9 August 2021

PortaSwitch Maintenance Release 94 now available

Cloud PBX users can now control how they accept calls—for example, forward calls to another colleague when on vacation—and quickly change the way incoming calls are handled by calling to the IVR. And, for areas where regulations require it, businesses can also now notify a caller that a conversation is being recorded. All of these features and more are now available with the new PortaSwitch MR94. Find out about all the updates and benefits of the most recent maintenance release in the New Features Guide.

Empower users to control how they accept PBX calls with extension modes (business hours, non-working hours)


PBX users can now use modes to control when and how calls come through to their line, and quickly change the way incoming calls are handled. For example, they can set their mode to accept calls during business hours, and to send all calls to voicemail at once during off-site meetings in order not to disturb colleagues in the office. Users can quickly change these settings by calling to the IVR or via their self-care interface.

Let’s say a company has three modes configured: “Business hours”, “Non-working hours”, and “Emergency”. Each mode has a unique Dual-Tone Multi-Frequency (DTMF) code for switching via the IVR. Mary, a sales agent, is going out for a business lunch and doesn’t want any calls to disturb her colleagues in the office. To forward all her incoming calls to voicemail at once, Mary simply dials *61 on her phone and specifies the DTMF code for the “Non-working hours” mode. Once the mode is changed, all of Mary’s calls are forwarded directly to voicemail. When Mary comes back after lunch, she dials *61 and changes the mode back to “Business hours” to start receiving calls again.

Meanwhile, the PBX administrator can quickly make these changes for all PBX extensions at once. Say the entire staff has to leave for a fire drill – the PBX administrator calls to the IVR, and changes the mode from “Business hours” to “Emergency”. Now, all incoming calls will be forwarded directly to mobile phones, and everyone who phones into the office still receives assistance.

BENEFIT
Easier administration
Easier administration
  • Give your cloud PBX users quick and easy control over their own incoming calls.
  • Enable PBX administrators to efficiently manage the way all incoming PBX calls are handled.

Personalized response messages for incoming calls


PBX users can record a personalized audio message that plays before any call is answered, forwarded, or directed to voicemail. This allows PBX users to provide a better service by giving callers critical information.

Let’s say Mary, our sales agent, goes on vacation on August 1 and wants to record a personalized message for anyone who calls while she’s away. She calls the IVR using her IP phone, and switches from “Business hours” to “Vacation mode” – both special mode settings her PBX administrator has already created. Mary then follows the voice instructions to change the default message (previously added by the PBX administrator for any phone set to this mode), and to personalize it for her specific line. Now, when a caller dials her number, they hear, “You’ve reached Mary. I’m on vacation till August 5. Stay on the line and your call will be forwarded to my colleague, Ann.” Then, the caller is automatically forwarded to Ann’s phone, as promised.

BENEFIT
Customer-experience
Customer experience
  • Enable your cloud PBX users to provide a better service to their clients with informative audio messages.

Call recording announcement


Starting with MR94, businesses can comply with call recording regulations that require everyone on a call to be notified if the conversation is being recorded. As soon as recording begins, a call recording announcement automatically plays. The recorded call always contains the announcement, ensuring that the call parties are notified of the call recording.

BENEFIT
Comply with local regulations
Comply with local regulations
  • Play a call recording announcement to all call parties.

Allow hunt group members to pause receiving hunt group calls


Hunt group members can now control whether to receive their hunt group calls. To stop receiving calls, they can simply log out of the hunt group – and log back in as soon as they want to resume.

Let's say John, a support agent, receives calls sent to the “First line support” hunt group. John needs to write an email to a client and doesn’t want to be disturbed by calls to that hunt group. To log out of the “First line support” hunt group, John dials *42302 on his phone (with *42 as the prefix to log out, and 302 as the hunt group number). Now, John can still receive direct calls, but will no longer receive calls sent to this hunt group. When John is done with his email, he logs back in to the “First line support” hunt group by dialing *41302, and starts receiving support calls again right away.

BENEFIT
Control over incoming calls
Control over incoming calls
  • Give your PBX users control over their hunt group calls.

Control how charges are rounded when billing clients


Service providers can now comply with local regulations and select what rounding method to apply to customers’ charges and invoice amounts. Service providers can now choose the specific rounding method and level of precision they need to use when invoicing their customers for various charges, for example, subscriptions, bundle promotions, measured services, or DID charges.

BENEFIT
Comply with local regulations
Comply with local regulations
  • Choose the rounding method and precision level for customer charges and invoice amounts.

Add wildcard SIP domains


Each customer who connects their Microsoft Teams to PortaSwitch has to have their own domain. Previously, to route calls between PortaSwitch and a customer’s Microsoft Teams environment you had to add the domains manually as new customers came in. Each time you add a domain and apply the configuration, that leads to service restart and downtime. With MR94, you can now add a single wildcard SIP domain that matches all new subdomains, meaning this effort only has to happen once, then never again.

Here’s how it works: PortaOne support adds the wildcard domain *.sbc.8ic.co, where “*” is a wildcard that matches all new subdomains. As a result, incoming calls from abctelco.sbc.8ic.co, intertelecom.sbc.8ic.co, and xxxxxxxxxxx.sbc.8ic.co will be allowed. Now you’ve saved time, and your customers aren’t experiencing downtime.

BENEFIT
Easier administration
Easier administration
  • Save time for your admins: add a wildcard SIP domain once so you can add Microsoft Teams customers as often as necessary.
  • Avoid service downtime.

Match events related to the same call via the call control API


External applications that use the call control API can now match call events received from PortaSwitch by the tracking_id attribute. In complex call scenarios that involve attended transfer, call parking, or call pickup, the tracking_id value changes. In this case, PortaSwitch sends both the new and the previous tracking_id value, so an application can track the whole call session. Thus, application developers don’t need to write and maintain additional code to match related call events in an application.

BENEFIT
Easier development of external applications
Easier development of external applications
  • Save time and reduce costs for external application development.

Simplified implementation of click-to-call service using the call control API


Service providers may want to implement a simple integration using the call control API – for example, to add the possibility of initiating calls from an external application and to track the status of these calls. Now, the call control API allows applications to receive call statuses via HTTP/HTTPS protocol with no need to connect via WebSocket.

BENEFIT
Easier development of external applications
Easier development of external applications
  • Reduce the time needed for development.

Find more details on PortaSwitch MR94 in the latest New Features Guide.

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