Mitel MiVoice Connect Solutions for Remote Workers

Mitel’s MiVoice Connect platform offers many solutions for today’s remote and mobile workers. Some of the available options are permission-based but included in the basic MiVoice Connect platform with no additional hardware or licensing needs.

Others may require additional appliances and upfront considerations such as physical/virtual hardware, licensing and professional services to install and configure. This document is an attempt to provide IT managers and decision makers with enough understanding of the available solutions that you will be able to select which will best fit your needs. It is important to remember that you will need to validate and test any of the solutions you intend to implement, within your local environment and at the remote locations, prior to attempting to roll them out organization wide. IDeACOM Networks can assist with planning and implementing the solution that is right for you. Please contact your IDeACOM Networks account management team for more details.

Remote worker solutions can be broken down into two groups: those that are built-in functions and those requiring additional appliances and installation services. This document will cover the pro/cons and considerations for all solutions as well as configuration details for the built-in features. Details on each solution can be found by clicking on the hyperlinks within this document.

Note: While many features discussed here may be available in ShoreTel/Mitel platforms prior to MiVoice Connect (<14.2 or earlier), this document includes details for MiVoice Connect systems only.

Built-In Mobile/Remote User Functions and Features

1. External Assignment [Recommended Option]
2. Softphone [Recommended Option]
3. Forward to External Number
4. Find-Me, Follow-Me
5. Simultaneous Ring (Additional Phones)

Solutions Requiring Additional Appliances

6. Mobility
7. Edge Gateway

1. External Assignment [Recommended Option]

External Assignment allows users to associate their extension with an external number for audio while maintaining the ability to use the desktop Client to provide call control (including the ability to place outbound calls). When a user’s extension is assigned to an external number, they will be logged out of their primary desk phone (desk phone shows Anonymous).

This is a good option for organizations without existing VPN connection solutions but with enough trunking capacity for the expected call load.

Pros
  • No additional hardware, licensing or network configuration
  • Users can place outbound calls from their extension using the desktop client
  • (with a VPN connection)
  • All normal call control can be performed within Client, just as with an IP desk
  • phone
  • User can switch between desk phone and external assignment in Connect
  • Client
  • Availability States/Call Handling Modes operate the same as when assigned
  • to an IP desk phone
  • Permissions-based in user’s User Group (Enabled by Admin)
  • Workgroup and hunt group calls are supported
Cons
  • Uses additional carrier trunks: one trunk is required for the original inbound call (unless it came from an internal extension) and a second is required for the outbound call to the external number
  • Outbound calls from the desk phone are generally restricted to internal only (no extension assigned to phone)
  • Call quality may be impacted if assigned to cellular service
Considerations
  • Desk phone is set to “Anonymous” when using external assignment
  • Carrier settings may not allow original Caller ID to be passed to external device
  • Consider number of rings before call goes to voicemail
  • When combined with a VPN solution, outbound calls can be made through
  • the Connect Client as an enterprise call
  • Unanswered calls will go to the Mitel system voicemail, not the external
  • voicemail

External Assignment Configuration Instructions

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2. Softphone [Recommended Option]

This feature allows the Connect Client to use the local PC’s microphone and speakers for phone calls. It can be used anywhere there is an established secure connection into the organization’s network. Therefore, remote users must have a VPN connection (either hardware or software) to your network so the computer can connect to the phone system. A USB headset is preferred, although built-in microphone and speakers may be used. This is a licensed feature in ShoreTel 14.2 and earlier but is included with all Connect user license bundles that include access to the Connect Client (Essentials and above). Workgroup and hunt group calls will work the same as if using a physical IP desk phone.

This is a good solution for organizations with an established VPN solution and/or which may not have enough trunking capacity to use External Assignment.

