Making an Online Meeting Button for Cisco Video Endpoints

If you have seen the latest update for Webex Room Kit you would have noticed the "Join Webex" button on the Touch 10 screen. It's a nice add and brings together Cisco endpoints and meetings even further. But if you are like the companies I work with this button has its limitations. Firstly, it only allows you to join scheduled meetings with a meeting ID, so PMR's won't work. Secondly its only for joining a Webex. For some companies I am sure this won't present a problem and those restrictions won't matter but for most it lessens the value of this button. I would go as far as to say most companies should probably hide this button as it only makes yet another method to join a meeting thats limited to just one use case. What we really need is something more universal.

So how do we make a join button that makes it easier for users? We cannot account for every variation and conferencing service out there but we can look at what users might join and try to predict the most likely use cases. We can also look at what happens when they get it wrong and how we can help users move forward dialing the right URI or number.

Lets say, your company has Webex, likes using PMR but also uses scheduled meetings. We know that most users only join their own company meetings but occasionally they will want to join another companies meetings possibly on another service like Zoom. We can therefore say with certainty the main use case we want to ensure works is joining your own company meetings. Secondly we want a way to ensure it worked, the user was happy and if it didn't let's give them some help.

The flow is something along the lines of (please excuse my lack of drawing talent, this is as good as it gets):

In the Touch 10 below I hide the Call button. This make just one path to dialing a online meeting. The green "Online Meeting" button. This does however remove access to address book lookups. Not sure about you but last time I tried a address book lookup on a video endpoint it was not easy. 99% of your users would struggle with it so lets get rid of the confusion. If you want a simple call button, I would suggest make your own and call it Audio Call with only a numeric keypad. Forget favorites and recents to, make it simple.

Once the online meeting button is pressed we present an input panel so users can input a alphanumeric or numeric meeting ID or a full URI. Some users may be comfortable entering a full URI so we don't want to ignore that they may do this.
Our acceptable formats are:
  • 9 digit number for a standard schedule Webex meeting. This appends "" and the assumption is it could be destined for our site or another companies Webex site.
  • Alphanumerical for personal meeting room. This is appended with "". PMR URI's require a sitename in the domain but don't worry if it's another companies we can address it after rejection.
  • Full URI. Any standard URI format such as

Once the user hits join the call with either go through or is rejected. If it's rejected its more than likely they are looking at the touch panel to see what went wrong or redial. On disconnect we can present the user with a survey style question and see what happened. If the meeting ID was rejected there are a few reasons why this might happen.
  • Meeting ID was an invalid Webex meeting ID
  • Meeting ID or URI was mistyped but the user has a valid ID/URI
  • The user is typing in a valid meeting ID for another service like Zoom but didn't enter the full URI just the meeting ID

We could adjust our macro to deal a little better with guessing the different conferencing services and append the right domain but we will always have some overlap. As an example, Webex uses a 9 digit scheduled meeting ID and BlueJeans can have a 9-18 digit ID. Zoom can also have a 9, 10 or 11-digit number. The 9-digit number is used for instant, scheduled or recurring meeting. The 10, or 11-digit number is used for Personal Meeting IDs. So we can attempt to guess what conferencing service a user is trying to get to but it will never be perfect. Our best scenario is pick what is used most often and try to accommodate it. If what we pick is not what they are trying to reach and the call is rejected we can guide them how to reach their meeting destination. 

A much more complicated user experience would be to have a button on the touch panel for each different conferencing platform. That is apart from somewhat lazy complicated for the user. The average user will be easily confused with so many choices. A well educated user might be able to discern what button to use but most will not.

In the screenshot below the user has just input a 11 digit meeting ID. We reject it without dialing as it may be just a mistype or they may be looking for another service. Either way the corrective action is now ask the user to enter the full URI. Note the screenshot below shows a numeric keyboard but this would be better being the entire keyboard as now you require the full URI. The code has been adjusted to suit a full keyboard layout.

Below, our user has input a incorrect ID that was an accepted format so we attempted to dial but was rejected. So we give them a choice on disconnect. We could add a 3rd option here to get help as well. Another option here is to review disconnect cause codes and provide a menu based on what caused the disconnect. 

 In our case the user selects Meeting ID was rejected so we guide them to the right format to enter. Hopefully the user can recognise the URI in their meeting invite from the example on the touch screen.

Finally here is the macro to make this all happen.  Remember to build out the macro to match your most desired outcomes such as most relevant meeting service etc.



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