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02 Feb 2019

Tutorial: iPlum Auto Attendant (IVR) with Virtual Extensions

iPlum Auto-Attendant (IVR) is a self-service business application. Here you will find detailed configuration steps.

Note: If you need live technical support, you can schedule a phone call with our “specialist” for $14.95 by clicking here. They can coach you to make changes in your iPlum account.



I. Multiple users mobile phone system example.

II. Single user mobile phone system example.



III. Additional scenarios:

a) Does my IVR handle multiple incoming calls at same time?

b) Can I setup multiple extensions routing calls to same iPlum number?

c) Can I setup an extension routing calls to an external non-iPlum number?

d) How to setup an extension to call multiple numbers sequentially or simultaneously?

e) How to setup extensions going directly to different voicemails?

f) How to setup information announcements like directory, hours of operation, directions?

g) How to setup directory of users?

h) Can I use my main iPlum number in one of the extensions?

i) How to configure multiple receptionists for an extension?

j) How to setup tree with multiple levels of Auto-Attendants (IVR)?

k) First ring an iPlum number, if unanswered, send the call to an Auto-Attendant (IVR) with extensions?

l) Using auto-attendant (IVR), first ring an external number, if unanswered send the call to iPlum voicemail?

m) Using auto-attendant (IVR), first ring an iPlum number, if unanswered send the call to an external answering service?

n) How to setup business hours for my auto-attendant (IVR)?

o) How to setup business hours when iPlum calls are routing to an external number?

p) Can I transfer my existing number to iPlum and setup auto-attendant?

q) Which Caller-ID will show for incoming iPlum calls?

r) How to display main iPlum number as caller-id for my sub-accounts?

s) How to transfer calls between extensions?

t) Can I record my iPlum calls?

ut) What are Advanced Auto-Attendant (IVR) Settings?






I. Multiple users mobile phone system setup





Sample requirements for a healthcare business:

  • Multiple employees can make/receive business calls & texts as separate 2nd line on their mobile phone.
  • Setup an extension for receptionist for appointments and transfers.
  • Setup extensions for sales and accounting departments.
  • Announce employee directory with names and extensions.
  • Announce directions and business hours.
  • During business hours 8 AM – 5 PM Monday to Friday route the calls to employees.
  • During after hours and weekends route the calls to an answering service.



Detailed Steps:

A. Create Sub-accounts for Employees.

Each user who will make or receive calls/texts needs to have a sub-account:

  1. Login to your master account https://my.iplum.com

    Accounts || “Additional Line” to create sub-account with user’s mobile phone number or their email.

  2. The user will receive an invitation link via phone text or email used to create their sub-account. They will click the link and setup a new password for their sub-account. This user is now connected to the master account and as an administrator you will see them accepted in “Accounts” section in your iPlum portal.

  3. Get iPlum Number:
    Accounts || Select the sub-account created above and click “Get iPlum Number”.
    Follow the prompts to purchase the iPlum number for this additional line. Next step one can change the caller-id for this sub-account to show the main number.

  4. Change sub-account’s outgoing caller-id to be the main account phone number (By default the sub-account name and number is their caller-id):
    Accounts || Select sub-account || Profile & Permissions || Caller-ID Number || Edit || Select “Main account iPlum number” and save.

  5. Setup voice network mode for best call reliability:
    Calls: Network Mode || Outgoing Calls || Select sub-account || Use My Voice Network || Enter the external phone number and save.
    Calls: Network Mode || Incoming Calls || Select sub-account || Use My Voice Network || Enter the external phone number and save.
    Note: Voice network mode maintains iPlum Caller-ID for all iPlum calls.




B. Enable Auto-Attendant (IVR) Module.

Click “Dashboard || Auto-Attendant & Extensions” and toggle enable switch (Only required first time).




C. Profile & Hours.

Profiles: Create multiple profiles to route calls at different times of the day.

Each profile has its own name, priority, hours, greeting and extensions. Priority level (1 to 9) is unique between profiles. If there are overlapping time periods across multiple profiles, the system will use priority levels. e.g. Priority 1 takes precedence over Priority 2.

