Have you heard of the Cisco TMS alternative from VQ?

For those of you looking for a replacement for Cisco TelePresence Management Server (TMS), our Cisco TMS alternative contains new and familiar functionality to connect enterprise communications.

The Cisco TMS alternative – VQCM DMA

TMS background

Organisations have depended on Cisco TelePresence Management Suite for many years. Companies have incorporated it into existing on-site CMS and Cisco video conferencing systems.

After developing our Meeting Services functionality for CMS, our customers reached out to let us know they had additional needs and requirements for Device Management.

We’ve listened to what they requested. Fast forward to today – VQ, in close cooperation with Cisco, has developed VQ Device Management and Automation (DMA).

DMA functionality

VQ’s primary goal was providing global customers with a Cisco TMS alternative. While VQ DMA achieves this, it is not an exact replica of TMS. Rather it draws on VQ Conference Manager’s (VQCM’s) existing Meeting Services feature to provide customers with a true Cisco TMS alternative.

VQ DMA brings many of VQCM’s fantastic benefits and features, including the following:

  • One Button to Push (OBTP) – Allows users to schedule meetings using the VQ UI, Outlook plugin or custom applications (using VQ API)
  • Directory Services – Compatible with TMS hierarchical phonebooks, Directory Services introduces contemporary labels helping to easily define and quickly filter devices into groups.
  • Device Configuration – Provides configuration management for Cisco CE and RoomOS devices, including:
    • Group definitions for device configuration templates
    • Template Modules providing componentisation of templates, significantly reducing errors and template duplication
  • Device Maintenance – Allows users to easily monitor, assess, diagnose and treat issues. It includes robust, cutting-edge Kibana-based dashboards, as well as maintenance dashboards with map-based visualisation.

The feedback on VQ DMA as a TMS replacement is already overwhelmingly positive, though VQ DMA is about more than simply TMS feature parity. Instead, as with the existing VQCM Meeting Services capabilities, DMA delivers plenty of additional value, including:

  • Approved for use in secure government environments and has US Department of Defence Approved Product List Status.
  • Offers Multi-Tenancy hosting for organisations in ring-fenced groups.
  • Working tightly with CMS architecture, VQ scheduler enables users to schedule Recurring Meetings with unique PINs/passcodes. Additionally, they can schedule one-time meetings that are deleted upon meeting completion.
  • Achieves powerful analytics and reporting, thanks to an integrated Elasticsearch database and Kibana visualisations.
  • Manage meetings anytime, anywhere with self-service tooling, including Microsoft Outlook Add-ins and Plug-ins.
  • Provides a complete set of APIs with no additional licensing fees. It enables users to integrate VQ DMA with other applications or automation tooling, including Room Booking and Provisioning Systems.
  • Arrives as a self-contained, virtual appliance. There is no need to install additional databases, and the installation and update processes are straightforward. To ensure complete security, VQCM regularly updates for vulnerabilities.
  • Designed with enterprises in mind, VQ DMA is built on RedHat Enterprise Linux and runs on VMware.

What happens next?

VQ DMA is off to a great start – and the good news is that there is more to come. Early second half of 2023 we will be adding a brand new, visually appealing End-User client – VQ Conference Manager Metro.

VQCM Metro is a cross-platform user interface (UI). It features an integrated WebRTC client and allows users to manage their conferencing experience.

Additionally, we’re adding WebRTC Software Development Kit (SDK). It aims to enhance existing applications or websites with WebRTC video, voice or content sharing with calls hosted on your CMS infrastructure.

Interested in finding out more?

What does Cisco say about migrating from Cisco TMS to VQ DMA? Read this blog.

Our website is full of useful information about our products. Visit the Resources section of our website for further details.

If you’ve any other questions and would like to speak with us, contact us:

VQ’s Monthly News – May

The VQ offices have been a hive of activity recently, with the whole team buzzing in the lead-up to Cisco Live in June. 

In addition to details on our Cisco Live plans, we preview the upcoming Cisco Hybrid Workspaces Collaboration Summit in Hawaii and reflect on a workshop in Poland.

Read on for:

  • Cisco Live US with VQ
  • Upcoming Cisco event in Hawaii
  • We recap our attendance and presentation at a Cisco TAC workshop
  • Details of our Cisco Live preview webinar on the 23rd May
  • Words from one of our recent VQ starters

What’s new at VQ?

Meet with VQ at Cisco Live

Get ready: from 4 – 8 June, the VQ Team will be attending Cisco Live in Las Vegas, NV.

We’re excited to meet up with everyone at this year’s event, and we have much to share with you. We’ll be showing VQ DMA – the Cisco recommended replacement for Cisco TMS and our latest addition to its functionality – Device Maintenance in 3.12. Expect also to see Metro, our really cool end-user client.

In addition to our booth in the Collaboration Village, we will be hosting sessions across multiple meeting rooms this year.

Meeting Room 1 will give you an insight into VQ’s product roadmap as we preview our plans for the next 12 months. 