Pros
  • Permissions-based in User Group (Enabled by Admin)
  • Users can place outbound calls from their extension
  • All normal call control can be performed within Client, just as with an IP desk phone
  • If sufficient IP phone switch resources are available, no additional licensing is required (Virtual device licenses may be necessary if using virtual phone appliances)
  • No additional carrier trunks used
  • Workgroup and hunt group calls are supported
Cons
  • Additional user PC hardware may be required (ex. USB headset)
  • Additional network configuration may be required to provide secure connection (VPN) back into organization’s network
  • Call quality through computer mic/speaker or Bluetooth may be subpar (many laptop mics/speakers provide poor audio and/or may cause echo). USB headsets are strongly recommended
Considerations
  • Modern PCs are very complex with the operating system and many applications interacting. Microsoft Updates and/or other applications (ex. antivirus) and computer policies may affect behavior, even after implementation
  • Each softphone requires an IP phone resource

Softphone Configuration Instructions

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3. Forward to External Number

This option is used to simply forward inbound calls to an external number. The desk phone will not ring when using this feature, though the user will remain logged into the desk phone. Because this function forwards all calls to an external device, the Mitel system voicemail will no longer handle voicemail if the call is not answered on the remote end; the remote voicemail system will.

Pros
  • User or Admin enabled
  • Quick to configure
  • No additional hardware, licensing or network configuration
Cons
  • Uses additional carrier trunks: one trunk is required for the original inbound call (unless it came from an internal extension) and a second is required for the outbound call to the external number
  • Features like workgroups and hunt groups are not supported
  • External number’s voicemail will be used if call is not answered, not Mitel voicemail
  • Cannot use Client for any call control
  • Users cannot place outbound calls from their extensions
Considerations
  • Carrier settings may not allow original Caller ID to be sent to external device
  • Outbound calls through forwarding device, not the MiVoice Connect system

Forward to External Number Configuration Instructions

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4. Find-Me, Follow-Me

Find-Me provides callers with the option of pressing 1 when they get to a user’s voicemail to try to track down the user on external numbers. If the user does not answer or accept the call, the caller will be returned to the user’s Mitel voicemail box. The main differences between Find-Me and Simultaneous Ring is that, by default, Find-Me is only initiated once the caller gets to voicemail and it requires the caller to press 1. It is possible to enable “auto Find-Me” which will attempt to ring the external number before presenting the voicemail prompt if the primary phone is not answered.

Pros
  • Permissions-based in User Group (Enabled by Admin)
  • No additional hardware or licensing
  • User can setup in Connect Client
Cons
  • Only works for inbound calls; does not relate to outbound calls
  • Uses additional carrier trunks: one trunk is required for the original inbound call (unless it came from an internal extension) and a second is required for the outbound call to the external number
  • Features like workgroups and hunt groups are not supported
  • Call quality may be impacted if forwarding to cellular service
  • Cannot use Client for any call control
Considerations
  • Callers press an option to “find” the person after they reach voicemail.
  • Greetings must announce that option before caller hangs up.

Find-Me, Follow-Me Configuration Instructions

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5. Simultaneous Ring (Additional Phones)

True to its name, this function rings additional endpoints simultaneously with the user’s primary IP desk phone. The call can be answered on either device. Calls can easily be moved from the external phone back to the primary IP phone with a “Move” soft key or programmed button. Workgroup and hunt group calls will not ring the additional (external) phone, however. This feature can be used in conjunction with a desk phone at any time.

Pros
  • Permissions-based in User Group (Enabled by Admin)
  • No additional hardware or licensing
Cons
  • Only works for inbound calls; does not relate to outbound calls
  • Uses additional carrier trunks
  • Features like workgroups and hunt groups are not supported
  • Call quality may be impacted if forwarding to cellular service
  • Cannot use Client for any call control while using the external device (until the call is moved back to an IP desk phone)
Considerations
  • Carrier settings may not allow original Caller ID to be sent to external device
  • Outbound calls through forwarding device, not the MiVoice Connect system
  • Consider number of rings before call goes to voicemail

Simultaneous Ring Configuration Instructions

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6. Mobility

Mobility is a system comprised of a Mobility Router appliance (physical or virtual) and the Mobility and data networks to remain connected to the corporate Mitel system while away from their desk. Users can place and receive calls, change their availability state, check and listen to voicemail, dial from Contacts and the corporate directory and send/receive instant message (when using a Mitel service appliance). It can even be tied into the user’s calendar so they can join conference calls with a single tap.

