Sunday, March 30, 2008

Cisco Attendant Console - Transferring Calls

In many of our offices (and probably soon to be all of them) we use Cisco Call Manager for our call processing. In each of our offices a receptionist is used to field the incoming calls. Included with Cisco's telephone system is a Java-based application named the Attendant Console (AC). This application allows the receptionist (in our case) to see the incoming call information, answer the call, put the call on hold, transfer the call to a number (either internal or external), as well as some other cool things.

Often, especially with executive-level management, the receptionist needs different options for transferring calls depending on the situation. The AC offers a few different ways to accomplish this often overlooked, yet necessary and important task and that is what will be examined in this post.

Types of transfers available in the AC:
  1. Transfer - This type of transfer does not inform the receiver of the call prior to transferring the call. When the call is transferred from the receptionist, it just rings the number (internal or external) that it is transferred to. To do this, left-click on the call and drag it over to the entry in the directory or speed dial
  2. Consult Transfer - A consult transfer allows the receptionist to consult the receiver of the call prior to transferring. For a consult transfer, click the call, then right-click the speed dial or directory entry and choose Consult Transfer. Once the receiver agrees to accept the call, click on the call in the hold window and click transfer. If the receiver doesn't want to take the call, the call can be picked up as with any other hold call and a sent to VM or whatever.
  3. Direct Transfer - Although not often used, this is a very cool feature of the Cisco system. A direct transfer will merge two calls into the same call. Simply select both calls in the call window (using the Ctrl key), right-click one of the selected calls and choose direct transfer. When the receiver picks up the phone, both calls will be on their line.
As demonstrated here, although transferring a call seems like a simple and easy task, there are additional possibilities and requirements for transferring calls. Often, those of us in the IT field don't take this into consideration because we are not receptionists and don't think in this way. However, it is important to know the features of the systems that we support and how to instruct our users to use these features when they need them.

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