Meeting Room 2 is dedicated to our nine unique ‘Meet the Expert’ topics, where you can dive deep into our software’s features with our engineers.

You can read about the full range of sessions here.

Alternatively, if you prefer, you can watch a short breakdown of our Cisco Live agenda here.

Book a session with us today.

As an aside, for every sign-up to our Cisco Live US sessions, VQ will plant a tree with Heal

Travel Plans in May

Giles Adams will also attend the Cisco Hybrid Workspaces Collaboration Summit later this month.

Join the Cisco Devices team in Oahu, Hawaii, in person on 23 – 24 May to see how Cisco makes ‘hybrid work’ work through insightful and expert-led Conference sessions.

Steve Holmes will also be in Canada prior to Cisco Live. From 29 May, Steve will be in Toronto and then in Ottawa from 30 May – 2 June.

VQ Presents at Cisco TAC Workshop

VQ’s Vice President of Sales Engineering, Barry Pascolutti, recently presented to our Cisco Partners at a Collaboration TAC workshop in Krakow, Poland. We had the opportunity to discuss our new OBTP functionality and delve into the Cisco TMS migration journey to VQCM DMA.

If you want to learn more about moving to our TMS replacement and our 20% off migration offer with Cisco, read here.

In case you missed it, Cisco recently shared these words on VQCM DMA:

VQ Conference Manager DMA – the Cisco recommended on-premise replacement for Cisco TMS.

Developed through close cooperation with Cisco, VQ DMA provides a migration path to those customers who do not want to or, are unable to migrate to the Webex cloud.

Watch this DMA overview video for more information

Inside VQ

On 23rd May, Steve Holmes and Joel Price will host a webinar to discuss how Joel’s role as ‘Customer Success Manager’ can enable you/ your customers to get more out of your VQ Conference Manager deployment.

The session will also cover our plans for Cisco Live in more detail, with an opportunity for a Q&A.

Register for the upcoming webinar here

It’s fantastic that here at VQ, our team continues to grow. This month, we hear from new VQ Software Engineer Neal Baker:

“During my short time here at VQ, I have found the company, although relatively small, to be very professional in how people perform in their roles. In my work area, there is a strong technical capability covering a wide range of technologies and skills.

VQ has a flexible and modern approach to hybrid working and has been very open and responsive to new ideas and technologies.

I have also found team members helpful and encouraging, which has helped me to settle into my role.”

Sign up to our mailing list to get the latest updates from VQ.

VQ’s Monthly News – April

Spring has arrived and here at VQ, we’ve certainly had a busy month since our last newsletter.

First off……..

Many of you will be familiar with our development of VQ DMA. We’re very excited to have had the following statement agreed and endorsed by Cisco, relating to the development of VQ DMA and its place in enabling customers to migrate away from TMS.

VQ Conference Manager DMA is the Cisco recommended on-premise replacement for Cisco Telepresence Management Suite (TMS).

Developed through close co-operation with Cisco, VQ DMA provides a migration path to those customers who do not want to or, are unable to migrate to the Webex cloud. DMA has been designed from the outset as the replacement for Cisco TMS, and is available to purchase via Cisco partners globally.

As we gear up for Cisco Live in June, the team recently visited Washington DC and went to Enterprise Connect in Orlando, Florida.

We’ve also been adding to our Resources on the VQ website, including a new “how to” guide series. Equip yourself with the knowledge to maximise VQ’s on-premises conferencing. 

And if that weren’t enough Cisco have published a blog explaining the TMS migration journey to VQ DMA, we made a guest Cisco podcast appearance and more.

Read on for:

  • A Cisco blog detailing the migration journey from TMS
  • New guide series exploring key VQCM functionality
  • VQ’s guest appearance on a Cisco podcast
  • Steve Holmes reflects on a recent trip to the US
  • Words from the latest starters at VQ
  • VQ’s Enterprise Connect experience and upcoming US trips
  • Our first ‘News in a Flash’ update

What’s new at VQ?

Read what Cisco has to say about VQCM DMA

As mentioned above, VQ Conference Manager DMA is the Cisco recommended on-premises replacement for Cisco TMS. In a new blog, Cisco explores the development process behind DMA and talks about the migration process from TMS. 

VQ DMA provides a migration path for customers who do not want to or cannot migrate to the Webex cloud. VQ designed DMA as the replacement for Cisco TMS from the outset and it is available to purchase globally via Cisco partners.

Read the full blog from Cisco

New guides for VQCM

The VQ Team has worked hard to create an extensive resource centre packed with helpful guides and product information.

As part of this initiative, VQ published a new series exploring VQCM’s key functionality. Get reading:

Device Management and Automation 

Directory Services

Device Configuration

CMS Snapshot, Recurring Meetings on Temporary Spaces & One Time Pin/Passcodes

Want more? Our blog library is jam packed with insights and news for VQ Conference Manager.

And finally, click here to watch our first ‘News in a Flash’ update

    Cisco Corner

    VQ Joins the Webex Partner Podcast

    This month, Steve and Giles joined the latest Webex Partner Podcast edition. 

