VQ’s Monthly News – November

This November, we’re excited to share more on our upcoming VQ Conference Manager 4.0 release. Our popular Cisco Black Belt training content has been refreshed and Steve Holmes shares his experience from the Cisco Partner Summit.

Read on for:

  • An update on VQCM 4.0
  • VQ’s recent Engineering Takeover webinar
  • Cisco Black Belt content is back
  • Steve Holmes reflects on his recent US trip

What’s new at VQ?

VQCM 4.0: We’re only just getting started

VQ Conference Manager 4.0 is on track for release this month and we’re incredibly excited to start the next phase of our VQCM journey.

4.0 has been approved by the United States Department of Defence and can be found listed on the DISA Approved Product list (aka APL). Google “DOD APL”. Select VQ as a supplier and you’ll see our APL certificate in all its glory.

Stayed tuned for a VQCM 4.0 release announcement coming soon.

Dive deeper

Want to learn more about the automated testing tools we used for VQ Conference Manager?

You can watch our full VQ Engineering Takeover webinar on-demand with detailed demonstrations from the VQ Team.

Watch here

Cisco corner

Our Cisco Black Belt is back

It was a busy summer and early autumn for Team VQ with the delivery of VQCM 3.10 and our attendance of Cisco Impact both major highlights. Others include:


Inside VQ

Viva Las Vegas with Steve Holmes

Earlier this month VQ Communications’ Vice President of Sales, Steve Holmes was invited to Cisco’s exclusive Partner Summit in Las Vegas. Steve shares his experiences from the event below:

“Well, here I am back in Las Vegas once again to meet our colleagues at Cisco, learn more about the company’s upcoming technology updates, and the opportunity to continue the conversations we started during Cisco Impact 2022.

For me, nothing beats face-to-face contact with those championing us within Cisco and it was great to be invited to such an important event in Cisco’s annual calendar.”

To get the latest news from VQ follow us on LinkedIn

How to use VQCM’s Device Management and Automation (DMA)

How to use VQCM’s Device Management and Automation (DMA)

This latest post in our series of feature blogs introduces the first release of VQ Conference Manager DMA. This first release enables the creation of hierarchical Address Books/Directories, which are designed to replace the Phone Books feature of Cisco TelePresence Management Suite (TMS).

This functionality includes searchable numbers and addresses on your video endpoints, so you can dial the number by person or room name, rather than having to remember the number.

How to configure DMA’s address books and directories

The first thing you’ll notice, if you are familiar with the VQCM’s user interface, is the new design:

this image shows the new device interface on VQCM.  The screenshot has the title 'devices' and has 3 columns below it. These are Device, location and label.

Throughout, you can change the order of the columns, turn them on and off and apply filters and so on.

To make a change or see the available options, use the ellipses on the right-hand side:

This is another screenshot of the device interface on VQCM, this list shown on this screen is shorter as filters have been applied.

At the top level, we have the Tenant. Each Tenant has a dedicated Address Book/Directory and list of Devices.

This image features a screenshot of the tenant page on the vqcm interface. it lists each tenant for this speific user.

Next, we have the list of Devices:

This image shows the device interface. It's a small list only showing 3 devices.
This is the complete list of all the endpoints which can be included in and can access a Directory.
 
Each Device has two attributes, a Location and a Label:
 
Let’s have a look at the Location first:
This image shows the location interface. 10 locations are listed on this page.

If you are familiar with TMS, the Location here is analogous to the System Navigator Folder view in TMS. Here you can add new folders and add devices to a given folder within the hierarchy. Typically, you’d name your folders after the locations in your organisation, although you don’t have to

VQ DMA’s Locations are a very similar concept; a mechanism for you to define where in the organisation your endpoints are, and you can go to a depth of five within the hierarchy. This allows, for example, continents, country, state, city and building.

So, you add your Devices, you set your Locations and you add the Location to a device.

If you go back to the Devices, you’ll see another column called Labels:

This image shows the device interface. It's a small list only showing 3 devices.

Label is a new concept, which TMS does not have. Labels are free form text which allows you to add an additional identification to your device, for example “VIP Systems” or “Meeting Rooms”.