Business Hours Profile

First profile is created by default:
Enter a name of this profile: Business Hours.
Select priority of this profile: 1.
Enable this profile by checking the box (if unchecked).
Verify your time zone: e.g. America/Los Angeles (UTC-08:00) .
Select hours: Monday to Friday From 8 AM – To 5 PM. Click Skip for Saturday and Sunday.

Note: You are setting system level hours in auto-attendant profiles. Further each user can setup their own working hours in the Do-Not-Disturb settings in their iPlum app.




D. Auto-Attendant Greeting – Business Hours.

Sample greeting text:

Thank you for reaching ABC healthcare practice. For any medical emergencies please dial 911 or go to your nearest hospital. If you know your party’s extension, please dial it now. Otherwise during our normal business hours between 8 AM to 5 PM Monday to Friday, please press 1 for making a new patient appointment, 2 for directory of physicians, 3 for directions and 4 for billing. To leave a voicemail press zero. If you are calling us after hours, please press 5 and you will be transferred to our answering service. Press 9 to repeat these options.




E. Extensions – Business Hours.

Maximum length of extension digits: If you are setting single digit extensions like 1,2,3 ..9, you set this value to 1. If you are using extensions like 101, 102, 103…, you will set this value to 3. If you are using a mix of extensions like 1,2,3, 10, 101, 901…, you will set the value to maximum digits which will be 3.

  • Employees:

  • Click “Add Extension”. Enter: 101; select type as “Single iPlum Number” ; select iPlum number from dropdown for Mary Jane. You can keep the voicemail to user’s iPlum number or go to main number based on your requirements for this user.

    Click “Add Extension”. Enter: 102; select type as “Single iPlum Number” for Casey Dill.

    Click “Add Extension”. Enter: 103; select type as “Single iPlum Number” for Jennifer Crawford.



  • Main Voicemail

  • Click “Add Extension”. Enter: 0; select type as “Main Account Voicemail”.



  • Repeat Greetings

  • Click “Add Extension”. Enter: 9; select type as “Repeat Greeting”.



  • Billing: Click “Add Extension”. Enter: 4; select type as “Single iPlum Number” for Billing. Choose the option for voicemail to use when the extension is not answered.



  • Answering service for after-hours:Click “Add Extension”. Enter: 5; select type as “Single External Number” and type the answering service phone number.



  • Receptionist, front desk: Click “Add Extension”. Enter: 1; select type as Single iPlum number; select iPlum number from dropdown for receptionist. You can keep the voicemail to user’s iPlum number or go to main number based on your requirements for this user.

  • Landline vs. Mobile: Above extension setup assumes your receptionist will use a mobile phone with iPlum configured as 2nd line. If you would rather use a landline for the receptionist, you can setup a landline with your local provider and select that number for this extension as type “Single External Number” when you add this extension.

    Multiple receptionists: If you have more than one receptionist, check this section for its configuration.



  • Directory: Click “Add Extension”. Enter: 2; select type as “Play Information”.

    Type your directory of users for Text to Speech. You can also record a custom mp3 sound file with these instructions. You can choose to end the call after playing the information or take the caller back to the main greeting.

    Note: During announcement play the system disables any digit inputs, for that reason add the extra sentence before your actual phone directory.

    Sample text:
    Please choose your extension after listening to the full announcement. For Mary Jane, please dial 101. For Casey Dill, dial 102. For Jennifer Crawford, dial 103.



  • Directions, Locations: Click “Add Extension”. Enter: 3; select type as “Play Information”

    Type your directory of users for Text to Speech. You can also record a custom mp3 sound file with these instructions. You can choose to end the call after playing the information or take the caller back to the main greeting.

    Sample text:
    We are located at ABC street, Suite 101, City, State. We are open Monday to Friday 8 AM to 5 PM. We are closed Saturday and Sunday.


Configure extensions to dial multiple numbers Sequentially or Simultaneously?

You can enter multiple phone numbers for any extension/s. For sequential flow the system will try each number in a hunt group and move to next available in the sequence. It will try for 18 seconds for each number. For simultaneous call flow, the system will dial all numbers at the same time, whosoever first picks the call gets connected. You can choose to send the unanswered call to go to the main number voicemail.




F. Advanced Settings.

It is recommended to keep default values for this section.




