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Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Play queue announcements and recordings using Unity Connection

I haven't posted anything on Unity Connection for a while. What has happened so far?  Another joker's in the White House, crude has gone up and London is in a shit state of affairs.  Back to unity connection.  This post is about how to play a recorded message before a call gets handed over to a queue, hunt group or reception console.

Scenarios

For example, let's say you have a queue for an IT service desk and in the event of a large outage you want to play out a message notifying users of a large scale outage "we are currently suffering issues with users connecting to the internet in the Kansas City area and are working to resolve this", before the call is handed over to the queues. Or maybe you want to play out a welcome message before handing a call over to a reception console "welcome to Dead meat Inc. All our meat is guaranteed 100% dead before it lands on your plate". anyway the scenarios are endless, but you can see what I am getting at.

Nuts and bolts

These pre-recorded messages,  are nothing more than recorded greetings in a call handler, it is that simple. So let us get started.

1. Create the call handler CTI route points. For this particular exercise, you need two CTI route points.I will explain later, why you need two and not one.  So the way to do this is to add a CTI RP in CUCM and do a call forward all to your voicemail pilot point.For this example I will use 900617 and 18 for the two call handlers.
2. Add the first call handler, I have called it IT outage notifications and assigned it extension 900617:

Fig 1



3. Go to CUCX and add the first forwarding rule to point the first CTI RP to the correct Call handler, point it to the call handler called "IT outage notification", made in the previous step:

  1. Fig. 2 

Make sure you set it to "go directly to greeting" (see above). This will make the call hitting the handler, go straight to the recorded message/greeting.

Also add the call forwarding condition:

Fig.3

(forwarding station=900617 which is the extension of the CTI RP).

At this stage you should be able to dial into 900617 and the Standard greeting should be played. So test this first before you proceed. If you get an announcement along the lines of "from a touch tone telephone dial any extension...blah blah", your call is not getting through to your call handler and you might be missing your forwarding rule.

4. Set the greetings in your call handler.

This is where you are actually going to define what message will be played when someone calls into your queue and what happens to the caller once the message has been played.  Go back to your call handler, called IT outage Notification (or whatever you have called it) and go to Greetings. 
Let's use the scenario where you want to use a welcome meeting all the time and then go to reception.  So this means, in your 900618 call handler, the standard greeting would need to always play.  Below is a picture of what this welcome message/standard greeting, needs to look like:

Fig. 4 

So you will need to record the standard greeting and personalize it. Don't allow caller input during the meetings and after the greeting send it to a second call handler (IT outage notification after greeting handler) and attempt transfer. I mentioned in the beginning that we needed two call handlers to play a recording before transferring the call and the reason for this is greeting "transfer rules".

There is some contradicting information on what is applied first, the playing of greetings or the application of transfer rules. And to be honest, I have had both set up work, but I prefer to use a second call handler that does not play any greetings, but only attempts the transfer to the reception or queue or wherever it needs to transfer to.  So below is a screenshot of my transfer rules for the first call handler, and is actually a combination of direct transfers and sending the call to a second call handler for transfer.

Fig. 5


The standard greeting on transfers to 33570, once the standard greeting has been played (see figure 4) , this could be your reception.  In the example above (Fig 5) the alternate greeting is sent to 900618, the second call handler.

5. set up a second call handler with a transfer rule

Now set up a second call handler in the same way as your first call handler that contains the welcome message/standard greeting

This second call handler invokes the standard greeting when receiving a call:

Fig. 6



The standard greeting of the second call handler plays nothing (by setting Callers hear Nothing, see fig. 6), it just invokes the standard greeting transfer rule, and transfer the call to 33670, as per Fig. 7


Fig. 7

if you wanted to record the greetings, it is probably easiest to use the greeting administrator, unless moving around wav files is your cuppa tea. The greeting administrator also allows you to easily turn on and off an alternative greeting on one of your call handlers. You can turn the alternate greeting on and off in case you have an extraordinary notification you want to play to your callers, before connecting the call to the queue.

I have done a separate post on how to set up greeting administrator in a separate post.

Namaste!


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