Add and Build Teams

Concept

Each pascom VoIP phone system user has their own extension, devices and actions that control calls made to that extension. In addition, a user can be a member of a team. Screenshot - Team Concept

The team has its own extension and actions assigned to it. When a call is made to the team’s extension, the team members’ phones will ring in the order defined in the strategy and actions.

When a call is made to a team’s number, only the actions pertaining to the team will be activated. Actions pertaining to individual users will be ignored.

This concept allows you to make use of the following example scenario: Frank can still be reached at his extension 22 even outside of business hours; however calls to the support teams will be routed to the mailbox after 6:00 p.m.

Team Types

There are two types of teams that only differ in the functionality they offer.

Call Groups

Call groups have permanent members. Only the following call strategies are used: all and consecutive. Either a ringing tone or music will be played to the caller.

Queues

Queues can have permanent and/or dynamic members, i.e. users can join a queue if needed. Queues are capable of a number of call strategies. Callers are added to the queue sequentially and, if desired, can be informed of their position in the queue and the average waiting time. During the wait, either hold music or a ringing tone can be played.

Call Strategies

Strategy Internal Asterisk Name Description Call Group Queue
ring all ringall Call all members simultaneously.
one after another linear Members are called according to their assigned position. Please note: dynamic members change their position when joining or leaving a team.
longest back lastrecent The member who has not received a call for the longest period of time will be the next in the list. Please note: entering and leaving a queue by dynamic team members will reset all counters. When entering a queue, dynamic members always are the ones that have not accepted a call for the longest time.
fewest calls fewestcalls The member having accepted the fewest calls will be the next in queue. This setting does not consider the length of the call. A member having made five calls of one minute each will come after a member that made only two calls, although these may have lasted one hour each. Dynamic members entering and leaving a team will have all their counters reset and as a result, they will be the members with the fewest calls when entering the queue.
randomly random Select a random agent.
mem-successively rrmemory Like the “linear” strategy; however, the next caller is selected based on who has last accepted a call.
randomly-ordered wrandom Like the “random” strategy; however, agent priorities are taken into account. Agents with higher priority are only called when all other agents of lower priority are on the phone.

Weighting queues

Queues can be assigned different weights, which allows them to be ranked according to their importance. A higher weight, represented by an arbitrary number, implies higher importance.

Illustration - Weighting queues

In our example, Frank and Peter are members the Support and VIP-Support queue. Both are currently on the phone. There are two customers waiting in the Support queue and one customer in the VIP-Support queue. When either Frank or Peter end their current call, the caller waiting in the VIP-Support queue will be put through before anyone else. It does not matter if there are callers who have been waiting longer, as the VIP-Support queue has a higher weight. Callers from the queue with the higher weight will be accepted until this queue is empty.

If you use weights with your queues, all queues must use weights. Not assigning a weight to a queue will result in them having a weight of 0; therefore, such queues will never be accepted.

Configuration

Managing Call Groups

In the pascom web interface, select Users > Teams and click the +Add button to create a new team or click on an existing team and use the Edit button. Select call group from the type list and enter a title and an extension number that can be called to reach the team.

Basic data

Screenshot - manage call groups

Parameter Description
Title Name of Team.
Extension extension number for the team, e.g. Sales could have the ext. 200.
Call Strategy Which call strategy should be used when members are called.
Pickup Notifications Using this function, you can determine who can see pickup notifications for a particular call group.
Display Name The text displayed on the member’s telephone in addition to the caller’s name and number. This allows the call attendant to see that the call is not made directly but that it was forwarded by the “SP” team.
Answer Channel Usually, if hold music or an announcement is to be played, the channel is answered immediately. This field allows you to configure a delay time (in milliseconds). In some cases, immediate answering of a call can result in the first syllable of the announcement being skipped. Using a delay avoids this problem.
Music on Hold Select the type of sound to be played. Select “dial tone” if you do not want the channel to be answered but want the caller to hear a ringing tone. This is necessary only if haven’t already created some type of action to answer the channel, e.g. to play a greeting announcement.

