One of the most overlooked pillars of Unified Communications is the concept of IP Phone Web Services. This lets the user run http web services that have been pre-allocated either by the manufacturer or created by in-house programmers.
Now in order to execute web services on a IP Desk Phone, the screen will have to be at least large enough to see the information being presented. Some of the applications built in the past would look up stock trading symbols to get the latest stock price, look-up transit schedules and local weather, or include conference schedules on IP Phones on the wall just entering the conference room or in the conference room itself.
Cisco predominately builds IP Phone services based upon all of their Unified Communications products that integrate into their Unified Communications Manager (CUCM). An example of those web services available with just the CUCM directly would be “extension mobility” which allows users to hot desk a phone by logging in and making that their phone for the day, or “Directory Services” so they can easily look up others in the office to quickly dial them from that service.
Since Cisco allows you to extend and configure you own web services here are a few examples of what people are doing today.
The administrator of this CUCM added a service which allows individuals to link in their Google email to their phone to check for personal messages. (The code for the Google addin can be found here.)
This next exhibit is where an IP Phone service is used to build a Portfolio of stocks and also generates a total value.
Since Cisco’s IP Phone services are driven by XML, it makes in house development a snap. To start learning how to build you own IP Phone Services, start with Cisco’s IP Phone Application Development Notes.
The development notes also have the location in which to download Cisco’s IP Phone Service SDK kit which includes many sample services which can be easily added to a Unified Cisco Communications Manager. These sample services also provide a basis on how to learn to program you own unique web services that would benefit your company.
Author: Joe Parlas