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Video Communications Scheduler


Video Communication Scheduler Login >>
(note: please only view in Internet Explorer)

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The Video Communication Scheduler (VCS) is a user friendly web-based scheduling software for the Video Conferencing network. Our goal is for each person in the agency, who uses the video conferencing network, to be able to schedule and monitor their own conferences without going through their local AMA or MSS.

 

We would like for each district’s AMA, to be an Administrator and others in the district provided with User access privileges. The following are instructions for use of the system by both a User and Administrator. The additional instructions for the Administrator (where this guide differs between User and Administrator), will be at the end of this guide.

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Video Communication Scheduler User Guide

pdf Download PDF version of user guide

Table of Contents Page #

Accessing the VCS .......................................................................................3

Conference Scheduling ..............................................................................6

   Conference Mode ......................................................................................6

   Subject & Reference Code .........................................................................7

   Description ...............................................................................................7

   Meeting Templates ....................................................................................7

   Services ..................................................................................................11

   Recurrence ..............................................................................................11

   Auto Extend .............................................................................................13

   Start Time................................................................................................13

   Duration ..................................................................................................13

   Add/Remove Attendees.............................................................................14

   Advanced Options.....................................................................................16

My Conferences ..........................................................................................19

   Upcoming Conferences..............................................................................19

   In Session Conferences.............................................................................20

   History.....................................................................................................21

   Search & Generate Reports........................................................................21

Administrator Options ..................................................................................22

   Resource Management...............................................................................22

   User Management......................................................................................26

   Service Template.......................................................................................30

   All Conferences.........................................................................................31

Troubleshooting .......................................................................................31


Accessing the VCS

In order to begin using the VCS, you must first be given access to the system by an Administrator and provided with a user name and login. When an Administrator puts you into the system, you will receive an email notification with your user name and password.

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Dear Anna Uong :

 

Your VCS account is ready for use. Click the following link or copy into your browser to login: http://videosched1:80/vcs

 

Your login ID is: xxxxxx
Your password is: xxxxxx

 

If the password above is empty, please use your network directory password. If the VCS has generated a generic password, please log in and create a secure password by clicking on the My Profile icon on the left menu bar. Please click on the VCS help button if you have any questions.

 

You are ready to start conferencing now!

 

Note for Outlook Users: If you wish to schedule and manage conferences as Outlook appointments, download and install the Video Conferencing form. After installation, open your Outlook Calendar and click on Tools>Options to see the VCS Properties Tab. Fill in the web link from above and your current VCS login ID and password.

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The second line of the notification gives you a link to click on to access the VCS. Since most PC’s in VDH are set to use Netscape by default this link will not work.

NOTE: You must use Internet Explorer (IE) only! So just copy the link and open it in IE.

Your login screen will look like this. Just type in your provided user name and password.

VCS Login Screen

The next screen will show all of the options available to a System User.

VCU Options Screen

The screen for an Administrator will have a few more options such as: Resource Management, User Management, Service Templates, and All Conferences.

The first task that you as a new User or Administrator should do is to access the My Profile option and change your password.


Conference Scheduling

A. Contact Site Coordinator

To schedule your video conference, first, contact the site coordinator at each site that you would like to use to ensure that they have a room and equipment available.

You can find the contact names and numbers for each site on the Video Conferencing Contact List on the Distance Learning web page


B. Schedule New Conference

Next, in the VCS software, click on Conference Scheduling and the following screen will appear:

Schedule a New Conference Screen

We will begin with the first line and work through the scheduling process.


C. Conference Mode

Choose the Audio + Video option if you are scheduling a future event.

Conference Mode Check Boxes

Choose Ad Hoc if you want the VC session to begin immediately.


D. Subject and Reference Code

Subject and Reference Code


In the Subject box, type the meeting topic or title. This information will appear on the final schedule and in all notifications sent to invited participants.

The Reference Code is optional. Here you would put any code associated with your district/office to track resources used (i.e. for billing).


