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Glossary of Hosted PBX Features

Agent Groups (ACD’s)
An agent group, also known as ACD (Automated Call Distribution), allows a few agents to handle a high volume of calls. When all agents are busy the caller hears a welcome message and is placed in a queue listening to hold music until an agent is available. When an agent completes a call, their phone will ring again, putting through the next caller in the queue.
Address Book
The address book is configured by the domain administrator (the person designated to administer your system, either in-house or at your service provider) and end users (those sitting at each extension). It can be used to match extension numbers to names, outside numbers to names, and the displaying of those names when someone rings in. It can also be used for assigning up speed dial codes.
Auto Attendants
The auto attendant acts like a virtual receptionist. By now, everyone has experienced one. It normally announces the company’s name, followed by a set of dialing options such as: “For sales, please press 1; for accounting, please press 2,” and so forth. With these auto attendants, you are free to upload professionally recorded messages. Different welcome messages may be played at different times of the day using service flags.
Barge In
The barge-in feature allows someone with permission to quite literally barge in on a phone call. This is helpful when training new employees. It allows the manager to step in and finish the call if a trainee is running into trouble.
Block Anonymous Calls
If an anonymous or “blocked ID” call comes in, you can tell the phone system how you would like it to handle the call, such as indicate your line is busy and send the call to voicemail, ask the caller for their name, or simply to reject the call altogether.
Block Caller ID
Make anonymous phone calls by blocking your caller ID, so the recipient of the call doesn’t know who is phoning.
Busy Lamp Fields
Busy lamp fields allow you to see who is on their phone and who is not. This is helpful when you need to reach another person with an extension on the same system. When their extension’s light is extinguished, they’ve hung up their phone and are therefore available to speak.
Call Cell on New Voicemail
The system can call a cell phone to play back new voicemails as they are received
Call Conference (3-Way Calling)
Create a three-person conversation by conferencing in two callers without accessing the Conference Bridge.
Call Detail Records (CDRs)
CDRs offer a record of every call made from the system, what time the call was initiated, to whom the outgoing call was made, who made the call (outgoing), who received the call (incoming), from what number the incoming call was made, the time the call was terminated, and the duration of the call.
Call Forking to Cell
You may enter your cell phone number into the system and configure it so that when someone calls your extension, the system rings your cell phone and desk phone simultaneously; allowing you to answer whichever phone is closest at hand.
Call Forward on Busy
Forwards calls to a designated extension if you are currently on the phone.
Call Forward on No Answer
Forwards calls to a designated extension if you do not answer the phone.
Call Park
Allows a call to be placed on hold from one telephone and picked up at a different location.
Call Pickup
Calls ringing at one extension can be picked up by someone at a different extension.
Call Transfer
Allows a call to be transferred to another extension or routed transparently to another telephone number.
Caller ID
When a call is received, you are able to see the originating phone number and the caller’s name or city (depending on whether the call comes from a land line or a cell phone) before accepting the call.
Conference Rooms
Conference rooms give you the ability to hold phone conferences with more than two (2) other people. You can set scheduled or on-demand conferences. You may also have multiple “rooms” so that multiple phone conferences may be conducted simultaneously.
Do Not Disturb (DND)
Every phone has a DND button. If you don’t wish to be disturbed, you may press this button and all calls to your extension will automatically go to voicemail without ever ringing your extension and disturbing you.
Email on Missed Call
The system can be configured to email you if you’ve missed a call. Within the email body is a link; click on it and the system will pre-dial the call for you. All you have to do is lift the receiver to initiate the call.
Hot Desking
Hot desking allows you to swap your identity over to another extension and have all calls routed from your extension to the hot desk-configured extension. This is helpful if you either don’t have your own desk, spend a minimal amount of time at your own desk, or are often moving around the office from place to place.
Hunt Groups
Hunt groups allow a group of extensions to be called in various stages. A hunt group is a great way to make sure your calls are answered. When a call comes in, it can be directed to a hunt group where multiple extensions will ring in succession; if one of those extensions doesn’t pick up, the call can be either directed to another group of extensions, to voicemail, a cell phone, an Agent Group, or an Auto Attendant.
IVR Nodes/Custom Call Flows
IVR (Interactive Voice Response) Nodes are part of the ACDs and Auto Attendant system. They allow you to control how calls are processed and create custom menus for callers to follow.
Listen In
Listen In is where a defined user can listen in to a call taking place on another extension directly from their phone. The user would first dial a feature code for Listen In, followed by the number of the extension they wish to Listen In on.
Multiple Phone Registrations
Allows multiple phones to be registered to a single extension. This is helpful if you work at different locations and want to pick up calls regardless of which location you’re in, whether it be your office, home, remote office, or a cordless phone.
Music on Hold (MoH)
The phone system has the option to play music to callers while they are on hold. You can use the built-in music selection, or have something professionally recorded.
Paging Groups
The paging account allows the system to page information out to speakers in your workplace or over the internal speakers of a designated set of phones. With the option to buy ceiling speakers, a shop, factory, warehouse, or showroom could easily use the hosted IP-PBX to page announcements to an audience. Paging works by dialing the account and speaking into a telephone handset, broadcasting the list of recipients at the same time. The audio is one-way only.
Service Flags / Time-of-Day Routing
You can control different aspects of the phone system with service flags. This is handy when you want the auto attendant to play a different message on holidays, or when your staff is out to lunch, or for any reason you’d like. You can also control general call routing with service flags so at the touch of a button, your after-hours auto attendant is enabled, or incoming calls are directed to another extension, etc.
Upload Picture
Depending on the phones you’re using, you can upload a picture to the system and when you call another extension, your picture will show up on that phone’s display.
Callers are given the option to leave a voicemail when a call is not answered.
Voicemail to Email
Voicemails can be sent to a designated email address as audio file attachments as they arrive.
Wake Up Calls
You can configure the system to call you at a pre-determined phone number at a pre-determined time. Upon answering the call, the system speaks the current time and allows you to press one (1) on the keypad for a five (5)-minute snooze, at which time the system will call you back again.
Web-Based Control Panel
The system has a web-based control panel that you can log into and modify your extension settings, listen to your voicemail messages, add people to your address book, view your call history, set up conferences, and more.
Whisper (Teach) Mode
Whisper mode is where a defined user may speak to an agent engaged in a call without the caller hearing; only the agent is able to hear the user’s voice. This feature is very useful in training/teaching situations.