Mitel have announced the release of the latest version of software for the Mitel 3300, MiVoice 8.0.
There are a number of new features but key for hospitality is the removal of peripheral cabinets from this software release, see below.
SX-2000 Peripheral Node Support
Mitel has previously communicated that MCD 6.0 will be the last formal release supporting the legacy SX-2000 Peripheral Nodes. There has been no change in this plan and as such we do not recommend that customers with Peripheral Nodes upgrade to release 7.0.
Customers with peripheral nodes should be managing a transition to ensure they are removed from the estate by the time MiVoice Business 8.0 is released which is currently targeted at Mid 2015. This will be the time at which MCD 6.0 will no longer have design support.
Product Overview / Features & Benefits / Description
Consolidated Ring Groups
Historically the MiVoice Business Software has supported a variety of call distribution algorithms described as terminal hunt groups, circular hunt groups, Ring groups, cascading ring groups etc. Each has subtle variations in behavior related to Queuing, RADs, predictive overflow and Overflow, as well as group membership eligibility, remote vs. local behavior among other things.
With 7.0 we are consolidating these behaviors into a programmable set described as “Enhanced Ring Groups”. Within this concept, a group of Members can be defined and the “hunting” or ringing algorithm can be assigned to the group. The queuing behavior described, the overflow definition and destination defined, and post call handling can be described within the construct of a single definition.
Group Membership – Groups can be defined as consisting of any dialable endpoint either local or remote. This includes MiNET devices, Hot Desk users, SIP endpoints, analog endpoints, Dynamic extension endpoints, Multidevice users, RDNs, other groups.
Ringing Algorithm – This defines the way an idle party is selected within the group and the choices are:
- Terminal hunting (start at the beginning)
- Circular hunting (start at the last party)
- Terminal Cascading (Move to next on no answer)
- Circular Cascading (Move to next on no answer)
- Ring all
Note : The Circular Cascading function is new to the MiVoice Business functions. Longest idle remains a function of ACD groups
Call Coverage (Busy/Absent Algorithm) – Capability previously available only within the context of the Contact Center and Agent licensing is being expanded to other ringing algorithms. The call coverage capabilities are the behavior the system provides when all parties in the group are busy (or DND) or absent (absent from group via group presence, Hot Desk logged out or Out of Service).
These functions are consistent with those currently offered to a path in an ACD call scenario and include:
- Call queuing with or without announcements
- Initial Announcements, Played when the call is first queued, and a second announcement that is repeated periodically while the call is queued.
- Overflow behavior when calls have been queued beyond a predetermined threshold
- Predictive Overflow, when queue depths are such that the number of available answer points, and average call hold times will not allow the call to be answered in an acceptable time window
Enhanced Silent Monitor & Whisper Coach
In support of a renewed emphasis on Contact Centre functionality, we introduce a new coaching facility primarily aimed at Contact Centre supervisors. At the same time restrictions that existed on Silent monitor functions are being eliminated.
Silent Monitor Enhancements
Silent Monitor function will allow the supervisor (or any DN with a Class Of Service set to allow silent monitor) to establish a monitor on a DN in any call state. This can be done with or without the knowledge of the monitored party. The monitor can be maintained through call set up, talk state, transfers (monitor stays with the monitored party), Conferences, Hold, Consultation Hold. At any point during the monitor session the call can be elevated to a Whisper Coach.
The Whisper Coach function allows the supervisor (or any DN with a Class Of Service set to allow Whisper Coach) to establish an audio path that is audible to the monitored DN in any call state, but not audible to any connected party/parties. This can be done with or without the prior knowledge of the monitored party. The coaching can be maintained through call set up, talk state, transfers (monitor stays with the monitored party), Conferences, Hold, Consultation Hold. At any point during the coach session the call can be elevated to a Barge in.
This allows the supervisor (or any DN with the above coaching Class of Service) to become audible to all parties as in a normal conference or the monitored party can be removed from the call and connected directly to the supervisor.
The enhancements implemented in this release are designed to increase flexibility and reduce programming complexity associated with assigning incoming DID (DDI) numbers to the appropriate answer point. This is particularly useful for extended stay hospitality environments however, the simplification offers value to all deployments with DID/DDI. The essence of the change is to provide a direct translation of incoming dialed numbers to an internal destination whether that be a user, or other dialable call terminations such as an enhanced ring group or ACD path number.
Existing incoming digit translations will continue to be honored. After translation, if the resulting digit string is an exact match to a digit string in the DID table, it will be translated to the Dialable string associated with the translated DID number and routed. This replaces a level of indirection required with the current system speed call translation which remains available. This means the DID Service is applied to incoming DID calls after trunk service digit modification is completed and before Speed Calls or DID Ranges for CPN Substitution feature is applied.
Separate from the traditional system speed call translation scheme, now you are no longer limited to 7 digit translations or by the maximum of 3000 entries per node. In fact, the number of DID/DDI entries in the Call Recognition Table is practically unlimited (based on available memory).
External Twinning Enhancements
The concept of External Twinning introduced in 6.0 will be expanded to allow any two devices to be rung simultaneously under a single dynamic extension number (two internal, two external or a mix). This previously was restricted to one internal and one external representation of a user.
