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Product Enhancement Request - Extended Prompting


jlumby
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After meeting with a potential customer, and discussing how to assign a limited number of buttons they have on their phones, I came to the realization that you would not need to use nearly as many buttons if the PBX was able to prompt you for additional input. The problem is most models of phones initiate the call as soon as you press the button, and do not wait for additional input. Since I do not seem to know of a phone vendor that has the option not to do this, it seems like it could be easily worked around on the softswitch side. If a radio button was added next to each of the feature codes, and the radio button could be labeled "extended prompting" on or off. If the radio button was turned on, then when the star code was dialed, then the PBX would respond by asking for the extension number. For example, if extended prompting was turned on for intercom, and you pressed a speed dial button that was set to dial *90, the system would respond by asking for the extension number, and as soon as you enter the extension number, it would complete the intercom.

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  • 2 months later...
After meeting with a potential customer, and discussing how to assign a limited number of buttons they have on their phones, I came to the realization that you would not need to use nearly as many buttons if the PBX was able to prompt you for additional input. The problem is most models of phones initiate the call as soon as you press the button, and do not wait for additional input. Since I do not seem to know of a phone vendor that has the option not to do this, it seems like it could be easily worked around on the softswitch side. If a radio button was added next to each of the feature codes, and the radio button could be labeled "extended prompting" on or off. If the radio button was turned on, then when the star code was dialed, then the PBX would respond by asking for the extension number. For example, if extended prompting was turned on for intercom, and you pressed a speed dial button that was set to dial *90, the system would respond by asking for the extension number, and as soon as you enter the extension number, it would complete the intercom.

 

What we did is allowing the intercom code to start without * at the beginning. That means you can make the code look like 99123. With an appropriate dial plan on the phone, users can just dial 9-9-1-2-3 and then can talk to their extension.

 

But maybe we are making it too complicated. The PBX already collects extension numbers also in other places and if someone dials the intercom code without an extension number behind it, well nothing stops the PBX asking for the extension number. Bottom line, lets put it in. Next release will have it.

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Just a clairification, this would be usefull for any feature that would normally require more than just the * code. I would love to see it in parking/retrieving, pickup, and so on.

 

Well for park/retrieve, that is not so easy. There is already a park/retrieve code that does not take an extension behind it. Plus in this case there is a useful meaning behind it - let the PBX search for you. And usually there are not so many park orbits, so that it is reasonable to put one on each key.

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I realize that it does not require an extension number behind the star code, however when you get to a larger install it is very problematic that it automatically assigns it to an orbit that is the same number as the extension number that is doing the parking. If there was an extended prompting radio button option next to the star code, and when it was turned on, the system would ask for the orbit number. This would allow the operator to type in any orbit number that they wanted. They could then page, and say you have a call parked on orbit XXX After that the receipient would press the retrieve button, and if the extended prompting radio button was turned on it would ask for the orbit (which they could type in), and then they would be connected.

 

While something similar to this could currently be accomplished if you had different buttons for different park zones, this is problematic when the average Cisco phone has 6 buttons. The first 3 are usually lost to the extension, intercom, and general message. Leaving park, retrieve, and one other. It also does not help much to assign zones in the PBX since the operator would need to be a member of all, and the person picking up the phone could be picking up from anywhere.

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I realize that it does not require an extension number behind the star code, however when you get to a larger install it is very problematic that it automatically assigns it to an orbit that is the same number as the extension number that is doing the parking. If there was an extended prompting radio button option next to the star code, and when it was turned on, the system would ask for the orbit number. This would allow the operator to type in any orbit number that they wanted. They could then page, and say you have a call parked on orbit XXX After that the receipient would press the retrieve button, and if the extended prompting radio button was turned on it would ask for the orbit (which they could type in), and then they would be connected.

 

While something similar to this could currently be accomplished if you had different buttons for different park zones, this is problematic when the average Cisco phone has 6 buttons. The first 3 are usually lost to the extension, intercom, and general message. Leaving park, retrieve, and one other. It also does not help much to assign zones in the PBX since the operator would need to be a member of all, and the person picking up the phone could be picking up from anywhere.

 

I think the easiest way to solve that problem is to use the setting "Explicitly specify park orbit preference". If someone put a "*" in there it will mean "ask". This way we nicely stay backward compatible with that we have now and we can even specific the behavior on per-extension basis.

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I think the easiest way to solve that problem is to use the setting "Explicitly specify park orbit preference". If someone put a "*" in there it will mean "ask". This way we nicely stay backward compatible with that we have now and we can even specific the behavior on per-extension basis.

 

That sounds like a good way to do it. I will look forward to seeing it in a future code set. Do you have any ideas on if you can do something similar with retrieve?

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I saw you posted a link in another part of the forum, so i downloaded, and tried 3.0.1.3017 to see if the * character worked to have the system prompt for the park orbit number. It does prompt now, however if I enter an orbit number that is anything other than my extension number, it says call parking failed, and the log file shows

 

[5] 2008/09/23 10:42:08: Could not find call of user 201 that should be parked

 

Is there a permission I need to set somewhere?

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  • 3 weeks later...

I am still having problems with version 3.0.1.3023. it does not allow me to park on any orbit except the one that matches my extension number when using the * in the Explicitly specify park orbit preference field. Are there permissions I am missing, or a newer version available?

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I am still having problems with version 3.0.1.3023. it does not allow me to park on any orbit except the one that matches my extension number when using the * in the Explicitly specify park orbit preference field. Are there permissions I am missing, or a newer version available?

 

Scratch scratch... In that field * has a special meaning... Scratch head scratch... If you put a * there it means that you can only retrieve calls. Don't ask me why, but at the moment that is my understanding (maybe because many phones can only send a simple star code and that's the only way to get some kind of BLF working, at least for call retrieve).

 

Can't you just list the orbits there?

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My understanding of the * in the Explicitly specify park orbit preference field is that the system would prompt you to enter the park orbit that you would like to put the call in. It does that successfully, however there is some sort of permissions issue where if you type in an orbit number that is anything other than your own extension number, it fails to park. If you type in your own, then it works perfectly.

 

My understanding was by adding the * in the Explicitly specify park orbit preference field was to alleviate needing a button for each park orbit when you have a large install where you need to control where each call gets parked so that the posibility of someone retreiving a call that is not for them is very minimal. The operator can simply hit the park button. The system prompts for the zone, and then they would type in any zone number (preferably one that matches the extension of whom the call is parked for) Then when they page, the person could hit the single retreive button (on any phone), and type in the park zone number, and have their call, eliminating the chance that someone would pickup the wrong call, from not having full control over the orbit number when parking/retrieving. This also removes the need for multiple park/retreive buttons, or memorizing star codes.

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