SpacerE. Description

Description Textbox

Type in agenda items or a meeting description. This text will appear on the final schedule and in emails and notifications sent to invited participants.


F. Meeting Templates

Meeting templates are an OPTION and do not need to be used to schedule a video conference. The meeting template is a short cut that can be created for scheduling video conference meetings that frequently occur using the same sites and information.

Meeting Template Dropdown

When a meeting template is selected during the scheduling process, settings configured for the meeting are filled in automatically saving the user the time of filling in the information.

I recommend that you delay review of this section until you have a good understanding of the basic steps of the VCS. If you do not want to learn about Meeting Templates at this time, you can skip this section and proceed to Section G: Services.

Before using the Meeting Templates option, you must first create a template for your meeting. To create a meeting template, click on the Meeting Template Icon and the template will open:

Meeting Template Screen


1. Template Name: Fill in the name that you want your Template to have. Make it unique so that you won’t have trouble picking it out when other templates are added to the list. I.E. Northern AMA Meeting.

2. Services: These are various settings within the MCU that allow you to setup the way you want to view the various sites during your video conference.

a. Standard Voice Activated (SVA): The standard option that most people are familiar with. (Only one site on screen at a time. The site speaking is who everyone sees).

b. 4 Site Split Screen: This option divides the screen into 4 equal squares with the participating sites allocated to one of the squares. Although there are only 4 squares, many other sites can still be participating in the conference, they just are not seen until they speak.

Click on the services dropdown list. You will notice the two above mentioned services for the 100 Port MCU and the 60 Port MCU. These two MCU’s are essentially the same with the only difference being that the 100 port MCU can hold many more sites.

Services Dropdown List

When you choose your service, choose the 100 Port MCU unless you have a conference with only a few (up to 5) sites involved.

3. Prioritize: Do not choose one of these options. Leave as Unspecified.

4. Required: Do not choose on of these options. Leave as None.

5. Auto Extend: This is an option that you will always want to select. When checked, the video conference will continue until manually terminated. If left unchecked, the VCS will terminate the session (disconnect all sites) at the scheduled end time for the meeting.

6. Extra IP Ports: The MCU will only reserve space for the number of sites that you invite to your conference. If other sites would like to join, they won’t be able to. If you set aside extra IP ports, then additional (uninvited) sites can join your conference until the extra ports are also full.

NOTE: It is always good to set aside 5 to 10 additional IP ports

7. Extra ISDN Ports: Unless you are using ISDN (Phone) lines, do not fill anything in here.

8. Add/Remove Attendee: When you click on this button the Invite Attendees page will appear.


Invite Attendees Screen

The names of all of the users and sites within VDH are in the attendee list.

Select a person or site and click on the right arrow to move them to the participant list.

Likewise, selecting a name on the Participant list and clicking on the Left arrow will remove that person from the Participant list.

Participant List Screen

NOTE: Holding down the Shift Key while clicking on names will allow you to select multiple names at one time.

If there are additional participants that you would like to invite but are not on the list, you can add them in the Add Participants section.

Add Other Participants Screen

Fill in the First & Last name and Email of the person that you would like to invite.

If the participant is using a VC Camera at their location, put the camera IP number in the box on the next line. If the participant is using ISDN instead, check the ISDN box and fill in the appropriate Area Code and Number. Do not fill in the country code unless you are calling someone outside of the US. The IT person at the participants site should be able to provide you with this information.

NOTE: Connection to sites outside of the VDH network MUST be coordinated through OIM first with at least 2 weeks notice.

Click on the Add button when you have finished.

Their name will then be added to the participant list.

Click on the Submit button once you have everyone on the participant list. Submit Button

Look over your completed Meeting Template screen to ensure that all of the information is just as you want it. If so, click on the Submit button and you will have completed the process of creating your own meeting template.


