About this blog

This blog was created for anyone with an interest in the Avaya IP Office. As a user,you will find tips and information,as an installer,you will find ideas to help you do your job more efficiently. The causal maintainer will find helpful information to manage your phone system. For the sales person,there is information on what solutions work well for different circumstances.

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Request to Avaya

Avaya,

I was originally going to title this article just focused on the first item here,TLS encryption for VMPro,however,there are going to be many items here,so I am making this a generic article. Hopefully,this will be found by someone in Avaya marketing and engineering who cares.

TLS encryption for Voicemail Pro –please make this happen,YESTERDAY!

As a field service engineer,I often wonder why things on the IP Office are designed the way they are. Over the years,voicemail to email basic functionality has been easy to set up. In recent years,more layers of complexity have been added. Since version 9.0.3,the embedded voicemail now has the capability of doing authorization using TLS. Fantastic! So many of my clients need secure/encrypted communication to do email authentication.

Why have you not enabled this functionality with Voicemail Pro –your flagship voicemail product for the IP Office?

Recording your mailbox name.

Here is the scenario –when setting up a voicemail box for the first time,you typically have 3 basic tasks. 1. set a password,2. record your name and 3. record a greeting. All these items should be able to be accomplished from the Visual Voicemail menu. They are not,the second option is absent from most all modes,making the following task to set up your voicemail –1. Press the Visual Voicemail button or envelope button on your phone. Set up your password and greeting. Then,dial *17,enter your extension,enter your password then press option 5,then option 5 again. Record your name following the prompted directions. Never use *17 again from the office. In one version of embedded voicemail,running in IP Office mode,you can record your name from a menu choice on the Visual Voicemail screen. The Intuity mode doesn’t have that option…why not? Intuity mode is the best choice for voicemail in embedded and Voicemail Pro because it has twice the options IP Office mode has.

Usable buttons that light up on your DECT (wireless) phones

What kind of rocket scientists are designing multi hundred dollar phones with buttons that don’t light up? If I can buy a smart phone that has 100 times the brains of these phones,why should we sell your phones? The design engineers need to go out into the real world to experience what they design,and maybe take some suggestions from people that have a pulse. Oh,wait a minute,I finally get it. The current trend of zombie apocalypse scenarios really starts out with engineers who actually think their ideas are smart by trying them out on zombies?????? No,that doesn’t make sense at all. OK,so back to reality.

I want a wireless DECT or IP phone that has these SIMPLE features WITHOUT having to navigate through a menu structure.

1. HOLD

2. MUTE

3. About 4 illuminated buttons that ACTIVELY work like their digital counterparts,such as PARK. Don’t give us some mamby pamby excuse as to why it can’t be done. You are the design engineers. Make it happen.

4. Buttons that are not so small you end up mashing three at a time.

OK,so I am going to repeat myself like a 10 year old girl pitching a tantrum for effect…. fair warning. I hope someone takes notice,really.

I HATE HATE HATE parking and un-parking calls by having to dig through menu choices. Real people,not techies or telephone engineers that work for Avaya end up having to use your equipment. Keep these things in mind when you deploy your next set of bright ideas on the rest of the population…PLEASE!! If you could only see the look on people’s faces when we train them how to use those wireless phones –they usually say,“never mind,we won’t use that feature.”We field engineers (and on rare occasion,sales reps who actually care about their customer and are on site during installation) are the poor saps on the front line that actually have to break the bad news to our clients how horrible these wireless phones are to use.

Add more features to the import functions

First of all…I know this is a bit of a rant page,however,I am thankful for the current import abilities. I would respectfully like to ask for some more abilities because I (and I am sure others) do loads of import programming. Using the import is the best way to get systems set up in a short amount of time if you are tackling anything bigger than 20 users. So,with that,here are some of my ideas.

1. Allow import of incoming call route data. I love the MSN tool,however,not all systems are given sequential blocks. This would be a huge time saver. I already have users fill out what DIDs they do have into a planning spreadsheet,so why duplicate the effort?

2. Give us more importable items for users. We have email addresses,it would be nice to also choose (forward/copy/notify/off). How about options for the Profile settings,DND exceptions,Source Numbers,enabling mobility and Voice Recording options?

 

How to create a full menu list and still give callers options to dial extension at any time

Well,that’s a long title! I couldn’t figure how to make that shorter. This tip is for Voicemail Pro only,you cannot do this with embedded voicemail. Let me explain. First,here is the configuration and auto-attendant announcement script.

Configuration:IP400 or IP500 system with Voicemail Pro. Users have extensions in the 100,200,300,400 and 500 ranges.
 
