Workaround for Broken Conference via Windows Client (15.5 SP2)

Discussion in '3CX Phone System - General' started by dan_tx, Nov 27, 2017.

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  1. dan_tx

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    I used the word "Broken" since what is broken is being able to create a conference with the windows client and have the participants you want in that conference called so they only have to pick up the phone.

    I hope this helps some people with the changes made in the last update that made it impossible for users to make conferences by calling numbers in the windows client. (Not sending emails, not asking people to dial in). The solution is at the bottom, basically it consist of using the webclient to regain some of the prior functionality.

    First, here is my take on the change and what is easier in regards to conferencing.

    People want to conference with phone numbers, not emails. How is someone suppose to conference in the extensions like "Break Room", "Spare Office", "Workshop", "Front Desk", even "Conference Room #1"? Extensions that do not have emails or people tied to them. They want those phones to just ring and be picked up.

    Old way for a quick conference

    From a users perspective, Windows Application auto launches and auto signs in. If they want a conference,
    1.click "Create Conference"->
    2. click "+"-> Add Numbers,
    3. DONE (phone rings user, they pickup or they don't. To add more, click + and put whatever you want)

    Now the new way is suppose to be simpler.

    1.Click "Create Conference"
    2. Web Browser launches to Webclient.
    3. Sign in with a username and password they have never used.
    (Ignore the time to locate the email or request new welcome email)
    4. Type a Subject since "Conference name can't be empty" error appears if you don't.
    5. Select iCal if they use Outlook
    (Ignore the time of asking someone what "iCal" is since it's not obvious that is for Outlook to users)
    6. Open the downloaded iCal file, which launches Outlook.
    (Ignore the time if they don't have Outlook or an email address)
    7. In Outlook client, Click "Invite Attendees" and then Search your Address Book for users.
    (Ignore time if they are not in the book or unknown email for a number you want to call)
    8. In Outlook client, Click "Send". You get a pop up saying you didn't set a meeting location.
    (ignore time explaining you don't need to put a location for employees)
    9. User gets email and dials the conference DID and then puts in ID #.
    (Ignore time waiting for user to check email, if they even do)

    But wait, what if they need to dial an extension or number that doesn't have email or the other party is expecting you to call them. Lets continue.

    10. Go back to the Windows Client, click "View Conference"
    11. Now that Launches the Web Client again, lets Login again if it's not saved.
    12. Now you see the conference in the client, but no way to ADD another call.
    13. The user calls into the conference they just made, hoping they can then add a user by calling them.
    14. Now we might have something, in the webclient it shows the active call. Nothing to "add" someone but they click "Conference" since that is the best guess.
    15. They then see this "Select participant". Alright, we can just type a number. They do that and it dials the person!
    16. Then they realize this created a new "My Private Conference" separate from the one they Schedule (but didn't want to schedule, they just wanted to to call a few people and talk quickly)
    17. They give up.

    Needless to say, it was a disaster for just making a quick call.

    However, if you noticed in the above, the "My Private Conference" is what we had in the windows client before it was taken away. That is the key to getting back some functionality, even though we are forced to use the web client to get it.

    Workaround for Broken Conference via Windows Client

    1.Click "Create Conference"
    2. Web Browser launches to Webclient.
    3. Sign in with a username and password
    4. Ignore everything on page and in the top right of page type in the first name or number you want to conference.
    5. Click "Conference" in the webclient after they answer.
    6. Add another number or user. They come online.
    7. Repeat for everyone you want. If you want to view who you have or mute/drop, click "Schedule Conference" in the webclient and then "My Private Conference"
     
    #1 dan_tx, Nov 27, 2017
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2017
  2. Randall

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    Thanks for this. It helps a little, but I have no idea what 3CX was thinking when they eliminated the schedule by DID and call-out function. Being able to drop a bunch of DIDs into a scheduled conference was some next-level stuff for the technically challenged. For the first time, it was possible for almost 100% of the end users that I support to set up their own conference calls. Guess we're back to the good ol' days of babysitting end users and setting up their calls for them.:( This "new" way is really a terrible step back in ease of use and functionality.
     
  3. thekman33

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    Well said Dan. What used to take less than 2 mins now takes close to 10.

    This is what frustrates me the most about 3CX. Here, have hotdesking, but also we've taken out something that worked seamlessly and changed it for the worse.

    The 3CX lord giveth, the 3CX lord taketh away.
     
