The Intermedia Unite Auto Attendant is an automated system that allows callers to navigate through a set of options by pressing keys on a touchtone phone. You can set options to redirect callers to another Auto Attendant, Hunt Group, or to a particular user. Callers can dial an extension anytime if they already know the extension they want to reach, with Dial by extension enabled.

You can have several multi-level Auto Attendants with different local and/or toll-free numbers assigned.

Note: The primary phone number cannot be unassigned from the Auto Attendant. To release the main number, you need to swap it with another spare phone number on the account. Released numbers can be later assigned to a user, a Hunt Group or any other object on the account. Toll-free numbers cannot be used as primary users' numbers.

The basic steps for setting up Auto Attendant are:

  1. Enable the Auto Attendant and assign phone number.
  2. Assign additional phone numbers for your Auto Attendant.
  3. Add Receptionist Groups if needed.
  4. Set up Auto Attendant Schedule.
  5. Set up Auto Attendant's timeout setting.
  6. Set Business Hours options that will correspond to the keys callers press.
  7. Set up Events.
  8. Record and upload a greeting, which tells callers what the menu options are.
  9. Record Auto Attendant Voicemail.
  10. Verify Auto Attendant setup.
  11. Deleting Auto Attendant if it is no longer needed.
  12. Call routing override to re-route the Auto Attendant.

Note: If your Auto Attendant menu has options to redirect callers to a particular user or Hunt Group, you need to assign phone number and extension to the user or create the Hunt Group before setting the Auto Attendant option. Read the Knowledge Base articles on   How Do I Create And Manage Intermedia Unite Users?  and  Managing Hunt Groups On Intermedia Unite    for instructions.

Enabling Auto Attendant:

  1. Navigate to HostPilotĀ® Control Panel > Services > Voice Services > Auto Attendant > click Create Auto Attendant button.
  2. In the initial setup, you must:
    • Enter in a unique Name
    • Enter an Extension number
    • Assign a Phone Number from your available pool, via the drop-down field
    • Choose file that will play as During call transfer music:  organization MOH, Ringback tone or custom music.

createAA

Assigning Additional Phone Numbers To Auto Attendant:

  1. Navigate to HostPilot > Services > Voice Services > Auto Attendant and click Auto Attendant Name.
  2. Click Settings at the upper right corner.
  3. Click Assign phone number.
  4. Choose one of the available numbers, or press Add local numbers or Add toll-free numbers to add new numbers. Once the number is selected, press Assign.
  5. The numbers will appear one under another. Use X to unassign a number.
    Note: the primary number cannot be unassigned. But it can be swapped with an unassigned number.

Assign phone number

Receptionist Group

Receptionist Group is an option which forwards incoming calls directly to certain users or phone numbers before call goes to Auto Attendant. This group has its own activity periods (weekly schedule). 

How To Set Up Receptionist Group:

  1. Navigate to HostPilot > Services > Voice Services > Auto Attendants > Add Receptionist Group.
  2. Specify the Receptionist Group Name, Display Name and Ring type.
  3. Set up the Receptionist Group Schedule type
  4. Set the time frame for the schedule to be active and save changes.
  5. Add users/phone numbers and save changes.
  6. Further destination of a call depends on the rest of the Auto Attendant options.

Detailed instructions about this feature can be found in the article Receptionist Groups in Intermedia Unite  .

Setting Up Auto Attendant Schedule:

To specify the Auto Attendant activity periods, or schedule, you will need to create Auto Attendant menus. They can have different greetings and different users/hunt groups/other objects assigned to phone keys.

When the new Auto Attendant is created, there are two menus that are created automatically, which are business hours and after hours. Business hours can be deleted or edited. Therefore, the first step is to set up the Auto Attendant Schedule is to edit these 2 default menus. You can always create additional menus if needed.

To set up the Auto Attendant business hours schedule, navigate to HostPilot > Services > Voice Services > Auto Attendant and click on the Auto Attendant Name > create Business Hours.

On the setup page, specify:

  • Name of the menu
  • Schedule (Weekdays/Custom/24x7)
  • Menu options (Create a new menu or Link to an existing menu)
  • Click Next
  • Configure menu options

CreateBA

When creating a business hours menu, you can choose between 3 options:

  1. Make a brand new menu with blank routing options (Create new menu and choose Default menu from the drop-down list).
  2. Make a brand new menu with the routing options of an existing menu pre-populated in it (Create new menu and choose any other existing menu from the drop-down list).
  3. Make a brand new menu that is linked to an existing menu (Link to an existing menu).

