The newest update to Protel LTS includes added functionality that enables PBX administrators to implement definable controls that restrict access to the “Spy” features (Listen, Whisper and Barge), and also to restrict access to call recordings.

Here is a typical example where this kind of capability is needed:  A customer service manager within an organization needs to be able to listen to live calls, and to access recorded calls, but only for PBX users within the customer service department – not for any other users in the company.

To implement these restrictions, you will use the new Configure Manager Groups function, which has been added to the Extensions section of the PBX Administration User Interface.



You can have an unlimited number of Manager Groups, and there are no limits to how extension users are organized within those groups.  For example, an extension user who is a designated manager for one (or more) groups can also be listed as a group member for other groups.  Individual extensions can also be members of multiple groups, managed by different users.

The user interface for Manager Groups is very similar to the Call Groups feature:  you click on available extension users from the right-hand column and that toggles an extension over to the left-hand column.  Click on any entry in the left column to remove it and put it back into the right column.  In the Manager (top) section, add one or more extensions that will be allowed to access the Spy features and the recorded calls for the group members.  In the Members (bottom) section, add the extensions that should be assigned to that group.

Once a group has been created, any Manager extension will be able to use the Listen/Whisper/Barge prefix dialing codes to “Spy” on any extension that is listed as a Member of that group without enabling the feature codes separately.  The call recordings (if there are any) for all of the group members will now be available to an authorized Manager via their extension user PBX login.  When they log into the PBX as an extension user, with their extension number, email address and voicemail password, they can use the “Recorded Calls” link to bring up all of the available call recordings for the current day. These will be organized by extension number, with the Manager’s own call recordings listed first.  The date range tool can be used to access call recordings from previous dates.

Using the Manager Groups tool eliminates the need to create additional administrator logins to the PBX for group managers, since the call recordings for their group are displayed via their existing extension user login rather than as an administrator.  It also eliminates the requirement to enable “Spy” feature codes for manager extensions, or to enable listen/whisper/barge for the users that are allowed to be “spied” on.

IMPORTANT NOTE:   The previously existing Protel LTS tools for enabling the spy features, and for administrative access to recorded calls, are still functional, and they work in a global manner.  For Listen/Whisper/Barge, if you enable feature code access from the Limit Features for Extension page, that user will be able to “Spy” on any user that has the checkbox enabled for Listen/Whisper/Barge, located under the “Advanced” tab in their Extension configuration panel, regardless of their Manager Group designation.  If you want to implement tight administrative control over the “Spy” features using the new Manager Groups tool, you should make sure that your authorized Managers have the Listen/Whisper/Barge features disabled in the Limit Features for Extension section.  These features are off by default, but may have been enabled if you have been using Spy features previously.  As for access to recorded calls, any person who has an administrative login that includes call recordings will still be able to retrieve ALL call recordings by using the Call Recordings link in the Monitoring section of the PBX Administration User Interface.  The Configure Extension User Settings, in the Admin Tools section, is also a global control.  If access to recorded calls is disabled here, no extension user will be able to access ANY recorded calls, regardless of their Manager designation.  You can also use this setting to prevent users from deleting call recordings, even if they have access to listen to them.

As with many of our new feature enhancements, this one was developed because of a specific customer need, communicated by one of our Reseller Partners.   We are always open to suggestions and requests for features and functionality.  Let us know how you think the Protel LTS PBX platform could be improved!