    Listen as they discuss VQCM’s limitless potential with CMS, the migration journey from TMS to DMA and what’s next for VQ.




    Apple Podcast

    Inside VQ

    A word from the VQ team…

    Last month, Steve and Giles travelled across the US to Washington DC and Enterprise Connect in Florida. Steve shares his thoughts on the trip:

    March’s US road trip was fantastic and packed with productive discussions around VQ Conference Manager.

    Enterprise Connect was action-packed, meeting with some new and some long-term customers. Spending time with partners and our friends at Cisco is always enjoyable.

    The VQ team can’t wait to return to Las Vegas in June at the upcoming Cisco Live. Cisco Live is right around the corner. Soon, we’ll be announcing information about our meeting rooms and where we’ll be. Keep your eyes peeled.”

    Two of our new starters in the engineering team, George and Emma, also share their early experience at VQ: 

    I was quite nervous starting my first software engineering role, but was extremely happy at how welcoming everyone was.

    People have been nothing but patient and friendly, making my first few months at VQ relaxed and enjoyable.

    I have learnt a lot here already; I’ve mainly focused on ansible and Kubernetes.

    I’ve found the work to be interesting and engaging, I’m very glad I joined VQ,” said George.

    I joined VQ Communications UI team back in November 2022 and in only a few months have been welcomed with open arms into the team and company.

    It goes without saying that everyone in the company is extremely talented and I have spent a lot of my time learning from them and have noticed the improvement in my confidence and ability since joining.

    The project I am working on is exciting and innovative. I am looking forward to the moment that customers get to experience features I have worked on implementing,” said Emma.

    Sign up to our mailing list to get the latest updates from VQ

    VQ Licensing Guide

    VQ Conference Manager for Cisco Meeting Server

    Over the last three years, VQ’s licensing model has evolved to better meet the needs of its customers and partners. Whether you’re looking for an all-in-one solution or an a la carte deployment, this blog takes you through the changes we’ve made to streamline the process – making it easier to find what you need.

    How does VQ licensing work?

    VQ’s licensing caters to standard configurations, as well as those that need FIPS/JITC compliance. There are three configurations to choose from to ensure you’re getting everything you need from your VQ Conference Manager:

    1. Enterprise Agreement
    2. Enterprise Agreement PLUS
    3. A La Carte

    We keep our licensing as simple as possible – and have based all three configuration types on three primary parameters:

    • Cisco CMS licensing model
    • Number of users
    • Number of devices

    What are the differences between the three licensing configurations?

    You begin your configuration by choosing the type of deployment you require, Standard or FIPS/JITC compliant. From there, you have the three configuration types mentioned above.

    A La Carte Licensing

    We’ll start with the configuration method with the most options, A La Carte. In this licensing method, you choose the number of deployments you require, whether you require High Availability (HA)*, and the number of shared (SMP) and personal (PMP) licences.

    With the A La Carte configuration method, you can select the correct licensing type and quality to match the CMS configuration. You can also choose whether end users have access to the self-service apps. This build-your-own configuration method offers the flexibility you need with the technology you require.

    Enterprise Agreement

    VQ bases its Enterprise Agreement configuration method on Cisco’s CMS licensing model. So, if you previously used the CMS Enterprise Agreement, this option mirrors one you’re familiar with – with a few VQ differences.

    To align with Cisco’s models, VQ has adapted its terminology and definitions. You can see this in A La Carte with SMP and PMP and the Enterprise Agreement with ‘Knowledge Workers’.

    Knowledge Workers are any user (employee or contractor) who will utilise the software and/or devices as part of their job duties performed on behalf of your company or organisation.

    A difference between an A La Carte and an Enterprise Agreement is the purchasing basis. For A La Carte, you’re buying per-user, while an Enterprise Agreement is company-wide.

    Additionally, the A La Carte and Enterprise Agreement allow you to add Device Management licenses separately for One-Button-To-Push (OBTP), Directory Services and Configuration and Management. Alternatively, you can opt for ‘Suite’, which provides all three.

    Note: The number of Device Management licenses required is based on the number of devices – not the number of users.

    Enterprise Agreement PLUS

    New to VQ licensing for 2023 is Enterprise Agreement PLUS. EA Plus makes licensing effortless.

    There are fewer options to choose from in this configuration. Simply enter the required number of Knowledge Workers, how many deployments and whether you need HA*. Under this type of configuration, several features come as standard, including:

    • VQ App pack for all Knowledge Workers
    • VQ Lab
    • DMA Suite Licenses (based on one device licence for every 25 Knowledge Workers)
    • Initial VQ Conference Manager Node

    Should the included DMA Suite Licenses not be enough, you can add as many as you need.

    Understanding VQ Conference Manager Licensing Basics

    Before choosing the type of configuration you need, it’s essential to answer a few questions:

    • How many deployments do you require?
    • Will you need High Availability (HA)?
    • Do you require a Lab System?
    • Do you want access to the self-service applications?
    • Do you want to purchase on a per-user or implement a company-wide deployment?