The next thing to look at are the Data Sources:

This image shows the data sources interface. There is a table with 3 columns. The first column on the left is titled 'name'. The second column in the middle is titled type and the third and final column is titled 'action'. There are 3 rows in this table listing each data source type.
Just like in TMS, Data Sources is a list of Devices. This list is built using Location and optionally Label filters. It’s either, or, or both. So, for example, you could have a Data Source for all Devices in the UK, or the demo systems in the US, or, indeed, all executive systems world-wide.
 
Out of the box there is a predefined Data Source called All Systems. There is no filter on it. It contains all Devices or Contacts in your database. In this example, the Devices in All Systems are shown as follows:
The screenshot of the ' edit all systems' page has 3 tabs below the page title - settings, filters and contacts. The contacts tab is selected and lists each contact below it.

You can add as many Data Sources as you wish.

Finally, you have the Address Books. An Address Book is a list of Data Sources.

Let’s recap...

Devices have a Location and optionally a Label. Data Sources are built using filters on Location or Label and Address Books are built using Data Sources.

How to assign an Address Book to your Devices

The final part of setting up is similar to TMS – assigning an Address Book to your Devices.

To do this you Click on Assign to Devices, select the required filter and the Devices and assign them.

the image features the title 'address books'. 3 address books are shown on the page underneath the name column. There is a column titled 'action' which is selected and has 6 drop down options - settings, contacts, view devices, assign to devices, remove from devices and delete. all of these drop down options are in black font barr delete which is in red.
Example of Assigning Address Books
 
In this example, we have four devices in an Address Book called Parallel House. Each of the devices will be assigned this Address Book:
This image features the address book of the device 'parallel house'. below the title of this page, it features 3 tabs - view devices, assign to devices and remove from devices. View devices is currently selected and listed the 4 devices below.

In this example, the location in the address book is also called Parallel House:

This image shows the 'locations' interface. below the page title there is a blue circle with a plus button in it. below this lists out six different locations.

To make things simple to follow, we’ve also called the address book ‘Parallel House’.

This image features the address book 'parallel house'. there are 3 tabs below the title of the page - view devices, assign to devices and remove from devices. The view devices tab is selected and highlighted in blue. Below this tab each device is listed alongside their location and label.

Within the Address Book, we need to add a Data Source.

In this example we’ve named the Data Source Demo Suite, which contains the four endpoints in the ‘Parallel House’ Location:

This image features the data source - demo suite. below the title of the page, has 3 tabs below it. These are settings, filters and contacts. The contacts tab is selected and highlighted in blue.  below the tab 4 contacts are listed.

Next, we need to assign the ‘Parallel House’ Address Book to each of the endpoints:

this image of the page is the address book for 'parallel house'. below the title of the page it features three tabs - view devices, assign to devices (Which is selected and highlighted in blue) and remove from devices. No devices are assigned and therefore a cartoon illustration shows on this page of a lady tipping a variety of shapes into a filter.

Having assigned the Address Book to the devices, what does this look like on the device itself?

this image shows a webex pro which has two rectangular pop ups on the screen. This is what it looks like when address books have been assigned to a device.

Here you can see the device with the endpoints listed in the Parallel House Address Book.
 
This blog is just a very brief introduction of how to set up and use Address Books and Directory Services in VQ Conference Manager DMA. For more detailed information, view our ‘Introducing DMA – Directory Services’ video. If you have any questions, join our Webex Space.
 
Finally, for those looking for a more detailed understanding of VQ Conference Manager DMA’s capabilities, we offer a three-day training course delivered by our partner, TeKnowLogical Solutions.

VQ’s Monthly News – September

In this September edition of the VQ newsletter, we begin gearing up for the end of 2022 and beyond with an upcoming pair of webinars. Our team is growing and we hear from the latest VQ team additions, and we explore VQ Conference Manager’s Analytics Dashboards.

Read on for:

  • Two upcoming webinars this October
  • A look back at Cisco Impact 2022
  • Steve Holmes’ trip to Saudi Arabia next week
  • Our guide to VQCM Analytics Dashboards
  • A recent presentation from our cybersecurity team
  • An introduction to new members of the VQ Team

What’s new at VQ?


