Hunt Group Queues

Answered Question
Apr 10th, 2007
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We are evaluating moving from an Avaya 8710 based enterprise PBX to a Cisco PBX. A sticking point we have come accross is how to do basic phone features supported by the Avaya system. A major one is the ability to queue calls in a hunt group. We have sites that have up to 3 or 4 hunt groups and if a call comes in and all members in the hunt group are not available then the call goes to Music on hold until the call can be picked up by the next available in the hunt group.


Is this really a limitation in Call Manager 5.x, 6.x or CME 4.3?

Correct Answer by Tommer Catlin about 10 years 2 weeks ago

To answer your question about IPCC express, I know it used to be free with CallManager 4.x, not sure with 5.x and came with 5 licenses. But with IPCCx, you can do just about anything you want when it comes to queing, onhold, music, transfers, etc.


But from looking at the doc I sent you:

Understanding Call Queuing

You can configure a pilot point to support call queuing, so when a call comes to pilot point and all hunt groups members are busy, Cisco CallManager Attendant Console sends calls to a queue. While in the queue, the callers receive music on hold if you have chosen an audio source from the Network Hold Audio Source and the User Hold MOH Audio Source drop-down list boxes in the Device Pool window or the Pilot Point Configuration window. The attendants cannot view the queued calls. When a hunt group member becomes available, Cisco CallManager Attendant Console redirects the call to that hunt group member.


You enable queuing for a pilot point by checking the Queuing Enabled check box on the Pilot Point Configuration window. You must also enter a value in the Queue Size field and the Hold Time (in Seconds) field. The queue size specifies the number of calls that are allowed in the queue. If the queue is full, Cisco CallManager Attendant Console routes calls to the "always route" hunt group member that is specified on the Hunt Group Configuration window. If you do not specify an always route member, Cisco CallManager Attendant Console drops the call when the queue size limit is reached. The hold time specifies the maximum time (in seconds) that Cisco CallManager Attendant Console keeps a call in the queue. If the call is in the queue for longer than the "HoldTime," the call gets redirected to "AlwaysRoute" member. If the "AlwaysRoute" member is not configured, no action occurs.



This is saying that the CCM Attendant Console will take care of what you need. It's basically a big queing machine. You dont have to have a live person answer to start the que from what it looks like, just point the calls to the pilot number and let the server take control of the ques.


You can do this one ccm cluster, or hub and spoke in your case. Just remember, that if you are queing calls, you are tying up WAN bandwidth the more you que. But it may work out ok, depending on how much bandwidth you have.

You can get MOH streams off your local router at the remote site, so you are not streaming MOH over the WAN, so that should take care of itself.


Unity can act as a poor man's que. Basically you can have ccm hunt the groups, no one answer, go to Unity voicemail, play a message, transfer back to the hunt group, hunt the group, then possibly back to Unity to play a message, then take a message. (just using a different mailbox and a different pilot number)


Sometimes you have to get creative with these products to make them do what you want them to do. Out of the box, it's not always the exact feature you need, but you have to tweak it.


Most companies that use hunt groups, understand that they are basica in CCM until you port it to IPCC Express. Unity does do menu trees very well, multilevel voicemail, multiply extesnsions to one account, etc.


My best advice for you, get together with your local Cisco SE to go over the features you require and see how it can be done.


cheers!

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uhsethornhill Tue, 04/10/2007 - 11:21
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Thank You very much... Not one of the Cisco employees we have talked to have mentioned that functionality, they were stating we had to use Call Center in order to get this.


Are there limits to the queue size and time? Or can you set it to 0 for infinite?


Also is there a limit to the # of Queues?


Finally is there an ability to periodically place a message such as please wait for the next available person?

uhsethornhill Tue, 04/10/2007 - 16:58
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well after spending time reading the manuals I now see that the CM5.x requires IPCCX in order to do what we want which is annoying. If we have 100 sites that average 2 hunt groups per site that require MOH and Queueing what is the license of IPCCX we will need? Can this functionality be done any other way. If for some reason we decided to get Unity what are our options while using Unity?