    Deployments represent the number of VQ instances covered under a license. Multiple deployments are primarily seen in the Enterprise Agreement, where customers run several platforms for geographic reasons, business units or separate networks.

    Enterprise-wide licensing is a cost-effective solution. The first license is included as part of your Enterprise or Enterprise PLUS agreement, while all subsequent licenses are chargeable.

    In addition to the standard node or deployment, VQ will soon offer High Availability servers. These are three-node servers versus the standard single-node.

    Lab Licensing

    For customers who wish to run a system in a lab environment, VQ provides Lab Licensing. Running a lab alongside a production environment is something VQ recommends. It enables businesses to implement upgrades in a controlled environment, test updates and allows for the replication of issues for troubleshooting. You can add this for a small additional cost.

    VQ App Pack

    The VQ App Pack is ideal if you want to use mobile apps, Outlook add-in or Jabber add-in.

    When you purchase VQ Conference Manager through an Enterprise Agreement, you buy apps for all Knowledge Workers. Alternatively, if you’re purchasing your solution A La Carte, you’ll need to specify how many of your users will need apps as part of your deployment.

    Advanced Analytics

    VQ’s advanced analytics is licensed on a per-deployment basis. When customers have multiple VQCM deployments under their core license, each deployment will need its own analytics license.

    For more information about VQ’s Advanced Analytics, get in touch with our team so we can help.

    VQ Conference Manager Licensing – Next Steps

    We hope this article has helped explain the available VQCM licensing options. Determining the most suitable CMS licensing model for your organisation should be discussed with your Cisco partner or account manager.

    Feel free to send your questions to info@vqcomms.com or join the AskVQ Webex space here…

    VQ Conference Manager 3.11 New Features

    VQ Communications is delighted to announce the latest update to VQ Conference Manager 3.11. In this blog, we’ll discuss the new features and enhancements you’ll find in the latest release. Interested in what’s new in Meeting Services in VQCM 3.11? Read on…

    VQCM 3.11 New Features…

    1. CMS Snapshot functionality

    For those of us that have been around conferencing and collaboration for some time, the video preview images that used to be available on the previous generation “Codians” have been sorely missed. Therefore, it is great to be re-introducing video Snapshots to the Activity page.

    Snapshots are enabled on Cisco Meeting Server (CMS) via a CMS license key. It can be purchased from Cisco. Once you have the CMS license key installed and are logged in as an Administrator, enable “Snapshots” on the People CoApp, at the UX Profile.

    Please note: Snapshots are “expensive” in the terms of CMS resource consumption and should only be used sparingly.

    We have produced an extensive test report and will make it available as a whitepaper shortly after releasing 3.11. The report shows how this functionality performs under different CMS call loading levels.

    So, please work on limiting Snapshot usage to 25 participants across all Operators with Snapshot visibility enabled. VQ’s implementation of this option caches the Snapshot data to minimise the loading on CMS.

    The Snapshot is requested via the three ellipses button on the right-hand side of a participant row:

    2. Support Recurring Meetings on Temporary Spaces

    We’re delighted to share that Recurring Meetings can now be scheduled on Temporary Spaces. The underlying Temporary Space is locked in all periods where no meeting is scheduled and when the recurring meeting sequence completes, it will be deleted.

    3. Support One-Time Pins/Passcode on Recurring Meetings

    Recurring Meetings on Temporary or named Spaces can be scheduled with each meeting instance having its own PIN/Passcode. Administrators can enable this feature by checking “One Time Passcode” on the Space Template for the type of Space used to host the Meeting.

    Please note: One-time pins will be generated using the following rules:

    1. OneTimePins will only be changed for those Space roles who have auto pins enabled. This allows the hosts to keep the same pins for “hosts” if desired.
    2. OneTimePins will be generated such that they match the pin complexity rules for the Space.
    3. Space roles where there is no pin value set will be left unset.

    For recurring meetings with Pin per meeting instance, the “auto generate passcode” option on the Space Template role also needs to be set.

    In VQ Conference Manager 3.11, only generated PIN/passcodes are supported. We plan to enable user definable PIN/Passcodes in a future release.

    Please note: Delivering this feature requires complex logic in the core of VQCM. The feature is new, and we strongly recommend it is adopted cautiously and not used in business-critical meetings until you are comfortable it is working as intended. For the 3.11 release, we consider this feature to be “experimental”.

    In addition to these great new features in Meeting Services, we’ve also added Device Configuration to VQ DMA.

    Blog – What is Device Configuration?

    Demo video

    Interested in finding out more?

    This is one of a series of blogs. The others cover:

    Directory Services

    Setting up DMA & importing data from TMS

    Understanding DMA

    And what does Cisco say about migrating from Cisco TMS to VQ DMA? Read this blog.

    Our website is full of useful information about our products. Visit the Resources section of our website for further details.

