General Overview

In its' most basic work at home mode, the E-MetroTel InfinityOne Unified Communication and Collaboration (UCC) system can operate completely independent of the customer’s existing third-party voice system (PBX, KSU, etc). This means that it will allow remote users to make calls to and from the PSTN via its own SIP trunk connections . In contrast, the E-MetroTel InfinityOne UCC system can be also be configured as a complete replacement of the customer’s existing voice system. This document focuses on the deployment of InfinityOne in the work at home mode, but identifies configuration options that can be used to create as much integration of the customer’s existing telephony capabilities while trying to minimize the re-configuration of the existing system in order to establish work-at home capabilities for companies as quickly as possible.

While some of the call routing options presented could also be used simply to direct calls to employees’ personal cell phones, doing so would introduce significant changes to the current business operation. For example, once calls are connected to the employee cell phone the ability to transfer calls to another department is (typically) lost. Outbound calls will incur uncontrolled long-distance rates based on their own personal rates, increasing the overall cost to the business and adding additional effort to process the expense reimbursements. The advantage of the InfinityOne solution for work at home is that it will allow unlimited secure user-to-user collaboration and can offer improved control of inbound and outbound calling behavior.

To minimize changes to existing PSTN configuration and maximize the overall functionality of the work at home capabilities, the following is the ideal target architecture, although some interim measures are discussed below:
 

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Basic Standalone Principles of Operation:

Characteristics:

  • All users will connect with InfinityOne clients either on their desktop/laptop or on the InfinityOne mobile app (currently iOS only)
  • All users can call each other using extension to extension dialing via the integrated softphone with voicemail
  • All users will have access to secure collaboration functions (direct messaging, private groups, public channels and wiki)
  • Incoming and Outgoing calls are connected via SIP trunks that are included on the InfinityOne system (service provider charges would apply) 

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Incoming Call options:

  1. Can be forwarded from each user on existing system using existing system outbound trunks and routing if supported on the existing system. 
This option allows use of the InfinityOne solution selectively for those extensions that will require work from home support. For example, if all calls are routed through an actual attendant, only that attendant number will be required to be forwarded, and all other extensions could be replicated on the InfinityOne system for receiving transfers. If additional users have DID’s, these can forwarded as well and automatically routed to those users’ InfinityOne extensions. Configuring the forwarding of the calls on the existing system would follow whatever routing rules that are configured on that system. Typically, this would result in forwarding via the existing PSTN trunks.
Advantages Quick and simple, little if any changes on existing system
Disadvantages: 
 
Requires PSTN trunks on both systems
Creates inefficient usage of the existing PSTN trunks, as calls would be “hair-pinned” with a single call using both an incoming and outgoing trunk (and an incoming trunk on the InfinityOne system)

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  1. Can be re-directed with changes to your existing systems’ incoming routing capabilities 
If it is possible to make modifications to the existing system configuration, significant improvements in overall operation can be made by routing incoming calls directly to the InfinityOne system either by re-configuring or re-directing trunks on the existing system. Doing so will allow the InfinityOne system to more closely conform with the way those calls are handled currently.
Advantages Minimizes PSTN impact as it would reduce hair-pinned calls
Disadvantages: 
 
Requires PSTN trunks on both systems
Requires configuration on existing system

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Outgoing call options

  1. For outgoing calls, the simplest option is to use SIP trunks, as SIP trunks do not require a license on the InfinityOne system. Calling permissions over the InfinityOne system can be configured to restrict long distance or other types of calls on a per user basis or even to certain times of day. Calls can be configured to send the existing Listed Directory Number of the business or to each individuals’ existing DID. 
Advantages Quick and simple, no changes on existing system
Disadvantages:  Requires PSTN trunks on both systems

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  1. If SIP trunks to the PSTN are not an option (since it may require a service provider subscription and add cost), then outgoing calls from the InfinityOne system could be routed via the existing system if a trunk interface can be implemented; this way only one set of PSTN trunks are required. existing system would require re-configuration to allow those outbound calls to be tandemed to the existing PSTN trunks.
Advantages Does not require new PSTN trunks
Disadvantages:  Requires reconfiguration on existing system

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In any of the above four scenarios, the InfinityOne system requires the same basic configuration. Please refer to InfinityOne work at home - Basic Integration for those details. However, the optimum architecture is to enable trunks between the two systems; refer to InfinityOne work at home - Trunk Alternatives for alternatives for adding those trunks depending on the capabilities of your existing system.

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