you perform user training is entirely up to you. It usually depends on your time and resource allocations. However, it's important to perform your training before you actually place the phones on users' desks. Training gives users exposure to the new system before they have to use the phones in production. The recommended approach is to use a large conference room to stage up to 24 phones for user training sessions.

Invite 24 students per class, and have them pair off to follow the different lessons by calling each other and testing the features. If more than two people must be involved, such as for conference-related functions, student pairs can call other student pairs.

Training for the Cisco CallManager User Options web page is best conducted in electronic format. Tools such as Camtasia from TechSmith (http://www.techsmith.com) can be used to record the instructor's interactions. You can then add voice-overs and post the finished file on your company intranet in a variety of formats. Live training of anything PC-based is difficult because of the large number of PCs that must be dedicated to the task. Offering web-based training is much better, because students can follow along with the training at their own pace and even rewind and fast-forward.

TIP

In general, users have the most difficulty with transfer and conference operations features because of their consultative nature. Invoking the feature with a single softkey press and then completing the operation by pressing the softkey again is an operation you should plan to repeat multiple times to ensure that trainees fully understand how to perform transfer and conference.

The most important topics to cover during user training are

  • Managing multiple calls per line

  • Alternating between the speaker, handset, and headset modes

  • Using hold

  • Using transfer

  • Using conference

  • Using call join

  • Using barge/cBarge

  • Using call park

  • Using the drop any party softkey

  • Using malicious call trace

  • Using immediate divert

  • Blocking caller ID on a per-call basis

In addition to all the feature-related training, you should train users on how to seek support. When calling the Help Desk for support, the user should provide the following information:

  • The time as displayed on the phone at the time of the problem

  • The line appearance on which the problem occurred

  • The called party number if applicable

  • A specific description of the problem

Having this information lets Help Desk personnel troubleshoot the problem much more effectively. The most important thing is the time. Without that, it's harder to find the exact information in the trace files. It's important to get the time that is displayed on the phone because phones are synched with CallManager, making the correlation between phone time and times listed in CCM trace files more precise.

NOTE

The QRT softkey can be used in conjunction with or in lieu of making a call to the Help Desk. It really depends on the company culture. Some companies like the perception of increased customer service that comes from the human interaction.

Be sure to read the sections on user training in Chapter 7 for additional information.

Administrator Training

You should plan on providing formal training for your administrators. Many options are available. Cisco has a standard curriculum, as shown in Figure 1-4, which is offered by various Cisco Certified training partners. Use the following link and click IP Telephony Training, or search Cisco.com for "IP Telephony training":

http://www.cisco.com/en/US/learning/le31/le29/learning_training_from_cisco_ learning_partners.html

How you provide the administrator training is up to you. Options include customized training, in-house training, and the standard five-day CIPT classes. The key is to determine exactly what your administrators need. For example, if you are having Cisco Advanced Services or a Cisco Certified Partner install your systems, do you really need to cover installation in the training, or can that be part of the knowledge transfer from the installation team?

In addition to formal training, there's train-the-trainer. This style of training can be even more valuable, because it is one-on-one and more concentrated. Your staff member can take the learning class(es), filter out the information that's pertinent to your deployment, and then train all the administrators on what they really need to know.

Figure 4Figure 1-4 IP Telephony Training for System Administrators

If a Cisco reseller is installing the system for you, it's important (if possible) to watch and learn what the implementation team does and to absorb the subtleties of the installation from the people actually installing the system.

The key things to watch for are

  • Dial plan configuration

  • Enterprise parameters configuration

  • Gateway configuration

  • IP Phone services configuration

  • Media resource configuration

  • Phone configuration

Also, you should consider adding the following books to your library:

  • Cisco CallManager Fundamentals: A Cisco AVVID Solution (ISBN: 1-58705-008-0)

  • Troubleshooting Cisco IP Telephony: A Cisco AVVID Solution (ISBN: 1-58705-075-7)

  • Cisco IP Telephony (ISBN: 1-58705-050-1)

Be sure to search ciscopress.com periodically for new IP Telephony- or CallManager-related titles and second editions of existing Cisco AVVID Solution books.

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