    If you’ve any other questions and would like to speak with us, contact us:

    Setting up DMA and importing data from TMS

    VQ Conference Manager Device Management and Automation (DMA) is our latest functionality. If it is new to you, this blog will provide useful information about setting up DMA, including importing data from Cisco’s TelePresence Management Suite.

    Before you start with DMA, here are a few essential things you should know…

    Profile and ACL use in DMA

    It is important to note that within the initial DMA releases, the DMA functionality access control features are  not yet enabled. However, DMA is an integrated ‘module’ of the VQ Conference Manger (VQCM). It requires a ‘non-personal’ user profile to access DMA using the ‘/dma’ URL.

    DMA and the Tenant model 

    DMA has been designed to support the VQCM Tenant model. For each defined Tenant on a platform, there is a separate DMA ‘container’. The devices of one Tenant cannot be seen or managed by the users (of any level) of another.

    Users who require access to the devices of multiple Tenants can be permissioned to do so. They must switch between Tenants using the link at the top of the DMA page to ‘Change Tenant’ and access the associated devices.

    Additional DMA Tenant information

    The main side-bar menu item allows a user to switch between the Tenants they have been permissioned for. This feature is designed to support environments where some users of DMA are responsible for the devices of more than one Tenant.

    The current Tenant is displayed in the top left of the DMA page and can be used to switch between permissioned Tenants.

    System Service Account

    This is important.

    DMA requires access to read from and write to Cisco devices (systems) at times during its operation. An account with ‘Admin’ level rights is required to do this. To align with security ‘good practice’, we recommend creating a dedicated ‘Service Account’ to do this.

    If you already have such an account in use in TMS (this is often the default ‘admin’ account with a changed password), we recommend using this same account to avoid making changes to your devices prior to migration.

    The Service Account is also specific to the Tenant, meaning that the security model is maintained at all levels.

    Creating a Service Account

    Before you log in to DMA, make sure your user has access to the Tenant. Then, log in to DMA and click on the “Tenants” menu item at the bottom of the main menu bar

    You will be presented with a page listing the Tenants on the VQCM server that you are permissioned to access. Select the Tenant that you want to set up the Service Account for.

    The resulting page has only two fields, Username (for the Service Account) and Password. Enter the Service Account name that you want VQ to use to communicate with endpoints and the password it will have.

    Please ensure that you use a suitably ‘strong’ password that conforms to any organisation security policies. If you rotate passwords on a defined schedule, then this is where it should be updated.

    Remember, endpoints must also be updated with the new password.

    Importing data from TMS

    Export and import tooling and CSV importer

    One of the greatest challenges faced when moving to a new management system of any kind is the migration of the data in systems being replaced.

    VQ has addressed this with DMA. It provides tooling where it is possible to:

    • Extract data from an existing TMS system
    • Transform data
    • Load it into the DMA database

    Please note: We recommend taking a copy/mirror of the TMS SQL database for migration use to avoid the risk of any performance impact.

    In the initial ‘1.x’ releases of DMA, we will provide tools that can be run outside of the DMA platform. These tools can be used to extract and load devices under management, Phone Books and configuration templates from existing TMS systems.

    Interested in finding out more?

    This blog discussing setting up DMA is one of a series of blogs. The others in the series cover:

    DMA Overview

    Directory Services

    Device Configuration

    For more information visit the Resources section of our website.

    If you have any other questions and would like to speak with a VQ team member, please feel free to contact us:

    Email: info@vqcomms.com

    Join our ‘Ask VQ’ Webex Space

    What is DMA Directory Services?

    VQCM’s DMA Directory Services enable businesses to easily manage large Cisco-collaboration device estates. It helps streamline processes when using hierarchical address book functionality.

    So, what is DMA Directory Services? Let’s discuss the basics.

    DMA Directory Services – the basics

    Data Sources

    Data sources are basis of any Address Book that is to be created in and made available by DMA Directory Services to the video endpoint devices in your environment.

    The first and most important data source for DMA is its own list of devices under management, your organizations devices. This source is predefined in DMA and named ‘Internal DMA’ by default.

    In this first release of DMA, the application supports the creation of Address Books from the Internal DMA devices list, sub-sets (using filters) of the Internal DMA list or imported data from pre-formatted CSV files.

    Address Books (Phone Books)

    DMA Address Books are designed to replicate Cisco’s TMS ‘Corporate Directory’ Phone Book. They are created primarily from the DMA managed device list and are made searchable to assigned video endpoints via the same SOAP XML API method used by TMS.

    DMA Address Books can be accessed by endpoints that have been set to ‘TMS mode’ in Phone Books and have the URL set to point at the VQ Conference Manager server’s DMA Directory Service.

    The Address Books are secure and can only be accessed by ‘Assigned’ (permissioned) groups of devices in the same way they are in TMS through the ‘Set on Systems’ command. In addition to replicating the method of querying/searching the Address Books, DMA Directory Services supports the presentation of the results based upon the hierarchy defined using the Locations feature


    Locations in DMA can be equated to the hierarchy that was previously created in TMS using the Navigator function. The primary use case for Locations is essentially as a categorization and filing system for your devices.

