Updating to SMB 5.5

Overview

The main focus of the SMB 5.5 release is using Digium Phones with your Switchvox PBX. But there are some new features and enhancements that make this a great update even if you are not using Digium Phones.

See also: 5.5 release notes for a list of issues that are resolved in version 5.5, and Switchvox 5.5 and Digium Phones for the main landing page of version 5.5 and Digium Phones.

For Administrators

Details

  • Assign extensions to a Digium Phone MAC address.
    Setup > Digium Phones
     
  • Maintain all of the configuration details for each Digium Phone.
    Setup > Extensions > Templates
    Setup > Extensions > Manage
    Server > Phone Networks
     
  • Maintain a set of internal and external contacts that is put on each Digium Phone.
    Tools > Contacts

For Phone-users

Details

  • Create sub-status options that can be used anywhere you can set your Status.
    Features > Status Options
    What used to be called Presence is now called Status, and can be used outside of the Switchboard and chat.
     
  • Create Call Rules based on your Status.
    Features > Call Rules
    New Call Rule:  if your Status is Do Not Disturb, queue calls are declined, and direct calls go to your voicemail.
     
  • Define the Rapid Dial Keys on your Digium Phone.
    Features > Phonebooks and Phonebook Options
    Digium Phones support up to 1,000 contacts, including admin-managed contacts, and your phonebook entries.
     
  • Set your preferences for your Digium Phone.
    Features > Phone Features
     
  • Use new options in Switchboard's Current Calls panel.
    Switchboard > Current Calls
    The current calls panel had a Send button that is now Send VM. That sends the call straight to your voicemail, ignoring your Call Rules. There is also a new button, Ignore. This makes your phone stop ringing, but still uses your Call Rules.

Download  a one-page "cheat sheet" for phone-users: D70  D50  D40

New Features and Changes for Administrators (/admin)

Bulk Import for SIP extensions now allows a Digium Phone MAC address in the CSV.

Setup > Extensions > Manage > Bulk Import

Now Bulk Import allows a Digium phone MAC address in the csv file. This creates a server-based Digium Phone Assignment for each SIP extension.

A new Phone Assignments page lets you assign extensions to a Digium Phone MAC address.

Setup > Digium Phones

Digium Phone Assignments define how SIP extensions are associated with a Digium Phone MAC address. For all other phone-configuration information, see the sections below about phone settings and phone networks.

The new Digium Phone Assignments page lets you view a list of extensions and MAC addresses that are already assigned, or lists of extensions or phones that are still unassigned.

Digium Phone Assignments also lets you create assignments. You can do this one at a time, or use the Quick-Create option to create multiple assignments at the same time.

Anywhere in the Digium Phone Assignments area with a Phone MAC Address field, you can use a barcode scanner to scan the barcode on the phone box and retrieve the MAC Address.

To assign additional extensions to a MAC address (Lines 2-6), first assign Line 1 to a Switchvox extension. Then, modify the assignment and add the additional lines. Lines 2-6 can be Switchvox extensions, or external extensions.

Setup > Digium Phones > Assignment Options

In general, you don't need to use the phone assignment options if you create server-based assignments. Meaning, assignments created from the Digium Phone Assignments area, Bulk Import, or the Extend API.

Phone Assignment Options are used for creating phone-based assignments using the phone's numeric keypad to select an extension from a list.

Phone Assignment Options control what password must be used to allow someone standing at the phone to choose that phone's extension. Or, you can specify that for a specific period of time, no password is required (called an Open Enrollment Period).

IMPORTANT: If an Assignment is server-based, someone at the phone is never allowed to choose the phone's extension. When the phone is turned on or restarts, it automatically uses its server-based extension assignment. Server-based assignment includes the Digium Phone Assignment area, Bulk Import, or Extend API. If this is a problem, delete the Assignment, and re-assign the phone.

The Phone Settings tab for phone extensions now manages Digium Phones and Other Manufacturers (Phone Feature Packs).

Setup > Extensions > Manage

The settings on the Digium Phones tab of a phone extension, along with those on the Common Settings tab, let you control almost everything about the Digium Phone assigned to this extension. The settings here are also available in Extension Templates and Bulk Modify.

Settings that are not controlled here in Extension Management: 

  • Hosts (for SIP registration) are managed in Phone Networks.
  • Additional lines (SIP accounts) are managed in Digium Phone Assignments.
  • Contacts are managed by the extension owner (as Phonebooks), and in the Admin Suite's Contacts page.
  • Volume levels for the ringer, speaker, handset, and headset are controlled from the volume bar on the phone itself.

All of the settings on a Digium Phone, except volume, can be controlled by one of these tools in the Switchvox web suite.

Depending on the permissions that you offer each extension, some of the phone settings can also be controlled by the extension owner.

This affects Phone Settings and Permissions for:

  • Extension templates
  • Extension management
  • Bulk-Modify extensions

The phone settings for extensions with a Phone Feature Pack are now under the Other Manufacturers tab.