Create a new menu option allows you to create a new menu from scratch or to auto-populate the settings, including greetings, from an existing menu (just choose the preferred option from the drop-down menu).

Default menu option provides you with a blank routing. It is created with a generic default greeting and can be modified at will.

Pre-populated options will be convenient when you would want to create a new menu with many of the same routing options as an existing menu. This pre-populated menu is created with the same greeting as the source menu but may be modified as necessary.

Link to an existing menu provides the way to associate the menu with an existing menu. Linked menus are mirror images and menu changes reflect in both places. This type of menu is created with the same greeting as the source menu. The difference from the pre-populated is that the modifications made to any of the linked menus will update both menus.

You can create as many Business Hours menus as needed.

After hours menu is always enabled by default. It cannot be deleted or disabled. Any time period not covered by any other business hours menu will be set to after hours by default.

Setting Up Auto Attendant's Timeout Setting:

  1. Navigate to HostPilot > Services > Voice Services > Auto Attendant and click Auto Attendant Name
  2. Choose the Business Hours Menu in question, scroll down to the Timeout, click on Not set up
  3. Choose the Timeout in seconds which is the time the call will be in the IVR system before going to the Timeout
  4. Choose the Rout to option from the drop-down list.
  5. Choose Destination that will depend on the option selected under the Rout to.

Note: The timeout in seconds is the setting that defines the amount of time from the point the greeting finishes playing until the Auto Attendant directs the call to already selected timeout setting.

Auto Attendant Menus Priority

Intermedia Unite Auto Attendant allows you to specify the menus priority.

Example: we have a Business Hours menu that is active from 10 am to 5 pm, a Lunch menu that is active from 2 pm to 5 pm, and an Evening menu that should take calls from 4 pm to 5 pm.

If the Business Hours menu has the highest priority, it will take all calls in between 10 am and 5 pm. However, if the Evening menu is the first in the list, all calls in between 4 pm – 5 pm will be routed according to the Evening menu options. Or, if the Lunch menu is the top one, it will be prioritized for taking calls from 2 pm to 5 pm. 

The look of the schedule will differ depending on what menus are enabled and what is their priority. You can also switch in between 12 and 24 hours view. 

To change the menus priority, go to HostPilot > Services > Voice services > Auto Attendant > click the Auto Attendant name > drag and drop the menus in the desired order.

hover

Note: The default prioriy can be temporary overriden for Holidays. Please see the Events section.

Setting Or Changing Business Hours Options:

Each menu has a list of customizable options that can transfer callers further either to another account object (e.g. user's voicemail, hunt group, dial by name directory, etc.) or to a sub-menu.

  1. To configure it navigate to HostPilot > Services > Voice Services > Auto Attendant > Auto Attendant Name > Business Hours > Business hours Menu in question > Not set up button next to the option you wish to manage.
  2. Click on a number key and choose an option for it. Repeat this for each key you want to use as an option in the Business hours.