Auto-Attendant announcement:Thank you for calling XYZ company. If you know your parties extension,you may dial it at any time during this announcement. Press 1 for sales,2 for support,3 for employment opportunities,4 for shipping and 5 for general questions.

 

The problem with this menu structure is if someone wants to reach Bob at extension 144,the menu will route the caller to sales as soon as they have pressed the 1 key. How do you fix this?

Simple Autoattendant

In this menu,you can’t dial anyone’s extension at any time,because all the numeric options are taken. The way we are going to make this work is to add in a sub-menu with a timeout. I will use one number as an example –selection 1
Adding a timeout

 

Now,when caller only choose option 1 (for sales),the timeout function of the sub menu waits 4 seconds and then transfers the caller to sales. However,if the caller press 144 for Bob,the call flow will choose the 1,go to the sub menu and take the next two digits and send it to the transfer action. Under the specific tab of the transfer action,you enter the first digit,followed by the keyword $KEY. In our example it will be 1$KEY. The sub menu will not pass the value 1 from the previous menu,so you have to compensate for that. A value of 3 or 4 seconds for the sub menu timeout should be fine. If you make it any longer,the caller will probably hear dead air for too long.

For our auto attendant script to work correctly,we would need to do a sub menu for all five options.

Installing Avaya admin suite on 2012 server

By default,2012 comes with DOT.NET 4.0 and the admin suite needs DOT.NET Framework 3.5. So…what to do?

Requirements –you will need your 2012 installation disk.

This command assumes your source disk is in drive D:Make adjustments if yours is different.

Open a command prompt and type the following
dism /online /enable-feature /featurename:NetFX3 /all /Source:d:\sources\sxs /LimitAccess

You will get a new windows that shows ‘Add Roles and Features Wizard’. If you are prompted to specify an alternate source path,go ahead and put in d:\sources\SxS\.

Now you will see .NET Framework 3.5 Features.

You may need to restart the server –I usually do just to make sure.

Now you are ready to install the Manager/Admin suite.

Advantage Rent-A-Car not an advantage when renting locally

I rent cars frequently,both locally and of course when I travel for business. My family has been a single car family for many years. If the car has to go to the shop for more than a day,I get a car. If I have to drive a particularly long way,say more than 200-300 miles,I get a car. This way,I don’t put large chunks of miles on my vehicle. I also have some added assurance that my trip will not be marred by mechanical breakdowns.

Recently,I needed to rent a car locally,and using my usual travel search engine for booking hotels and cars,I logged into Travelocity to get the list of available cars. Let me qualify my car rental profile. I typically rent from the least expensive agency on the listing,and then I choose by what kind of vehicle I need –mostly they are small or mid-size.

The winning company on my last query was Advantage Rent-A-Car. I had used them in the past some time ago on a business trip,so I didn’t have any reservations about using them again. I placed my booking and was done.

Arrival at the check out counter was where the rental experience went from normal to unacceptable. As usual,I provided a credit card and driver license. When asked what my flight number was,I replied –‘I live here,the car is in the shop and I need transportation for tomorrow.’The attendant then gave me a strangely awkward look as if he knew what the answer was and asked –‘may I see your proof of insurance?’I said,‘excuse me?’The attendant repeated his query. I think I must have had a dull look on my face because in the last 25 years I have rented cars,no car rental company representative has ever asked me for proof of insurance. I asked,‘why do you need proof of insurance? No one has ever asked me for that before. I intend to purchase car insurance coverage from Advantage.’The attendant replied,‘it’s the Advantage policy for any local rentals.’Since I keep my car insurance paperwork with my car and don’t carry it in my wallet,I said,‘so I can’t get a car from Advantage without this?’The attendant nods. As I walk off to the Dollar Rent-A-Car counter,I quip,‘well,there’s not much of an Advantage to renting with you,is there?’The clerk at the counter at Dollar Rent-A-Car has me checked in promptly and I vow never to use Advantage Rent-A-Car again,either locally or out of town.

As a side note:This was not a tremendously difficult experience,because another vendor was able to provide a car at reasonably similar rates. However,there are times during the year that finding cars can be difficult,especially at short notice.

Side note 2:Even if you elect to use your own insurance,some car rental agencies will charge you per-day at full rental rates if there is an accident with the rented car,no matter who is at fault,because the car is not available to be rented during the repair process. If any reader has had an auto accident,some damage repairs can take weeks to take care of. Purchasing the Rental Car policy forgoes this risk.

LDAP information

This page is a quick note page for working with OpenLDAP

Search the LDAP database
ldapsearch -h (LDAP SERVER) -p 389 -x -b “dc=(DOMAIN),dc=(ROOT)”

Links for Linux Noobs (Newbies)

Over the years,I have splashed in the shallows of the ocean known as Linux. Recently,I have taken the plunge and the number of Linux systems in my office network has equaled the number of Microsoft systems. I forsee that number growing and the number of MS boxes shrinking.

