Simplified procedure to initiate a conference (Easy conference)

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In previous software versions the process of setting up a conference call on an OpenStage IP phone relied upon the user knowing that they must first Consult to a 3rd party. Only then are they offered the chance to form the conference. This left some users unable to see how to begin the process of making a conference call from the idle state.

Additionally, in order to set-up a conference call using programmed Free Programmable Keys (FPKs), the user had to have two FPKs programmed; one for Consult and another for Conference.

V2 R2 improves this situation in two ways:

  1. A new context sensitive menu item, Start conference or Add to conference is added to call menus for single-connected calls or connected conference calls respectively. Selecting one of these menu items performs a normal consultation, in exactly the same way that the Consult menu item does. In this way the user sees and can invoke the Conference feature without having to know that they are really just performing a Consult.
  2. The behaviour of the Conference FPK function has been modified so that if the FPK is pressed when there is a single call or a conference is connected, a normal consultation call is started. This is equivalent to selecting Conference from the context menu and is only required to be possible at times when the user can select Conference from the context menu. Note that the Conference FPK feature does not make use of an LED associated with the key it is programmed on.

These changes do not affect the fundamental behaviour of the existing conference feature. These changes only introduce an additional, friendlier way to perform the consultation call that is required to begin or add to a conference. Existing conference behaviour including the provision of music to held parties, whether or not a conference is allowed, etc. is not changed or impacted in any other ways than those stated above.

Note also that now it is also possible to reprogram any of the Fixed Function Keys (FFKs) to provide the Conference function. Such an FFK behaves in the same way as an FPK programmed with the “Conference” function (see Make fixed keys programmable).

It is also possible to use the Conference FPK to make the initial call of the conference. So pressing the FPK/FFK when the phone is idle presents a normal dialler so the user can dial the first party of their intended conference. There is nothing special about this dialler to indicate that it appeared because the Conference FPK was pressed. Note: While this makes the Conference FPK appear to behave like any other way of going logically off-hook (e.g. pressing the loudspeaker key), the similarity ends there. So, for example, pressing the FPK again when the dialler is on screen will NOT return the phone to idle.

The following table shows the effect of pressing a Conference FPK in different call states:

Call(s) state(s) before Conference pressed Action of pressing Conference FPK
No call (Idle State) Dialling started
1 connected call Consultation started
1 onhold call Consultation started
1 connected call and 1 onhold call Conference formed [1]
2 onhold calls Conference formed [1]
2 onhold calls( 1 isolated onhold,1 normal onhold) and 1 connected call Conference formed (isolated call remains isolated) [1]
2 onhold calls, 1 ringing call No Action (Popup Not possible)
Local conference No Action (Popup Not possible)
Large conference Consultation started
  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 In the cases where a conference would be formed, if any individual party (not already a conference member) is in the has held state (i.e. they have placed the call on hold at their phone) then the conference cannot be formed, the timed Not possible popup is shown and the call state is restored.