Advanced Extension Routing

Advanced Extension Routing

Default Routing

Standard dialplan programming in a Protel PBX gives you limited options for how individual extensions will handle incoming calls. These settings are in each extension's configuration in Extensions->Modify Existing Extension and they include parameters like ring duration, voicemail settings, concurrent call limit, caller ID override, and the optional Abandon Voicemail and Dual Registration features. For any call that has been directed to an individual extension, there are really only three possible outcomes for standard default routing:
  1. The call gets answered
  2. The call lands in the voicemail box for that extension
  3. The call is terminated (no voicemail configured)
Advanced Extension Routing gives you much more flexibility. You can choose destinations other than voicemail for unanswered calls, set different time values for idle and busy user states, treat outside calls differently than internal calls, and give the user the ability to turn advanced routing on/off with a phone feature code.

Enhanced Default Routing

If Advanced Routing rules are not engaged for an extension, the basic settings that you configure for it at Extensions->Modify Existing Extension->SIP & Dialing will apply by default.  You can override that default behavior on the Extensions->Extension Routing page.  Click on the extension number/name you want to modify.  If no enhanced routing has been applied yet, the bottom section of this page will mirror the Ring Time value that is currently set, and the Fallthrough value will display either as Voicemail or Hangup depending on how it is configured.  An extension that is set to a ring time of 20 seconds on its SIP & Dialing configuration page and does not have voicemail activated will look like this on its Extension Routing page:

To apply enhancements, add a new routing rule to replace the existing default behavior by configuring the available options:
Call Category Label - leave as default unless additional category options have been defined (covered later in this article)
Ring Time this value applies when the phone is in an idle state
Busy Ring Time this value applies when the phone is engaged on another call.  Set this value to 0 if you want calls redirected immediately when the user is on another call.
Destination  Select a Destination type from the drop-down menu 
Target This menu will display all of the possible targets that are available for the Destination type you selected
When you press the Add Routing button, the bottom section of the page will change to the values you just configured.  In this example, if the phone is idle it will ring an incoming call for 20 seconds before redirecting to Call Group 3003.  If the phone is busy it will redirect immediately to that group:

The X button on the left side of the rule allows you to delete it.  An enhanced default rule can be deleted and the behavior will revert to the normal default.  A normal default rule cannot be deleted. 
Calls will be routed to the selected target destination if any of these conditions is met:
A) The phone is idle, and the call is not answered before the Ring Time value is exceeded.
B) The phone is busy, and the call is not answered before the Busy Ring Time value is exceeded.
C) The phone is Unavailable (Do Not Disturb, unregistered, or has exceeded its Concurrent Call Limit).  An “Unavailable” status will send the call to the destination target immediately.

Call Category Routing

You can set up additional rules that will route calls that come from internal extensions differently than calls from outside phone numbers.  To take advantage of this, you will first need to configure the categories.  Go to Additional Tasks -> Call Categorization and create a label for each of the types of calls that Protel PBX currently is able to categorize.  We recommend using "external" and "internal" as your labels.  This may seem redundant and unnecessary, but nexMatrix intends to add additional categorization abilities in future software releases and having the naming flexibility now ensures that this design will be easily expandable in the future.

Return to the Extensions->Extension Routing page to add rules for these categories.   Example:  customer wants inbound calls that originate from outside lines to be routed elsewhere if he is on the phone, but he wants internal callers to go right to his voicemail.  The resulting rule set looks like this:

User Control via Feature Code

To allow users to turn Advanced Routing on/off from their phone, you will need to define a feature code for this function.  A default feature code is not automatically installed.

Additional Tasks->Modify Feature Codes

Scroll down to the listing for “Toggle Advanced Extension Routing” and enter your desired value.  Our suggested code is 15.  After reloading the PBX, any user that has non-default routing rules established for their extension can toggle them on/off by dialing the feature code.  The system will return a message to indicate which state has just been activated.  “Activated Conditions” will be played when the Advanced Routing functions have been turned on.  “Deactivated Conditions” will be played when they get turned off.  Optionally, you can also set a feature code to query the current state of Advanced Extension Routing.  Our suggested code is 16.  Dialing this code returns the same system messaging as the toggle code, except that it does not change anything – it simply tells you which state it is in.

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