I have dabbled with Red Hat,Ubuntu,Centos and Debian in various releases. I have added c++ and php to my collection of development languages that have previously only consisted of MS-based languages –VB,VB.net,C#,classic ASP,ASP.NET. Database mostly using MSSQL,but now branching out into MySQL and Postrges. With that,I have serveral machines that are in a state of flux and I am making this page a general repository for all things interesting about Linux. My current flavor of choice is Debian Wheezy because the Raspberry Pi runs a Debian variant,however,since I work a lot with the Avaya IP Office,the server edition of that runs in Centos,so I will undoubtedly have one of those floating around in the near future.

General
HowTos
How To Forge Lots of good help and info here.
Server World More info about many OS versions,articles and how-tos.
Browser
Java-Run Time Plugin for Iceweasel aptitude install icedtea6-plugin
Debian Wheezy specific
Make sure the extra distro locations are un-commented in /etc/apt/sources.list and modify them for the correct mirror (US for the United States
System Tools
Administration
WebMin –Web-based administration tool for the entire server
LDAP
LDAP How to install OpenLDAP on Debian Wheezy
LDAP Reference More detailed info on LDAP

Remote access using VNC
Install: sudo apt-get install tightvncserver
Run it from an SSH prompt:vncserver:1 -geometry 1024×768 -depth 16 -pixelformat rgb565:

 

Avaya IP Office Anywhere demo

Despite all the hubbub,I had still not yet configured an Avaya IP Office Anywhere demo. What exactly is that,you ask? Well,if you are an Avaya business partner,getting a demo kit is almost as important as your big toe is to walking a straight line. I’ve had several demo kits for years and sometimes,they can be instrumental in making a sale. Now,my business focuses mainly on service,so I don’t do a lot of sales calls,however,I do get requests to do demos from other companies who are more sales oriented. Traditionally,I would haul out a spare processor,some phones and proceed to get things going. The Avaya IPOffice Anywhere demo has changed that.

Hardware
- An Avaya G3550 8-port PoE switch (or other PoE switch)
- A laptop configured to run the IPOffice Anywhere demo
- A couple of IP phones
- A wireless router (optional)
- A Smart phone (optional)
- An iPad (optional)

The configuration and setup is not for the faint of heart. You have to have a laptop that supports virtualization technology because you will be installing IP Office Server Edition (in demo mode) in a VMware player environment. Now,I won’t make this article a sales article,but somewhat of a technical one,because things didn’t work out of the box as I would have hoped. Initially,I used the 9.0 service pack 3 build. Once I had everything configured,the One-X portal service would not function. Being under somewhat of a time crunch,I decided to redo the Vm image with 9.0 service pack 1. Everything worked as documented.

Time to plug in phones. I got a 9608 phone,programmed it with a static IP as instructed. Once the phone finished upgrading,I logged in as extension 102,only to get bumped out rather quickly with a message stating ‘extension in use,press continue to use this extension.’Pressing continue did not do any good. I was stuck in a loop,same message,over and over. Somewhat new to Server Edition,I went back to my roots and opened IP Office Monitor to see what was happening. Monitor told me that this was the wrong extension type. Ah! I opened manager to find out NO extensions were configured. Easily solved by adding the three IP extensions. Now the phones can call one another without issue. Whew!

Another item I came across –OneX Portal –to be solved. The Administrator login does not let me in to the Administrator interface. All services came up green,however,it wasn’t until I stopped and restarted the One-X service did the login come up at all.

Programming an Avaya 9608 phone for VPN operation

Programming an Avaya 9608 for VPN

This article will only cover differences I have found programming the 9608 phone versus the 9620 phone.

The first time I configured a 9608 for VPN operation was a little different than previous times and stumped me for a little bit.

Out of the box,the phone booted up and I was able to register it correctly to my IP Office system,but for the life of me,I could not enable the section that should allow me to configure the VPN settings.

I did the following –

1. Made sure the 46xxsettings.txt file had the SET VPNPROC 2 statement in it and uncommented (make sure there are no ## signs in front of this statement.

2. Pressed the * key when prompted at reboot. Scroll down to the Group setting and make sure 876 (VPN) is entered.

3. Rebooted the phone and saw it acknowledge the 46xxsettings.txt file (200 reply not 404).

Puzzled,I decided to copy all the appropriate files into my c:\inetpub\wwwroot folder from my manager folder.

- All files with a .bin extension
- All files with a .scr extension
- All files with a .txt extension

Upon phone reboot,I saw the phone look for one more file I didn’t bring across,and that one had a .tar extension. I went back to the Manager folder and copied all three files with the .tar extension into the web server folder,rebooted the phone,which then did an application upgrade.