The VQ Team reveals upcoming plans and features

Even with the fantastic 3.10 update for VQ Conference Manager and the first release of DMA, we still have more to show you.

On Tuesday 18th October, our engineering team are hosting a webinar on how VQ automates testing. In this webinar, we will cover:

  • A demonstration of our CMS deployment playbook and VQCM certificate management interface.
  • A walkthrough of the tools we used to help test the new DMA product, including a device and contact CSV importer and more.

Join us for this special engineering webinar by signing up here

Dive deeper

Cisco community, fancy a preview of what else we have coming up in the near future?

We’re hosting a Cisco exclusive webinar on Tuesday 4th of October, covering some of our plans for FY 2023.

This includes a look at upcoming VQCM functionality, insight into our roadmap and much more

Register for the webinar here

(Please note: this webinar is for Cisco employees only)

VQ’s upcoming trip to Saudi Arabia

Steve Holmes, VQ’s VP of Sales, will be making a trip over to Riyadh in Saudi Arabia next week.

He’ll be visiting from Sunday 25th September – Thursday 29th September. If you’re interested in meeting during his visit, please contact him via email or Webex at sholmes@vqcomms.com

Cisco Corner


This image is a white line graph over a blue background with an oval showing the text VQ Conference Manager Analytics. The words NEW BLOG are to the right hand side in a blue, bold font in front of a white background and below the VQ logo.

Biggest and best this month

It was a busy summer for the VQ Team delivering VQCM 3.10 and attending Cisco Impact. Check out some of our highlights:

  • We were thrilled to have been invited to Cisco Impact a few weeks ago in Las Vegas. The VQ Team had a blast meeting with the Cisco community – here are our favourite moments .
  • Our latest blog explores the VQCM Analytics Dashboards and how it provides insight into a variety of conference call metrics. Read on for more.
  • Alan Mills, a member of VQ’s cybersecurity team, presented at an international IEEE conference to discuss cybersecurity resilience. Check out his recap of the event.

Inside VQ

This image shows Mike, Giles and Steve from VQ meeting Justin from Cisco at Cisco Impact. They are all gathered round the event booth, smiling for the camera. The room is dimly lit but everyone is still visible and looks happy to be there.

A word from the newest members of the VQ team

This month we introduce you to the two newest members at VQ, working across our Engineering and Customer Success teams.

Stefan joins our growing Customer Success team:

At VQ we recognise the importance of our customers deploying, adopting and growing the use of our software, this ensures that themselves and importantly their users get the most value out of the conferencing service that is being provided to them.

As the number of organisations using VQCM globally increases we have formalised our Customer Success program.

As part of my role in the Customer Success team I will be engaging with our customers to help them maximise VQ Conference Manager. I look forward to introducing myself and my role to some of you personally.

We’re also thrilled to add Nadiya to our engineering team:

“My name is Nadiya, and I work in VQ’s engineering support team. I have a variety of responsibilities, including fixing bugs, adding new features, writing up scripts that automate the jobs for you and crafting guides for VQCM. I’ve been with VQ for 5 months now and have been absolutely loving my time here!

I feel extremely lucky to be doing what I love, working with and learning from such amazing, intelligent people and to be doing it in such a caring and remarkable company! Every day is different, every day is challenging and every day I learn something new. What more could one ask for?”

Want the latest news and team updates from VQ? Follow us on LinkedIn for more.

Speaking at the 2022 IEEE International Conference on Cyber Security Resilience

Alan Mills works within the cyber security department at VQ and is also a lecturer in cyber security at University of the West of England (UWE Bristol).

Not too long ago I posted (my first blog post) about how we are continually working to ensure security and compliance here at VQ Communications. I also hinted at the fact there would be more to follow… Well this is part of that “more to follow”. 