    In the main orgaizations  use location, hierarchies describe the physical and geographic locations of devices, e.g., regions, countries, states and cities. They might also use an organisational design that allows for clear identification of who owns a device or what it is used for, possibly in an environment where devices are not stationary.

    To begin building out or adding to your hierarchy, select the Locations feature from the side bar menu

    Click on the ‘Add New’ button at the top of the page to create a new top level ‘node’.

    If you want to add a new ‘child’ node to an existing branch, click on the ‘Action’ dots at end of the chosen ‘parent’ node. You will be presented with a drop-down list of available actions.

    Click ‘Add Node’ and you will be given a box to name the new node.
    Name the new node and click ‘Done’ to save it into the hierarchy.
    The same process can be used to edit an existing node, or to delete a node that is no longer in use.
    Please note: To delete a node, it must first be empty of other nodes and devices.


    In DMA, we have introduced a new concept not seen in TMS but often seen in more modern workflow applications – Labels.

    Labels are additional free text ‘tags’ that can be added to devices enabling additional groupings and identification when filtering devices for actions. In our examples, we show one of the most common use cases we have seen, tagging ‘VIP’ devices – though we’re sure there are plenty of others.

    Having discussed the basics concepts, let’s now look at how to create and work with Address Books, step by step.

    How to create and work with DMA Directory Services Address Books

    Creating an Address Book

    To create an Address Book, you must first have a Data Source to connect it to. The data source will have been added in DMA v1.0 either by importing the devices from TMS or importing from a CSV file using the CSV Import Tool available from VQ.

    Step 1

    Select the Address Book feature from the side bar menu.

    Create a new Address Book by clicking the ‘Add New’ button at the top of the page.
    Select the Data Source that will be used to create this Address Book.
    Save the Address Book.

    The new address book will now be included in the Address Book list.

    Step 2

    While still in the Address Book, select the ‘Assign to Devices’ tab.

    Click the ‘Add Filter’ button to begin creating a list of target devices.

    Using the filter creation box, build your device list to be assigned the Address Book.

    Once you’re happy with the list, check the boxes of the systems the Address Book will be assigned to and  (the top box selects all devices shown on the current page) click the ‘Assign’ button to make the Address Book available to the selected endpoint devices.

    Assigning Address Books to endpoints

    To provide access to an Address Book from a video endpoint device or group of devices, use the ‘Assign’ action.

    Select Address Books from the side bar menu.

    Locate the Address Book to be assigned to and click on the ‘Action’ button.

    Select ‘Assign to Devices’ from the drop-down menu to enter the Address Book assignment tab.

    Once in the Assign to Devices page click the ‘ADD FILTER’ button.

    Using the filter creation box build your list of devices to be assigned the Address Book.

    Once you’re happy with the list, check the boxes of the systems the Address Book will be assigned to, and(the top box selects all devices shown on the current page) click the ‘Assign’ button to make the Address Book available to the selected endpoint devices.

    Working with data sources

    If you want to use a sub-set of the DMA Internal Device list to create an Address Book to be used by specific devices, then you will need to create a new Data Source. The new data source can be filtered to contain only the devices you wish to appear as contacts in it.

    Select the Data Sources option on the side menu bar.

    Select the ‘Add New’ button at the top of the page.

    Give the new Data Source a name that describes the devices that you are going to filter into this new source, e.g., ‘UK Systems’

    Create a filter that selects only the devices that you want in the final Address Book, e.g., ‘Location – Equals – UK’

    Confirm that the endpoints you are expecting to see are now selected and Save the data source.

    Note: In this first release of DMA, there is only one Data Source available, the Internal DMA device database. This can be created from imported TMS device data or using a specially formatted CSV file.

    Future releases will include Data Sources that have been created by connecting to external sources of data such as CUCM, Active Directory or LDAP.

    Interested in finding out more?

    This piece on DMA Directory Services is one of a series of blogs. The others in the series cover:

    DMA Overview

    Device Configuration

    Setting up DMA

    There is also much more information available in the  Resources section of our website.

    If you’ve any other questions and would like to speak with us, please feel free to contact us:

    Email: info@vqcomms.com
    Join our ‘Ask VQ’ Webex Space

    Understanding VQ Comms’ Device Management and Automation

    For decades, organizations have relied on Cisco TelePresence Management Server (TMS). It has been used on-premise as a part of Cisco Meeting Server and Cisco video conferencing device ecosystems.

    Having developed our Meeting Services functionality, for CMS and a strong user base, VQ began to be asked by numerous customers whether we could expand into device management and started looking at the option seriously.

    Roll forward and in conjunction with Cisco, VQ has developed VQ Conference Manager DMA (Device, Management and Automation). DMA is designed as the on-premise replacement for TMS.

    While DMA’s initial focus is to provide a suitable replacement for TMS for customers, DMA is not designed as a TMS clone. Instead, as with the existing Meeting Services capability of VQCM, DMA brings plenty of ‘VQ feature goodness’, including;

    • Directory Services – Includes a ‘folder per address book’ view on Touch and Navigator panels
    • Device Configuration – A redefined the approach to building, scaling, and managing the complexity of configuration templates for large environments
    • Device Maintenance – Advanced endpoint security and certificate management, automation of tasks and workflow and branding/software file storage & management.