G. Services

These are various settings within the MCU that allow you to setup the way you want to view the various sites during your video conference.

a.) Standard Voice Activated (SVA): The standard option that most people are familiar with. (Only one site on screen at a time. The site speaking is who everyone sees).

b.) 4 Site Split Screen: This option divides the screen into 4 equal squares with the participating sites allocated to one of the squares. Although there are only 4 squares, many other sites can still be participating in the conference, they just are not seen until they speak.

Click on the services dropdown list. You will notice the two above mentioned services for the 100 Port MCU and the 60 Port MCU. These two MCU’s are essentially the same with the only difference being that the 100 port MCU can hold many more sites.

When you choose your service, choose the 100 Port MCU unless you have a conference with only a few (up to 5) sites involved.


H. Recurrence

NOTE: This is a time saving option that can be used for meetings that are held on a regular basis. (i.e. Every Tuesday or once a Quarter)

If you are not scheduling a recurring meeting or do not want to learn about this option at this time then skip forward to Sec I. Auto Extend.

Clicking on the Recurrence Button button will open the Recurrence screen.

You will then choose between Daily, Weekly, and Monthly.

Here is the screen for a Daily Recurrence.

Recurrence Pattern Screen

Once you have made your choice, fill in the options on that screen and then click on the submit button: Submit Button

Note: Anytime that you see this symbol Calendar in the VCS software, you must click on it to open the coinciding calendar.

You should now be back at the Conference Scheduling screen and the Recurrence box should also be checked. Recurrence Check Box

Note: If a recurring conference is scheduled for a time period of over 30 days, the VCS will first schedule the conferences which fall within the 30 days of the date scheduled and send out an email notification to all invited participants. Then, every 30 days, the VCS will automatically reschedule the remaining conferences in the series and send a notification to all participants until the series is completed. Only the first upcoming conference will be displayed on the VCS calendar.



I. Auto Extend

This is an option that you will always want to select. When checked, the video conference will continue until manually terminated. If left unchecked, the VCS will terminate the session (disconnect all sites) at the scheduled end time for the meeting.

Auto Extend Check Box


spacerCalendarJ. Start Time

Click the calendar icon and the calendar will appear. Choose the starting date, hour and minute.

The start time that you select should be at least 30 minutes before your actual meeting start time. This will allow for audio/video checks and troubleshooting before the meeting starts. When you are finished, click Ok.

You should now see your selected date and time in the Start Time box.

NOTE: The drop down list for the hour is in the form of a 24 hour clock. In other words, 1:00 p.m. is 13:00. 2:00 p.m. is 14:00. This is done to help differentiate between AM and PM.


K. Duration

In this box, type in the conference length time in minutes. This is used by the VCS to terminate the conference at the appropriate time and it is also part of the information sent in the email notification to the participants.

Duration Field


L. Add/Remove Attendees

When you click on the Add or Remove Attendee Button button, the Invite Attendees page will appear.

Invite Attendees Screen

The names of all of the users and sites within VDH are in the attendee list.

Participants Screen / Atendee List

Select a person or site and click on the right arrow to move them to the participant list. Likewise, selecting a name on the Participant list and clicking on the Left arrow will remove that person from the Participant list.

NOTE: Holding down the Shift Key while clicking on names will allow you to select multiple names at one time.

If there are additional participants that you would like to invite but are not on the list, you can add them in the Add Participants section

Add Other Participants Screen

Fill in the First Name, Last Name, and E-mail of the person that you would like to invite.

If the participant is using a VC Camera at their location, put the camera IP number in the box on the next line. If the participant is using ISDN instead, check the ISDN box and fill in the appropriate Area Code and IP/ISDN Number. Do not fill in the country code unless you are calling someone outside of the US. The IT person at the participants site should be able to provide you with this information.

NOTE: Any site outside of the VDH network will have to be coordinated through OIM before the connection can be made.

Click on the Add button Add Button when you have finished. Their name will then be added to the participant list.

Click on the submit button button once you have everyone on the participant list.