    Menu Options

  3. There are several actions that can be set up for a button:

    1. Make sure you are on the Business Hours tab and navigate to the menu tree number to enable/disable the Dial By Extension.
    2. Choose the routing:
    • Route to User: when selected, a drop-down is displayed to the right that lists all users who have an extension/phone number assigned. Select user to redirect the call to when a caller presses the corresponding key. Note: this option is not available if you do not have any users with extensions.
    •  Dial By Name Directory: enables the options of Dial by name. After the Dial By Name Directory is enabled, make sure your greeting gives the caller instructions for which number to press to get to the Dial By Name option.
      • When the callers press the assigned Dial by Name option, they will hear the following recording:
        "Please dial the first few letters of the first or last name of the person you are trying to reach; press pound when you are done; press star to return to the main menu".
      • When one or more names are found, the following notification plays:
        "For [name 1], press 1; For [name 2], press 2; etc".
      • When no names are found, the following notification plays:
        "We could not find any matching names. Please try again". Then the main Dial by Name greeting repeats:
        "Please dial the first few letters of the first or last name of the person you are trying to reach; press pound when you are done; press star to return to the main menu".
    • Rout to Hunt Group: when selected, a box is displayed to the right that lists all existing Hunt Groups. Select Hunt Group to redirect the call to when a caller presses the corresponding key. Note: this option is not available if you do not have any Hunt Groups created.
    • Route calls to User's Voicemail Box: when selected, a box is displayed to the right that lists all users on the account. Select the user to redirect the call to when a caller presses the corresponding key. 
    • Route to Resource Voicemail Box: The call will be transferred to the resource voicemail box when a corresponding key is pressed. When selected, a box is displayed to the right that lists all resource voicemail boxes on the account.
    • Route to Auto Attendant: When selected, a box is displayed to the right that lists all Auto Attendants that are created. Select Auto Attendant to redirect the call to when a caller presses the corresponding key.
    • Route to Auto Attendant Voicemail Box: when selected, the assigned button will redirect the call to voicemail and the recorded messages will be sent to the email address if it is set up for Auto Attendant voicemail.
    • Route to Company Voicemail Box: when selected, the assigned button will redirect the call to voicemail and the recorded messages will be sent to the email address if it is set up for Company voicemail.
    • Route to Sub-Menu: when selected, user will hear the Sub Menu greeting (if it is set) and will be able to navigate through a set of options by pressing keys on a touchtone phone. Route to Sub-Menu option redirects to an existing sub-menu of this Auto Attendant. The list with sub-menus will be displayed. To create a new sub-menu you would want to select Create Sub-menu option. 
    • Route to Main menu: When selected, the assigned button will redirect the call to the Main menu of these Business hours menu. This option will only appear under Sub-menu.
    • Route to Previous menu: This option allows transferring the call to the previous menu when the caller pressed the assigned button. This option will only appear under Sub-menu.
    • Repeat Greeting: when selected, the greeting of this menu or a sub-menu will be repeated.
    • Dial by name Directory: This option allows callers to select who they want to speak with without having to know their Extension number. When the Dial By Name feature is enabled, your caller will be asked to press the first few letters of the first or last name of the person they are trying to reach.
    • Route to Virtual Extension: redirects the call to a virtual extension. When selected, a box is displayed to the right that lists all virtual extensions on the account 
    • Route to external phone number: you can set up any phone number to forward calls after pressing the corresponding key.
    • Hang Up: Phone call will be finished.
    • Create Sub-Menu: user will hear the Sub Menu greeting (if it is set) and will be able to navigate through a set of options by pressing keys on a touchtone phone. You would need to create a new Sub-menu before choosing this option.
  4. You may want to call the Auto Attendant phone number and make sure the options work as you want. 
  5. As you set options for the Auto Attendant, you will see structure appear below the Menu options.

Here are some tips one sub-menus:

  • When some submenu is created for a certain button you can use the Route to option of this sub-menu to route it to any other button.
  • This submenu can be edited just when it was created.
  • If the action for the button where the sub-menu was created was changed, another appearance of this submenu becomes editable. If you set up a submenu for some button (e.g. 1) and later you decided to move it to another button (e.g. 2): 
    • Set the button 2 to route to the submenu 
    • Clear or change action for button 1 Create Sub-Menu: user will hear the Sub-menu greeting (if it is set) and will be able to navigate through a set of options by pressing keys on a touchtone phone. You would need to create a new Sub-menu before choosing this option.

Deleting Or Disabling The Auto Attendant Menu

Each auto attendant menu can be disabled or deleted except for the Afterhours menu.

To temporarily deactivate or entirely delete the menu, navigate to:

Services > Voice Services > Auto Attendant > click on the name of the Auto Attendant > click on three dots next to the name of the menu > Disable or Delete.

To activate the disabled menu, follow the same procedure described above and click Enable.

disable

Note: If you decide to delete a menu with another menu linked to it, the linked menu will still remain active during the specified hours.

Events

The Events feature allows creating pre-planned events that override the usual schedule. These menus do not repeat weekly. Instead, they reoccur on the monthly/yearly basis.

Events have the same settings and options as the usual menus.

This feature is located under the Events tab of the Auto Attendant.

Events Main

To create a new event, click on Add Event.

Here you can choose between Adding a National Holiday or Creating a custom event.

  • Add a National Holiday gives you a quick choice of pre-determined dates. You can choose a specific Prefill Menu and routing options for the receptionist groups.

Add a national holiday

  • Create a custom event allows you to set up your own events. You can set up the schedule, routing options for the receptionis groups, and different menu options.

CustomEvent

Once the Event is created, it will automatically override the usual schedule during the specified timeframe. Events will always be prioritized over the usual Menus. For receptionist groups, there is a specific setting called Routing Option. You can choose whether to set the Events before or after the Receptionist group. It can be found under the settings of a specific event.

  • If the Event is set before the Receptionist group, inbound calls are routed directly to the menu and are further routed depending on the Timeout settings of the Event;
  • If the Event is set after the receptionist group, inbound calls first go to the receptionist groups according to the usual schedule, and then go to the Event.

