Parking usability

Discussion in '3CX Phone System - General' started by instantexpert, Feb 20, 2009.

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  1. instantexpert

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    I have a relatively new 3CX install and we are just now decommissioning my old phone system. Probably, the biggest pain points right now are:

    -Paging, which has significant issues I won't go into here.
    -Parking (which is used in conjunction with paging).

    The problem with parking is that my office manager can park a call on *08 and page someone to tell them to pick up *08 but she then has no way of knowing that Employee "A" has picked up Park *08 if there is more than one park anywhere in the orbit. Add to that the fact that the 3CX client is not all that stable. My desktop computers that never go off-line still have to re-login periodically to keep the status updates coming properly. Finally, We've assigned park *06 - *09 to our office managers to park calls into. Our engineers just have to guess and hope that nobody has parked in *0x if they need to park a call. Yes, I know that the recipient can just pick up with *0x<ext#> but that isn't ideal if there are multiple free parking orbits.

    So, I have two questions:

    1. How have other people solved this in their workflow?
    2. Will the new operator panel currently in development address this issue and when is it due to be released (or at least in public bets)?
     
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  2. SY

    SY Well-Known Member
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    *0x - park the call
    *1x<yourextensionnumber> is the code which picks up the call parked from your extension on parking orbit "x".
    If you need to park next call, just use different parking orbit (the "x").

    if you know any "ideal" solution which is based on dial codes then please specify it.


    if you are trying to say "A" then, please say "B":
    What is the "-Paging, which has significant issues I won't go into here."?

    Thanks
     
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  3. instantexpert

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    The problem with parking is not the ability to park a call. Anyone in my office can park and retrieve a call. The problem is that, from there, it is very much an impenetrable black box.

    If "A" pages the office for "B" and tells them to pick up a call from park 1, then "B" has to remember or lookup the extension number of "A" if there are other calls parked in the same place. Realistically, this problem can be solved through procedure. "A" can just say "B, please dial *1x123" where x is the parked call's location.

    The much bigger problem is that there is no ringback to the original extension if "B" never picks up the call and there are no tools for monitoring the status of the parking orbits. So, what I would like to see is:

    1. A ringback timeout to the person who originally parks the call so that customers don't get abandoned.
    2. The ability to see full park status in the 3CX client which shows the caller-ID of everyone in park, the extension and name of the person who parked the call, and how long the call has been parked.
    3. The ability to double click in the 3CX app on any call in park and have it direct the call to my desk phone

    I will address paging in a separate response to this thread.

    Leon
     
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  4. instantexpert

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    I have a support incident open on paging but haven't had a chance to follow up properly. I have a system that is mostly Polycom 560 phones running SIP 3.1.1 with 3 Grandstream GXP-2000 phones as inexpensive common area extensions. The problems with paging are as follows:

    1. There is no beep or other indication that it is now OK to speak. I understand there is supposed to be but I have never heard it.
    2. The Grandstream phones do not hang up after a page.
    3. The polycom phones (haven't tested the Grandstream) all output audio with different phasing. This means that two phones directly next to each other may be outputting audio with slightly offset audio. This can be disturbing.
    4. Paging is limited by the license, causing companies like mine to purchase a license twice as big as we need.

    So, lack of paging is a feature which caused us to abandon our first VOIP system prospect and I know my boss is less than happy with me for these problems.
     
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  5. worksighted

    worksighted New Member

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    Just a comment on the paging....some phone support multicast paging, such as the aastra 5xi. With multicast paging you can setup your phones to listen for pages to certain multicast IP addresses. On the aastra, you can do up to 5 addresses. So, in other words, you could have 5 different paging groups all listening for pages do a different multicast IP address. This is completely handled by the phones directly and has nothign to do with 3cx. Hence, you will not bring your 3cx license into play.

    Best,

    Mike
     
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  6. SY

    SY Well-Known Member
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    Leon,

    You can speak right after PBX answers your paging call. if you meet any type of malfunctions then please specify it. It can help us to provide improvements and/or fixes.
    Some of Granstream phones (it may be specific for firmware) have the annoying feature. After call is ended by remote party (and phone has confirmed PBX request to end the call), phone starts to provide never-ending beeping signal (call ended) and shows talking state until you hang up it explisitly ("on hook" the telephone receiver or press "speaker" button if audio was in "speaker" mode). Is it the case you have met or call has been really left in connected state by PBX?
    Implementation of paging group uses separate call (audio stream) to each participant. Audio streams may have different time profile (it depends on call setup (PBX side) and phone itself). It is the area for improvements (on PBX side), but phones may still have their own preferences how to playback the audio...

    Thanks
     
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  7. SY

    SY Well-Known Member
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    Leon,

    Yes it is only solution for "dial code based" implementation. But why don't use transfers (blind/mute or attendant) for this purposes? Is there a specific call scenario (business case)?
    Could you please publish future request in corresponding forum? Is it already published and I've missed it?
    At the moment this feature is not provided. Hypothetically, it may be implemented in case if it will not be covered by new functionality which will be provided in future releases.
    It will be available soon but not in the context of 3CX client functionality.

    Thanks
     
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  8. SY

    SY Well-Known Member
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    Mike,

    The problem is that Grandstream and Polycom don't support it (at least I don't have any information about such ability of these phones).
    At the moment, SNOM (with one multicat channel) and, as you said, Aastra (with 5! channels) are known as phones which support this feature.

    Thanks
     
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  9. instantexpert

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    Some of the business case is just users being used to being able to place a call on hold and have another user retreive the call directly. A leftover feature from old POTS systems where you could see each of your lines and have anyone pick up a call on hold. The biggest benefit of this method is that it frees the person who answers the call from specifically tracking down a user when combined with paging features.

    -A pages B "B, you have a call on Park 9" or some other such message.
    -A can then return to work and not worry about it further if ringback is implemented.

    -A directly tracks down B somehow by direct calling their extension or grabbing them from the break room. They can then just inform B to pick up the park rather than hanging up and initiating a transfer.

    Neither of these scenarios is end of world but it is how my users are used to working.


    I will do this.

    Fantastic. I don't much care what gives me that functionality as long as it is easy to use.
     
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  10. instantexpert

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    The problem I have here is that there is no indication outside of listening for all phones to stop ringing or looking at the deskphone mode on the 3CX to tell when the system is ready to accept a page. Speaking prematurely causes the first part of the page to be cut off.

    Yes, this is what is happening. Should I try updating the firmware on those phones?

    I was afraid this was what was occurring. I would not have gone with Polycom if they weren't the only GB ethernet game in town. Even so, I probably would not have realized that multicasting could solve my problem.
     
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  11. SY

    SY Well-Known Member
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    "Paging to group" is really complex scenario. A lot of conditions should be taken into account. What I see, the conditions which are used to answer the call from initiator (providing the ring tone until paging will be really ready) is not brilliant.

    I think this question should be addressed to Grandstream support. They know more about firmware versions and correct behavior of the phone.

    Such implementation of paging group has some additional features which can be useful. For example, if you set extension as "redirect to voicemail if I'm busy" and will use "PBX busy status" then paging message will be saved as voice mail in case if you are busy. I don't know any multicast based implementations which can provide reliable way to receive "paging" announcements...
     
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