G. After Hours Profile.

Once you have finished creating business hours profile with hours, greeting and extensions, click “+” to create second profile.

Enter a name of this profile: After Hours.
Select priority of this profile: 2.
Enable this profile by checking the box.
Select your time zone: e.g. America/Los Angeles (UTC-08:00) .
Select hours: Monday to Friday From 5 PM – To 8 AM. Click “All Day” for Saturday and Sunday.

Note: You are setting system level hours in auto-attendant profiles. Further each user can setup their own working hours in the Do-Not-Disturb settings in their iPlum app.




H. Auto-Attendant Greeting – After Hours.

Sample greeting text:

Thank you for reaching ABC healthcare practice. For any medical emergencies please dial 911 or go to your nearest hospital. Our normal business hours are between 8 AM to 5 PM Monday to Friday. You have called us after hours or on a weekend. If you know your party’s extension, please dial it now or press 3 for directions. To leave a voicemail press 0, Otherwise press 5 and you will be transferred to our answering service. Press 9 to repeat these options.




I. Extensions – After Hours.


  • Employees:

  • Click “Add Extension”. Enter: 101; select type as “Single iPlum Number” ; select iPlum number from dropdown for Mary Jane. You can keep the voicemail to user’s iPlum number or go to main number based on your requirements for this user.

    Click “Add Extension”. Enter: 102; select type as “Single iPlum Number” for Casey Dill.

    Click “Add Extension”. Enter: 103; select type as “Single iPlum Number” for Jennifer Crawford.



  • Main Voicemail

  • Click “Add Extension”. Enter: 0; select type as “Main Account Voicemail”.



  • Repeat Greetings

  • Click “Add Extension”. Enter: 9; select type as “Repeat Greeting”.



  • Answering service for after-hours:Click “Add Extension”. Enter: 5; select type as “Single External Number” and type the answering service phone number.



  • Directions, Locations: Click “Add Extension”. Enter: 3; select type as “Play Information”

    Type your directory of users for Text to Speech. You can also record a custom mp3 sound file with these instructions. You can choose to end the call after playing the information or take the caller back to the main greeting.

    Sample text:
    We are located at ABC street, Suite 101, City, State. We are open Monday to Friday 8 AM to 5 PM. We are closed Saturday and Sunday.



J. Enable/Pause Auto-Attendant (IVR).

Toggle Enable switch green to enable Auto-Attendant (IVR).

Note: If you want to disable/by-pass Auto-Attendant (IVR) completely, toggle the Enable switch to red.

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II: Single user mobile phone system setup


Single user system is a simplified version of multi user phone system. It will be helpful to review multi user phone system example which has many scenarios covered.



Profile & Hours.

Profiles: Create multiple profiles to route calls at different times of the day.

Each profile has its own name, priority, hours, greeting and extensions. Priority level (1 to 9) is unique between profiles. If there are overlapping time periods across multiple profiles, the system will use priority levels. e.g. Priority 1 takes precedence over Priority 2.

First profile is created by default:
Enter a name of this profile: Business Hours.
Select priority of this profile: 1.
Enable this profile by checking the box (if unchecked).
Verify your time zone: e.g. America/Los Angeles (UTC-08:00) .
Select hours: Monday to Friday From 8 AM – To 5 PM. Click Skip for Saturday and Sunday.

Note: One can create additional profiles for other times.

Important: You are setting system level hours in auto-attendant profiles. Further each user can setup their own working hours in the Do-Not-Disturb settings in their iPlum app.




Auto-Attendant Greeting:

Sample greeting text:
Welcome and thank you for calling Mary’s consulting company where we design beautiful houses. Our normal business hours are 8 AM to 5 PM Monday to Friday. Please press 1 to reach Mary, 2 for directions to our office and 3 for billing. If this is after hours please press 4 to leave a voicemail. To hear these options again, please press 9.




Extensions:

Maximum length of extension digits : If you are setting single digit extensions like 1,2,3 ..9, you set this value to 1. If you are using extensions like 101, 102, 103…, you will set this value to 3. If you are using a mix of extensions like 1,2,3, 10, 101, 901…, you will set the value to maximum digits which will be 3.