Recently I was lucky enough to present at an international IEEE conference on Cyber Security Resilience (IEEE CSR). The IEEE CSR conference is an international conference that “focuses on theoretical and practical aspects of the security, privacy, trust, and resilience of networks, systems, and services as well as novel ways for dealing with their vulnerabilities and mitigating sophisticated cyber-attacks.” as taken from their website

The work I presented focused on container security and looked at bringing together multiple reporting tools, presenting easy visualisation of results as well as looking at how we can start to automatically patch and secure container images in a way that avoid bloat or introduction of breaking changes. As a company that takes full advantage of microservices and the flexible infrastructure they provide, as well as one that is continually working to ensure the security of our products, research and tools like this are key. They make the life of security analysts easier, saving time when it comes to security assurance, allowing focus to switch to the issues which need it. 

Work like this is only part of how we at VQ ensure we not only stay close to the forefront of cyber security practices, but also help to bring industry skills, experience and requirements into the mix and help to push cyber security overall forward. For those who are interested and want to know more the conference proceedings have now been published and can be found here which includes the work I presented here.

I thoroughly recommend that anyone with an interest in cyber security resilience take a look through the proceedings and see the work that is being put forward.

Watch out for more in the coming months.



VQ Conference Manager – Analytics

VQ Conference Manager – Analytics

Have you seen our new Analytics Dashboards in VQ Conference Manager yet?

If not, read on…

Log into VQ Conference Manager. Click on Kibana, and you’ll see the new Analytics Dashboards.

Starting with the Welcome Dashboard.

VQ Conference Manager Analytics Dashboard featuring a light blue bar graph and pie charts.
VQ Conference Manager Analytics Dashboard highlighting activity on the system in the form of a light blue line chart and light blue and grey pie charts.

Here you can see an overview of the activity on your system. In the above screenshot, we’re looking at activity over the past seven days. There are top-level metrics across the top of the page, pie charts to the right and two graphs for meeting load and participant alarms.

Using the navigation bar, you’ll have access to additional dashboards, including call, participant, call bridge and tenant timelines.

So, let’s look at a few examples:

Completed Meetings

Click on Completed Meetings > View Meetings and you get taken to the Call Timeline:

VQ Conference Manager Call Timeline Report - a light grey and light blue breakdown by user, with light blue sections highlighting activity.

Under the ‘Call Timeline’ report, you’ll see all calls, represented by blue rectangles. The start of a rectangle indicates start of the call, and the end of a rectangle indicates end of the call. In this example, we’ll select just one call – Marketing.

To find the call you’re looking for, you’ll need to narrow the results. This is done by adding a filter cospaceUri.keyword;marketing, in the Kibana Query Language (KQL) bar at the top of the Dashboard. Select a time range and click ‘Apply the filter to current view’ to update the results.

Close up view of the VQ Conference Manger Call Timeline Report showing two options ‘Apply filter to current view’ in light blue and ‘Click to drill down and view call’ in white with black text.
Here we’re looking at the meeting held in the Marketing Space on Weds, 24th August 2022.
Close up of a call timeline in the VQ Conference Manager Analytics Dashboard. It is a ‘marketing’ call with a large section of light blue and a small section of light grey.
You can see the call lasted between 12.00 and 12.42.

Click on the call and select Click to drill down and view call
Close up of a call timeline in the VQ Conference Manager Analytics Dashboard. It is a ‘marketing’ call with a large section of light blue and a small section of light grey. Showing two options ‘apply filter to current view’ in light blue and ‘Click to drill down and view call’ in white with black text.

Clicking this allows you to view a range of metrics for this call in the Call View Dashboard:

VQ Conference Manager Analytics Call View Dashboard, a horizontal bar chart in neon blue with different metrics at the top also in bright blue.

These metrics include top-level metrics, for example, the number of participants, the average alarms and the call graph. The call graph displays the start and end of each of the Participants (Call Legs).
If you hover over the Call Leg, more information is displayed, such as media type, the reason for leaving the call, etc:

Close up of the VQ Conference Manager Analytics Call View Dashboard with hover-over options in a dark grey with white and light grey text in the top centre.