While this enables a broad range of possibilities the primary intention is to allow a full “fixed” and “mobile” representation of a user and the seamless movement of calls between these representations.
Conceptually a desk phone, a teleworker phone and a PC based softphone could be envisioned as “Fixed” representations of a user, while a SIP based client on a mobile phone in a wireless data network (public GSM or private 802.11), A DECT based wireless phone or a cellular based mobile phone would be envisioned as “mobile” representations.
With a single dynamic extension license or UCC Entry License a user could HotDesk between two answer points and use Handoff to move seamlessly between the various “mobile” representations.
External (live) MOH source for ISS/vMCD (X86 platforms)
A facility that allows ISS, vMCD and MiCD based deployments to use a SIP based G.711 stream on the network as a live music on hold source has been included. Music on Hold sources can be from a MOH port on a networked 3300 ICP, or a PC based MOH server solution from one of Mitel’s MSA partners. For more information please consult the MiVoice Business Online Help documentation or MSA collateral available on MOL.
5540 Full name display
The 5540 which is widely deployed in hospitality and as a support console in general business environments is being updated to display calling party info during the ringing for both internal guest and external inbound calls. This is designed to improve the information to the Attendant to allow them to improve customer service. Also, the display will now support 20 character names (consistent with IP sets) – this is an increase from the previous 15 characters.
SRTP and TLS support
Security is increasingly important to a number of customers both in premise and cloud based deployments. Following on from the introduction of TLS support for signaling in MCD 6.0 we are now adding SRTP support for the media stream. TLS and SRTP are the industry standard encryption key management and encryption algorithms.
A number of changes have been made in MiVoice Business 7.0. These include:
- MSL 10 support (VDT) – A new version of MSL has been included. This is required to maintain compatibility with the latest generation of industry standard serves based on Intel XXX architectures. For details refer to server compatibility docs on MOL
- ESM compatibility with IE10 & 11 and Windows 8 is included
Continuing Mitel’s lead in virtualization Mitel has also made a number of updates in line with Release 7.0. These are designed to both leverage VMware capabilities as well as increase the capacity of our deployment instances without requiring additional resources. Specifically these include:
VMware vSphere 5.5 Support
MiVoice Business 7 supports VMware vSphere / vCloud Release 5.5 – the latest generally available major software release from VMware. This covers baseline support ensuring that all previously supported features and functionality of vSphere/vCloud continue to operate as expected with MiVoice Business. Support for this latest vSphere/vCloud release allows customers to upgrade their data centers to the latest hypervisor software with confidence knowing that their Mitel voice communications software will continue to function as expected.
VMware vSphere 5.5 baseline support was officially released with MiVoice Business 6 Service Pack 2.
Small Business .OVA Support for 250 Users
MiVoice Business virtual appliance ships with 3 resource settings selectable upon deployment within vSphere – Small Business, Mid-Market, and Enterprise. This ensures that the resource requirements are right-sized to the business needs using a simple formula and without unduly over or under provisioning the virtual resources. With MiVoice Business 7, Mitel introduces additional capacity under the Small Business .OVA footprint enabling businesses up to 250 users to be deployed within that footprint (previously only 150 users were supported). This includes support for MiVoice Business embedded voice mail capabilities up to 250 users and 12 ports.
MiVoice Business qualification to 5000 users
MiVoice Business is qualified to support up to 5000 users/devices within one virtual appliance, extending top end scale support from the current 2500 users/devices and thus allowing larger enterprise customers to be supported with a single virtual appliance instance. Support for up to 5000 users/devices will require manual resource configuration changes as this configuration is not supported through the default .OVA resource profiles.
Consult the MiVoice Business Virtual Engineering Guidelines for additional information regarding resource settings and deployment procedures.
MiVoice Business Resiliency with VMware Site Recovery Manager
MiVoice Business offers superior real time application layer availability with built-in resiliency. It also has alternatively supported data center business continuity integration with other business applications leveraging VMware Site Recovery Manager for holistic DR/BC management.
With MiVoice Business 7, the use of Resiliency and VMware SRM can be combined offering the utmost in availability solutions. Now, a customer can deploy MiVoice Business 7 in their primary data center along with a survivable branch office gateway at a remote site, and at the same time partake in full data center protection based on VMware SRM, with failover to a secondary data center. (Note that support for VMware HA continues to be supported for single data center recovery from server/host or VM failure.)
Under a network or local failure impacting only the voice application, MiVoice Business resiliency will take effect resulting in the local branch office gateway assuming all core voice functions. When network connectivity or application availability at the primary data center is restored, the primary MiVoice Business virtual appliance will resume call processing. This capability is as per existing system behaviors that have been available with the MiVoice Business product for some time.
With MiVoice Business 7, under a broader disaster scenario that impacts the entire primary data center, MiVoice Business voice resiliency will immediately kick in with local branch office gateway assuming immediate voice processing functions and maintaining core communications capabilities. In parallel, VMware Site Recover Manager business processes are invoked resulting in a graceful restart of all protected business functions in the secondary (recovery) data center and this includes the primary MiVoice Business virtual appliance. Once the recovery data center is up and running, voice services are automatically transferred from the resilient branch office gateway and restored to the primary MiVoice Business which is now located in the alternate (recovery) data center. All UC services are now also restored as long as they too have been protected through SRM.