Add Extensions

  • Click “Add Extension”. Enter: 1; select type as “Single iPlum Number” and select your iPlum #.

  • Click “Add Extension”. Enter: 3; select type as “Single iPlum Number” and select your iPlum # or “Main Account Voicemail”.

  • Click “Add Extension”. Enter: 4; select type as “Main Account Voicemail”.

  • Click “Add Extension”. Enter: 9; select type as “Repeat Greeting”.


  • Directions, Hours: Click “Add Extension”. Enter: 2; select type as “Play Information”

    Type your directions. You can also record a custom mp3 sound file with these instructions. You can choose to end the call after playing the information or take the caller back to the main ivr greeting.

    Sample text:
    We are located at ABC street, Suite 101, City, State. We are open Monday to Friday 8 AM to 5 PM. We are closed Saturday and Sunday.



Advanced Auto-Attendant (IVR) Settings:

It is advisable to keep other timers and counts with their default values.




Enable/Pause Auto-Attendant (IVR) :

Toggle Enable switch green to enable Auto-Attendant (IVR) .

Note: If you want to disable/by-pass Auto-Attendant (IVR) completely, toggle the Enable switch to red.

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III. Additional scenarios:





a) Does my IVR handle multiple incoming calls at same time?

Yes, you can receive any number of simultaneous calls to your main iPlum number using Auto-Attendant (IVR). iPlum provides multi-paths for your iPlum incoming calls by default.

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b) Can I setup multiple extensions routing calls to same iPlum number?

Yes, you will create multiple extensions and point them to the same iPlum number.

Welcome and thank you for reaching John’s Architecture Company where we help to build office buildings. Press 201 for new clients, 202 for design support, 203 for billing and zero to reach operator. Press nine to repeat this menu.


Extensions:

Maximum length of extension digits: 3

Add Extension. Enter: 201; Select type as “Single iPlum Number” and select iPlum #.

Add Extension. Enter: 202; Select type as “Single iPlum Number” and select iPlum #.

Add Extension. Enter: 203; Select type as “Single iPlum Number” and select iPlum #.

Add Extension. Enter: 0; Select type as “Main Account Voicemail”.

Add Extension. Enter: 9; Select type as “Repeat Greeting”.

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c) Can I setup an extension routing calls to an external non-iPlum number?

Yes, you will create an extensions and point it to the external non-iPlum number.

Sample Greeting:

Welcome and thank you for reaching John’s consulting. Please press one to setup an appointment.


Extensions:

Maximum length of extension digits: 1

Add Extension. Enter: 1; Select type as “Single External Number”. Enter the external phone number to route the calls.

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d) How to setup an extension to call multiple numbers sequentially or simultaneously?

Sequential or Simultaneous Multiple Numbers means that you can enter multiple phone numbers for one extension. For sequential flow the system will try each number in the hunting group and move to next available in the sequence. It will try for 18 seconds for each number. For simultaneous call flow, the system will dial all numbers at the same time, whosoever first picks the call gets connected. You can choose to send the unanswered call to the main number voicemail.


Extensions:

Maximum length of extension digits: 1

Add Extension. Enter: 1; Select type as Sequential Multiple Numbers ; Enter iPlum numbers which you want to ring one after the other when caller presses option 1. You can choose to send the unanswered call to the main number voicemail.

OR

Add Extension. Enter: 1; Select type asSimultaneous Multiple Numbers ; Enter iPlum numbers which you want to ring simultaneous when caller presses option 1. You can choose to send the unanswered call to the main number voicemail.

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e) How to setup extensions going directly to different voicemails?

Each iPlum number has one voicemail box. For multiple voicemails, you will create sub-accounts with iPlum numbers and route Auto-Attendant (IVR) extensions to those numbers.

Set up Do-Not-Disturb on these iPlum numbers so that when user selects that extension, it will directly go to the voicemail without ringing.

You can access voicemails in your iPlum app or iPlum online portal.

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f) How to setup information announcements like directory, hours of operation, directions?

Add Extension. Enter extension number; Select type as “Play Information”. Type your information for Text to Speech or you can record a custom mp3 sound file as per these instructions.

