Classroom Extensions with External Call Management

Discussion in '3CX Phone System - General' started by LyonAdmiral, Mar 29, 2016.

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  1. LyonAdmiral

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    I'm sure I musn't be the only person who has deployed 3CX in an academic environment. I've signed up for and watched many webinars over the past six months and read much of the documentation but I can't find anything that will help us achieve the following goal:

    When an external call comes in, we'd strongly prefer it that the external caller not have the ability to disturb a classroom by dialing their extension but have their call go to the extensions voicemail. There would be only one exception to this is that the operator extension (main office) can transfer an external call to a classroom in case of an emergency.

    Is it possible to do this? Have I been missing something in the documentation that puts this together? I have read the following related post here in the forum:

    how-to-block-an-internal-extension-from-an-external-call-33355.html

    Thanks,
    D
     
  2. lneblett

    lneblett Well-Known Member

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    In most "closed" environments such as this, calls are not routed to the extension at all. These are typically routed to a receptionist who can then route the call directly to VM or to the extension itself. GIven that the receptionist may only be one person and could be overwhelmed at times, have the inbound call go to a queue of which the receptionist is the only member.

    I assume that because outside callers can reach the rooms that an IVR is in use. As you have seen, the only way the voice mail comes into play is when a specific condition is met - busy, DND, unregistered, no answer, office hours, diverted, etc. The system only knows that a call is coming in and not the reason for the call. It routes the call as directed, so human intervention is needed if call routing is to be impacted by factors beyond the system's programmed capabilities.

    The instructors could put the extension into DND which would force a VM scenario, but this would still preclude the receptionist from being able to override. It also implies phone management in the application of DND and the effect if the extension is used by more than one instructor throughout the day.
     
  3. LyonAdmiral

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    Cisco Call Manager performs the functionality I'm looking for. I don't want to turn the thread into a Cisco versus 3CX debate. However, I think the functionality if not available now should be considered for a future version of 3CX.
     
  4. leejor

    leejor Well-Known Member

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    Could you not employ the call forwarding feature where internal calls are routed differently than external ones?
     
  5. LyonAdmiral

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    I did some variation of that. External calls are directed to voicemail but I had to change the "If call is not answered in 20 seconds" to 1 second, I then clicked on "Handle internal calls differently..."

    It isn't 100% ideal since the operator can't transfer external calls to those extensions for instance in an emergency but we can work around it until this functionality is hopefully put in a future version.
     
  6. NickD_3CX

    NickD_3CX Support Team
    Staff Member 3CX Support

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    Would there be a fixed schedule to when calls should not be sent to an extension except for calls coming from the operator? E.g. 8:00-14:00 no calls from anyone except for operator?
     
  7. LyonAdmiral

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    That is correct with the following modifications:

    Extensions 2100-2199 (Classrooms) do not accept external calls between 7:30 AM and 3:30 PM unless the call is transferred to the extension by the operator. Those extensions still need to be able to call each other during the school day.
     
  8. bdarcyevans

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    Subscribing this thread with interest as we also have classroom extensions. Thankfully, nobody has discovered that they can self transfer through the IVR (...yet). I am very much in favor of LyonAdmiral's last proposal and would be happy to vote for it on the 3CX Ideas forum (if someone else would like to add it).
     
  9. NickD_3CX

    NickD_3CX Support Team
    Staff Member 3CX Support

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    I am assuming you are referring to the direct-dial feature in the Digital Receptionists. If you are on a Single-Instance installation that can be disabled globally for all IVRs. PM me for details if you want so that we don't hijack the thread with a different topic.
     
  10. LyonAdmiral

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    In our case, we have the IVR configured to expressly state; Thank you for calling the Middle & High School, if you know your parties extension you can dial it at any time. For the main office, Press 1; for the Business Office, press 2; ad nauseum inifinitium, etc...

    The logic behind this process is parents, spouses/partners, may want to leave voice messages for teachers but not necessarily interrupt their teaching. I know & understand that these people could use alternate forms of communication; personal phones, e-mail, etc. Still, I think that this functionality, would be very useful, because in other districts where I have worked and it is available on other platforms, it is very useful.

    Is adding this to the ideas forum as simple as just posting it there?
     
  11. NickD_3CX

    NickD_3CX Support Team
    Staff Member 3CX Support

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    @LyonAdmiral

    OK, so this is what I came up with. Seeing that extensions 2100-2199 do have a set schedule :)30 AM to 3:30 PM), for those extension you could create Exceptions for those extensions. To give an example, lets say the Operator extension is ext 1000, so only calls from ext 1000 would be permitted.

    So you could create the following exceptions:
    1)
    Caller ID: 1001-9999 (all extensions except operator)
    Received During: Specific Hours (and select the hours the extensions should not be disturbed)
    Forward To: Vmail

    2)
    Caller ID: 1111111111-9999999999 (this will catch all calls from 10-digit caller IDs)
    Received During: Specific Hours (and select the hours the extensions should not be disturbed)
    Forward To: Vmail

    3)
    Caller ID: 11111111111-99999999999 (this will catch all calls from 11-digit caller IDs)
    Received During: Specific Hours (and select the hours the extensions should not be disturbed)
    Forward To: Vmail

    This only has one down-side, if the operator wants to transfer a call to one of the classroom extensions, it would have to be an Attended Transfer, not a Blind Transfer otherwise that would get caught in the exceptions as well.

    Now to be honest, although this should work, I have not personally tested this on a large scale so I am not sure how the system would hold up with a large number of calls going to these extensions all the time and checking against those large number ranges.
    If though call traffic to those extensions though is not too high, and the server is not at minimum specs (go higher than the minimum), then there is a good chance they may do what you want.
     
  12. LyonAdmiral

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    Do these exceptions have to be set for each extension or can it be done globally? I want to say a big thanks, either way, this does look like it will achieve the same level of functionality.
     
  13. LyonAdmiral

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    I've also had to add "anonymous" to the caller ID list. For some reason the Telco is not passing the number on CID.
     
  14. leejor

    leejor Well-Known Member

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    I would talk to them about that if you are paying for it and you are sure they are not sending it. If you use a PSTN gateway, it may be a setting change that is required.
     
  15. craigreilly

    craigreilly Well-Known Member

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    I had this issue on my first 3cx install. Local Telco was passing it - but not being passed by the Patton. Patton Tech support was great on figuring this out.
     
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  16. LyonAdmiral

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    Did they indicate to you what the solution was?
     
  17. craigreilly

    craigreilly Well-Known Member

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    I just contacted them and they figured it out.
    At first -TelCo was not sending it even though they claimed - oh yeah. Its setup.
    Then they found the line didnt support it and had to change a bunch of stuff on their switches.
     
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