The Quick and Dirty Reference to Cisco Call Manager Express

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In seriousness, if you’re all wired at home, or you are interested in wiring up your home for multi line telephony or have the ability to answer calls from a number of phones or internally call people from within… I think given the consolidation and the access to them, the recommended path is to Cisco. As much as I can’t stand a lot of their technology, you do not need to need  to have everything running on Cisco to do Cisco telephony. Being frank. I have switches using Netgear, and I have some third party endpoints.

Click below for more, and jump to six different parts

The advantage with Cisco is

  •  The “Gold-standard” in VOIP
  • Much easier to acquire, at a reasonable secondhand price (other devices that may be even better like MutiVOIP gateways, are really expensive)
  • Gets your feet wet into other platforms such as wireless, firewalls (ASA), etc.
  • Voice quality sounds better than any standard POTS phones, using the same POTS wiring from your phone company
  • They are more open to the standards-based, meaning you don’t have to be a Cisco showoff at the tables, desks. You could use SIP phones from other vendors now than historically.

I am writing this because a lot of the content out there is shit. Whether it’s written by guys who haven’t had proofread his own copy, or someone with U.S. English as a Second Language; or people who are so elitists with their Cisco certs, they’re like “it is (what it is!)” I still strongly believe a system shouldn’t be designed on certification. Microsoft doesn’t do this, Juniper doesn’t do this. The certifications are overpriced, underperforming and it’s just a way to please a corner office type; that in the real world… will s/he even notice the diff?

What You Really Should Know:

You should some working knowledge on telephony.

You will need to have some basic understanding of the Cisco IOS command prompts, and some basic understanding on routing.

Part one focuses on the basics to get the ball running

Part Two focuses on how to setup Call Manager Express, manually, as the setup command got deprecated in recent years

Part Three focuses on phones, phone numbers and matching those numbers by calling it The Numbers Game

Part Four reminds you the “TFTP Address” is also the Cisco CallManager Address; and where your TFTP files should be located

Part Five is explicitly on SIP and how to properly configure it systemwide and how to add in the SIP sets.

A Part Six will be added in the future for paging and call parking support for inter-phone call handling