A new Phone Networks page lets you set up network information for Digium phones.

Server > Phone Networks

Digium Phones use all of the network information here to register to this Switchvox.

This is particularly helpful for a remote employee. If you have a remote employee:

  1. Make sure that Phone Networks contains an external network location for Switchvox
  2. Make sure that Access Control contains a network location for the employee, with Digium Config Server to Yes
  3. Make sure that the Phone Assignment has the correct extension and MAC address
  4. Plug the phone into your local network
  5. Wait until the the phone obtains its configuration from Switchvox
  6. Make a test call just to be sure the phone is configured correctly
  7. Unplug the phone and send it to your employee

When the employee plugs the phone in, he or she does not need to do anything. Once the idle screen displays the date and time, the phone is ready to make calls.

The new Contacts page controls a set of contacts that are put on each Digium phone. 

Tools > Contacts: Internal Directory

Digium Phones support up to 1,000 contacts (including admin contacts, and personal phonebook entries).

The Contacts page gives you control over the Internal Directory that is used on Digium and Polycom phones.  On a Digium Phone, the extensions in the Internal Directory are always included in the Contacts app. On a Polycom phone with a Phone Feature Pack, the extensions are included in the Directory.

The Directory application on Polycom phones with a Phone Feature Pack now uses the Internal Directory. (Meaning the Switchvox Directory under Applications/Services, not the Polycom phone's Directory button or softkey.)

The Internal Directory is now used as the Switchboard Directory Panel.

Tools > Contacts: External Contacts

The Contacts page also lets you put External Contacts in every Digium Phone's Contacts app. 

External contacts can be useful for contacts on a peered Switchvox. The Internal Directory section has an option to download the directory as an XML file. If you download that file, you can upload it to the peered Switchvox's External Contacts. This way, all of your employees can have the Internal Directory of both Switchvoxes.

The Updates page no longer mentions Phone Feature Packs. That information is now on the Phone Setup page (Setup > Phone Feature Packs).

New Features and Changes For Phone-Users (/main)

Presence is now referred to as Status, and Status is extended across your phone system.

Features > Status Options 

Your Status reflects your call status (busy, ringing, etc.), and your general communications status (Do Not Disturb, Available, Away, etc.).

You can create your own Sub-statuses. Under each main Status (Away, Available, etc.), you can create multiple sub-statuses, such as Available: home office, or Away: Conference in San Diego. Those can be used any time you set your Status. 

Status can be set from your Digium Phone, the Switchvox Suite, and the Switchboard.

IMPORTANT: If you do not have a Digium Phone, you cannot affect your Switchvox Status from the phone. In other words, if you set Do Not Disturb from a non-Digium phone, your Switchvox Status does not change.

Status is part of your Call Rules.

Features > Call Rules

Each Call Rule is based on a time frame, and your Status.  You can set both conditions, or just one or the other. (Time Frame can be Anytime, and Status can be Any.)

IMPORTANT:

  • There is a new default call rule that defines what happens if your Status is Do Not Disturb. If you are DND, queue calls are declined, and direct calls go immediately to your voicemail. If you do not want that to happen, you can change that Call Rule. Again, if you are not using a Digium Phone, setting DND from the phone does not change your Switchvox Status.
     
  • If you use a desktop Jabber chat client (such as Pigin) that automatically changes your Status for you based on your idle time, make sure that this will not cause an unwanted affect to your Call Rules. For example, if you are idle in Pidgin for 5 minutes and your Status changes to Away, and if you have a Call Rule that is based on Status:Away and forwards your calls to your assistant, make sure that is how you want it to behave.

Phonebooks have new options.

Features > Phonebooks

As in previous versions of Switchvox, you can set which one of your Phonebooks is used as Rapid Dial Keys on your Digium Phone (or Polycom phone configured with a Phone Feature Pack). 

If you have a Digium Phone, you can enable or disable using extra (unregistered) line keys for rapid dial.

If you have a Digium D50 Phone, you can easily print the strip of paper (DESI Strip) for your rapid dial keys. You should do this last, after you determine which Phonebook to use, and whether to enable line keys for rapid dial.

Converged Phones

Features > Converged Phones

If you have a converged Digium Phone, its main extension is used

  • For all voicemail activity: message indicator light, the Msgs button, and dialing the voicemail system extension.
  • For these Apps: Contacts, Status, Queues.
  • For parking a call (the call appears to be parked by the main extension).
  • To log into and out of a queue via a Status Indicator Rapid Dial Key. (These are Phonebook entries.)

Phone Features

Features > Phone Features

If you have a Digium Phone, the Digium Phones tab under Phone Features lets you set your preferences for your phone.

Switchboard has new options.

The current calls panel had a Send button that is now Send VM. That sends the call straight to your voicemail, ignoring your Call Rules.

The current calls panel has a new button, Ignore. This makes your phone stop ringing, but your call rules are respected.