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  4. nb

    nb Support Team
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    We are going to make an update and bring back the conference view. It was a mistake in the design.
     
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  5. Randall

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    The older Windows client appears to still work fine against SP2, although I haven't done a ton of testing. The ad-hoc and scheduled conference calling appears to work, as does the call-out functionality. Why hasn't 3CX simple reinstated the old clients and disabled the update prompt or just substituted the older clients for the SP2 clients so the functionality is restored? I find it infuriating that 3CX is sticking to its guns on SP2, leaving the end users to suffer while they re-engineer SP2. Frankly, things should have been rolled back, even if just the Windows, Android, and IOS clients.
     
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  6. sip.bg

    sip.bg Active Member

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    It works, at least for creating ad-hoc conferences. Also tested with 15.1.90.apk for Android. Unfortunately, you can't send emails for scheduling conferences -- an invitation for a future moment, if the PBX is SP2.
     
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    #6 sip.bg, Dec 8, 2017
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2017
  7. nb

    nb Support Team
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    We are going to make an update and bring back the conference view. It was a mistake in the design.
    Early next week they will be available. If you want to make a conference in these 2 days use the webclient, make your conferences and on Monday / Tuesday there will be a client update that will reenable the adhoc conference management screens.
     
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  8. itce

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    3CX Client for Windows, Build 15.5.6989, December 2017 -> OK

    NEW UPDATE 08/12
    3CX Client for Windows, Build 15.5.7262, December 2017 -> AGAIN functionality is gone
     
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  9. nb

    nb Support Team
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    What do you mean? - What functionality is gone?
    We just uploaded new clients now - ensure you are using correct builds
     
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  10. nb

    nb Support Team
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  11. sip.bg

    sip.bg Active Member

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    Can't you simply restore the conference functionality from SP1, it was simply excellent. Afterwards add only invitations via calendars, preserving also email method. Customers used to customize email templates with logos, company headers, etc., to make ad-hoc conferences. All these is gone or tremendously complicated.
    I can't agree that opening a web client on a mobile phone is working approach, unless customers using 10" tablets instead of normal 5" phone. Web client requires additional authorization, pop-up screens and is generally a nightmare to have meaningful result.
     
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  12. LeonidasG

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  13. nb

    nb Support Team
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    Check this out for now. its a step forward. SP1 cannot be restored as is. Anyways - it is 90% there.
    there is no difference.
    You just call a person, then press conference and go.
     
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  14. sip.bg

    sip.bg Active Member

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    Ok, but it is not simultaneous calls to many participants, so first participants have to wait to join the rest.

    A customer -- security guards company was using this functionality to call persons on duty and give instructions to about 30 guards simultaneously on their GSMs. Low time to build the conference call was critical. Now they replaced 3CX with FreePBX and developed a script for ad-hoc conference to many users at once for their new PBX.
     
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    #14 sip.bg, Dec 8, 2017
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2017
  15. Nick Galea

    Nick Galea Site Admin

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    @sip.bg Interesting application, but doesnt sound like a conference call. One could have built that with the visual CFD using an outbound call script?
     
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  16. sip.bg

    sip.bg Active Member

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    Whatever, I could have offered CFD script, but they said they already took decision of switching to other PBX -- supported by somebody else. They weren't happy with reverting to SP1, I had a snapshot, as they had to reinstall softphones for Windows too. The other reason maybe they were not happy with the price of increasing license from 32SC to 64SC, as they intended to increase the number of participants to about 50.

    My opinion is preserving ability to call many conference participants at once is valuable and should not be removed. Adding participants one by one is not a replacement (as in GSM or deskphone).
     
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    #16 sip.bg, Dec 9, 2017
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2017
  17. Nick Galea

    Nick Galea Site Admin

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    Hi sip.bg OK - another option could have been using the paging for this, as its more of a paging feature.

    Anyway after an internal discussion we have decided to add back outbound dialing as well as adding the schedule conference feature back to the native clients...
     
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  18. sip.bg

    sip.bg Active Member

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    @nick: This is really good news! Great! Thank you.
     
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  19. nb

    nb Support Team
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    You need to either use walkie talkies, or use paging..
     
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  20. sip.bg

    sip.bg Active Member

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    Yeah,
    but this used to work excellently with 3CX until SP2.
    Hope functionality to be restored, as Nick Galea said above.
     
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