It's not necessarily the case if you'd like to "homebrew" your own unified communications capability.
I had been planning to blog next about the UC plug-ins available from Cisco, but a colleague recently asked me for a refresher on how we created our own click-to-call widget, so seemed like a good time to blog about it. Cisco includes a web dialer application that is part of its Call Manager product which allows you to initiate an outbound phone call from your desk phone by entering a phone number into a web-based form (I've been told all the major telephony providers include similar functionality with their PBX products, but I haven't verified this with any). With the widget capability in Notes 8, it is relatively simple to create your own widget to wire a live text recognizer in Lotus Notes to the Cisco WebDialer. The net effect is that every instance of a phone number that Lotus Notes recognizes (in an email, contact, calendar entry, customer app, etc), becomes a hot link that you can simply click to initiate a phone call. Just received an email from someone outside your company and want to call them? Just click on the phone number in their email signature. In your Notes contacts looking at a personal contact? Just click the phone number you want to call them at. You get the idea...
It's pretty cool, so why do I refer to it as a "Poor Man's" solution. A few reasons:
- You don't need a Sametime license since your not tapping into the telephony integration hooks from Sametime to make this work.
- It's home-grown, and like any custom solution, you're going to have to support it yourself.
- When you create the widget (at least following the instructions below), you cannot simply share it with another user like other Notes widgets and have it work. Each user has to create the widget manually. Now, I'm sure someone smarter than I or who has more time to research this could come up with a way to create a generic widget that could be pushed out to all users. If you're that person, please share. :-D
1. First, find out the URL for your Cisco Call Manager server.
2. Next, open your Notes client, and click on the "Getting Started with Widgets..." button.
That's it! As long as you have your Live Text recognizers turned on, you'll now be able to click-to-call from Notes.