Using PhoneValet with PBX and KSU Telephone Systems
This is a guide to help you use PhoneValet with PBX and KSU telephone systems.
PhoneValet was designed to connect to stanard analog telephone lines. However, many small offices have PBX or KSU systems to manage their telephones. PhoneValet can work with PBX and KSU systems in some instances, but there are trade-offs with the dialing, voice mail, call recording, and auto attendant features of PhoneValet depending on how it is connected to your phone system. If you are interested in how other features will be affected, feel free to contact us.
Note: this article represents current knowledge by Parliant's technical staff about PBX and KSU systems in use today. Some features of these systems may prevent proper operation of PhoneValet's features described below.
Connecting to a Key Switch Unit (KSU)
Key Switch Units are phone systems that use standard phone wiring and often standard analog phone lines but offer extensions and paging features. Key Switch Units do not manage the outside phone lines for you - they require the users to select the desired phone lines when answering and placing calls. This can be used to PhoneValet's advantage.
PhoneValet can be used to provide dialing, auto-attendant, voice mail and call recording features. To connect PhoneValet, do not connect it to the KSU unit. Instead, split the outside lines and connect the Parliant Telephony Adapters there. You will need one PhoneValet Message Center package for each outside line. See the diagram below:
Automatic Attendant: PhoneValet can act as a full auto attendant using the Page and Pause mailbox types. It cannot send a call to a specific phone, but it can announce the caller's choice over the computer and networked computers with the PhoneValet Anywhere add on. To do this, simply create a call tree with a menu of choices for your caller, and make the choices Page and Pause. PhoneValet will then alert your PhoneValet clients of incoming calls and which line they should answer. If no one answers after a set amount of time, send the caller to voice mailboxes that you also create in your tree.
Dialing: Full dialing should work with most KSU systems. Simply dial, and pick up on any line. PhoneValet will then dial when you pick up on the line. Note, your KSU must pick up on the line for PhoneValet to recognize it. KSU systems that wait for the phone to start dialing before picking up will not work.
Voice Mail: Simply set PhoneValet to answer after the desired number of rings. PhoneValet will answer the call if no one answers.
Call Recording: PhoneValet can record all calls coming in or placed on the outside phone lines. PhoneValet can not record calls from one internal extension to another.
Connecting to a PBX with digital extensions
PhoneValet cannot communicate directly to PBX systems. But you can split the outside line and connect the Parliant Telephony Adapters there. You will need one PhoneValet Message Center package for each outside line. See the diagram below:
Automatic Attendant: PhoneValet can not act as an auto attendant. Most PBX systems do not allow you to pick up on a specific outside line.
Dialing: PhoneValet's dialing features can not be used with a digital PBX. Most PBX systems do not allow you to pick up on a specific outside line.
Voice Mail: Set PhoneValet to answer after the desired number of rings. PhoneValet will then pick up if no extension (or auto-attendant) on the PBX system picks up on the line.
Call Recording: PhoneValet can automatically record all calls on the outgoing line. Manually recording calls to outside lines is possible, but may be cumbersome when trying to determine which call is originating from your extension vs. another. PhoneValet cannot record calls from one extension to another.
Connecting to a PBX with analog extensions
If your PBX system can provide analog extensions, you can connect PhoneValet to an analog extension. To handle more calls simultaneously, you can create additional extensions for additional Parliant Telephony Adapters. You will need one PhoneValet Message Center package for each simultaneous call you wish to be able to answer. See the diagram below:
Automatic Attendant: If your PBX switch supports blind transfer (flash the line, dial the number, and hang up) then PhoneValet can be used as an auto attendant. Configure your PBX to send all incoming calls to an extension that PhoneValet is connected to. Then have PhoneValet answer with a menu of your choosing. In the menu, enter Transfer choices for each extension.
Voice Mail: Configure unanswered calls on all other extensions to transfer to the extension connected to PhoneValet. PhoneValet can then offer voice mail choices for the caller. Note, it is not possible to determine which extension the caller chose previously, so you cannot automatically send the caller to the voice mailbox of the person the caller was attempting to reach. Keep this in mind if using PhoneValet as an auto attendant, and voice mail. The caller will enter the extension for someone, and if unanswered, will be sent back to the same menu. For this reason, it is not advisable to use the same PhoneValet for voicemail and auto attendant in this configuration.
Call Recording: PhoneValet cannot be used to record live calls in this configuration.
Dialing: PhoneValet can not be used to automatically dial calls in this configuration.
Using PhoneValet on your personal PBX extension
If your PBX system provides you with an analog extension, simply connect PhoneValet as you would in a home or office with a single phone line. All of PhoneValet's features are available on your extension alone.
Note, some digital PBX phonesets offer an analog phone jack on the side for answering machines, and other devices. PhoneValet does not work with these jacks.