MiCollab with Voice
MiVoice Business is an integral part of the MiCollab with Voice introduced to market in 2013. MiCollab with Voice is an integrated all in one software solution with Voice and rich Unified Communications. MiVoice Business 7 will be released with MiCollab with Voice Release 6 and will now support up to 500 UCC Users using Enterprise licensing. IP Trunking and Resilient voice failover will be available as a Technology Preview for select host Service Provider customer deployment scenarios. Contact Mitel for more information regarding opportunities to participate in the Technology Preview.
MiVoice Business on Microsoft Hyper-V
MiVoice Business has been available as a virtual appliance on VMware since early 2010 with thousands of successfully deployed systems in the field.
With the technology improvements in recent Microsoft Hyper-V software releases, Mitel is pleased to introduce support for MiVoice Business on this virtualization platform in 2014. Support for Microsoft Hyper-V will provide an additional deployment option for customers that have standardized on Hyper-V virtualization for their business applications.
If deploying on Microsoft Hyper-V, one must purchase the MiVoice Business Virtual product base package. Installation requires manual creation of the Virtual Machine
using documented recommended resource reservations, installation of Mitel Standard Linux OS, and the MiVoice Business application . Operational deployment simplification using virtual appliance form factor is not currently available. With MiVoice Business 7, basic Hyper-V management functions are fully tested and supported. As with all VMware based virtual appliances, online connectivity to Mitel’s license server is required. Consult the MiVoice Business Virtual Engineering Guidelines for more details on the resource requirements and capacity limits for Hyper-V deployment.
MiVoice Business 7 support for Microsoft Hyper-V is expected to be available as part of MiVoice Business 7 Service Pack 1.
Enhanced Oria Management Integration for Hosted Service Providers
For Service Providers deploying Mitel’s MiCloud solution set, MiVoice Business customer instance management for MiVoice Business Multi-Instance is enhanced, and is extended to now include MiVoice Business Virtual customer instance management on VMware vSphere.
This enables Service Providers to automate the creation, tear-down and upgrade of MiVoice Business software instances across either Mitel’s own MiVoice Business Multi-Instance platform or MiVoice Business Virtual running on VMware vSphere.
MiVoice Business 7 support for Oria Resource Management is expected to be available as part of MiVoice Business 7 Service Pack 1. Refer to Oria Release 4 product documentation for additional information.
Improving the Total cost of ownership
A number of improvements are being made to assist in reducing the time it takes to configure, provision and maintain the MiVoice Business solution. These include:
Automated base DN configuration
Hotdesking has become a very popular deployment option for phone and user deployment. In release 5.0 we introduced the ability to provision a base DN without licensing the device. This allowed a device to be provisioned and then PIN Registered to come up in a locked state. In this state the device will accept a user login request or will allow emergency number dialing, or connection to an attendant.
With 7.0 we will simplify the deployment of such devices. In this release the system administrator will be provided with the ability to define a range of DNs that the system will use to enable devices in a locked state. The phone, when introduced to the network, will go through a registration process. It will be allocated a DN from the defined range and come up in a Locked state without the user identifying a DN or PIN. In that state the device will present a HotDesk login prompt and be capable of accepting a hot desk user login request or dialing the Attendant or Emergency services.
For devices that require service other than that offered by the base DN existing registration methods continue to be supported.
This capability applies to all 53XX series MiNET devices.
A variety of technical enhancements have been implemented that will improve the SDS performance, particularly in large clusters (node counts over 100). In particular synchronization SDS of large node resilient pairs will improve significantly.
Directory Update Performance Improvements
Responsiveness in directory oriented actions has been slow in clusters with large directories (over 10,000 Users). This issue has been addressed and system administrators will notice significant improvement in responsiveness.
MSP logs viewer & round robin software logs
Mitel are improving access to platform logs which aid in troubleshooting and problem resolution. This will see us allow the creation of up to 5 log files of up to 5000 entries per file (once the first one is full the second starts, and so on). Whilst these files can be viewed and retrieved locally (a log viewer capability will be provided as part of the MiVoice Business tools posted on MOL) they can also be exported to the Enterprise Manager application for more permanent storage, longer log history and future retrieval.
Maintenance and Troubleshooting Aids
Now CPU usage information is now available through the Show Status Resource maintenance command. This insight aids in the troubleshooting of overloaded or slow running systems.
Alarm on back-up failure
In the event a software backup fails (whether manually invoked or scheduled) an alarm will be generated. This alarm event will be persistent (i.e. if the system reboots the alarm condition will still be present). The alarm will only clear once the issue has been fixed. As with other alarms conditions, the system can email a pre-defined list of respondents to address the issue. This could be emails to the partner maintaining the solution or could also be emails to the IT administrator on site. This feature is designed to ensure that in the event a system has to be restored from back-up, that back-up can always be relied upon.
New information is provided to assist technicians in understanding system performance and resource utilization – an example is show below.