There are many places in the PBX where binary decisions have to be made. Service flags are used to make those decisions. A typical service flag would be on during office hours, and off outside office hours.
Service flags can be time-based or manual. When time based, the system automatically changes their state depending on the times that were set up. Users can still override those states with manual interactions. Manual service flags change their state only when a user explicitly changes the state.
Examples for using service flags include:
- Routing calls outside of business hours to a mailbox
- Determining when to call users on apps
- Adding agents to call queues during peak hours
Service flags can be called like other accounts. Depending on the setup, this will change of the flag. The list of users that can change a service flag can be set up in the service flags settings. Service flags can be monitored on BLF, so that users can easily see their state on VoIP phones.
Creating a Service Flag
Service flags can be set up like other account types. Service flags should have a descriptive name (for example "Office Hours").
The list of the service flags will show their account name, their type and the current state of the flag.
Configuring a Service Flag
Account number(s): This field takes extension number(s) and/or DID number(s). Like with the other account types, the list of numbers must be seperated by semicolon. Display name: The descriptive name for the flag.
Mode: The service flag can be controlled either manually or automatically.
- Manual: In this mode, a user has to set the state of the flag manually. Three methods are available for activating/deactivating a manual service flag: Dialing the service flag account number from the phone, configuring a service flag button on a VoIP phone, and using the Current State setting from the service flag account page.
- Automatic: This service flag is controlled automatically according to a set schedule. Users can still manually change the state of the flag, but the system will transition the state at the set up times.
Logic: This setting is used to determine if the times specify when the flag is active or when the flag is inactive.
Current State: This setting is reserved for the manual mode only. Choose Set to activate the service flag and Clear to deactivate it. Confirmation Tone: Choose the confirmation sound you would like to hear upon turning the service flag on or off.
- Beep tone: The system will play a short beep to indicate that the service flag has been set or cleared.
- Message about service being active or inactive
- Message about day or night mode
Extensions that may change status: Enter the extensions that are permitted to change the service flag. A
* indicates that all users are permitted to change the status.
PIN code for changing state: Instead of listing the extensions that may change the state, a caller may change the state of the flag by entering a PIN code. This is useful when calling from outside where the PBX does not associate an extension with the caller.
When user calls this service flag: This flag controls if the system will offer the user choices about changing the flag or just changes the state of the flag.
Monday-Sunday: For each day, these fields take the time when the flag is active or inactive (depending on the logic). The field takes time intervals, seperated by space. Each interval contains the beginning time and the end time, seperated by a
-. The time can be in 24-hour format including minutes or seconds, or it can be in AM/PM format. The end time can be at
Holiday hours: If the day is a holiday (see below), this setting will take the time when the flag is active or inactive (depending on the logic). The format is the same like Monday-Sunday.
List of holidays: This field takes a list of days, either single days or date ranges seperated by a
-. If the day contains the year, the holiday will be limited to that specific year, otherwise it will be always on that day of the year. There are three different formats for days:
- MM/DD or MM/DD/YYYY: In locales where the month is used before the day (e.g. United States) this format will be used.
- DD/MM or DD/MM/YYYY: In locales where the day is used before the month (e.g. Great Britan) this format will be used.
- DD.MM or DD.MM.YYYY: This format is used for locales with '.' as seperator.
Timezone: The time zone for this service flag. The default is to use the time zone of the domain.
Sync Google calendar to import holidays
This feature allows you to sync a Google account with a service flag, so that it can sync the holidays into the "List of holidays" field (shown above) from your Google calendar according to the calendar name you have set. Before you can sync a service flag in a domain with your google account, you have to obtain the client id and client secret for that domain and enter it in the PBX domain settings. The process is explained in detail at Google Contacts under the heading "Obtain Client ID and Client Secret".
Exact name of the google calendar to sync: Here you can enter the exact name of the calendar in your google account that you want to sync and get holidays from. For example, "Holidays in United States". If you want to sync your custom calendar from your google account, just enter your email address, so that it syncs your calendar. In Google calendar, there is no option to set some day as a holiday, therefore the "All day" events created in your google calendar will be treated as holidays. Whenever you change this setting, save it first and then you have to sync your account again by simply pressing the "Get Auth Code" button below. Google account to sync for the calendar: Click the "Get Auth Code" button to authenticate and permit your google account from which you want to sync holidays. A new pop-up window will appear asking you to sign in with your google account. Then, it will ask your permission to sync calendar from it. Simply press "Allow" to give it permission and your account should be synced. Now any holiday change you make in your selected calendar will be synced (imported into the "List of holidays" field above) every 10 minutes. Calendar logout: Click "Logout" to disconnect from your google account and logout.
Calling a Service Flag
It is often easier to call the service flag instead of logging into the web interface and change the flag from there. Both in automatic and manual mode, the state of the service flag can be changed from the phone. Using a PIN code for the service flag makes it easy to control who can change the service flag state, in addition to listing the extensions that are allowed to change the state without PIN code.
In manual mode calling a service flag simply toggles the state. Depending on the state, the PBX plays a different confirmation tone. If a device has subscribed to the service flag state, it will change the LED color. In automatic mode the setting when user calls this service flag determines weather the flag is just being toggled or asked for a entry. If a entry is needed, the PBX will offer a menu where the caller can set the beginning of the day, the end of the day and set the hold day as a holiday (or not). Those changes apply only for the current day; the next day the service flag will continue using the automatic settings from the web interface. When entering the start or the end of the day, the caller needs to enter the time in 24 hour format; it will change the start of the first segment or the end of the last segment. This is useful if there are lunch breaks that will remain unchanged.