There’s an old adage about the person you know least well is the person inside of you. This can often apply to our internal communications systems as well. Occasionally, it is good to pause and reflect on life and figure out how we can improve the less than perfect areas and throw out the bad ones. With spring around the corner, I would like to share some cleanup ideas.
“Imagine your ideal PureConnect system”
Entropy. It is the nature of our dynamic universe, everything is in a state of change. As things change in your communications environment, make sure to keep things tidy and up-to-date. Remove old users, stations, lines, dial plan entries, and attendant profiles. Check in with the business stakeholders to see if old items can be removed. Do you have some custom handler applications that are no longer relevant? If you have old, legacy configurations or application, consider “thanking” them for their previous utility (by documenting them) and then either delete or archive them off the server.
Know Thy Lines.
I’m just going to simply list below some concrete facts to know about your PRI circuits/SIP lines:
- Simultaneous calls – How many calls can a particular circuit handle at once? Periodically request line saturation reports from your Telecom provider. Check your lines configuration in Interaction Administrator. Do the line limit numbers agree?
- DNIS (Dialed Number Information Service) numbers – Have a list of known circuits and the DNISs attached to each.
- Line preference/priority – Understand how the Telecom provider is preferentially sending calls to each circuit. Are your inbound DNIS numbers attached to both circuits? Does one circuit get priority for inbound over outbound?
- 911 PSAP (Public Safety Answering Point) – If you have two or more geographically diverse circuits, do you know where both 911 PSAPs are? Is your system correctly setup to send 911 calls to the correct PSAP?
- Termination equipment – Know ALL of the equipment that telco circuits terminate on, whether it be a SIP line Session Border Controller or a PRI to VoIP gateway such as a Cisco Voice router or AudioCodes Mediant. Know their IP addresses.
- Analog stations/FXO gateways – Do you have backup analog circuits at remote locations? Make sure to document them.
- ANI choice – Does your Telecom provider allow you to send any ANI (Caller ID) or only ANI that you own with them? Some carriers are now restricting you to send only ANI you own with them. If you own circuits with more than one telco provider, calls sent out with a foreign ANI could be rejected.
Once this information has been collected and documented, go ahead and share it with the relevant parties. (Hint: your communications solutions partner)
“People don’t plan to fail, they simply fail to plan.” – Ron Dubach, teacher, driving instructor, life guru.
It’s 7 am on Monday morning and a wind storm has knocked out the power… Or the system recently had updates applied over the weekend. Do you know which business critical communications functions have to be available to work? Every business is unique with this question and only you can answer it. Make sure to cover all your bases. Inbound? Outbound? Remote users? Are there specific attendant profiles that run custom handlers which need to be tested for functionality as a customer would use it? Should callers be hearing a specific text-to-speech prompt?
Make sure your test plan explains how to perform those tests and what the expected results should be. Thanks for reading!