Visiting customer site in Geneva

A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to visit a brand-new customer we’d recently won in Geneva. The request from them was some on-site assistance and consultancy with installation and configuration of VQ Conference Manager. These kinds of professional services are not something we do a lot of; we simply can’t scale to provide them to all our customers and we already have a growing network of highly skilled and trained partners quite capable of performing these functions.

However, our transacting partner in this case wasn’t quite fully up to speed and I hadn’t been to Geneva for a while, so I decided to volunteer for the trip: Switzerland is a lovely place to visit this time of year.

We’re seeing a large number of customers who are migrating video conferencing services from legacy Cisco MCU (formerly Tandberg/Codian) infrastructure to their new Cisco Meeting Server estate. A request I often get in pre-sales product demonstrations for VQCM is, “Can you make my CMS work like my Codian used to?” And this customer in Geneva also fell into this category.

The old MCUs are hosting a set of permanent conferences, one for each of their meeting rooms. The idea being, once you have reserved a particular room, by definition you have also reserved that conference. Creating permanent conferences (or ‘Spaces’ in CMS parlance) is of course bread-and-butter for VQCM and CMS, so this part of it was completed in very short order.

But in this case, not only could we replicate the existing service, we could actually enhance it. VQCM’s ability to easily create multi-role Spaces via its Space templates meant we could create a different dial-in and in-conference experience for the hosts and guests. The hosts can dial a short dial code and enter the Space without being challenged for a PIN. The use of a couple of dial rules means that guests have to dial the full code and are required to enter the PIN before entry. We were thereby able to meet a requirement for quick easy access to the Spaces for internal users but added security for external participants.

It’s always interesting to see VQCM working its magic in live, customer environments. Especially when I see with my own eyes the benefits it brings now and the enhancements it makes possible in the future.