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  #1  
Old March 14th 12, 02:19 PM posted to uk.telecom.mobile
Mark Rogers[_2_]
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Posts: 5
Default Mobile hunt groups

It's probably better if I start with the problem I'm trying to solve.

Where I work, everyone (count: 3 people) use their personal mobiles for work, and nobody wants to change that and start carrying multiple mobiles around.

Customers know our numbers so that they can call out of hours if needed, and we have a commitment to provide that cover. At present this means knowing who is "on call" and that person making sure they're available. However, ideally I'd want a number that could route to whichever was available.

Simplest option is for us to change our voicemail to say "if I'm unavailable, please call insert colleague's number here", but that's not so great when we're also using the same phones/numbers for private use.

I've looked at having a VoIP account which diverts to the mobiles (and assuming that nobody will be logged in to the VoIP account most of the time so it'll always divert), but as far as I can tell having voicemail enabled on the phones will prevent a divert working properly. The best I've come up with so far is actually using the VoIP account properly but that relies on a decent mobile signal.

So, any suggestions?
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  #2  
Old March 14th 12, 04:01 PM posted to uk.telecom.mobile
Graham.[_2_]
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Posts: 318
Default Mobile hunt groups

On Wed, 14 Mar 2012 08:19:05 -0700 (PDT), Mark Rogers
wrote:

It's probably better if I start with the problem I'm trying to solve.

Where I work, everyone (count: 3 people) use their personal mobiles for work, and nobody wants to change that and start carrying multiple mobiles around.

Customers know our numbers so that they can call out of hours if needed, and we have a commitment to provide that cover. At present this means knowing who is "on call" and that person making sure they're available. However, ideally I'd want a number that could route to whichever was available.

Simplest option is for us to change our voicemail to say "if I'm unavailable, please call insert colleague's number here", but that's not so great when we're also using the same phones/numbers for private use.

I've looked at having a VoIP account which diverts to the mobiles (and assuming that nobody will be logged in to the VoIP account most of the time so it'll always divert), but as far as I can tell having voicemail enabled on the phones will prevent a divert working properly. The best I've come up with so far is actually using the VoIP account properly but that relies on a decent mobile signal.

So, any suggestions?

And also requires all parties to have a smartphone capable of running
the VoIP client.

I gave some advice about implementing a hunt group using pbxes.com a
while back, was that you?

Can't the voicemails be deactivated completely?

--
Graham.
%Profound_observation%
  #3  
Old March 14th 12, 04:19 PM posted to uk.telecom.mobile
Mark Rogers[_2_]
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Posts: 5
Default Mobile hunt groups

On Wednesday, 14 March 2012 17:01:51 UTC, Graham. wrote:
And also requires all parties to have a smartphone capable of running
the VoIP client.


We have two Galaxy SII's and an iPhone between us, so not a problem there (actually it's quite likely the iPhone won't play a part anyway).

I gave some advice about implementing a hunt group using pbxes.com a
while back, was that you?


No it wasn't, but I'll search it out.

Can't the voicemails be deactivated completely?


Only if the phones owners don't mind doing that, which they do, as they're personal phones first and business phones second.

If we carried around work phones as well that would make it easier but none of us want the hassle of keeping two phones with us, charged, etc. Also, the business wouldn't pay for both so we'd end up paying for our personal phones as an extra cost. The nature of the business is that we don't actually get many calls to the mobiles and those we do get are from a select few customers who we know well; 99% of the time the phone is just used as a personal phone.

--
Mark
  #4  
Old March 14th 12, 04:23 PM posted to uk.telecom.mobile
Mark Rogers[_2_]
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Posts: 5
Default Mobile hunt groups

On Wednesday, 14 March 2012 17:19:35 UTC, Mark Rogers wrote:
No it wasn't, but I'll search it out.


I didn't find it searching via Google's search interface so a pointer would be great!

--
Mark
  #5  
Old March 14th 12, 04:52 PM posted to uk.telecom.mobile
Graham.[_2_]
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Posts: 318
Default Mobile hunt groups

On Wed, 14 Mar 2012 10:23:57 -0700 (PDT), Mark Rogers
wrote:

On Wednesday, 14 March 2012 17:19:35 UTC, Mark Rogers wrote:
No it wasn't, but I'll search it out.


I didn't find it searching via Google's search interface so a pointer would be great!


Have a look at my contributions to these two threads about hunt
groups.

https://groups.google.com/forum/?hl=...om/hxs8iBa4ZUw
https://groups.google.com/forum/?hl=...le/Kesru1gJNsc

If you already have a VoIP account with a provider, the rest will cost
you nothing to implement and try out.

