During the pilot phase of a Skype for Business Enterprise Voice rollout it is standard practice to get some IP handsets in and do testing on functionality. Its important to try match feature sets between old and new handset functionality to make sure adoption of the new handset is simple.
How did you do it before? Here is how you do it now.
The longest conversation I have with this phase of testing is which transfer type will the business adopt as a default for all phones. There are 3 types of transfer that I like to discuss in Skype for Business;
- Blind Transfer – Transfer happens immediately
- Consultative Transfer – Transfer happens after a consult with the transferring recipient
- Safe Transfer – Returns the call on a blind transfer if the recipient doesn’t answer
The Polycom VVX Business Media phone range is what I prefer to deploy in organisations adopting Skype for Business. Polycom offer flexibility in how you configure the phone. This is done via in-band provisioning process built in by Polycom for a configuration file download. The configuration file allows for a default transfer type to be associated with the transfer soft and hard key in a standard call scenario. Two options are available;
Having a singular transfer type isn’t always optimal, especially when in conversations with workers that do high call volume for a public interfacing number i.e. Receptionist/Admin workers. These users quite often will give me the response when asked the question about which transfer they use in their job pre Skype for Business;
“Sometimes I like blind and other times I like consultative, it all depends on the calling party and how comfortable I feel with the requester in each call”.
This seems like a fair statement but not easily achieved with a VVX phone. I would tend towards default being blind and if the user wanted to do an ad-hoc consultative we would say to put the calling party on hold while you liased with the destination party and stich the call together after. Not perfect. Another method is to create a different configuration file for special cases where the user needed consultative as their default. Once again, not perfect.
My idea was to make soft keys on the ‘in call’ window on the phone for both blind and consultative transfer in my customized configuration file. This is achievable but I never sat down for long enough to pilot the process in its entirety. Older versions of the firmware I believe had consultative as default, during a call you had the option of transferring using the Blind method via a softkey but it wasn’t always on the first page of soft keys. Users wouldn’t always have the time or patience to go find the Blind key on the second page under the ‘more’ button.
But alas, Polycom have come to the rescue with UC 5.3.+ software now available for the VVX range that includes the simplest change in detail of the user guide that got me excited about an addition in functionality. User Guide (Page 46 or below)
To transfer a call:
- During a call, do one of the following
- Press Transfer to use the default transfer type
- Press and hold Transfer and select a transfer type.
- Dial a number or choose a contact from the call list or directory.
- If the transfer type is set to Blind, the call is transferred immediately.
- If the transfer type is set to Consultative, press Transfer after speaking with your contact.
Well there you have it, a very simple method of selecting a transfer method during a call. In some ways almost comical that I never once tried to hold down the transfer key. Now I do it by design. This is definetly something I’ve updated in my ‘how-to’ guides for end users adoption as it was the most common question I get in regards to VVX IP phones.