Agent Control Group Function - Logging into Multiple Queues with one code

Agent Control Group Function - Logging into Multiple Queues with one code

Protel Update 2/14/2020:
 ACD (Queue) Agent login codes can now cover multiple queues.

This update has added the ability for a single agent to log into multiple queues using one set of codes.

Important note:   Existing users of queues and dynamic login codes will still be able to use their existing codes.  However, the User Interface for managing those codes has been moved.  Prior to the update, each queue’s codes were managed from within the settings for that particular queue:   Modify Existing Queue->[Queue Name]->Agents (tab).  The assignment of static agents – phone extensions that are always members of the queue – is still managed from that page.   Queues with dynamic agent capability are now managed from a new page:   Queues->Queue Agent Codes .

To utilize the new feature you will need to create one or more uniquely-named Agent Control Groups, create codes that will apply to that group, and assign the queues that will be subscribed to that group.  If your PBX already has one or more queues that is using login codes, the software update will assign each of those queues to a unique group that only has one queue subscribed to it.  You can continue to use this method without disrupting your call flow – or, you can begin consolidating your logins by adding queues to the membership of any one of the migrated groups, and informing your call center staff that they only have to use one log-in code.  You do not have to delete any Agent Control Groups in order to accomplish this.  The “old” login codes will still work – and if you prefer to still allow agents to be able to log into any queue individually, you will want to keep those logins intact.

To create an Agent Control Group, access the page at Queues->Queue Agent Codes.  Give the Group a name – please, no spaces.  Use an underscore _ character if you want it to appear as a space.  You can add the codes now, while creating the group – or simply click the “Add Queue Agent Controls” button and come back to the group to edit it later.  Keep in mind that you MUST create log-in and log-out codes if you want the group to function the way you expect it to.  Pause and Unpause codes are optional – but if you select the Auto Pause option for any of your queues (see the FAQs below), your agents will be unable to UnPause themselves if they do not have a code to do so.  One advantage to having the agents Unpause from their phone is that the code will Unpause them from every queue in that particular Control Group, whereas the administrator control for unpause is applied to individual queues.  If an agent activates the Unpause code, it will have no detrimental effect on any queue that they are not paused on.

Caution:  When creating log-on, log-off, pause and unpause codes, be careful not to duplicate any existing extension number, group extension number, queue extension number or feature code access number that is already in use in the PBX.  2-digit, 3-digit and 4-digit numbers are acceptable as codes.


Can an agent log into more than one Agent Control Group?  Yes.  There is no limit to the number of Agent Control Groups that can exist, and there is no limit to the number of groups that an extension user can log into – up to the license limit of your PBX (see next FAQ item).  Here is one hypothetical example:  An Agent Control Group named “Group-Z” is set up with 3 queues as its members:  Queue-A, Queue-B and Queue-C.   Queue-D is not a member of Group-Z,  but it is a member of two other Control Groups:  “Group-D”, which has Queue-D as its only member, and “Group-Y”, which has Queue-D, Queue-E and Queue-F as members. An agent can be logged into “Group-Z” and then, at any time, also log into “Group-D” – thus increasing the agent distribution of calls that fall into Queue-D but not impacting the available agent distribution for Queues A, B, C, E and F.

Does the number of groups that an agent is logged into affect the ACD licensing of my PBX?  Your PBX is probably licensed for a finite number of ACD agents.   The PBX creates a table that contains the extension numbers of all agents that are logged into any queue – whether they are statically assigned to a queue or have logged into a queue using a code (dynamic agent) – and from that table determines the number of unique extension numbers that are logged in to any queue.  One user can be a member of just one queue, or a member of 10 queues – it counts as 1 agent license regardless of the number of queues that user may be logged into dynamically or statically assigned to.  If you have reached the maximum number of agents allowed by your PBX license, you may have problems logging any additional agents into any queue until you either add additional license seats or reduce the total number of unique agents that are logged into (or are statically assigned to) any queue.

Some of my agents forget to log out of their queue(s).  What can I do about that without going to their phone and logging out for them?  There are two ways to get control over this, and these two functions work well together.  One of them is “Queue Auto Pause”, which will automatically put an agent into “Pause” status if they do not answer a queue call within 15 seconds, and the other is the administration control page called “Queue Status and Control”.  The Auto-Pause option is set for each individual queue – not for a Queue Control Group – and it is activated by a checkbox on the Agents tab page for any queue.  Modify Existing Queue ->[Queue Name]->Agents (tab).  It is important to note that if the  ring behavior for a queue is set to round-robin or least-recent, the PBX will continue to ring an agent phone until either the queue timeout value is reached or the caller abandons the queue – unless the Auto Pause option is activated.  When activated, Auto Pause will stop sending calls for that queue to that agent phone until it is un-paused.  If the agent is a member of multiple queues – using the Agent Control Group login, or by logging in separately to multiple queues – they are NOT paused out of the other queues unless they get a call from one of those queues directed to their extension that also goes unanswered.  If the ring behavior is set to “ring all”, this is less of a problem, since there are presumably other agent phones that can answer the incoming call – but the auto pause feature works the same, either way.  It also applies to statically assigned extensions.

The second management tool that goes hand-in-hand with auto pause is the “Queue Status and Control” page, accessed under the “Queues” tab in the sidebar menu.   This page has active controls that allow you to unpause any agent that is currently paused, and also to log out any dynamic agent that is logged in.  You can unpause static agents that have been auto paused, but you won’t be able to log them out.  Note:  when you access this page, the sidebar menus will disappear from view.  This is to accommodate live updating of the page every 12 seconds or so.  To leave this page, use the back button on your browser, or click on the “Protel PBX” logo on the top black bar to return to the PBX home screen.

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