You will then want to click on the Attendee Availability Tab at the top of the screen. This will open the calendar showing times when your invited participants are scheduled for other video conferences.

Attendee availability Tab

If there are no conflicts, click the Back Button button. And you will be taken to the main conference scheduling screen.


M. Advanced Options

At the bottom of the screen, click on the Advance Options Button button. This will open up the Advanced Options screen.

Advanced Options Screen

1. Name: The first column at the top of the screen. Under it should be all of the sites that you have selected to invite to your VC session.

2. Control: Gives a participant access to the MCU via their PC and allows them to:
Invite/Disconnect Participants
Mute/Un-mute microphones
Extend/End the conference and many other options.

Name and Control Screen

Place a check beside each participants name that you would like to be able to take control of the conference. See page 20 for more info on Conference Control.

3. Dial In: Place a check beside each site that you would like to dial into the conference. This means that when the conference session starts and the MCU is calling all of your participants, the sites that you check here will not be called. They will have to manually dial in to the conference.

Dial In Screen


4. Meeting Rooms: This is a drop down list of rooms that you can choose from for the participants at each site to use. Since we have so many sites and meeting rooms across the state, it will not be feasible for everyone to use this option at this time.

NOTE: Only meeting rooms in the Richmond Offices will be listed on the Meeting Rooms list. Before choosing a room from the dropdown list, please make sure that it has been reserved.

5. Extra IP Ports: The MCU will only reserve space for the number of sites that you invite to your conference. If other sites would like to join, they won’t be able to. If you set aside the extra IP ports, then additional (uninvited) sites can join your conference until the extra ports are also full.

IP Ports Screen

NOTE: It is always good to set aside 5 to 10 additional IP ports

6. Extra IP Ports: We will not be using multiple ISDN line connections so you will not need to fill anything into this block.

7. Prioritize & Required: Skip over both of these as we will not be using either of these options.

8. Time Zone: By default this is set to Eastern so you should not need to make any changes here.

9. Passcode & Confirmation: If you wish for your VC session to be password protected enter the numbers here. For the password you may use only numbers (0-9), (*), and (#).

This code will be sent to your requested sites in the notification email by the VCS system. Anyone attempting to dial into the conference will be prompted to enter the pass code first.

NOTE: When connecting with a Polycom camera, if you are prompted to enter a Passcode , you must first push the * or # symbols on the Polycom Remote before entering the code.

When you have competed filling in the necessary information on this screen, push Submit Button and you will be taken back to the main Conference Scheduling screen.

Look over your information one last time, and if it is correct, click Schedule Button at the bottom of the screen.

You should then receive a message stating that your conference has been scheduled. Click the OK button and you have now completed the VC scheduling process.

Confirmation Screen

VCS software will then send a conference notification to all of the sites and participants that you invited. This notification gives them all of the information that they need to connect to your conference at the appropriate time. When the specified date and time of your conference arrives, the VCS will automatically dial all of the sites that you have requested.

VCS Invitation Screen

NOTE: Any sites that does not have their camera on when the MCU makes the call will not be connected. The software will not make a second attempt at the call. If this happens, the site will need to manually dial into the conference.


My Conferences

Clicking on the My Conferences tab on the left tool bar will open the My Conferences screen.

My Conferences button

You will notice that there are three tabs on the top of the page:

In session, Upcoming, and History Tabs

Clicking on any one of these tabs will show you the VC sessions that you have scheduled that are Currently in session, Upcoming, or History.

In either the Upcoming or History screens, clicking on the Subject of any conference will open a screen with the detailed information about that conference.

Insession Tab

A. Upcoming Conference Tab

From the Upcoming tab, click on the subject of a scheduled conference. The detailed page for that conference should open.

At the bottom of the screen is a Modify button. Clicking on this button will allow you to make changes to your Upcoming VC session. Once you are done, click the Submit button to save the changes.

