Transfer directly to voicemail

Discussion in '3CX Phone System - General' started by stevef, Jan 4, 2008.

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  1. stevef

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    There was a thread in the V5 Beta forum about the ability to transfer a call direct to someones voicemail, rather than calling their extension and waiting for it to time out. Archie said this feature was in V5 but I coudn't find a response as to how to access this feature.

    Can someone explain how to do this, is this feature there? I know a possible work around is to setup duplicate dummy extensions that go direct to voicemail but thats not really a route I want to go.
     
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  2. archie

    archie Well-Known Member
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    By default, there's a '*4' dial prefix which directs a call to VM box. For example, if you want to transfer a call to VM of Ext. 123 make an unattended transfer to the number '*4123'
     
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  3. crsc

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    * codes

    Is it possible to get a list of * codes that work with 3CX PBX? A list with the code and function name would be sufficient.

    Thanks.
     
  4. moon1234

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    Sorry for the VERY long post below. Maybe someone can enlighten me on some of what I am asking below.

    They should all technically be configurable. We currently have an NEC NEAX 1400 PBX that is almost 20 years old. I can manually set the codes for over 100 features. We are looking to replace this system due to age. Were worried about the thing checking out and us not being able to find a vendor who still knows anything about it (Other than me) and finding parts.

    I am running into major frustration with all of the open source PBX's or free ones. All of them are either overly complex to conifugre features and routes or are missing key features that are in our 20 year old PBX. One very stick issue is pageing. Polycom phones support it, but you need to go thru some tricks to make it work. Many other phones don't support it or there is a lack of IP PBX support. One feature I have not seen any IP PBX support is monitor mode. The NEC has a feature that we assign a feature code that when dialed allows a supervisor in the call center enter the extension of a sales person and listen in on the call. This is key to making sure that proper porcedures are being followed and professional service is being delivered. I know many phones and PBX's support recording calls, but I have need seen live monitoring of an in progress call.

    Another option is restriction of features to certain phones or a group of phones (Known as a class of service). We do not allow long distance calls in many public areas and this is easily configured on the old system. Some of this can be mitigated with a dial plan on the phone, but that is not as elegant. It would be nice to restrict ceratin features in phones that are in public places.

    How about background music on a phone when it is idle? Almost every place I have worked at has a radio or something hooked up to the PBX that users can then listen to on the phone when it is idle. Many people in our company can't get good radio reception or they listen to objectionable material. The NEC system allows 8 external audio sources to be hooked up the PBX via two cards we have in the system. The cards have simple RCA connectors. Users dial 66 then press 1 thru 8 to select a channel to listen to. Simple, but people really like this feature. I ask our Cisco shop about this and they look at me like they are a deer in the headlights of a hummer.

    How about directed call pickup? Have you seen an IP PBX that allows you to pick up a call ringing at another phone without having either a line key, speed dial some other piece of information programmed on the phone that wants to pick the call? With the NEC just dump the phones in a group that are allowed to pickup each others calls and then assign a feature call to directed call pickup. Now when your buddy walks out and his phone keeps rining you can pickup the call without having you phone ring. This also is nice if you have a night ring in your office. Just run to any phone and pick the call up. No more looking for a phone that is actually ringing.

    How about camp on? Almost all IP PBX's forget about a live operator. In our company our customers spend 30k-50k on a single item. They would rather hold for a caller. Operator stations will ring back on transfer of a call to a busy station. The operator can then transfer back to the busy line as a camp-on which has a configurable time out. We have the time out at two minutes. While the caller is in camp on mode they hear our normal hold message sales pitch. As soon as the salesman hangs up his phone the caller is put through and the phone rings. If the camp-on timeout expires then call returns to the operator where she can either repeat the process, take a message or transfer to the salesman's voicemail. Simple, but I can't find this feature in IP systems outside of Cisco, Avaya, Nortel, etc.

    How about DISA support? This has been around for ages on many PBXs. Basically you call in using a DID that is configured for DISA (Direct Inward System Access) and get a second dialtone. Enter your DISA access code (Codes tied to a class of service to limit what they can do) and then are basically an extension on the phone system. You can call back out (Think 800 number in and then dial back out. No more calling cards), dial an extension, etc. Simple, easy, not supported on most IP PBXs.

