Scheduled Announcements

Feature Description

Scheduled Announcements can be used to schedule calls that deliver pre-recorded messages, musical reminders or other audio notifications to one or more telephony destinations.  At the scheduled time, the system initiates calls to all destinations in the configured group and plays the selected announcement to each destination once the call is answered.

Destinations for scheduled announcements can be internal extensions and/or external phone numbers.  For internal extensions that support the auto-answer feature, calls can be automatically answered and the announcement played immediately over the speaker phone.  For external destinations and for extensions that do not support the auto-answer feature, the announcement is played when the call is answered by the destination.

Scheduled Announcements is a licensed feature (product code SA) and requires a license from E-MetroTel. (See Licenses for details on obtaining and updating the license.)

Pre-requisites

To use the Scheduled Announcements feature, you need the following:

  1. Your UCx system must be updated to the latest release of software
  2. License to use the Scheduled Announcements feature must be installed on your UCx system

Overview

To access the Scheduled Announcements feature page, perform the following steps:

  1. From the PBX tab, select PBX Configuration
  2. From the left side column, under Applications, select Scheduled Announcements
  3. The default page shown is the Overview page
  4. You can always return to this page by clicking on the Overview link on the top right hand corner of the page

On this page, the Scheduler Status field provides an indication of the current status of the announcement scheduler task. The value shows Enabled if there are no active scheduled announcements.

You can have multiple schedules active at the same time. The Scheduler Status will show the number of current active announcements for all schedules.

General Settings

On the top right hand corner of the page, click on the General Settings link.

Settings that apply to all scheduled announcements can be configured here.

Field
Default Value
Description
Ring Time 24 The number of seconds the phone will ring in Normal answer mode.

Add Schedule

To add a new schedule, go to the top right hand corner of the page and click on the Add Schedule link.

Field
Description
Schedule Name Enter a descriptive name for the schedule
Disabled Check this box to disable the schedule. All the configuration data will be stored but the schedule will be inactive.

The current system time is displayed at the top of the page.

To add an entry, click on the green plus button  and select an announcement from the pull-down list.

Once the announcement is selected, the page will display the other entry parameters.

Field
Description
Group Select from the list of existing page group or ring group that is to receive the announcement.
Answer Mode

Select Auto-answer to have the phone automatically answer and play the announcement on the phone's speakers. If Normal mode is selected, someone has to answer the call to hear the announcement.
Note: For destinations that do not support the auto-answer mode, the Normal mode is used even when the Answer Mode is set to Auto-answer.

Schedule

Select Daily or Weekdays or any specific day of the week from Monday to Sunday.

Time Select the time in 24 hour format.

Click on the green plus button  to continue adding more entries or click on the trash icon to delete an entry.

When all the desired entries have been configured, click on the Submit button to save the schedule.

Configuration Workflow

To configure a scheduled announcement, you must typically perform the following steps:

  1. Use the System Recordings page to configure a system recording with the desired sound file(s) (a pre-recorded message, music, sound or other audio notification)
  2. Use the Announcements page to configure an announcement that plays the system recording (above) and defines the call treatment after the playback
  3. Use the Paging and Intercom page to configure a page group with internal extensions, or use the Ring Groups page to configure a ring group with internal extension and/or external destinations
  4. Use the Scheduled Announcements page to configure one or more scheduled announcements

In the example below, we present a configuration for a retail store that requires the system to play the "store closing" announcements at the end of the day. At the scheduled times, the system makes calls to phones in the store.

Step One: Create System Recording

  1. From the PBX tab, select PBX Configuration
  2. From the left side column, under Applications, select System Recordings
  3. Use the Choose File button to select the wave file with the recorded message on your PC
  4. Press the Upload button to upload the wave file to the UCx system
  5. If desired, change the system recording name in the Name this Recording field
  6. Press the Save button to create the system recording
  7. Repeat these steps if you have multiple recordings

Step Two: Create Announcement

  1. From the PBX tab, select PBX Configuration
  2. From the left side column, under Inbound Call Control, select Announcements
  3. Enter a Description for the announcement
  4. Select the Recording to be played (created in Step One)
  5. For the Destination after playback, select Terminate Call - Hangup or alternatively another destination (for example, you could select another announcement to chain multiple announcements that are to be played in sequence during a single call)
  6. Press the Submit Changes button
  7. Repeat these steps to create additional announcements as required

Step Three: Create Page Group

  1. From the PBX tab, select PBX Configuration
  2. From the left side column, under Applications, select Paging and Intercom
  3. From the right side column, select New Paging Group
  4. In the Paging Extension field, enter the desired extension for the page group
  5. In the Group Description field, enter a description of the group
  6. Drag and drop extensions that are to be included in the group to the Selected area
  7. Press the Submit button to save the page group

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Both Page Groups and Ring Groups are supported. You can choose to create a Ring Group instead in Step Three.

Step Four: Create Scheduled Announcement

  1. From the PBX tab, select PBX Configuration
  2. From the left side column, under Applications, select Scheduled Announcements
  3. Click on the green plus button  to add a new scheduled announcement entry
  4. Select the Announcement created in step two
  5. Select the Group created in step three
  6. For Answer Mode, select Auto-answer to have the phone automatically answer and play the announcement on the phone's speakers.
  7. Select the desired Schedule and Time
  8. Repeat these steps to create multiple announcement entries as required
  9. Press the Submit button to save all the configured announcements