Advanced

Screenshot - call group with advanced functions

Parameter Description
Timeout external Maximum time (in seconds) that an external caller should remain as a member of the call group. After this timeout, the call will be routed according to the actions external / after using the call state timeout.
Timeout internal Maximum time (in seconds) that an internal caller should remain as a member of the call group. After this timeout, the call will be routed according to the actions internal / after using the call state timeout.
Voicemail Pin The PIN used for the voice mailbox.
save Voicemails Here you can select whether voice messages should be stored on the hard drive.
Voicemail Email Enter the e-mail address to which the team voicemail messages should be sent to.
Members

Screenshot - Member of a call group

Allows you to add members to the group. Use the up down arrows to change the order of the members as this can have an effect on some call strategies.

Roles

Here, you can configure which roles should apply to a particular team.

Actions (internal, external, before, after)

Actions allow you to manage the call flow.

Managing Call Queue Teams

To create a new team, use the +Add button in the menu Users > Teams of the web interface or select an existing team and press the Edit button to modify its settings. When adding a new team, select Queue as the type and enter a title as well as an extension number on which the team can be reached.

Basic data

Screenshot - manage queues

Parameter Description
Title Name of the team
Extension Extension number of the team
Call Strategy Which call strategy should be used when calling team members
Pickup Notifications Using this function, you can determine who can see pickup notifications for a particular call group.
Displayname This text is displayed on the called persons’ phone and shows the name and number of the caller. The called party can thus see that this is not a direct call but rather a call routed through the “SP” team.
Music on hold Which playlist should be used for Music on Hold (MoH). Select - dial tone - if you do not want this channel to be answered with MoH, but want the caller to hear a dial tone. This of course makes send only if you haven’t already answered the channel under the Channel Actions, e.g. playing a greeting.
Member timeout Specify the time (in seconds) pascom should try to reach a member. If, for example, “one after another” is the call strategy currently employed, the first member is selected and called. After a time out (15 seconds in our example), the phone of this member stops ringing and is put back into the queue again. The next member in queue is selected and the system tries to call the member for 15 seconds.
Maximum number of people waiting Specifies the maximum number of members a queue may hold. If, from the above example, the maximum is set to 5, the sixth caller trying to enter the queue will not be added to the queue but is immediately handled according to the group actions set in the after section.
Send Call Completed Elsewhere As soon as a call to the queue is answered by another team member, the other free agents will receive a notification that the call has been answered.

Advanced

Screenshot - Teams with advanced functions

Parameter Description
Login Code This code, followed by corresponding extension number, allows a dynamic team member to log on to the system.
Timeout external Maximum time (in seconds) that an external caller should remain as a member of the call group. After this timeout, the call will be routed according to the actions external / after using the call state timeout.
Timeout internal Maximum time (in seconds) an internal caller should be allowed to wait in the queue. After this allotted period of time has passed, the call will be routed according to the actions Internal / After with the call state will be Timeout.
Answer channel Usually, when hold music or an announcement is to be played, this channel is answered immediately. This field allows you to specify a delay (in milliseconds). In some cases, immediate answering of a call can result in the first syllable or the first second of the announcement being skipped. Using a delay avoids this problem.
Weight Queues can be assigned different weights. A higher weight, represented by an arbitrary number, gives higher priority to a queue.
Prompt frequency Specify the intervals (in seconds) between the announcements informing the caller about their position and remaining time in queue. Leave this field blank if you do not wish to make such announcements.
Options Here you can enter Queue Management options which can be recognized by Asterisk. You can only use one option per line. Please see this guide on options: http://www.voip-info.org/wiki/view/Asterisk+config+queues.conf
Join if no agents Decides whether a caller can enter the queue although it is empty. When only dynamic members are used, there may be no members currently registered with the queue. If you select no here, those callers will be routed according to the actions External and forwarded using the call state Entry when empty
Leave if no agents Decides whether a caller can automatically leave the queue once it is empty. When only dynamci members are used, the last member might leave the queue while there is still a caller waiting. If you select yes here, those callers will be routed according to the actions After and forwarded using the call state Leave when empty.
Voicemail PIN The PIN function is used for the voice mailbox.
Save Voicemails Should voice messages be saved to a hard disk?
Voicemail Email Enter the E-mail address to which the voice messages for those teams should be sent to.