Pros
  • Inbound and Outbound calls can be placed from the mobile app
  • App can securely leverage both cellular voice and WiFi/4G data connections
  • Mobile device can be used as an extension connected to the phone system
Cons
  • Requires a Mobility Router (physical or virtual)
  • Requires a network with a DMZ, static public IP addresses and certificates
  • Engineering costs to implement
  • Uses additional carrier trunks when mobile device is leveraging cellular voice
  • Features like workgroups and hunt groups are not supported
  • Additional licensing may be required (SIP trunk)
  • When using cellular voice, call control (ex. for transfers/conferences) is
  • limited
Considerations
  • Potential cellular voice and data charges incurred by user
  • Audio quality is dependent upon network and/or cellular connection quality

Please contact your account representative regarding implementing the Mitel Mobility Solution.

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7. Edge Gateway

The Mitel Edge Gateway is a secure virtual VPN concentrator for Mitel 400-series desk phones, the Connect Client and the ECC Interaction Center client. It is useful for organizations that do not have a single unified VPN solution, where each application provides its own connection back to the corporate network or cloud provider. It allows remote workers to have the same user experience as in-office workers by allowing them to have the same physical desk phones, meaning that there can be a single and consistent training plan. Used without physical phones it provides a secure connection for the desktop Client so that it can be used for the softphone and call control when using External Assignment.

Pros
  • Full secure integration with the phone system
  • All features supported
  • No additional carrier trunks used
Cons
  • Requires a virtual environment (VMware or Hyper-V only) to deploy
  • Requires multiple DMZ and public IP addresses
  • Engineering costs implement
  • Only compatible with 400-series phones (or softphone)
Considerations
  • 400-series phones require a power source through a POE switch or external power supply
  • End-user network connectivity through a router or modem is required
  • End user must have a Standard or Advanced Connect license bundle. Upgrade licenses are available for users with either Telephony or Essentials bundles

Please contact your account representative regarding implementing the Mitel Edge Gateway solution.

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Detailed Configurations

The following sections include information on enabling and configuring the various built-in solutions. The steps shown assume you are familiar with and have general product knowledge of the MiVoice Connect Platform, including Director, Connect Desktop Client and general call routing within your system. Once again, it is important to test and validate your configuration before rolling them out to your organization.

1. External Assignment [Recommended Option]

Administrator: In Director, the user must belong to a User Group where “Allow external call forwarding and find me destinations” is enabled, along with “Allow external assignment” in the Telephony Features Permissions COS. It is not necessary to enable “Allow additional phones to ring…calls” for this feature to work.

Admins can configure the user settings in Director on the user account. Go to the Routing tab and select the Phones tab to configure the user’s external number. When saved, go to the Ring Me tab and select the phone you created in the dropdown beside “Simultaneous Ring”. Save your changes.

End-User: Once the proper User Group permissions have been configured, the user can setup External Assignment within their Connect Desktop Client. This is generally preferred over an Admin configuring all settings in Director.

Within the Connect Desktop Client, click the user name and select the radio button for “External Assignment Number”. If the user does not already have an external number configured, they may add one here. Configure options as desired for “Number of Rings to try” and “Press 1 to connect”, then click Add. Your primary desk phone will now show Anonymous.

Note: When using External Assignment, consider setting the “Number of Rings to try” to 5+. This allows more time for the call to route to your external number before the Mitel voicemail answers the call.

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2. Softphone [Recommended Option]

Administrator: To confirm licenses are available, open Director and go to System, Licenses, License Requirements and look at the number of Purchased vs. Configured licenses.

Assuming licensing is available, the feature can be enabled in the individual user account settings. Select a User and go to the Telephony tab of the user account. Check the box to “Enable use of soft phone” and Save. The configured license account will increment by one on the licensing page.

Note: Administrators may choose use the “Bulk Edit” function in Director to enable the Softphone feature rather than enabling on an individual user basis. The function becomes available in the upper right corner of Director when multiple users are selected under Administration, Users, Users.

Use extreme caution when using the Bulk Edit function (by default the first record in the list is selected). Bulk Edit is located immediately beside Bulk Delete in Director. Also, be sure you understand the impact on licensing and desired permissions when enabling any feature for a large number of users. Contact IDeACOM if you wish to discuss in more detail.

