The Importance of Hunt Groups for Mobile PBX Services

There are two critical elements that can dramatically enhance even the simplest of services: time of day routing and hunting.Before we move on to consider personal calling services, let’s spend a few moments considering “hunting”. Hunting is simply the way in which a call can be distributed between a numbers of alternative end points. This means that, for example, a call can be made to a number and the software behind the call processing tries a defined set of numbers in a sequence.

Let’s imagine that a sales office within a company has six members within the team. They can be reached via the main number, or they might have a dedicated main number that reaches that team directly, bypassing the attendant. The individual numbers of each member of the team are linked as a group, so that the sales number can be routed to any of the extensions. But how do we choose between them?

The simplest way is to have the phones ring in a predefined order. Thus, for example, a call to a sales office may try each of the available extensions in turn until one is found to be free and the call gets answered. The call can then be dealt with properly rather than simply being lost or diverted to voicemail. This is important, not just in a sales organization but in any office where employees share interests and tasks.

The order in which different extensions are called can be managed in a variety of ways, for example: Parallel hunting and Sequential hunting.

These are largely self-explanatory – either all phones can ring at once, or they can ring in a sequence. But what if all calls end up being answered by the same individual? To meet this occasion, there are special variants that can be deployed, such as: Least recently used and rotating head.

Let’s consider time of day routing. This is simply the ability to make decisions about where to route a call based on selected times. It allows subscribers to the mobile PBX or IP Centrex service to choose the times during which they want calls to be routed to particular destinations.

These variants take into account the frequency with which a particular individual may have taken calls, or automatically moves the available members up and down a queue, so that the one at the top moves to the end after each call. There are other variants too, but the key point is that calls can be distributed to match the resources available in the organization. We also could talk about skills-based routing, but that’s for a future article.

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