ShoreTel ECC – the powerful “change call profile” scripting tool!

Call Profiles can be of two varieties in the ShoreTel Enterprise Contact Center. They are either System Mandatory or User definable. ( Actually, to be absolutely correct, we need to acknowledge that “Skill Sets” are another type of call profile, but we are including them as User definable). The system assigns a number of Call Profile parameters automatically as the call moves through the system. These profiles are variables that change with each phone call. Examples of system call profiles would be Priority, DNIS, Call Type, Agent Extension and Average Queue Time. User Definable Call Profiles are parameters that you define to enable values required to implement your specific application. If your application, for example, plays a prompt to the caller that asks the caller to enter their account number, this information needs to be saved for follow on processing. As the caller enters their account number, the digits are saved to a User defined call profile that might be named “account code”. This profile variable can be interrogated , tested and used to further define call routing.

Lets assume that the account code that is entered by the caller is used to determine if that caller requires Platinum, Gold or Silver routing. You might assign Platinum callers a higher initial “priority”, a System mandatory Call Profile, than you might assign a Silver client. Given that an Agent is eligible to receive one of many calls awaiting service you might want to set the call select strategy at to be “by priority” rather than by “longest wait” or “best skill fit”. With this option you would manipulate the Priority Call Profile to set the Platinum caller with a higher value. You might also want to change the service that that call is routed to based on the account code. The question becomes, however, how do you manipulate the Call Profile? What tools area available to do this manipulation and what other tools might work in harmony with this capability?

In the ECC Scripting tool there is a remarkable scripting Icon named “Change Call Profile”. This icon can easily become the most powerful tool in your implementation scripting arsenal! When used in conjunction with a other icons like the “logic menu” or SQL dip kit, you can solve some really amazing application requirements. The video for this blog, uses a SQL data dip to look up and account code, entered by the caller, to determine how to route the call. Once this decision is made, the Change Profile icon is used to steer the call to the appropriate service, and send along other application specific call profile parameters. We use the Account Code to index a SQL database and return the “status” (e.g. Platinum or not) and the “route” we want the call to follow. The Route information is used to index a Logic map to find a specific Agent or Group that is assigned to handle that particular client account. The video also illustrates the use of the “branch to  script” icon to further manipulate the call parameters. I often use the ” Change Call Profile” icon to flip the automated attendant scripts from on hours to off hours when implementing that function within the ShoreTel ECC. Individually, these capable scripting icons are very powerful call handling manipulators. Taken as a suite of scripting tools I have not yet found an application that we could not implement in the ShoreTel ECC!

Install your ShoreTel Call Manager on your Apple iPad

On more than one occasion I have actually had to telnet into a clients router or switch using nothing more than a mobile phone!  Now, that is either an example of superior customer service or an indication of creeping insanity.   When you have to, you have to!   Sometime ago I moved to an Iphone and that actually makes RDP, VNC  or Telnet actually usable on a mobile phone in a pinch.

To say I think the Ipad is a game changer is an understatement.  If you analyze your computing habits you will find that you have two basic modalities: work and play.  At work, you are bent over and leaning in to your computer using a keyboard.  At play, if you could, you would be sitting in your favorite armchair surfing the web, watching yourtube and reading electronic books while updating your Facebook status.   This last mode, does not really require a lot of keyboard.  In fact the user interface that makes the Ipad so exciting is beginning to make you want to touch your Windows screen before you reach for you mouse.

It is the 21st Century and we are still keyboarding and mousing around?   The Ipad is redefining how the man machine interface will work.  Human gestures are much more effective than highlighting, dragging and dropping.  Ever consider how people use a phone?   They really want to poke buttons and lift handsets.  Mousing around is OK and many of us gravitate to all the features available to us when we integrate our phone system to our desktop computer.  The issue is, that word “desktop”.   The level of mobility that exists in business today, especially among knowledge workers and dispersed work groups is phenomenal!  Thus a growing dependency on Mobile devices.

Enter the Ipad. I admit it, I am a fanatical fan of the Apple family of computing devices, but I love this Ipad!  I finally took delivery on my Ipad 3G and am trying to figure out what I can and can not do with it.   I am able to do PowerPoint presentations on my Ipad using the Keynote App.   I am telling you, if you have to do a one on one presentation and you do it on an Ipad, you are going to get the order!

I found a great application named iTapRDP which I had on my iphone and it is now available on my Ipad.  This is a full blown RDP client that takes advantage of the “big screen” and additional real estate of the Ipad.   Now if i have to log into someones ShoreTel on the fly, I can do it with only the pain of a 3G connection, but with a full screen.    The next step was to just RDP into my own desktop and make use of my own ShoreTel Call Manager!  Now  using the “external assignment” feature, I have full ShoreTell Call Manager control from wherever I am, using my Ipad through and RDP session.

Come on, it is impressive to say the least!   No application required other than iTapRDP and I was running both ShoreTel 10.1 and an the Integrated ShoreTel Call Manager with ECC Version 6!    Sorry for the really bad video, but I am VoIP engineer not Oliver Stone (if anyone has a good Ipad Screen capture app, let me know)!