Voicemail will cause a problem, but it looks to me that you will be
directing the calls to only one handset at any given time, so it's not
a real huntgroup as described here, and calls going to VM will be no
more or less of a problem as they would be if the mobile number was
dialled directly.

--
Graham.
%Profound_observation%
  #6  
Old March 14th 12, 06:49 PM posted to uk.telecom.mobile
Gordon Henderson[_2_]
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Posts: 65
Default Mobile hunt groups

In article 8519148.3924.1331738345227.JavaMail.geo-discussion-forums@vbtf26,
Mark Rogers wrote:
It's probably better if I start with the problem I'm trying to solve.

Where I work, everyone (count: 3 people) use their personal mobiles for
work, and nobody wants to change that and start carrying multiple
mobiles around.

Customers know our numbers so that they can call out of hours if needed,
and we have a commitment to provide that cover. At present this means
knowing who is "on call" and that person making sure they're available.
However, ideally I'd want a number that could route to whichever was
available.

Simplest option is for us to change our voicemail to say "if I'm
unavailable, please call insert colleague's number here", but that's
not so great when we're also using the same phones/numbers for private
use.

I've looked at having a VoIP account which diverts to the mobiles (and
assuming that nobody will be logged in to the VoIP account most of the
time so it'll always divert), but as far as I can tell having voicemail
enabled on the phones will prevent a divert working properly. The best
I've come up with so far is actually using the VoIP account properly but
that relies on a decent mobile signal.

So, any suggestions?


The issue is, as you suggested that of the mobiles (or rather their
network) automatically answering the call when they're off, out of
service or busy - in which case the caller gets the voicemail message
for that particular mobile...

I have had one customer try to blame me for losing a customer when a
member of staff diverted their desk phone to their mobile and then had
a rather amusing (ie. not safe for work!) message on their voicemail...

So what you need is a hunting service that calls the mobile, presents
the owner with the message "Press 1 to accept this call" and then makes
the connection when they press 1 and not allow any audio to/from the
caller until the mobile owner has pressed 1...

The down-side is that the service providing this has to allow enough
time for the call to go through and be answered (or not) - my experience
of sending calls to mobiles suggests that 15 seconds is not unusual
before the call even connects and starts to ring - meanwhile the caller
is hanging on, hopfully the service they're calling hasn't answered
the call..

An optimisation would be to call all 3 mobiles at the same time and the
one that pushes 1 first gets connected - frustrating for the others if
they all answer and miss the call - and expensive as they've now been
charged for 3 calls to mobiles...

I don't think there is an easy solution to this other than finding a telco
(voip or otherwise) which can set this up for you... I did look into it
and it's very possible with the systems I use, but I didn't get enough
demand to implement it... However I'm sure there are people out there
who can do this...

Gordon
  #7  
Old March 14th 12, 08:01 PM posted to uk.telecom.mobile
IanP
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Posts: 22
Default Mobile hunt groups

Vodafone used to offer hunt groups as part of their OneNet business package.. You could set it up so all phones would ring simultaneously, or go from one phone to the next. All the phones had to be on the same plan though, and because of the included minutes and data the line rental was expensive. You would have to migrate your personal numbers onto this plan, and you would not be able to get a PAC code for any number that is still in contract unless you paid off the contract. Try their website under Business for details

Hope this helps



On Wednesday, March 14, 2012 3:19:05 PM UTC, Mark Rogers wrote:
It's probably better if I start with the problem I'm trying to solve.

Where I work, everyone (count: 3 people) use their personal mobiles for work, and nobody wants to change that and start carrying multiple mobiles around.

Customers know our numbers so that they can call out of hours if needed, and we have a commitment to provide that cover. At present this means knowing who is "on call" and that person making sure they're available. However, ideally I'd want a number that could route to whichever was available.

Simplest option is for us to change our voicemail to say "if I'm unavailable, please call insert colleague's number here", but that's not so great when we're also using the same phones/numbers for private use.

I've looked at having a VoIP account which diverts to the mobiles (and assuming that nobody will be logged in to the VoIP account most of the time so it'll always divert), but as far as I can tell having voicemail enabled on the phones will prevent a divert working properly. The best I've come up with so far is actually using the VoIP account properly but that relies on a decent mobile signal.

So, any suggestions?






  #8  
Old March 16th 12, 08:20 AM posted to uk.telecom.mobile
Mark Rogers[_2_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 5
Default Mobile hunt groups

On Wednesday, 14 March 2012 17:52:32 UTC, Graham. wrote:
Have a look at my contributions to these two threads about hunt
groups.

https://groups.google.com/forum/?hl=...om/hxs8iBa4ZUw
https://groups.google.com/forum/?hl=...le/Kesru1gJNsc


Thanks, this looks like something to try playing with.