Further down the Dashboard, the pie charts show the Disconnect Reasons and Device Types in the call:

 VQ Conference Manager Analytics Dashboard Disconnect Reasons and Device Types screen shot. Showing two participants their devices, roles, how many connections, time in call and other metrics. On the right side there are two bright blue pie charts at 100%.
There is also a table, segmented by participant. The table reflects a range of statistics. These statistics include the participant’s remote address, the device, role, call connections time, percentage packet loss and excessive jitter.
For those of you familiar with Lens, this table is editable. Additionally, it can be downloaded as a CSV file for sharing with colleagues.
Close up of the VQ Conference Manager Analytics Dashboard Disconnect Reasons and Device types screen with a pop out menu for options showing two options: ‘Download as CSV’ and ‘Copy to dashboard’ in white with black text.

There is also the ability to share the entire Dashboard. In this example, we’ll export it and share as a PDF:

Close up of the top of the VQ Conference Manager Analytics Dashboard with the option ‘Share’ in the upper right corner selected and a pop out of ‘PDF Reports’ with a blue ‘Download PDF’ button.
Once you have selected ‘Generate PDF’, you’ll see a message that the report has been queued:
Close up screenshot showing the text ‘Queued report for dashboard’ and ‘Track it’s progress in Stack Management > Alerts and Insights > Reporting’ Text is in bold black and light blue.
Once the message ‘Created report for [name of report] appears, click on Download Report:
Close up screenshot of an alert with the text ‘Created report for printable_pdf_v2 ‘Call View Dashboard’’ and a light blue with dark blue text button saying ‘Download report’
You now have the Dashboard in PDF format, ready to share with your team or colleagues.
Full VQ Conference Analytics Dashboard with a white background, black text and bright blue horizontal bar chart.
Participant analytics in the VQ Conference Manager Dashboard. Large bright blue horizontal line tin the middle of the screenshot and a blue pie chart in the lower right left with several metrics below the horizontal bar.
Returning to participant analytics, you may want to see a specific participant’s activity over time. To find this, you click on the participant. In this example, we’ll use Ruth and select View Participant. Under ‘View Participant’, you can specify a time period to view call activity.
Doing this takes you to the Participant View Dashboard. In this example, we are looking at Ruth’s call activities over the past seven days:
VQ Conference Manager Analytics Participant View Dashboard with three medium grey horizontal rectangles with light blue lines showing activity metrics and two and a half blue and dark grey pie charts on the right side.
This view is very similar to the Call Timeline and includes top-level metrics and the details of each call. Again, you can select any call and view the specific information for each.

This blog is just a very brief introduction to a few of the VQ Conference Manager Dashboards and how to navigate around them. For more detailed information, view our Analytics video or join our Webex Space if you have any questions.


Finally, for those looking for a more detailed understanding of the capabilities of VQ Conference Manager Analytics, we offer a three-day course delivered by our training partner, Scott Waschler, from TeKnowLogical Solutions.

One Button to Push (OBTP)

VQ Conference Manager – Features Blog

One Button to Push (OBTP)

Our VQ Conference Manager (VQCM) product is used by customers globally to support today’s flexible working models – delivering Unified Communications services on Cisco infrastructure and devices.

It is a comprehensive platform and includes many useful features.

To help you make the most of VQCM, we’re producing a series of feature blogs.
In this first one, we’ll focus on one of the most recent product features – One Button to Push.

One Button to Push (OBTP) makes it simple for users to join a call using a physical in-room Cisco conferencing endpoint.

Meetings scheduled via VQ’s Meeting Scheduler, Outlook Plug-in or VQCM API can be scheduled to include OBTP-capable Cisco devices. Once scheduled in VQCM, the device’s OBTP meeting schedule is updated, and just before the meeting start time, the device will present a “Join” button on screen or via its Touch Panel display, enabling a quick and straightforward way of joining the meeting.

One Button to Push (OBTP) is available from VQCM 3.9 and is licensed as a separate feature. Please contact us or join our Webex Space for more information.

How to Use One Button to Push

If you’ve never scheduled a meeting through VQCM before, our comprehensive user guide has everything you need to know before you begin.

So how do you use OBTP? Let’s have a quick run-through.

To begin, we’re going to schedule an OBTP meeting on VQ Conference Manager. We need to fill in the schedule meeting page as we would with any other meeting scheduled through VQ Conference Manager.

