Add Key-Press Features to Communications Server when Asterisk is the Gateway

This article explains how to use Asterisk to monitor the call flow to Office Communications Server 2007 R2 for certain key presses, and then respond to those key presses. Initially, key-press features were intended to enable callers to press keys while they are being held in a response group queue. For example, "At any time, press the pound key twice to leave a voicemail.” But key presses have also been used for other features, such as call parking. The procedures in this article are intended for configurations where incoming calls pass through Asterisk before reaching Communications Server, essentially using Asterisk as a gateway.

Author: Paul Adams

Publication date: June 2010

Product version: Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 R2, Asterisk 1.6

During a Communications Server 2007 R2 implementation, I used Asterisk 1.6 as a gateway for Communications Server to the outside world.

For some departments, I used the response group feature to manage incoming customer calls. We received comments from customers that sometimes they would like to leave a voicemail for the department or talk to a receptionist rather than wait in the call queue.

One option I thought of was to use the timeout feature of the response group to present the caller with a menu choice. For example, “Press 1 to leave a voicemail or press 2 to continue holding.” However, this configuration would remove the person from the response group queue, register their response to the prompt, and then place them back into the queue. In addition, this has the negative side effect of placing the person at the back of the queue, rather than into their original spot.

Read the complete article in the Technical Library.

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