The biggest issue issue is definitely going to be voicemail. One of the biggest challenges is handling the issue of any given individual being in a location with no signal, and of-course this would go straight to voicemail before someone with a signal got a chance to answer. So the only way this can work is if the person answering the call has to do something to accept the call (eg enter a code). (Other solutions such as disabling the voicemail aren't acceptable to the individuals with the phones, of which I am one!)

Covering the cost of the calls to a number of mobiles, any/all of which might go to voicemail, isn't a big issue. Not least because the number of incoming calls is low, and each incoming call results in a support "incident" being invoiced to the customer which would cover the cost of the calls anyway. Harder to bear would be setup or monthly charges (depending of-course on how high they were).

--
Mark
  #9  
Old March 16th 12, 08:29 AM posted to uk.telecom.mobile
Mark Rogers[_2_]
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Posts: 5
Default Mobile hunt groups

On Wednesday, 14 March 2012 19:49:28 UTC, Gordon Henderson wrote:

The issue is, as you suggested that of the mobiles (or rather their
network) automatically answering the call when they're off, out of
service or busy - in which case the caller gets the voicemail message
for that particular mobile...


Should have read this before my last response as I've basically just repeated your comment!

So what you need is a hunting service that calls the mobile, presents
the owner with the message "Press 1 to accept this call" and then makes
the connection when they press 1 and not allow any audio to/from the
caller until the mobile owner has pressed 1...

The down-side is that the service providing this has to allow enough
time for the call to go through and be answered (or not) - my experience
of sending calls to mobiles suggests that 15 seconds is not unusual
before the call even connects and starts to ring - meanwhile the caller
is hanging on, hopfully the service they're calling hasn't answered
the call..



This is a low use system and to be honest if they had to "put up with" 15-30sec of delay before they got through to someone in return for having a pool of people they could reach, this would probably be OK.

Another "solution" which just crossed my mind:

Incoming calls *always* go to voicemail. However the message is taken and all engineers get a message to tell them there's a voicemail waiting. They check the voicemail and call the customer back. It'll be obvious when checking the message if another engineer has already checked the message so we could have a procedure in place to make sure the customer doesn't get called twice.

Given the use of smartphones we should be able to have the text notifying us of a voicemail use a suitably loud and hard to ignore ringtone to separate it from normal texts.

(Even better: the "system" calls all the engineers, plays the message to them, offers them the chance to hit "1" to return the call, etc.)

Is this more do-able?

I'm not 100% against setting up my own Asterisk/Trixbox/whatever - I did try this once upon a time (~5yrs ago) and didn't get it working with my cheap PSTN cards from eBay, but if I'm looking at VoIP here anyway then maybe that's worth another look?

--
Mark
  #10  
Old March 16th 12, 10:23 AM posted to uk.telecom.mobile
Gordon Henderson[_2_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 65
Default Mobile hunt groups

In article 4890517.167.1331890166739.JavaMail.geo-discussion-forums@ynca15,
Mark Rogers wrote:

Another "solution" which just crossed my mind:

Incoming calls *always* go to voicemail. However the message is taken
and all engineers get a message to tell them there's a voicemail
waiting. They check the voicemail and call the customer back. It'll be
obvious when checking the message if another engineer has already
checked the message so we could have a procedure in place to make sure
the customer doesn't get called twice.

Given the use of smartphones we should be able to have the text
notifying us of a voicemail use a suitably loud and hard to ignore
ringtone to separate it from normal texts.

(Even better: the "system" calls all the engineers, plays the message to
them, offers them the chance to hit "1" to return the call, etc.)

Is this more do-able?


I'm sure it is. Especially with something like asterisk which is infinitely
programmable. (if you've got the time & resources

There are systems (mine included) which will simply send the voicemail
as an email attachment, so as long as the caller leaves a message it
will be emailled - then its up to the phone to be online, checking email.
(or subsscribed to a "push" email service, etc.)

And I'm pretty sure there are some that will send a TXT message too
(mine doesn't at present)

I'm not 100% against setting up my own Asterisk/Trixbox/whatever - I did
try this once upon a time (~5yrs ago) and didn't get it working with my
cheap PSTN cards from eBay, but if I'm looking at VoIP here anyway then
maybe that's worth another look?


It's so cheap to get someone else to do it these days. The big issue
then is getting that new number out to your clients...

And if you want to test it for free, then go to sipgate - just sign
up for an account, get a number, then make sure you DON'T use a VoIP
phone to access it - although you might need to initially to record the
voicemail greeting message (it's been a while since I looked at their
systems). Then incoming calls will go immediately to voicemail and then
be emailled out... So if you can then setup an email alias that expands
to 3 email account, one for each phone and the phones can beep when they
get email, you're all set...

Gordon
 




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