The only difference between this meeting and meetings previously scheduled in VQCM is that there is a new OBTP option, which needs to be checked.

VQ Conference Manager One Button to Push Schedule Meeting

The meeting setup window looks like the screenshot provided. First, you need to give the meeting a title. In this example we’ve called it OBTP Meeting.

Then, you need to give the meeting a start and end time. These are the times which will be displayed on the device screen. Other options are available, including setting this meeting as a recurring meeting in your calendar.

When it’s time for the meeting to start, the system will display a green ‘Join’ button on the screen.

Remember to check the OBTP check box before proceeding.

Next, you need to select the device(s) you wish to use to join the meeting.

VQ Conference Manager One Button to Push select devices

In this example, the meeting has a pre-defined passcode. The passcode is defined within the Space Template. A randomly generated passcode is automatically filled into the template, but if you want to change the passcode you can.

Click Done and that’s the meeting scheduled.

How to Join a VQCM One Button to Push Meeting

In our example VQCM OBTP meeting, we’ve invited DeskPro into the call. DeskPro will be provided with the details of the meeting and how to join.

When it’s time for the meeting to begin, the green ‘Join’ button will appear on the screen. To join the meeting, it’s just a case of pushing the Join button and you’re in. It’s that easy.

VQ Conference Manager One Button to Push join button

Thank you for taking the time to read this short blog and look out for our next blog in our Feature Series at https://www.vqcomms.com/blog/.

VQ’s Monthly News – August

In this month’s VQ newsletter, we’re thrilled to announce the release of VQ Conference Manager 3.10. VQ CEO Mike Horsley outlines all the new functionality, and we gear up for Cisco Impact later this month.

Read on for:

  • VQCM 3.10 release
  • Our recent webinar demonstrating DMA
  • How to meet us at Cisco Impact
  • A competitive VQ team challenge
  • The refreshed customer portal
  • And more….

What’s new at VQ?

VQ Conference Manager 3.10 has arrived

VQCM 3.10 unleashes a range of exciting new functionality, including the introduction of VQ Conference Manager – Device Management and Automation (DMA).

DMA is designed as a replacement for Cisco TelePresence Management Server (TMS), deployed ‘on premise’ as part of a Cisco Meeting Server and Cisco videoconferencing devices eco-system.

This first release of DMA enables you to create, manage and deploy TMS-style hierarchical ‘Corporate Directories’ for all of your Cisco videoconferencing devices, replacing the ‘Phone Books’ feature of TMS.

DMA also provides the ability to import all your current TMS managed devices and manually create Phone Books from your existing TMS environment.

VQ CEO Mike Horsley provides an overview of the latest update here.

Dive Deeper

Want to see DMA and VQCM 3.10 in action?

Check out VQCM 3.10’s functionality with our latest webinar covering:

  • VQ Conference Manager 3.10’s latest enhancements
  • Live demos of DMA’s Directory Services and address book functionality
  • VQ’s TMS replacement and migration offer

Watch the full webinar on demand.


Cisco Corner

Biggest and best this month

Beyond the release of VQCM 3.10, we’re looking forward to:

Cisco Impact, running from 29 – 31 August in Las Vegas, VQ will be at the event. Drop Steve Holmes an email (sholmes@vqcomms.com) and book some time with our team at booth PS43.
We’ve recently revamped our searchable VQ Conference Manager Knowledge Base. Now accessible from our website from the Resources and Knowledge Base tab, filled with information on how to install, configure, run and use VQCM here.
The VQ team recently held a friendly (yet fierce) competition to determine the ultimate latte artist. The goal? To recreate the VQ Logo – check the results.


Inside VQ

A word from VQ’s CEO, Mike Horsley

Mike Horsley shares his thoughts on our latest release and how it propels VQCM forward on its exciting product roadmap:

“VQ Conference Manager 3.10 is the start of a new phase in the journey called VQ. We’re stepping out from being CMS centric to becoming a broader solutions platform for Cisco Unified Communications deployments. 3.10 adds the first deliverable of DMA and enables TMS style Directory Services.