    Interested? The most recent in our DMA blog series, we discuss VQ DMA, including how to use it and available features. Read on for more information.

    Page Features and Layout

    Let’s look at the DMA UI.

    Depending on role restrictions, the UI may look differently.

    When viewing the UI, administrators have full access to DMA. Users with restricted permissions with not have access to all menus and options. The examples used in this blog are from an administrator view.

    Side Bar Main Menu

    DMA functionality is grouped by main categories in the side bar menu

    • Devices
    • Directory Services
    • Device Configuration
    • Applications
    • Tenants
    • Users
    • Exit


    The Exit button is always shown at the bottom of the side bar and will log you out of DMA and return you to the VQ Conference Manager login page.

    Navigating through categories works in the same way. The following are the key concepts:

    Drop Down

    Clicking on fields with a small triangle ‘twisty’ at the end will display a drop-down menu, as will clicking on the three dots shown in any ‘Action’ column.


    You can re-sort most lists in DMA by clicking the title of the relevant column. A small arrow next to the column title will indicate whether the sorting is ascending or descending.
    Some lists may have hundreds or even thousands of entries. Rather than show them all in a single list, most lists in DMA are split into pages with < and > arrows at the bottom.


    Clicking on the Filter icon above most Device lists will display a filter creation box. This box allows you to filter devices to/from your selection.
    Devices can currently be filtered by Name, Location and Label.


    Many pages in DMA have multiple views available. These views are shown as tabs across the top.
    In the example screenshot, there are multiple pages available. Pages include:
    ·      View
    ·      Assign
    ·      Remove
    ·      Activity
    The active tab is underlined highlighted in blue text.

    Add to List

    Where it is possible (or required) to create or add to a list, the, Add to List ‘+’ icon will be displayed at the top of the list.

    Edit a List Action

    When there are actions available for a list, the three dots icon will be displayed. Clicking this icon will display a drop down action list.
    You’ll also notice DMA looks different from the existing VQ Conference Manager Meeting Scheduling and Management pages.
    While it may appear differently, is the underlying architecture the same?
    The architecture of the VQCM platform is essentially unchanged. A new URL (https://servername.domain/dma/) has been added to the CM-Admin list to enable users to directly access DMA.

    Logging into VQ DMA

    Also note….
    There are no additional servers to install or major configuration differences. There are, however, slight differences including, specifying user profiles and Access Control ACLs for access to the DMA functionality.
    And finally…………
    The End Point Agent (EPA) introduced in version 3.9.0 to deliver One-Button-to-Push (OBTP) messages to Cisco video endpoints (Devices) has been expanded. It now ‘talks’ in more detail to devices using the Cisco Collaboration Endpoint Software API.

    How do I migrate to VQ Conference Manager DMA from TMS?

    Migrating to DMA is relatively straightforward. It begins with moving all TMS ‘Bookings’ to Conference Manager. Once complete, move to switching endpoints to use VQ’s Directory Services for Phone Books.

    Using this guide and our DMA Device Configuration Blog , you’ll migrate your ‘Persistent’ templates and bulk changes to Device Configuration. Then finally, you’ll onboard your devices.

    If you want to discuss migrating to VQCM’s DMA, please contact us using one of the methods at the end of this blog.

    Interested in finding out more?

    This is one of a series of blogs. The others in the series cover:

    Our website is full of useful information about our products. Visit the Resources section of our website for further details.

    If you’ve any other questions and would like to speak with us, contact us.

    If you’ve any other questions and would like to speak with us, contact us.

    Email: info@vqcomms.com

    Join our ‘Ask VQ’ Webex Space

    What is VQCM Device Configuration

    So, what is Device Configuration? Let’s begin with the basics.

    Device Configuration is where detailed configuration management of Cisco collaboration devices can be performed using pre-defined Templates and Cisco xAPI commands.

    It is also where Device Management and Automation (DMA) can be provided with reference information (Locations and Labels). These will be used to configure device details in the DMA database.

    Please note: In the initial releases of DMA the Locations of devices are extracted from the TMS database and are not directly editable in DMA. In a similar way Labels are also not currently editable in DMA and of course, will not have been extracted from TMS as it doesn’t support them.

    There are however ways of bringing devices into DMA with Locations and Labels assigned using our CSV import features. This might be worth experimenting with in your lab environment.

    Device Configuration Basics

    Important: Device Templates is a new menu item in VQCM 3.11 (DMA 1.1). We recommend that you read the, ‘DMA Device Templates and Templates Modules chapter in our 3.11  Release Notes, before using the features outlined below.

    Device Templates in DMA are the equivalent of the ‘Configuration Templates’ function found in the ‘Systems’ section of TMS. The primary use case for Device Templates is ensuring standard configurations are applied to all endpoints in the environment. This process assures critical security, performance and capability settings are maintained.

