You old softie…

13 Nov

If you already know how to add a softkey template to a 3905, 8961, 9951 running as a SIP phones, you get a gold star, a free pass, and an opportunity to move along, there’s really nothing to see here.

But, if you’re like me, a voice engineer that spends a good deal of time supporting older releases and older models of phones, here’s something you might not have run into as of yet.

To configure a softkey template on one of these newer phones running as SIP, your old ways are useless and will leave you feeling puzzled and shunned by devices that should obey your every whim.

Why is this?  Well, even though you can still apply a Softkey Template on the phone configuration page of these new SIP phones, the device will just ignore it, much like an insolent teenager ignores a parent telling them to get a hair cut or turn that music down.

So what’s the deal?

Let me introduce you to the concept of a Feature Control Policy.  A Feature Control Policy allows you to select options that you are traditionally used to defining on a softkey template, but because everyone *loves* change, you now get to define them here – in the place nobody bothered to tell you about.

To create a Feature Control Policy, go to Device -> Device Settings -> Feature Control Policy and Add New.

Yours will look something like this:

Only yours will be wrong if it looks like this.

You see, it isn’t enough that this process changed entirely from the old way of doing it, BUT, the process has one more trick for you to overcome.  Just checking the Enable Setting box for the feature you want to show up on your phone doesn’t cut it.  You gotta go that extra step and check the Override Default box for your option as well.  Why?  Because the interface designers have a dastardly sense of humor is my guess.  Whatever the reason, check the column on the left and the column on the right for your desired feature, otherwise the results will be rather disappointing.

To apply this beautiful gem of a Feature Control Policy you just created, you need to assign it to the phone. You can do so on the phone configuration page. Be sure to go ahead and reset your device.

So that’s it. Note that there is no re-ordering of buttons in this brave new world.  Your button order is predetermined and no you cannot bribe it to display otherwise, no matter how many beers are offered to the networking gods.

Published 11/13/2012


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9 responses to “You old softie…

  1. Chrs P

    2012/11/20 at 10:40

    Have to love the consistency between SIP & SCCP phones! You can provision FCPs for multiple devices via Enterprise Parameters or Common Phone Profiles too.

    • amyengineer

      2012/11/20 at 11:06

      thanks for the tip! I haven’t really explored other options for FCPs, good to know there are some!

      • Chris P

        2012/11/20 at 17:43

        Learnt the hard way also 😉 The inconsistency between SIP/SCCP firmwares & different phone models is a frequent source of pain – such as trying to figure out to get the buttons on the right of the screen of a 9971 to be line buttons (answer you can’t) or enabling Phone View on a 6900 series phone (answer it doesn’t work in some weird ways).

  2. AMP

    2013/03/14 at 07:35

    wow thanks for sharing

  3. Ken

    2013/04/22 at 19:24

    Thanks for this.

  4. Pete Wilson

    2015/05/06 at 13:19

    Of course, this is now totally different and actually controlled (partially) by the softkey template in CUCM 10.5 and firmware 9.4.1 SR1.3

    • amyengineer

      2015/05/07 at 09:11

      I’ve heard this! Seems like the better way to go with this, but I haven’t tested it myself. Thanks for the update!

  5. Andrew Xavier

    2015/10/14 at 07:07

    Thanks for the info.

  6. Ali

    2016/01/28 at 00:42

    what about CME ?? softkey is useless for 99XX


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