It’s been pretty crazy over the last 18 months as DMA has become reality and we’d like to thank all the customers and potential customers we spoke to who encouraged us with their support and feedback for it.

It’ll be an interesting ride and we look forward to taking it with you.”

More from the VQ Communications team

We are delighted that Alan Mills, key member of our cyber security department at VQ and also a lecturer in cyber security at the University of the West of England (UWE Bristol), was invited to speak at the recent CYBERUK event:

“This year I was lucky enough to not only attend CYBERUK, but to speak at it too. The focus of my talk? Supply chain security. As I’m sure any tech company will tell you, supply chain security has become a major concern, with attacks against micro-services, packages and plugins becoming increasingly common.

So it was an honour to be able to share the viewpoints and VQ TTPs for dealing with these issues with everyone else at the conference.”

You can read the full blog on CYBERUK here.

Thank you for reading. If you want to stay up to date with the latest VQ news, then give us a follow on LinkedIn.

Alan Mills speaks at CYBERUK

Alan Mills works within the cyber security department at VQ and is also a lecturer in cyber security at University of the West of England (UWE Bristol).

Here at VQ we’ve had a lot on going on recently, with work on our latest release, VQ Conference Manager 3.10. As with every release we’re working hard to make sure we maintain our high security standards and practices and whilst  at Cisco Live in June, it was great to hear some of the positive feedback from our customers and partners in America around all the security features and compliance requirements our product provides out of the bag.

But let’s not forget we’re still a UK company and we’re just as committed to ensuring we both work and align with the security best practices that are held to over here. There’s no better place for making sure our finger is still on the pulse than at CYBERUK. For those that don’t know CYBERUK is an annual conference run by the NCSC that brings together government, industry and academia with a focus on cyber security. It’s a flagship event and a great place to hear from leaders across all 3 sectors.  

This year I was lucky enough to not only attend the event, but to speak at it (if only briefly). The focus of my talk? Supply chain security. As I’m sure any tech company will tell you supply chains security has become a major concern, with attacks against micro-services, packages and plugins becoming increasingly common. So it was an honour to be able to share the viewpoints and VQ TTPs for dealing with these issues with everyone else at the conference. In just 5 minutes I went through the issues supply chain attacks present, some common attack vectors and some useful mitigations. It was also the opening lightning talk, so I was keen to make sure I covered it all, without starting us all off on a delay. But mission success and the talk went well (and within time).

It’s always good to know that the things you’re doing and saying not only make sense, but resonate with the wider community and there are few platforms or events with the same reach as CYBERUK. Rest assured though we’re not resting our laurels, we’re constantly working to ensure our security practices are up to date and the work and research I’m involved in is helping to improve existing tools and security practices, especially around the use of containers. So I’ll sign this post off by saying more to come and watch this space!

VQ Conference Manager 3.10 Release

We’ve just released VQ Conference Manager 3.10 which contains the first version of DMA or Device Management and Automation.  This first release of DMA delivers TMS style hierarchical address books and Directory Services for Cisco RoomOS and CE devices.

The next version of DMA will add device configuration and templates which, in turn, will be followed by a version containing the automation functionality (for example, certificate checks and renewals).

One of the questions we’re asked is whether DMA is a separate product? No, DMA is a major new component within Conference Manager and will be included in upgrades and installs. Please note that DMA functionality is licensed separately on a per device, per month basis.

We’re also asked about migration and co-existence with Cisco TMS. We expect DMA and TMS to co-exist for some time; customers will migrate functionality over from TMS to DMA as it becomes available in DMA and customers become comfortable with DMA. We are keen to avoid “big bang” transitions and all the associated risks.

On the subject of transitions, we’ll be providing tooling to make it as easy as possible to migrate data from TMS to DMA.

Wrapping up, we’re really excited about DMA. We’re now at the point of release and the market response to DMA has been amazing.

DMA at 3.10 is the start; It looks like it’ll be an interesting journey and we look forward to taking it with you.

Thanks for making the time to read this blog.

Mike

VQ’s Monthly News – June

Welcome back to the VQ newsletter. This time we reflect on a successful trip to Cisco Live in Las Vegas, look ahead to Cisco Impact in August, and we highlight exciting features on the way with VQCM 3.10.