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Tommer Catlin Wed, 04/11/2007 - 08:16
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To answer your question about IPCC express, I know it used to be free with CallManager 4.x, not sure with 5.x and came with 5 licenses. But with IPCCx, you can do just about anything you want when it comes to queing, onhold, music, transfers, etc.


But from looking at the doc I sent you:

Understanding Call Queuing

You can configure a pilot point to support call queuing, so when a call comes to pilot point and all hunt groups members are busy, Cisco CallManager Attendant Console sends calls to a queue. While in the queue, the callers receive music on hold if you have chosen an audio source from the Network Hold Audio Source and the User Hold MOH Audio Source drop-down list boxes in the Device Pool window or the Pilot Point Configuration window. The attendants cannot view the queued calls. When a hunt group member becomes available, Cisco CallManager Attendant Console redirects the call to that hunt group member.


You enable queuing for a pilot point by checking the Queuing Enabled check box on the Pilot Point Configuration window. You must also enter a value in the Queue Size field and the Hold Time (in Seconds) field. The queue size specifies the number of calls that are allowed in the queue. If the queue is full, Cisco CallManager Attendant Console routes calls to the "always route" hunt group member that is specified on the Hunt Group Configuration window. If you do not specify an always route member, Cisco CallManager Attendant Console drops the call when the queue size limit is reached. The hold time specifies the maximum time (in seconds) that Cisco CallManager Attendant Console keeps a call in the queue. If the call is in the queue for longer than the "HoldTime," the call gets redirected to "AlwaysRoute" member. If the "AlwaysRoute" member is not configured, no action occurs.



This is saying that the CCM Attendant Console will take care of what you need. It's basically a big queing machine. You dont have to have a live person answer to start the que from what it looks like, just point the calls to the pilot number and let the server take control of the ques.


You can do this one ccm cluster, or hub and spoke in your case. Just remember, that if you are queing calls, you are tying up WAN bandwidth the more you que. But it may work out ok, depending on how much bandwidth you have.

You can get MOH streams off your local router at the remote site, so you are not streaming MOH over the WAN, so that should take care of itself.


Unity can act as a poor man's que. Basically you can have ccm hunt the groups, no one answer, go to Unity voicemail, play a message, transfer back to the hunt group, hunt the group, then possibly back to Unity to play a message, then take a message. (just using a different mailbox and a different pilot number)


Sometimes you have to get creative with these products to make them do what you want them to do. Out of the box, it's not always the exact feature you need, but you have to tweak it.


Most companies that use hunt groups, understand that they are basica in CCM until you port it to IPCC Express. Unity does do menu trees very well, multilevel voicemail, multiply extesnsions to one account, etc.


My best advice for you, get together with your local Cisco SE to go over the features you require and see how it can be done.


cheers!

paolo bevilacqua Wed, 04/11/2007 - 08:43
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Great info tcatlins, I've rated your post a "5".

It is worth to note that all the hunt-group features are actually embedded in CCME.

I'm left with the curiosity of knowing what part of IPCC Express is embedded with current CCM 4.x and what, if any, in 5.x.

Tommer Catlin Wed, 04/11/2007 - 08:48
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IPCC is actually seperate server. In 4.x, it's windows server running IPCC and connects with CCM via CTI. There are few more features in 5.x, but mostly it's a new database, and OS platform and all of 4.x features. Hunt groups are evolving more in CCM. I know from 4.1 to 4.2, you now have the option login/logout out of hunt groups from the phone. In 4.1, that is not an option and people love that feature.


Think IPCC express/enterprise as something you would use for a call center. Or if the features you want are not in CCM for call handling, then add the IPCC server for greater call control.


cheers and good luck!!

thisisshanky Wed, 04/11/2007 - 14:43
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For smaller sites, you can use CME on the router and use a feature called Basic ACD handled by tcl scripts on the router. This can queue calls, provide prompts to callers, and route calls to agents who are in a huntgroup. Check this link.


http://www.cisco.com/en/US/products/sw/voicesw/ps4625/products_configuration_guide_chapter09186a00805f2305.html#wp1074598

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