Tuesday, 12 December 2017

New call routing features in Office 365

As christmas sneaks up on us, we have received new call routing features in our Office 365 subscription. The new call routing features are both auto attendant and call queues.

Auto Attendant news:

Just in time for the holidays a new holiday scheduling feature has been released. This gives us the opportunity to schedule a holiday period and greeting.

  1. Name the holiday set, e.g. Closed for christmas
  2. Define what the callers should hear, options are a TTS prompt or upload an audio file
  3. Define what should happen after the announcement, options are disconnect or redirect call to either a person in the company, a call queue or an auto attendant
  4. Define when should be activated start and end date and time (half-hour interval only, minutes 00 and 30). You can have multiple schedules
  5. Save and add to AA.
This feature is easy to implement and maintain for the office admins, but we still face an issue with the half-hour interval for business hours.

Call Queue news:
A new call distribution has been released, serial routing. This setting will route a call in the queue to the first agent in the grouplist, if this agent is not available then route to the second agent in the group etc. 

  1. The new Serial routing option
  2. List of groups of agents, the groups can be Office 365 groups, distribution lists or mail-enabled security groups
This feature improves the call queue usability for many organizations, but we still face a limitation of 50 agents per call queue.

Queue timeout has been made more granular, instead of just a number of minutes we now also have an option of seconds (0, 15, 30 or 45) which should be sufficient for most organizations.
When the queue time has been exceeded, the call is either disconnected or forwarded to a person in the company, a call queue or an auto attendant.

Last, but not least, it is worth to bring to attention the mobile app, which is now able to receive a call from a call queue, at least on my Android powered device.

This is from the log file of my mobile app:

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