Recording And Uploading Greetings

There are two ways to add a greeting for the Auto Attendant. You can upload an already recorded sound file or record it on the go by calling the greeting recording extension of the Auto Attendant. This extension will be different from the Auto Attendant usual extension. 

Once in Auto Attendant tab, Settings to record menu greetings gives you an option to create a generic PIN and extension to access the whole system of Auto Attendants and manage any of them. To do so, dial this extension from a phone on the system to manage and record new greetings for your Auto Attendants. Enter the PIN you specify below when prompted.

Greeting

Two main methods are detailed as follows:

Uploading greeting from HostPilot:

  1. Record and save your greeting using any sound recording program (read the Knowledge Base article on How do I create a *.WAV or *.OGG file for my greeting? for more information). The file must be in WAV or OGG format and cannot be larger than 16 MB.
  2. Then navigate to Services > Voice Services > Auto Attendants > click on Auto Attendant Name > Business Hours > click on a menu you wish to change the greeting for.
  3.  Under the menu options, click on the current greeting name, then choose file, specify the file name and agree with policies and limitations, then click Upload

Note: When choosing files to upload, be aware that you are responsible for following copyright regulations and the Intermedia Acceptable Use Policy.

Tips: There is a default greeting for the Auto Attendant, which is erased when you upload your own file. Make sure your greeting explains each option that you have set up, and which key caller needs to press for it. You may also want the greeting to explain that callers can dial an extension at any time.

Recording Greeting From The Phone:

  1. Instructions for recording Auto Attendant greeting via the phone can be found in HostPilot: Services > Voice Services > Auto Attendant > click on Auto Attendant Name > click on the Business Hours name, select Record greeting from the dropdown menu. You will see the instructions under the dropdown menu.
  2. A unique extension and PIN code is used to record a greeting. If this is the first time you are recording a greeting for an Auto Attendant on an account, or if you do not remember the recording extension, click Edit data > Settings to record menu greetings. Set up an extension and a PIN in the window that appears. Note: It cannot be Auto Attendant extension. 
  3. Dial this extension from any phone on your account. Enter the PIN over the first ring tone, then # and follow the instructions.
  4. Once greeting is recorded, a new file appears in the corresponding menu greeting section.

Note: You can check any greeting via the HostPilot control panel or by calling the Auto Attendant number. 

Auto Attendant Voicemail

With Intermedia Unite you can set up the Voicemail notifications for your Auto Attendant and listen to the Voicemail messages in your HostPilot.

To set the Voicemail notifications, navigate to HostPilot: Services > Voice Services > Auto Attendant > click on Auto Attendant Name > Settings > Voicemail settings >Enter the Email for voicemail. There, you can also upload a new greeting for your Auto Attendant voicemail, change the Voicemail PIN and adjust notification settings. 

Under Voicemails tab, you will be able to see the Voicemail messages left for the Auto Attendant in question. Once a message is left, you can play, download, forward or delete it.

VM message

Note: Maximum storage for voicemail is 50 Mb regardless of storage time. You can change how long messages will be kept on the server before auto-deletion by navigating to Voice services > Settings> Voicemail settings.

Verify Auto Attendant Setup

Make sure the structure is correct:

  1. Verify the correct time zone is set (Services > Voice Services > Auto Attendant > Edit Auto Attendant > Settings > General > Time Zone) because it will affect the Business/After Hours.
  2. Make sure the extension and phone numbers are assigned as intended.
  3. Make sure the email for Voice Mail is the one you want Voice Mail messages to be delivered to (Services > Voice Services > Auto Attendant > Edit Auto Attendant > Settings > Voicemail settings).
  4. Make sure your greeting explains each option that you have set up and which key caller needs to press for it.

We have a visual representation of the Auto Attendant settings for your convenience. The colored graph on the main page of the auto attendant shows all active menus day-by-day along with their names and activity periods. 

Deleting Auto Attendant:

If you no longer need an Auto Attendant, navigate to HostPilot > Services > Voice Services > Auto Attendant > check the checkbox against the Auto Attendant name > click Delete below the list of the Auto Attendants. Phone numbers that were assigned to the Auto Attendant will remain on your account in unassigned status.

Call routing override:

Call routing override redirects all calls coming to the Auto Attendant flow. To enable this feature, navigate to  Voice Services > Auto Attendant > List of Auto Attendants > Call routing override option > Number/extension.

Voicemail Types On Intermedia Unite

Intermedia Unite allows to set the following voicemails:

  • Company voicemail,
  • Auto Attendant voicemail,
  • Hunt Group voicemail,
  • User voicemail,
  • Voicemail Box Resource,

More details read in the article Voicemail Types on Intermedia Unite.