NOTE: If you make changes to a scheduled VC session, the VCS software will automatically send out a new notification to all participants. If you choose to Delete the conference, it will also notify all participants.


B. In Session Conference Tab

Once a conference is in session, it will appear on the In Session tab.

Session Tab Screen

Clicking on the subject in this screen will take you to the conference control screen. From here, you can control the entire conference.

Conference Control Screen

From this screen, you can tell how much time is left, what sites are connected, and what sites were called but are not connected.

By clicking the Take Control button, you can add/delete participants, mute/un-mute microphones, change who is seen on the TV monitor, even terminate the whole conference.

Take Control Button


C. History Tab

Click on the history tab will open the screen with all past conferences listed.


D. Search and Generate Reports

All three tabs have a search function at the top of the screen, allowing you to search for a VC session by title.

The Upcoming and History tabs give the user the ability to generate reports about conferences over a specified time period.

The report will contain information on:

  • Conference ID
  • Subject
  • Meeting Type (non-video or audio/video)
  • Reference Code
  • Start time and date
  • Duration
  • Meeting Rooms
  • Organizer name
  • Service Prefix
  • Service templates
  • MCU names
  • # of Sites used
  • Extra IP/ISDN ports reserved
  • # of dial-in sites
  • 3 of dial-out sites
  • Gateways used


NOTE: If you make changes to a scheduled VC session, the VCS software will automatically send out a new notification to all participants. If you choose to Delete the conference, it will also notify all participants.


Administrator Options

This section of the guide will cover the extra options available only to VCS Administrators:

  • Resource Management
  • User Management
  • Service Templates
  • All Conferences

It will be the Administrator’s responsibility to effectively manage each of these areas so that the VCS remains current and runs properly.

A. Resource Management

Clicking on the Resource Management Icon icon in the left tool bar will open the Resource Management screen:

Resource Management Tabs Sceen

There are several tabs here all for making the system run properly. As an Administrator, you will have access to them all but you will only need to access the last tab Terminals.

NOTE: DO NOT ACCESS ANY OF THE OTHER TABS IN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT. INADVERTANT CHANGES IN ANY OF THE OTHER SCREENS COULD SHUT THE VCS SYSTEM DOWN.

Terminals: A terminal is the software’s name for a Polycom camera (FX, 512, and Via Video). If you have changes to your current camera or install an additional camera, you will need to access the Terminals screen to make those changes.

Click on the Terminals tab and the Terminals screen will open.

Resource Management Screen

All of the FX, 512, and ViaVideo desktop units in the agency are listed on this page. If they are not already, clicking on Name, the head of the first column, will sort all cameras into alphabetical order by District name

ViaVideo desktop cameras are listed with a DT at the beginning to keep them all together on the list.

DT Cameras Screen

a.) Modify/Delete Terminal:

If you make changes to your Polycom camera, you will need to update that information here in the VCS. From the Terminals screen click on the name of your district camera.

Terminals Screen

This will open the Terminal Profile Screen.

Terminal Profile Screen

From here you can modify camera information or delete the camera from the system altogether. Once complete, select the Back button.

NOTE: Please inform me of any changes that you make to the Terminals screen in the VCS system.

b.) Adding a Terminal

If you add a camera to your network, it will also need to be added to the
VCS system. From the Resource Management screen, click on the Terminals tab.

Click on the Add button at the top of the screen. This will open the New terminal screen:

Terminal

NOTE: Items with an * are required to be filled in.

Enter the name of your Polycom system.

Terminal Type: Will always be IP(H323).

IP Phone Number: This is the H.323 number of the camera.

Nearest To: Leave this set at Home.

Connection Speed: Always set to 384.

Meeting Room: This is for Richmond Offices only.

Registered To: Choose ECS Gatekeeper.

Default Users: This will only be used for desktop cameras. For this to work, you must first put the camera user into the VCS system as a USER or Administrator or their name will not appear on this list.