Once the upgrade was done,I pressed the A (HOME) button and saw a new selection –VPN Settings in there –YAHOO!! However,selecting it did not get me anywhere. The firmware that was displayed was 6.3116.

I rebooted the phone once again,pressed * at the prompt and was able to scroll down to the VPN Settings section,enable it and configure all the parameters that were required.

For more detailed settings,do a search for 9620 VPN phone on this blog.

Commonly used network ports for the Avaya IP Office

69 –TFTP Manager
1433 - MSSQL TCP
1434 –MSSQL UDP
1719 –VoIP Call setup
1720 –VoIP Call setup
1835 –CCR Wallboard
5060 –SIP Callsetup
8080 –Default port for Avaya One-X server
8888 –Default port for Avaya Contact Store
49152 –53247 –H.323 Streaming Audio (randomly chosen)
50791 –UDP VoiceMail
50794 –UDP SysMonitor
50792 –UDP Network DTE
50795 –UDP Voice networking
50796 –UDP PCPartner –PhoneManager/eConsole
50799 –UDP BLF
50797 –TCP TAPI
50800 –UDP Licence Dongle server

Avaya Wireless phones could be so much better or they could be so much less expensive

OK,second blog entry in a row that falls into the COMPLAINT category. Hopefully this will be the last for a while,but it’s so much of a doozie,there may be more than one part and this really needs to be addressed.

Little History Lesson
One of the first wireless phones produced for the IP Office was a digital phone called the 3810. Nice phone,had some limitations but also had some good features.

I Digress
I have to stop and pause for a moment to address the Avaya Marketing group and Engineering group. I’m not an Avaya employee involved in the development side of things so I’ll use the hand grenade/nuclear bomb approach –a near miss works pretty well in both cases. If you are going to put out a product and charge 5 –10 times what it costs to buy a device at the local box store (such as a wireless phone),it had better really butter my toast,because I’m going to have to sit in front of someone and say –“Gee,mister CEO,look at this wireless phone. It looks a lot like the $99 AT&T cordless phone you have at home (with 4 handsets). But,because it has an Avaya logo on it,we’d like you to pay over $300 each for them.”Maintaining my credibility here gets a little uncomfortable. Maybe I can sneak them in on the overall system order…right.

Back to History –Avaya Wireless 101
Back to the 3810. One of the features that separate this from the standard wireless home phone is the four feature buttons at the bottom. When you assign a common feature such as PARK,to one of these buttons,it lights up,telling you it’s active. In fact,it works a lot like the park button does on the desk phone. Wow,that’s nice. Some time ago,the people (us common folk),started getting restless and we began gathering up small farm tools like pitchforks and hoes (used for weeding). An demanded that the 3810 phone be given a greater range. These grievances went largely un-noticed. Then suddenly,like a bolt of lightening,the 3910 phone appeared. It was lovely and had range extenders –wowee!! Fantasmic!! Oh,wait,it only works on the Partner system,soon to be put out to pasture. Maybe the wise Marketing and Engineering groups at Avaya would soon make it available on the IP Office we ask??? Err,no,not on your Nellie.

Avaya had another contender for the Avaya IP Office wireless offering –Avaya IP Phones and Avaya DECT Phones. Holy wireless excrement,Batman!! An IP wireless setup could double the cost of a small phone system,whhaaattt???

OK,so the heart of the matter is this,based on my point made somewhere up above about value for the amount spent. If you wrap a turd up and put it in a pretty box,and put a bow on it,at the end of the day,it’s still a turd and probably doesn’t smell very nice,unless it’s been given a bit of time to air out before being boxed. But where’s the fun in that? I digress again. The button feature called PARK is a very common one. I think every installation I have done has park buttons. Why why why why why can the engineering group not make the park feature show when the slot is being used? On every desk top,when you park someone,the button lights up or displays that the park slot is active. Yet,on a very expensive wireless phone like the 3645,the silly thing won’t indicate that the park slot is in use. Same for the IP DECT phones. Not only that,but you have to dig through a mess of buttons just to get there.

The Cure
I don’t believe in ranting without at least saying what would be an acceptable fix.
1. Any button that can be programmed on a wireless phone should work *similarly* to the desk phone.
2. They are portable phones –don’t bury commonly used features making them horrible to use. Often,users only have one hand available.
3. If you are going to release a new product,spend the time working with real users and pay attention to their input if they have suggestions.
4. It had better be a friggin be a work of brilliance if you are going to charge more than $150 each for them. In fact,it had better make me want to almost give up chocolate or perhaps even alcohol.

I’m sure there is more to add on this subject,so there will be amendments before too long.