    Before creating templates, you will need to create one or more Template Modules. These contain the commands or configuration settings that will be sent to the collaboration device.

    Template Modules

    Template Modules are a new concept unique to DMA. We have introduced them with the aim to reduce the amount of work required to create, manage and change configurations in large environments.

    To begin creating modules in DMA, select the Template Modules menu item on the side bar menu.

    Step 1

    Create a new module by clicking the ‘Add New’ button at the top of the page

    In the Settings tab, give the module a name and description

    Step 2

    Select the Commands tab to begin adding the required xAPI configurations and commands to the module.

    Add commands to the module one at a time. This process can be done either by typing directly into the field or by copying and pasting from the xAPI Reference Guide.

    Click ADD to write the command to the module.

    To add a multiline command, tick the Multiline Command check box to activate the multiline command entry box.

    Type or paste the command text into the entry box. You must ensure that the last line is a period (full stop).

    Step 3

    Once all the required commands have been added to the module, you can return to the Settings tab to ‘Enable’ the module ready for use in a template.

    You must click save to save the commands and settings to the module.

    Alternatively, you can click save to store the module and return directly to the Template Modules page. Note that if you do this, the module will be created but be in a disabled state until the ‘Enable’ switch is set.


    Note: DMA provides a direct link to the online Cisco xAPI resource website

    If you are unable to access this internet resource, PDF versions of the guide can be downloaded from here.

    Device Templates

    DMA’s Device Templates consist of:

    • Template modules – containing the required commands or configurations settings
    • A list of devices that the template must be applied to
    • Details of when this should be done -if ‘persistent’ i.e., to be re-applied regularly to the devices

    Step 1

    Create a new template by clicking the ‘Add New’ button at the top of the page.

    The template must be given a name and at least one template module must be selected for the template to save.

    Select the module[s] to be included in the template using the drop-down menu.

    The selected modules will be displayed in the field showing their status.

    A ‘green tick’ symbol indicates that the module is enabled, and its settings will be included in the template at run/send time.

    A ‘red cross’ symbol indicates that the module is currently disabled and will not be included at run/send time.

    Note: The template can be sent to devices in this state, but disabled modules will be ignored until enabled in the Template Modules area.

    Step 2 (optional)

    If the template is to be re-sent on a regular schedule to devices i.e., it is ‘Persistent’, then the Persistent check box must be ticked.

    Note: Devices can only be assigned one persistent template in DMA to avoid potential conflicting settings be sent at different times to a template. However, it is still possible to send ‘one time’ settings to a device using a non-persistent template.

    The page will automatically display the Apply Time selector to begin setting time, recurrence interval, and day of week.

    Once these settings are chosen, the template can be saved.

    Note: Persistent templates can be identified by the persistent  ‘chip’ displayed on pages or in lists against the template name

    Step 3

    Once saved, you will be sent back to the Device Templates page. You are now ready to begin selecting the devices that the template will be sent to.

    Locate the template that has just been created and click on the Action ‘dots’ to display the Action menu.

    Select the ‘Add to Group’ tab. Selecting this tab will bring up the template action page to add target devices.

    Note: The template action page will alert the user to any disabled modules that will be ignored at run/send time and provide a link to identify them.

    To begin adding devices to the group, a filter is required to identify the required endpoints from the DMA database of devices. Click the ‘Filters’ icon and the filter builder dialogue will be displayed.
    Build your filter using the options presented.

    The in-scope devices will be displayed on the main page. Click outside of the filter builder to see them.

    Select the devices to be included in the group by either clicking the ‘All Displayed Items’ check box, or individually select the devices, if not all are required.

    Once your selection is made, click the ADD button to add the device to the template group.

    Then, confirm the action.

    DMA will confirm that the group has been successfully created.

    The devices will now be displayed in the VIEW GROUP tab.

    Note: To remove devices, click the REMOVE FROM GROUP tab and repeat the above process of filtering and selecting devices.

    Step 4

    After you’ve created a template and added devices to the group, you may want to send it to those devices rather than waiting for the scheduled time (if ‘Persistent’). Alternatively, if the template is not persistent, it will need to be sent manually to devices using this process.

    Select the SEND NOW tab.

    Select the devices from the group that you want to send the template to.

    Then, click the SEND button to execute and confirm the send action.

    You will be automatically taken to the ACTIVITY tab where the status of the send action will be displayed. On send completion, a summary of the send action results will be displayed.

    In this example, one device was sent the template successfully and one failed after three attempts. The failure message will identify the device that failed and provide an explanation or possible reason for the failure.

    The template send routine of DMA doesn’t currently check if an endpoint is currently in a call when sending, this will be added in a future update.

    Interested in finding out more?

    This blog is the first in our DMA series. The others in the series will cover:

    For additional information, please visit the  Resources section of our website.

    If you’ve any other questions and would like to speak with us, please feel free to contact us.

    Email: info@vqcomms.com

    Join our ‘Ask VQ’ Webex Space

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