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  • Remote phone use out of the office

    I have just implemented our shoreTel system and would like to know the best way to have users remotely use their phones if they cannot come into work.

    From home, a user can remote into their machines, but how would they use their phones?

    I was thinking they can use a USB headsets and remote into their PC's, but that is an extra cost for the Shoretel module? I guess they would also need to have a VPN connection too?

    Also, I was thinking they could forward all calls to their home, but what stops someone from home from answering the calls to their home line?

    Last, I was thinking of SIP or using WAN addresses, but using WAN addresses would have to be pre-configured.

    What are the best practices for remote users?

    Let me know your thoughts...... Thanks in advance

  • #2
    You have several option depending on what you have in place or budget $$$ availability to add new services.

    - If you have VPN access to the office; the users can use their PCM & Softphone w/USB headset or external assign to a land line or Cell # where they are.

    If you are on 8.1 + you can use Shoretel VPN Concentrator (10 or 100 users) and give the users a phone to place at their location (requires reliable Internet connection at remote location and invenstment of $$$ and config/admin time) Good solution for executives and Call Center Agents when working remotely.

    If you have a reverse proxy solution in place, you can enable Web Access and use first option above.

    Lacking the above, you can continue to use old reliabel external assignment to route calls to them, but they will have to use a local phone or cell to inititae calls.

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    • #3
      If you have a direct dial setup to ring to an Auto-attendant, have the users program in their external to one of the call handling mode(maybe out of the office or custom) . Have users call the auto-attendant and hit # to access voicemail options. After they get into their voicemail account they can change their call handling mode directly through the voice.
      Last edited by dsirek; 07-22-2009, 11:59 AM.

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      • #4
        Since the home worker has access to their office PC assuming that this has PCM installed, I would explore Office Anywhere.
        The extension would be assigned to their home phone.
        Incoming calls to their extension are routed to their home phone, you can set an option when you configure office anywhere to have ShoreTel user to press 1 to accept the call before connecting them to their caller. This will stop the call from being routed to their home answering machine by mistake and could help with the problem of other folks at home from answering the office calls.
        You will also see the call appear in PCM shortly before your phone at home starts ringing.
        You could explore distinctive ringing services from the telco who provides the home line or this is what I do: set up a distinctive ring on my cordless phone at home that plays a different ring for calls that come from the office based on Caller ID.

        You can place outgoing calls at no cost to the ShoreTel user by having them dial the number with PCM, when they dial with PCM, the system will dial them at their Office Anywhere location before placing the call to their original destination and the connect the calls together.

        I use this feature myself when working frrom home, we have also had a couple of Snow days where most of the company were unable to get to the office. We use terminal services for remote access, my users were able to configure their office anywhere on the Personal Call Manager installed on the terminal server.
        Last edited by ShoreTel_Dave; 07-23-2009, 09:08 AM.

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        • #5
          I do like office anywhere since it is a free service. I will continue to explore all the great features of office anywhere.
          Thanks for all the advice.

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          • #6
            Terminal Server and Softphone

            We see a trend that most agents have disconnected their home landline for economic reasons and are only using their cell phone now as their main communication device, our problem is this......

            PCM works great on our 2003 fully patched MS TermServ as long as we include a landline or cell phone in the "forward" as stated in the thread above. But if no Agents are able to come to work because the office is infected with H1N1 (or equivalent reason) the company does not what to pay the cell phone bills during the "outage"....so....soft phone sounded like a good alternative but our testing came up with voice quality problems.

            Question:
            Has anyone tried (and successfully) get the ShoreTel Soft phone to work thru an MS Terminal server?

            Notes:
            We use TS because one of our old legacy applicatons is to large to run over even a high speed connection TS works great for it.
            Eventually we need support up to 60 agents thru the TS
            Bandwidth it not a problem fiber connections between al relevant equipment except at agents homes
            SD 8.1
            ECC


            Thanks

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            • #7
              I would recommend the following:
              Use PCM on the local machine and set up VPN connections. Run softphone from the local machine. If you want them to control their phone without having to minimize remote desktop every time, run a second copy of call manager on your TS.

              I do not think you will have much success routing the audio over TS's audio driver.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Palitto Consulting View Post
                I do not think you will have much success routing the audio over TS's audio driver.
                I would agree. TS's audio capabilities are lousy, no matter how good the internet connection is.

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