Read on for:

  • VQ’s latest trip to Cisco Live, and what’s next
  • VQ CEO Mike Horsley shares his Cisco Live experience
  • ThunderCat hosts the VQ team on its recent webinar
  • A new Cisco Black belt Stage 3 guide
  • And much more

What’s new at VQ?

Celebrating the Cisco community in Las Vegas

For the first time since 2019, Cisco Live took place in-person with 6 members of the VQ team flying out to Las Vegas.

On both our stand, and meeting room, we were back-to-back in meetings with partners and both existing and potentially new customers.

Read more from VQ’s CEO Mike Horsley on how the week went….

“Cisco Live was a blast. It’s always great to be in Las Vegas just because it’s so different from the very green and English everyday of living about 90 minutes west of London.

The scale of the Cisco Live events is always really impressive and there’s always quite a kick being on the Cisco side of the floor.

We’ve been back about a week; the consensus is that we had a fantastic show. What was particularly nice was meeting all the people face to face that we work with as customers and partners. It’s felt like a long time and so it was really great to sit down, talk and share a coffee or beer.

Some of the highlights from the event:

  • A pre-production version of VQCM 3.10 was on our stand demonstrating our first version of DMA in the form of TMS Style Directory Services. Our demonstrations were very well received. We used a collection of Webex Pros and Minis connected back to our systems at VQ Towers in the UK. A surprising number of people hadn’t seen the Minis before and they were impressed.
  • Jon English wowed the crowd with his “TMS Replacement” presentation in the Collaboration Showcase.
  • We were back-to-back all week in the off-floor briefing room. DMA phase 2 (device configuration) looks like it hits the spot. The collective real-world, large scale, enterprise experience in the team of what worked in TMS and what didn’t (or was missing) resulted in some very in-depth discussions about DMA’s functionality and capabilities. Importantly, what we showed and how we answered survived the rigorous questioning and use case scenarios which was very pleasing.
  • One of our goals for the briefing room meetings was to validate future product thoughts and concepts which I’m pleased to say went well.

We went to Cisco Live with a sense of anticipation: how would it go and how would people react to the VQ 2022 story? The outcome: we had our best Cisco Live ever and the DMA/TMS Replacement addition to VQ Conference Manager is seeing very strong interest and order pipeline growth. We look forward to doing it again next year.”

Thank you to all of you who followed us along on our LinkedIn and Twitter accounts. If you missed out this time around, stay tuned to our LinkedIn page for more in the future.

Dive Deeper

The excitement doesn’t end there for our team.

Once wasn’t enough for the VQ team in Las Vegas this year, as we will be back at Cisco IMPACT during the 29th – 31st August.

We’ll be talking a lot more about VQCM 3.10 and what’s on the way for the rest of 2022 and beyond.

Did you know?

Existing Cisco TMS users can still get a 20% migration discount for VQ DMA until 31st October 2022 too (in partnership with Cisco).

Don’t miss out – email info@vqcomms.com to find out more.


Cisco Corner

Biggest and best this month

It’s been a busy few weeks for the Cisco and Partner community, so below are some highlights and news updates:

  • VQ’s Steve Holmes recently joined ThunderCat Technology for a webinar focused on how businesses can migrate from Cisco TMS to VQ DMA. Watch here to find out more.
  • Cisco have published a helpful blog post explaining VQ’s Stage 3 Black Belt training – enabling partners to unlock the full range of VQCM’s product offering.
  • Curious about what new content was on show at Cisco Live? Luckily, all the event’s best announcements have been curated under one roof here.

Inside VQ

A word from Giles Adams

Finally, here are some additional thoughts from VQ’s Business Development Director, Giles Adams, on his Cisco Live 2022 experience:

“Echoing Mike’s words, it was fantastic to see the reception at Cisco Live for the product we’ve created. VQ Conference Manager DMA (the Cisco TMS replacement), really resonated with our audience. Interest was strong and we look forward to seeing our growth in pipeline translate into new business. Make sure you watch this space.”