Cisco’s delivery of MUSIC ON HOLD or MESSAGE ON HOLD is highly contingent upon the Cisco solution installed, including Call Manager / UCM software release, router model numbers, and other factors to include MULTICAST / UNICAST enabling.
Historically speaking, Cisco’s older versions of Call Manager / Unified Communications Manager provided significant flexibility with respect to the various methods available to house customized On Hold Messaging, Information on Hold or On Hold Marketing content (MOH). However, the older methods of connecting to E&M trunk ports on Voice Enable Routers or dedicated MOH Audio ports have proven to be unreliable over time and often require occasional ‘trouble’ management. Newer versions of Cisco CM support streaming solutions using RTP via a Multicast IP address that are inherently more reliable with far superior audio quality (when compared to the compressed audio file method of loading directly to the CM).
While it is always possible to load audio files directly to Cisco CM, it does require a Cisco vendor/Var or client IT manager/ tech to load and update audio files. In fact, using this method, Cisco actually provides a great deal of flexibility in terms of allowing multiple / simultaneous file loads to allow for varied messaging in different departments for example. But for end users that enjoy the value associated with ON-HOLD MESSAGING (as opposed to MUSIC ONLY), loading audio files directly to Cisco servers can be a barrier in terms of allotting time and technical resources to manage updating. As an option, there are streaming solutions that can put the content management in the hands of the client’s ON-HOLD MESSAGING provider via an onsite hardware appliance that is directly managed by the ON-HOLD MESSAGING provider.
The appropriate choice of method (load audio file to server vs. streaming) is highly contingent on the client’s network design, and the intended use of the customized content (messaging for example).
If you care to discuss the options further, please call us at 804-273-6900!
Rich is the President of On Hold Marketing, a marketing-focused audio studio helping businesses and practices take advantage of their telephone system’s On Hold capabilities. Prior to On Hold Marketing, Rich spent 20 years in telecommunications working for such giants as Williams Communications, NextiraOne, Bell Atlantic and Nortel Networks.