Members

Screenshot - members in queue

In this screen you can add members to a queue. By using the setting Flexible yes you will set the team member to dynamic. Members who are set as Flexible no will always be a member and therefore always called and cannot log themselves out of the queue. Some call strategies consider a member agent’s priority. You can use the up done arrows to change the agent member order, which then impact how agents are called when using certain call strategies.

Roles

Here you can specify and determine Team members roles.

Actions (internal, external, before, after)

Actions allow you to manage the call flow.

Dynamically add and remove users in a queue

In pascom, users can dynamically enter or leave a queue if they have been assigned as a dynamic member of that queue. To configure a user as a dynamic queue member, in the Assigned Users column set Flexible Users to Flexible Yes. If a login code (Queue -> Advanced tab -> Login code) exists, users can enter or leave the queue using this code if they have been assigned as a dynamic member of this team. Going back to our example, if you set *80 as the login code, the user Peter, having the extension 21, can join or leave this team by dialing *8021. As an alternative, no matter whether there is a login code is entered or not, you can always use the system extension number of the format *99queueextenstion#userextension to log on or off. Peter, having the extension 21, can use *99800#21 to log on to a queue that has the extension number 800.

The login code has several advantages over the system extension. You can assign the login code to the LED extension number key of an IP phone. This way, the LED will be on if a user is in the queue. It will go dark when the user logs off. Alternatively, a user can log themselves into our out of a Queue through the Teams display option and using the + and - symbols: Screenshot - Logon and Log out

Breaks and Break Reasons

Instead of focusing on logging in/out, it is now also possible for a member of a Queue to use the Breaks function. During the members break, they remain logged into the Queue but will not receive any calls. Moreover, one can also define Break Reasons within the pascom Web UI under the menu option Advanced > Pause Reasons.

Screenshot - manage break reasons

Parameter Description
Title The description will be displayed within pascom as the Break Reason.
Code

With the code, one can activate/deactivate the Break via Button Shortcuts on their telephones. *99QueuesExtension#UserExtension#BreakReasonCode. More details can be found below. |

If a member of the Queue or Team does go on a break and sets their status for a break, this will be displayed to the other members of the Team: Screenshot - activate Break in pascom Client

Breaking can be controlled from with the pascom Client under the Team tab (and team you are a member of) through using the Pause Symbol: Screenshot - break reasons in pascom Client

Alternatively, you can allow the users to use the Telephone Button Shortcuts. The shortcut key is made up as follows: *99QueueExtension#UserExtension#BreakCode

Pickup Notifications

Within in a team (Queue) it is possible to set which users will receive incoming call Popup Notifications within the pascom client.

Firstly, a Pickup role must be defined, which can consist of team members as well as individual users, that do not belong to the team.

Additionally you can determine who of those within the team assigned with the Pickup role will receive notifications. Screenshot - Pickup notification

The following setups are possible:

Parameter Description
Nobody No team members will receive a incoming call notification
Available team members (agents) & non-members Agents who are currently signed into the team and agents who are not members of the team will receive a notification. Flexible agents who are not currently signed into the team and paused agents will not receive any notifications.
Unavailable Agents & Agents who are not logged into the team. paused agents and non members will receive a notification.
non-members Agents who are fixed members and dynamic members who are currently logged in to the team will receive a notification.
Only non-members Only non team members will receive a notification.
Complete Pickup Group The whole pickup group will be notified.