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The Cisco Extension Mobility feature, sometimes referred to as hoteling, allows a user to temporarily configure another IP telephone as his own. He therefore has to log into that IP telephone with a username and PIN. Once logged in, the phone has the users profile information, including his extension number (the reason for calling it ‘extension mobility’), dial permissions and other feature settings (e.g. call forwards).
As such it is an excellent function for people who are often travel between different company locations. They can use any fixed-line phone in the company as if it is their own telephone by just logging in. Extension Mobility is also very useful in situation where people don’t have a dedicated desk of their own. In a flex-office where people just enter and pick a desk, they can easily register on that desktop phone and use it as theirs. It is convenient since people can use their own features, but also it makes people reachable. The number of missed calls will be minimal.
The login complexity
There is one issue with the use of extension mobility. One really has to log into the telephone and that has to be done via the telephone keypad. If the username is easy and the pin code is short, this may not be the biggest problem. Still it means another combination of a username and pin that people have to remember. More challenging it is if organizations are using for example Active Directory where the username is shared over all applications. In that scenario it could be the case that an Extension Mobility user has to enter his email address using the telephone keypad.
- In general this login issue sometimes results in suboptimal use cases. One example is where people ‘forget’ to log in or log out. The consequence is that they are either not reachable, or that a telephone can be used unauthorized after the employee leaves his desk.
- Another option is the possibility to configure the so-called one-click login. In this case, certain user profiles are pre-configured for certain telephones and the user can simply – using a single button – select his or her profile. This is definitely a solution in small teams where people do need the flexibility to use their own profile but can completely trust each other.
- However, in other situations a software solution like the Active Login Manager may be the solution. Using this client software, the login procedure for the telephone is synchronized with the login of a user's laptop or PC. So, whenever the user opens his or her laptop, the telephone on that same desk is automatically logged in.
- "Extension Mobility Usability aspects". RSconnect. 2017-02-20.