Shoretel Extensions and Groups

As of Shoretel 2.2, we’ve added in some amazing new functionality.

What’s new?

The biggest change is that we’ve built in a page to summarize extensions.  You can define groups and subgroups, then on an easy to use page report on the number and length of calls (in various directions).  Here’s an example!

Use cases

Some simple use cases:

  • Keeping track of your Call Center – who’s making calls, who’s taking calls.
  • How much time are salespeople spending on the phone?
  • Compare subgroups within the larger groups for performance.
  • Fancy reports for Management to complain about.
  • Or our recommendation – for pizza parties celebrating that everyone’s working so hard!

That of course is only the tip of the iceberg – the groups/subgroups are really up to you, you may find all sorts of neat ways to slice and dice your data.  Perhaps you would like to compare part-time vs. full-time employees for time spend on the phone?  What about folks using softphones vs. folks using hardphones? Is there a difference?  The sky really is the limit, and in each case it’s just artful usage of the groups and subgroups fields.

The Simple Setup

The setup is pretty simple, it only involves setting up groups and subgroups. Click Setup then Set up the Extensions lookup.

You’ll see a few options on the resulting page.  The first one you’ll see is the About page, which gives you a short reminder on how to use these tabs.

To the right you’ll see Download CSV and Upload CSV.  More on those later…

Add a new Extension or two

For our testing purposes, we’ll just use the two tabs Add new Extension/Group, and Edit/Delete Extensions/Groups.

Click on Add new Extension/Group and in the resulting page, fill out a number, give it a name, a group and a subgroup.

Click Add but please be careful to click it ONLY ONCE.  This page assumes if you are here entering an extension, that you probably want to enter several similar ones one after the other.  So when you save, it saves but otherwise leaves the page right like it was so you can make a few changes and save yet again.

Edit your existing Extensions

After adding a few, hop on over to the Edit/Delete Extensions/Groups page to check things.

Edit any you want – one row at a time – by just making a change and clicking Update on that row.  Any click on any Update button updates only *that* row, but refreshes the whole screen.  So you have to make changes to a single row, then click that row’s Update before you move on to the next row you want to update.

Using CSV functionality

For production use, you’ll possibly want to use Download CSV and Upload CSV.  These two together is how you probably will use the system if you have more than a dozen or so to keep track of.  Their use is fairly self-explanatory, just make sure you have all the fields that are required.  (I’d recommend filling out one or two manually, then downloading that CSV.  Use that file and edit it and re-upload it any time you need to update.)

Using Browse Extensions

Click Browse then Extensions.

By default you’ll see that all groups and all subgroups are selected.

Of course this isn’t what we need, so click the group dropdown in the upper left and select some group.  You can select more than one or only one – the choice is yours.

I also highlighted the fields dropdown in the above because it’s easy to miss.  This lets you only show only certain fields – like if you only care about inbound calls for the call center, you can have it only show those and their totals.

Lastly, you can also filter it down to only certain subgroups if you wanted to, filter by date, by number or by name.  These all support wildcards – an example below shows filtering down to just those names that start with “n”.  Nellie and Natalie are the only ones now showing.

There is one filter with two options that may not be immediately clear: the show dropdown lets you pick to show two different (and separate) things.

  • Selecting numbers with zero calls includes all the defined group and subgroup entries. For instance, suppose you have 14 people’s numbers in the group “Call Center” but only 11 of those people were working today, and that you are trying to run reports for today’s activity. Without this selected, you would only see the 11 people with records today. With this selected, you’ll see all 14 (so it includes the people/numbers with “zero” calls).
  • By including calls with zero duration, the totals will include calls in the count that, for whatever reason, have a zero duration. Obviously it shouldn’t affect the total durations, only the counts.

But Willard doesn’t believe Cuthbert took more inbound calls than he did?

All of the information contained in that report can be checked and confirmed on other screens in the Cisco CDR Reporting and Analytics app.

The most powerful – and easiest! – way to get to the most important of the screens is to just click on any single row in the results. This will show you the details of the calls, including the other calls from or to that number, directly in the Browse Calls page.

You can of course just manually browse Browse Calls and find their records and show Willard that it’s true, Cuthbert indeed took more phone calls.

Final Thoughts

There are lot of useful capabilities tucked away in the various screens in our menus and the impact they may have isn’t always obvious from a glance.

I hope this is enough to get you using groups, subgroups and the entire Browse Extensions page to their full advantage.






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