    Forced Account Codes - Require an account code for long distance dialing. Allows you to track who is making calls that meet a certain dial plan and from what phone. Management loves this. They have caught production personnel making long distance calls overseas at odd hours from non-production phones. They also see account codes of people who are not at work, and have not DISA access, being used in areas the person never travels to.

    Day/Night mode feature - How about a feature code that canbe restriced to certain phones for system open and close? Do your operators work EXACTLY the same hours EVERY day. In our shop they switch to day mode when they arrive in the morning and switch to night mode when they leave.

    SMDR Output. This would allow integration with more advaced call accounting packages. The built in accounting is ok for a very small shop, but any larger shop is going to want configurable reports. Ideally this system would allow multiple people to logon. It would grant access to call logs for the extensions or groups of extensions (Sales, Marketing, Etc.) that they have access to. They could then run preconfigured reports or create their own reports.

    Outgoing Trunk Queuing - How about a caller being able to be alerted when a PSTN line is freed up. In the unforseen event that all PSTN lines are in use the system should be able to ring the user when a free line is available. They will pickup and then get a stutter tone then regular dial tone. This happens once in a great while, but it is nice to have.

    Trunk to Trunk connection. I am not sure if this is supported on the IP PBX side, but it would be nice to be able to transfer a call that originated on the PSTN out to a celluar number that is also on the PSTN and have the IP PBX do call supervision, etc. This happens quite a bit at out business. A customer calls in and demands to speak with a specific salesman. The operator does an attended transfer to the salesman's cellualr phone. When she hangs up you have a trunk to trunk connection that needs to be supervised and trunk connections torn down when a user hangs up.

    Trunk Grouping/Route Advance: It would be nice to be able to group individual ATA's into a trunk group. Once grouped it would be nice to be able to setup a route advance based on availability of trunks in the group. We are limited in 3CX with the amount of tunks we can setup for each outbound rule. A good example would be a fractional T-1 with 12 channels. 10 channels grouped into a trunk group with the remaining two on a different access code restricted to executive phones. Finally several analog PSTN lines that could be grouped together into a trunk group and used as backup to the T-1.

    One of the other gripes I have of most VoIP phones (Not a 3CX complaint) is the utter lack of BLF buttons available on phones. Our existing D-Term phones have 18 speed dial buttons. When programmed with an internal extension they light red when the extension is off hook and flash red when receiving an incoming call. To program a button you hit the transfer button and then push a speed dial button and then dial the extension and wait 3 seconds, done. I have not found any VoIP phone to be that fast. With Polycom phones they at least spit out theier config to the provisioning server whenever a change is made. This could then be read by a server based app to modify speed dials, etc. The problem with this is that when the phones are sent an update they reboot. When was the last time your traditional TDM set rebooted when setting these features?
     
  5. aguilar

    aguilar New Member

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    would be great to have a list of * codes in 3CX

    cheers
     
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  6. Pentangle

    Pentangle Member

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    OK i'll have a bash at a few of these in the absence of anyone else...

    Your 20-year old PBX wouldn't be running IP though would it?

    If the handset manufacturers don't support it as a standard between any number of their phones, why is this a PBX issue? surely it's a handset manufacturer or SIP standard issue, otherwise all the manufacturers would be supporting it as a standard. I think you need to understand here that SIP, being a standard, means that a PBX can work with many different manufacturers' handsets. This would not have been the case 20 years ago where you had to buy handsets from the same manuf. as the PBX vendor. Therefore, if you take this concept about supportability through to the rest of your missing features list you'll maybe see a reason why?

    Don't get me wrong, it's a credible list in the main, but it's maybe too vendor-specific - i.e. you're trying to minimise your employees' upheaval by demanding an identical system to the one you have, when maybe (in light of future supportability) you would find it an easier experience to train the users in the functions available and pick a PBX which is the most feature-rich whilst still remaining standards-based.

    A credible request, but if you think about the architecture of it you would need to enable multicast on your network before you could take advantage of it - otherwise your call quality would suffer drastically with the additional numbers of nodes in the network of phones required to be listening.

