IP Office Shortcodes Simplified.
The art of configuring an actionable feature and bringing it to life
By the end of this post, “IPO Shortcode Simplified,” you will understand the day-to-day IP Office Shortcodes operation and troubleshooting techniques.
As installers and service technicians, we face all kinds of requests from customers. Shortcodes are one of the nicest features of the Avaya IP Office, but also they could be a pain, if not used properly, giving the end-user too much power, and on occasions, allowing for system disruption.
Around 2005, I got dispatched to work with a down system. This customer wasn’t able to receive calls, but what was interesting was that outgoing calls worked just fine. While driving to their site, I called them to do some preliminary troubleshooting. I had them test the phone system by dialing voicemail, calling extension to extension, etc. Everything within the phone system seemed to be working properly.
I have created these steps to help you troubleshoot similar issues=
- 1.- Data Gathering
- 2.- Survey the Telecommunication equipment
- 3.- Troubleshooting
- 4.- Understanding shortcodes
- *.- Resources
This was a doctor’s office, and patients couldn’t reach the Administrative offices to confirm their appointments. When I arrived to the customer site, they rushed me into the phone room, to try to fix the incoming call issue right away.
1.- Data Gathering
With the the site contact next to me, I asked him questions about the incoming call flows. In my mind, I thought that maybe an Automated Attendant Module was defective in the Voicemail Pro Server. The site contact explained how they used to press a special programmed button at the receptionist console, whenever there was inclement weather to announce office closing.
2.- Survey the Telecom equipment
After checking for bad parts, expansion module, etc. I came to the conclusion that the problem was not related to hardware.
I walked to the phone that had the button programmed, and found out that the customer never recorded the inclement weather automated attendant’s greeting; causing it to disconnect when activated by a Voicemail Pro User Variable.
Two major errors were made here by the installer.
First, the installer never urged the customer to record the announcements. And second, no time-out options were set in the automated attendant menu options.
4.- Understanding Shortcodes
What is a shortcode?
Short-code is used to execute an existing system feature, by pressing any given programmed number. In other words, you can easily program the entire system, using your unique dialing plan. The shortcodes could be up to 31 characters or digits in length.
Short code best practices
Throughout the years, I always asked my teammates to standardize a unique shortcode template. By having this short code template, it makes it easier to help and troubleshoot future problems.
On release 9.1 shortcodes work as follows=
user -> user rights -> System -> ARS
How to avoid shortcode duplication or conflicts
Because short codes can be applied to different templates within the IPO system, it is very important to check that there is no repeated features created. Such as having a User shortcodes already configured, then applying a User-Rights form on top of the user, causing it to conflict. Also, try to keep the shortcodes similar throughout the system using the same action and features.
Shortcode dial sequence
- If the number dialed matches an internal extension, go to step 6.
- If the number matches a User shortcode, apply the shortcode. If the result is a number for dialing proceed to Step 5. Otherwise go to step 3.
- If the number matches a shortcode in the User-Rights associated with the user, apply the User Rights shortcode. If the result is a number for dialing proceed to Step 5. Otherwise go to step 4.
- If the number matches a System short code, apply the shortcode. If the result is a number for dialing proceed to Step 5.
- If the number matches an ARS shortcode, dial the number.
- Dial the number.
Different shortcodes performing the same task
This is another mistake. Try to keep the system optimized by creating unique shortcodes and avoid duplicates. This can cause confusion to you, and the end-user.
Types of shortcodes
The system comes already with default shortcodes built-in, so there is minimal tweaking necessary except for Voicemail integration and Automatic Route Selection (ARS).
Voicemail integration shortcodes – These are codes that Avaya only creates for Embedded Voicemail, not Voicemail Pro. Voicemail Node, and Voicemail Collect are the two features that will integrate calls between the phone and voicemail systems.
Voicemail Node – use to integrate “Voicemail Pro/Shortcodes”.
Voicemail Collect – use to integrate “Voicemail Pro/Modules”
ARS shortcodes – Dial Emergency should always be allowed. Here, you can configure your dial plan.
9N – This is a system shortcode that allows you to pull a secondary dial tone from an ARS Template. The digit 9 will be stripped whenever dialing, sending any digits after it to ARS.
9NW – By inserting a W after the 9N under the System Shortcodes, it will withhold any caller ID digits, when dialing out, only sending the dialed digits. Keep in mind that the IP Office will look at the incoming call route tables, whenever dialing out.
Nsi407555E (The i will flag the call with the National Protocol) the s = send any digits (no characters) to the LEC. E= extension id. It comes in handy when sending the user’s DID as the caller id info.
There are many variations and scenarios that won’t be covered in this post.