- Desk phone control
- and Phone presence.
Once you've installed the PCAP plug-in, you'll have a new option in the Sametime preferences for 'Cisco' > 'Phone'. Here you can indicate whether you want the plug-in to control your desk phone or IP Communicator (Cisco's soft phone).
Now when you get an in-coming call to your desk phone, you will get a pop-up on your PC screen indicating who is calling you.
If the number is a recognized number and you have Sametime setup to use photos in business cards, the name and the photo of the caller will be displayed. If not, just the phone number and the silhouette will be displayed. From the pop-up, you can send the call to voicemail if you're currently busy. Or you can click the 'Answer' button which will pick-up the call on your desk phone and either place the call on speakerphone or put it live in your headset if you are using a head set with your phone.
When I first read about this capability, I honestly didn't see the value of it. Why would I use the dialog box rather than picking up the call from my phone when I'm at my desk? Well, once I had the plug-in installed, I understood. When you're at your desk, your focus is on your PC where you are working. When you get an in-coming call, the pop up occurs where your focus is already. It's simply more convenient to respond to the pop-up screen in the context of your current work.
When you answer a call, the window changes to display details of the call status and to provide new controls to manage the call.
From here you can:
- Put the call on hold
- Surface a dial pad to input numbers (for example, to respond to phone prompts)
- Hang up the call
- Or conference the call with another call (I'll say more about this in a minute).
If you choose to answer the second in-coming call, the first call will automatically be put on hold while you speak to the new caller.
Now here's where things get really get slick. If you want to conference the two callers together into one single conference call, all you have to do is to click the 'Merge Call' button. This replaces the two call windows with a single conference call window and merges the calls into a conference call.
On my desk phone, I still don't know how to accomplish this. But the plug-in makes it easier for end-users to take advantage of the investment you've already made in your Cisco phones and the capabilities they have.
In order to use the capabilities above, you'll need Cisco Call Manager 4.1.3 or higher, and Sametime Standard 7.5 or higher. If you meet these requirements and have not deployed the PCAP plug-in, I'd be interested in feedback as to why you haven't.