Default Users Button

When you click on this button the Select User’s Screen will open.

Select Users Screen

Select the user’s name from the right column and click the right arrow to move it to the Current user’s column. Click Submit. You should be back at the New Terminal screen. Check over your information, if it is correct, click Submit.


B. User Management

As an Administrator, you can add, modify, and delete users from the VCS. system.

NOTE: Anytime that you add or delete a user form the VCS system, please send me an email notification.

From the VCS tool bar select the User Management tab. User Management Tab

The user Management screen will open.

User Management Screen

There are two tabs (Users & Groups) at the top of the screen. We will not be using the Groups tab so this guide will not cover that material.

If they are not already, clicking on Name, the head of the first column, will sort all Users into alphabetical order by last name.

1. Modifying/Deleting a User:

Clicking on the User’s Name will then open the User profile Screen for that user.

Users Tab

From this screen you can modify or delete the user information.

User Profile Screen

If you choose to Modify a User’s Profile, click on the Modify button at the bottom of the screen.

The User Profile screen will change allowing you to make changes.

User Profile Screen

NOTE: Items with an * are required to be filled in.

Most of the information is self explanatory with the exception of Default Terminal and Role.

a.) Default Terminal:

If the person has a desktop camera, then that camera would be selected from the terminal list. Each time that this person is selected for a conference, the VCS will dial the Default Camera into the conference. To select a default terminal from the list, it must first have been added to the VCS. For information on Adding a Terminal look in the Resource Management section on Adding a terminal.

b.) Role:
Only district AMA’s and certain Richmond personnel will be VCS Administrators. All other VDH personnel with access to the VCS will be given Conference Organizer roles.

Role Screen

2. Adding A User:

To add a new user to the VCS system, first ensure that they have been trained in the use of the system. When you feel confident that the user knows the system well enough to access it without assistance, then they can be added.

From the User Management screen click on Add.

User Management Screen

A blank User Profile Screen will open.

Blank User Profile Screen

Filled in are as follows:

a. User ID: User ID’s will be the users’ first name initial and their last name. i.e. jdoe.

b. First Name & Last Name: Fill in the user’s first and last name.

c. Department: Use their District or Office.

d. E-mail: Fill in their new email address.

e. Default Terminal: If the person has a desktop camera, then that camera would be selected from the terminal list. Each time that this person is selected for a conference, the VCS will dial the Default Camera into the conference. To select a default terminal from the list, it must first have been added to the VCS. For information on Adding a Terminal look in the Resource Management section on Adding a terminal.

f. Role: Only district AMA’s and certain Richmond personnel will be VCS Administrators. All other VDH personnel with access to the VCS will be given Conference Organizer roles.

Role

When you have finished, select Submit.

NOTE: Please inform me of any new users added to the system.


C. Service Template

Service Templates are choices of the multiple Audio and Video features that can be used when connecting multiple sites in the MCU.

One that you are probably familiar with is Standard Voice Activated. With this option, the site speaking is who everyone sees.

Another is split screen where the screen is divided into four squars with each site taking up a square.

NOTE: Only VCS Administrators from OIM will add additional Services to this screen.



D. All Conferences

Selecting the All Conferences tab from the left tool bar will open up a screen similar to only this screen will show conferences that all VCS users are scheduling.

Currently, only VCS Administrators have access to view all conferences scheduled in the VCS system. This is a feature that we feel needs to change and have made a request to the company.

NOTE: With the next release of the VCS software which is due out in January 04, all users will be able to view all conferences scheduled within the system.


Troubleshooting

Help This user’s guide covers the main components of the VCS software but in a compressed state so as to keep it short and concise. However, should you need more detail about any of these and other subjects dealing with the VCS software, click on the help button in the top right corner of the screen.

This will open the resource file which will allow you to research information on all topics of the VCS software. If you need help with a problem, please call Richard Watson (804) 864-7179.

User Management Screen


Last Updated: 07-21-2011

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