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__Tips from GHTROUT

Appear Smarter than Your Attendant Console Operator by GHTROUT
Posted: 19 Feb 06 (Edited 15 Jan 11)

Your Meridian 1 Attendant Console
An Original Composition by Gene of GHTROUT.com

Many Telecom Administrators never become intimately familiar with the operation and programming of the Meridian 1 Attendant Consoles.maybe it was one of those things that were set up and then simply forgotten?  If so, look at this list of features, tips and tricks and see what you've been missing!

The attendant console works a little different than a typical phone as you probably have seen.  The transfer capability is the feature that makes it operate so fast.  That function is called "switched loop termination"  

 The basic process for getting a call and transferring is this:

The call is presented to a "loop" key of a console...it buzzes until the operator presses the Loop Key and answers.  To transfer the caller, they simply start dialing.there is  no Conference or Transfer key.   The destination rings and there is a 3-way connection.the source(caller) the Operator, and the Destination (called party)  The Operator can simply press RLS at this point.

At times, the Operator will dial the extension and hear  silence rather than ringing.  This means the call will be "camped on".  When they press RLS, the caller hears ringing and does not know they were Camped on

If the Operator chooses not to press RLS, they maintain unique control of the call.  They can separate the source and destination, speak privately to either one and reconnect then if they want to.

Two features related to the above capability are  Busy Verify and Barge In.  The Busy Verify Key (mnemonic BVR) can be used to break into an active call on a station.  Press a LPK Key, then Busy Verify, then dial the extension - you can use Exclude Source or Exclude Destination to speak privately with either party on the call.   
The Barge In Key (mnemonic BIN) can be used to test or break in to a trunk.  Press a LPK Key, then Barge In, then dial the Trunk Route Access Code plus Trunk Member Number + Pound Key to seize dial tone.  If there is a call active on the trunk, you will hear the call.  

Busy Verify and Barge In send a burst of tone to all parties when interrupting active calls.  Calls on telephones with Class of Service WTD cannot be Busy Verified or Barged In.  

While you experiment with these, you may find that you get a call.  If you are at the console and it is  buzzing with a new call you are not prepared to answer, simply press the top key or any key above the flashing one) in the column of buttons directly left of the dial pad (in other words, press an idle Loop Key).  This will put the ringing call back into the queue so another operator can answer it (this assumes more than one console is in use).  This is also how a lazy Operator can avoid taking a ringing call.

Quite a few Operators never know they can  transfer a caller to another console.  "Inter-attendant calls" are made by dialing the ANUM.  Extn 001 thru 063 are reserved.  Only an Attendant can dial those numbers of course.  They function exactly like transferring a caller to any extension.

If you are out of the office and realize the Operators  forgot to put the consoles in NITE when they left, just have someone log in to the PBX remotely and do a LD22 DNB on Extension 0.  Then from LD32, disable and then re-enable each of the TNs and poof, the consoles will be in Nite.

Incoming Call Indicators (Customer Data Block ICI prompts) can be assigned so that the Operator can tell if the call is a recall or a Dial 0 call or a certain trunk route, etc.  Over time,  as trunk routes were changed, updating the ICI key assignments may have been overlooked.

If you have a recorded announcement defined for delayed calls to the attendant, the ICI keys are how you specify what call types and sources will hear that announcement.  For example, you can have the announcement play to callers on certain trunk groups but not to internal "Dial 0" calls.

If you have analog phone lines with Class of Service XFD, these are the source of the  mystery calls the Operator may be complaining about.  When an XFD phone does a hook flash (intentional or inadvertently), the call is transferred to the Console.  Use Class of Service XFR instead.  Now that XFR is available, there is really no reason to use XFD.

If an Operator complains that  calls often get "stuck" on the console, it is probably a result of an incoming call being transferred to an outgoing line.  This is common when a Trunk Route Data Block has special disconnect controls defined in the NEDC and FEDC prompts.

By default, calls transferred from a console to an extension will "Recall" back to the console if nobody answers within a certain time.  You should  verify the Console Recall Timers and telephone FDN timers compliment each other.  For example, if your Console Recall Timers are too close to the station FDN/Forward No Answer time, you are defeating the purpose of FDN.  Both timer settings are in the Customer Data Block.  Set Recall Timers at the RTIM prompt and FDN timers at CFN0-2 and DFN0-2 prompts.

If you play in the Customer Data Block and type the word "Yes" in response to OPT, the  digital displays on the consoles will stop working.  Take a look at your telephone dial and notice the letters YES and XDP (eXclude Digit disPlay) share the same numeric dial digits.  To turn the display back on, type IDP at any OPT prompt in the Customer Data Block

Look in he OPT sections of the Customer Data Block.do you see the entry ITG?  If you do, then your  Operators can turn trunk routes on and off.  Enter XTG at any OPT prompt to eliminate this dangerous capability.

If you keep track of  Console Traffic Reports and notice the Internal Call Time is very high, one of the Operators may be pressing a Loop Key (often labeled LPK) instead of Position Busy when they go on break.

In Console Traffic, Internal Calls include any call (internal or external dialed) from the console as well as any call from another phone in your Meridian 1.  Examples:  If a user dials 0, that is Internal in the traffic reports.  If the Operator calls Grandma in Kansas, that is also an Internal call in the traffic reports.

If you are having  trouble finding calls the console placed in the CDR/Call Accounting Reports, print out the TNs of each console and look for the ANUM prompt.  That number is the "extension" for CDR records.

If you have a MerMail menu or announcement specified as the console "NITE" number, make creative use of a Time of Day Controller.  Set the schedule to your normal console hours.  When you are closed, the normal "we are closed" menu plays.  When you are open, a different menu plays, with menu choice and delayed response prompts set to call (CL) an extension appearing on the phones next to the consoles.  Why you ask?  Because it is easy to  accidentally place the consoles in NITE during the day.  By using a Time of Day Controller and the new "daytime" menu, Operators will be alerted of the problem when the phone next to the console starts ringing off the hook.  Think of other creative options - can you add a Thru-Dialer choice before callers are redirected to the phones next to the console?  Note that Holiday Schedules will need to be maintained if you use a Time of Day Controller.

Oh, and about those 'mystery keys'

Release Destination - Allows the attendant to release the called party from a call held at the console, while holding the calling party.

Release Source - Allows the attendant to release the calling party from a call held at the console, while holding the called party.

Signal Source and Destination - Allows the attendant to recall either party to a call held on the console.

Exclude Destination - Excludes the called party from an established call held at the console, allowing the attendant to speak privately with the calling party.

Exclude Source - Excludes the calling party from an established call held at the console, allowing the attendant to speak privately with the called party.




End - Enjoy

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