Once Bulk Edit is selected for a group of users, check the boxes for “Enable use of soft phone” and Save changes.

End-user: The option is now available in the Connect Desktop Client. Click on the user name in the client and select the radio button for Softphone. You may need to choose an option from the dropdown (Default, Internal microphone, etc.)

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3. Forward to External Number

Administrator: The user must belong to a User Group where “Allow external call forwarding and find me destinations” is enabled in the assigned Telephony Features Permissions COS. The two additional subfeatures shown below will be discussed in other sections.

Administrators may configure the call forwarding for a user in Director by changing the settings in the Routing, Availability States tabs of the user. Each Availability State may be configured differently, i.e. when the user is “Available”, Always forward to the external number.

End-User: Once the proper User Group permissions have been configured, the user can setup Call Forwarding within their Connect Desktop Client. This is generally preferred over an Admin configuring all settings in Director.

In the Connect Desktop Client, click the dropdown in the upper left corner beside the word “Connect” and choose Settings from the menu. A new window will open. In the Settings window, select the Call Routing menu. Changes can be made in the Availability Routing tab using the wizard. Click the Change button to change the destination of calls (Typically 3 rings before routing to voicemail):

From the window that opens, Select the radio button beside “Always forward my calls to”, and click the dropdown beside “my voicemail” to expand the option. In the blank field, type the external number to be used in the exact format 9 +1 (###)-#### and PRESS ENTER to add the number. Then click Save.

All calls will now be forwarded to the external number configured.

Note: This must be done for any/all Availability States you wish to forward. Otherwise, normal call routing will be in effect, i.e. In a Meeting will still go directly to Mitel voicemail without forwarding the call to an external number.

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4. Simultaneous Ring (Additional Phones)

Administrator: In Director, the user must belong to a User Group where “Allow external call forwarding and find me destinations” is enabled, along with “allow additional phones to ring simultaneously and to move calls” in the Telephony Features Permissions COS. It is not necessary to enable “Allow external assignment” for this feature to work.

Admins can configure the user settings in Director on the user account. Go to the Routing tab and select the Phones tab to configure the user’s external number. When saved, go to the Ring Me tab and select the phone you created in the dropdown beside “Simultaneous Ring”. Save your changes.

End-user: It is generally preferred to let the end-user configure their settings in their client rather than an Admin doing in Director. Go to Settings, Call Routing and click the Change button beside “No phones selected to simultaneously ring” to open the wizard.Save changes in the wizard when finished.

Click the dropdown for “Select Number”. Select a number already shown or create a number to use, then click the Use Selected Number button.

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5. Find-Me, Follow-Me

Administrator: The user must belong to a User Group where “Allow external call forwarding and find me destinations” is enabled in the assigned Telephony Features Permissions COS. The two additional subfeatures shown below will be discussed in other sections.

Administrators may configure the Find-Me feature for a user in Director by changing the settings under the Routing tab of the user. First, setup a phone in the Routing, Phones, tab. Then, configure settings in the Routing, Ring Me tab. The Find-Me feature may be enabled for specific Availability States, as desired.

Note: Up to two different phones can be configured for Find-Me. As mentioned in the Find-Me general information section, the option to have the system find a user should be announced in the Mitel voicemail greetings.

Settings below are examples only. The only requirement is that a “First phone” is configured. The rest of the options are admin/user preferences.

End-User: Once the proper User Group permissions have been configured, the user can setup Find-Me within their Connect Desktop Client. This is generally preferred over an Admin configuring all settings in Director.

In the Connect Desktop Client, click the dropdown in the upper left corner beside the word “Connect” and choose Settings from the menu. A new window will open. In the Settings window, select the Call Routing menu. Changes can be made in the Availability Routing tab using the wizard. Click the Change button beside the row “If callers press 1 while listening to my voicemail…”. Once changes are configured in the wizard, click Save.

Note: As with settings from Director, the Find-Me options from the client above are user preferences. The only requirements are to enable the feature and set at least one phone as a destination. Each Availability State must be configured to use Find-Me as desired.

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