Glossary

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After hours call routing

It’s a type of time-based routing when call routing rules differ during business and non-business hours. After hours routing is a synonym for business/non-business hours routing.

Auto-attendant

Auto-attendant (automated attendant, AA) is a part of a business phone system that automatically routes incoming calls to the desired extension without an intervention of live receptionist. An auto-attendant may also be called a virtual receptionist. In the case of cloud PBX routing to an extension means call forwarding to landline phones, mobile phones , VoIP devices, softphones.

Automatic Call Distribution (ACD)

ACD is a system that optimally distributes (in other words routes) incoming calls among users or user groups on the basis of predefined rules. Usually, companies use ACD in the case of a rather significant call flow then callers need not a particular person but a particular service, e.g. sales or support. The task of ACD is to forward a call to best suitable sales or support team members.

Business/non-business hours

It’s a type of time-based routing when call routing rules differ during business and non-business hours. Business/non-business hours routing is a synonym for after hours routing.

Call distribution

Distribution of incoming calls among users or user groups of a company. Call distribution can be made by different ways: with the help of receptionist, through dialing of extension by a caller, automatically according to predefined rules. In the latter case it’s called ACD.

Call distribution algorithm

It’s a method of selection, which of the hunt group members to direct an incoming call. For example, phones of the group members can ring simultaneously, or in a round-robin manner. In the first turn, PBX can forward call to the most qualified person or the freest one.
The selected call distribution algorithm should reflect business rules of a company.

Call forwarding

Call forwarding (call diversion) is an automatic redirection of a phone call to another destination depending on some conditions. The new destination may be a mobile or fixed-line number, VoIP number, voicemail.

Call queue

Sometimes a particular extension of PBX, person or group, can’t answer an incoming call because all operators are busy. In such a case PBX can place the call to a queue. The call will be routed to the employee that become free, according to the established call distribution algorithm.

Call transfer

A call transfer is a method that enables a user to redirect a call to another extension (user).

Called number based routing

This term means call routing rule depending on the phone number dialed by a caller. Entrepreneurs and companies use called number based routing to separate private life and work, to separate r different projects from each other, facilitate client access to different services of the company (e.g. accounting, premium support etc).

Caller id based routing

This term means call routing rule depending on the phone number of the caller. Companies use caller id based routing to apply different service rules to different customer segments. For example, to serve customers and prospects differently, to supply special service for the most valuable customers, to forward customer calls from various areas to local shops and so on.

Cloud PBX

This term is often used as a synonym to ‘virtual PBX’ and ‘hosted PBX’. But strictly speaking, this term emphasizes ‘cloud’ character of services, as described in by the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

Find me/Follow me

Find me/Follow me is a service that enables a user to receive incoming calls in any place on any phones. When PBX receives a call, it begins to ring all phones belonging to a user, usually simultaneously or sequentially. As a result, the user will not miss an important call.

Hunt group

Hunt group refers to a group of users (PBX extensions) that are logically linked for to handle a specific call flow jointly. Usually, hunt groups are based on functional teams, e.g. sales, finances, accounting, support.

IVR (interactive voice response)

IVR is a front part of a business phone system. We are faced with the IVR, when we call to a company and hear something like “press 1 to get into the sales department, press 2 if you need technical support, press 3 to check the status of your order, press 0 to speak with the secretary”. In common use of the term, IVR is a system that serves

  • to greet a calling customer,
  • to interact with the customer
  • to route calls to the appropriate employee or team.

Number porting

Number porting is a service that allows users to switch service provider and keep his existing telephone number.
According to FCC regulations, customers in the U.S. has availability to transfer fixed-line,mobile and toll-free numbers. In Canada, there are some restriction in number portability.

Softphone

A softphone is an application that substitutes physical IP telephone set and let users make phone calls over the internet or another IP network. The software can be installed on a variety of devices, e.g.: workstations, portable computers, tablets or cell phones.

Time-based routing (business hours)

Time-based routing is a call routing depending on the time of day, as well as weekends and holidays. For example, during business hours, calls are routed to an office, and after hours, calls go directly to a home number or to a voice-messaging system.

Toll-free number

A toll-free number is kind of telephone numbers with special billing. All calls to a toll-free number are free of charge for a caller. Instead, calls are paid by a company that owns the number.
According to North American Numbering Plan, toll-free numbers have such area codes as 800, 888, 877, 866, 855, 844. When needed, additional toll-free area codes will be launched (833, 822, 880-887,889). Term ‘toll-free number’ is equivalent to ‘free phone’, ‘free call’, ‘800 number’.

Vanity number

A vanity number is a phone number with a digit sequence that is easy to remember. Vanity number can have local or toll-free area code. It is usually used for marketing since vanity numbers can increase customer’s call volume.

Virtual number

A virtual phone number is a telephone number that is not tied to a particular telephone line and telephone set. It serves as access (or DID) number. All calls to a virtual number are forwarded to one or more user’s actual phone numbers, such as landline phone numbers, mobile numbers, SIP numbers. Usually, Virtual number includes some kind of virtual PBX functionality and from a user point of view can be treated as simplified virtual PBX.

Virtual PBX

Virtual PBX is an IT/Telecom service that simulates the functionality of business phone system. Such a service is delivered over the public switched telephone networks (PSTN) or the Internet, so it belongs to over-the-top (OTT) services. Usually, virtual PBX service has 3 components: PBX functionality, virtual number, local and long distance phone service.

Virtual receptionist

A Virtual Receptionist is part of a business phone system for handling incoming calls. It automatically greets callers and transfers calls to a proper extensions without an involvement, fully or partially, of a human receptionist. This term is a synonym to auto attendant.

Voice menu

Voice menu is a front part of a business phone system which intended for automatically handling incoming calls. After greetings, it offers to users an interactive menu and then transfers calls to PBX extensions in accordance with user’s choice. Voice menu is a synonym to the auto attendant.

Voicemail

Voicemail is a system that allows users to exchange voice messages.
Usually, voicemail is used when a user can’t (or don’t want) answer to an incoming call. In such a case, system playbacks greeting to the caller and invites him to leave a message. Voice messages are converted to audio files for storing and retrieving.

Webphone

A webphone is a web-application that substitutes physical IP telephone sets and provides a possibility to use IP telephony.
The user can make and receive calls and interact with PBX directly from his browser. Webphones are based on VoIP (voice over IP) technologies and use the internet as a media for voice transfer.
In essence, webphone is a softphone running in a browser.

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