    Surely this is done by some sort of calling plan in the existing PBX? otherwise how does the existing PBX "know" what is local and what is long distance?

    In terms of enabling it in 3CX, you can always enable outbound routing on that group of phones to strip and append digits to whatever dialed number in order to make it local...and if the dialed call fails, then it fails :)

    Simply put, this is a feature on the NEC system that *won't* get implemented on any system currently available. Think of the bandwidth costs for a whole company listening to the radio through their phone handsets! Especially when you consider remote extensions (and hey, there's a feature you didn't get on the NEC!)

    IMHO a valid request, but isn't this sort of thing dealt with by star codes or the VoIP client in handset mode?

    Yep, another good point.

    DISA was banned at Nortel as it was getting *serious* misuse, and there were tales of several competitors' PBXs with compromised DISA systems. Maybe this is why this feature doesn't exist? Also, possibly since this is a PBX of European origin and we don't really do calling-cards over here, there's not been much of a push?

    I've lumped both these requests together, as they're all related (roughly). Anyway, FYI the individual calendaring has been a feature request for a short while now. I think the 3CX guys have been a little otherwise busy with v5/v5.1 development however. I would hope it's something that's picked up shortly (in terms of enabling a per-user calendaring etc), but we shall see...

    Isn't this covered in the SIP trunk vendor or PSTN/ISDN vendor's call logs? or am I getting a little lost here?

    I agree with the request for the queuing, but maybe not the method for indicating it. Dial tones can be configured differently for different things, and it could be that your handset is configured to stutter when a voicemail exists. I wouldn't want to go into my voicemail when I pick up the receiver only to find that the stutter was in fact for another reason.

    Surely this would mean you would pick up the call costs for the second part of the call? in which case if you're dialing a cellphone then you'd want a SIP-to-GSM gateway (we discussed a few of these recently in here...somewhere). Not sure if trunk to trunk connection for PSTN is available specifically, but given that a SIP system is quite modular and distinct, would this not mean that the call would be handled by a SIP gateway rather than the PBX?

    Once again, wouldn't this be best served by specific configuration of the SIP gateway rather than the PBX? (as you're usually afforded a much better granular control of the lines associated with it).

    I know there's some changes to come with phone provisioning, and I have already requested a few features of this. I expect this will improve things somewhat.

    Hope i've at least provided a little counterpoint :)

    Cheers,
    Mike.
     
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  7. Hoover87

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    Moon, you have answered your own question: "I am running into major frustration with all of the open source PBX's or free ones"

    You seem to want something for nothing. There is a reason the NEC PBX cost thousands when it was new. It's the same reason a viable VoIP solution is going to cost you thousands again. There are solutions to nearly all of your gripes out there, you just have to ball up and pay for them.

    Beggars can't be choosers, so take it for what it is and either go buy an enterprise class IP PBX or deal with the short comings of the cheap ones.
     
  8. moon1234

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    I understand that. Which is why I pointed this out in my post. We are currently using 3cx to support two remote salesmen. They have Polycom and Soft phones. The entrie dialplan is designed to dump them back into the NEC system so they are basically a remote extension.

    The president wants a new phone system. He is committed to paying up to $65,000 for it. I like 3cx and was trying to point out features that I would like to see in order for it to be even be considered. My post was more for 3cx to see the features that their product needs in order to be accepted in a business that already has these features. Being IP is only one small part. It is very easy to extend an existing PBX over IP, but much harder to replace an existing PBX.

    A comment on the background music feature that was replied to above. Bandwidth use would be negligible as this would be provided via multicast to the interneral subnet. Even if it was unicast at full g.711 you could support over 1500 extensions on a single 100Mbps link. Cisco does this via multicasting. A single stream is fed to the switches and the switches take care of sending a copy of the stream to each subscribing node. Total impact to each subscribing network port is 64Kbps.
     
  9. Pentangle

    Pentangle Member

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    It's not whether it "could" be done....it's whether it "should" be done. The majority of your desired features above are unique to the NEC system created by NEC to provide a little differentiation in their market segment. IMHO 3CX (and others) should concentrate on providing robust, reliable services which blow systems like the NEC one out of the water on price, and then the CEO can tell the staff that they're not having additions like a radio.
     
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