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There are many situations where users need to be able to work from anywhere and want to activate the "find me / follow me" functions for their phone calls. There are several approaches to consider when staff needs to work from home:

Route Calls to Another Device

In this approach, calls are routed to any 10-digit DID (like a mobile phone or landline) and users can continue operating seamlessly. This approach is available to users with the PBX Seat Type of Premium. These settings can be configured in OSSmosis Administrator portal or modified by each user in the OSSmosis Personal Portal. During implementation of new services, all users are granted access.  Group administrators are provided a list of all usernames and passwords for access to Evolve IP applications.  OSSmosis personal portal usernames tend to be their 10 digit phone number and listed as Application Passwords.

FeatureDefinition
AnywhereAllows Premium PBX users to define one or more phone numbers or network locations (soft clients or other applications) that can be added to their profile. Calls are delivered to all phone numbers or locations that are enabled in the user’s Anywhere profile.
Remote OfficeAllows Premium PBX users the ability to send all their calls to a home phone, mobile phone or any other 10-digit phone number. This feature redirects all incoming calls to the remote office phone instead of the normal location. When placing an outbound call via Remote Office, the organization's Caller ID is displayed instead of the actual device (like a mobile phone). Moreover all inbound and outbound calls are still recorded, reported, and tracked like a "normal" call.

BEST PRACTICE: Remote Office and Contact Center Agents working via their Mobile Phone

Utilizing the Remote Office feature to route contact center calls to Agents via mobile phones is a quick way to activate business continuity. However, there are a few "gotchas" introduced in this scenario that could result in contact center calls being routed to the mobile phone's voicemail. For most contact centers, routing callers to the Agent's personal voicemail would be highly undesirable. The following scenarios should be understood and discussed with your agents to prevent this situation.

  1. if the mobile phone is out of coverage, the caller will route to the mobile phone's voicemail
  2. if the agent is Ready / Available and doesn't answer the call in less than the number of "rings" configured on their wireless carrier's voicemail settings, the caller will route to the mobile phone's voicemail
  3. if the agent "rejects" the call on their mobile phone, the caller will route to the mobile phone's voicemail

Utilize a Softphone

For users that want to utilize a softphone application that turns their workstation into a business handset. Users can operate from anywhere with an Internet connected device and headset when leveraging a softphone. Evolve IP's UC-One application includes a native softphone that can be leveraged in this situation. There are other softphones options including Skype Communicator for clients that deploy that solution.

Best Practices:

  • Test Test Test. There are many factors that can impact call quality of a softphone including the headset, the workstation, and the Internet connection. We highly recommend that each user test the softphone to determine if their configuration will work.
  • Headset Quality is Important. There are many headset options and lower quality headsets will result in lower call quality. Different headset models may need to be evaluated for the best call results.
  • Home Networks. The following settings should be configured in each user's Internet modem / router.
    • Ensure the modem/router is upgraded to the latest firmware.
    • Turn off “SIP ALG".
    • Make sure that no NATs (“Network Address Translations”) are configured and NAT is not enabled on the modem.
    • Disable Stateful Inspection.
    • Confirm that the modem is configured to NOT block SIP traffic.
  • UC-One and VPNs. Many organizations implement a VPN for remote users to connect to the office which may impact softphone deployments. For more considerations, please see UC-One and VPNs.

Leverage a Physical Handset (Polycom, Yealink, Cisco, etc.)

If your users are bringing their handsets home with them, they will likely require an external power cord. In an office environment phones are typically powered via their Ethernet connection (power over Ethernet, or POE), but most people do not have POE at home, in which case an external power cord is required. If you do not have a power cord, then refer to the sections above. Also, note that most office phones are configured with a VLAN ID. If a phone is being moved to a home, the VLAN ID will need to be removed; this can be achieved via the menus on the phone. The location within the menu and name of the setting will vary by manufacturer but are usually found under the Network and/or Ethernet settings menu. For more detailed instructions, please contact the Evolve IP Support team.

Resources

Personal Portal Video - Overview

Personal Portal Video - Activate Remote Office