You can choose to end the call after playing the information or take the caller back to the main greeting.

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g) How to setup directory of users?

Play directory of users.

Add Extension. Enter extension number; Select type as “Play Information”. Type your directory of users for Text to Speech or you can record a custom mp3 sound file as per these instructions.

You can choose to end the call after playing the information or take the caller back to the main greeting.

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h) Can I use my main iPlum number as one of the extensions?

For multi-user account it is generally not recommended to use the same number as one of the extensions to maintain security of the account. But if you have only one iPlum number, yes you can configure extension/s to route incoming calls to the same iPlum number. It will not create a circular reference.

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i) How to configure multiple receptionists for an extension?

  1. Create sub-accounts for each receptionist with their own iPlum number:
    Accounts || Add Additional Line. Get local iPlum number with plan.

  2. Update caller-id on these sub-accounts so that when they dial out it shows main number:
    Accounts || Select Sub-account || Profile & Permissions || Caller ID || Edit using pencil icon || Main iPlum Account.

  3. Switch-off the individual voicemails for the receptionists sub-accounts:
    Accounts || Select Sub-account || Voicemail Box || SETTINGS || Enable Voicemail: Toggle “off” || Save.

  4. Enable Do Not Disturb hours on each receptionists sub-accounts :
    Accounts || Select Sub-account || Do Not Disturb || Silence Call Ringing: Toggle “On” ; Select radio button “Drop call” ;
    Click “Set Do Not Disturb Hours”. Setup hours when the specific receptionist is not in shift || Save.
    Save again.

  5. In the IVR Extensions section, click “Add Extension”. Enter extension number; Select type as “Multiple Sequential or Simultaneous Calling” based on your preference. Enter the two or more iPlum numbers which you have created as sub-accounts for receptionists.

  6. Choose the option for voicemail as “Send unanswered call to main account voicemail”.

  7. The calls will initially ring to the receptionists and if none of them pick up, the call will be routed to main voicemail.

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j) How to setup tree with multiple levels of Auto-Attendants (IVR)?

Case 1: A business has multiple subsidiaries each with its own set of extensions.

Case 2: A business needs two layer Auto-Attendant (IVR) for English & Spanish language callers.

One can create one Auto-Attendant (IVR) per master account. To create 2nd levels of Auto-Attendant (IVR), you will create two independent accounts with their own Auto-Attendants (IVR). In the first Auto-Attendant (IVR) make one of the extensions to ring the main number of 2nd independent account. The caller will dial the main number, hear the greeting, choose the subsidiary and then dial the extension.

  1. Create iPlum Primary account with main Auto-Attendant.

  2. Create separate iPlum accounts for each subsidiary with their own Auto-Attendants.

  3. In the Primary account’s Auto-Attendant “Extension setup”, add Subsidiary iPlum numbers (which will have their own Auto-Attendant).

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k) First ring an iPlum number, if unanswered, send the call to an Auto-Attendant with extensions?

  • Setup your main number where you will receive incoming calls as a sub-account.
  • Setup Delayed Call forwarding on that iPlum number to the master account iPlum number.
  • Please check multiuser auto-attendant example to setup greeting and extensions on the master account iPlum number.
  • You can update Caller-ID of all account/sub-account/s in their respective “Profile & Permissions” to any iPlum number in your account.
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l) Using auto-attendant, first ring an external number, if unanswered send the call to iPlum voicemail?

Extensions:

Select “Sequential Multiple Numbers”. Put your external number first and then add your iPlum number as the last number for that extension. Further you can configure “Do Not Disturb” for the iPlum number so that the call will directly go to the voicemail after first ringing your external number.

Note: If you manually dismiss the call on external line, its device will force the call to its local voicemail. In the default iPlum Advanced Settings for Sequential Ringing, the call needs to ring 18 sec on the external line before it will rollover to next line (iPlum voicemail in this case). You can increase or decrease the Sequential Ringing time.


We suggest that instead of routing calls to external numbers, you get additional iPlum numbers to separate business calls from personal calls on each user device and then configure the extensions to those iPlum numbers in the call flow.

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m) Using auto-attendant, first ring an iPlum number, if unanswered send the call to an external answering service?

Setup extension with “Sequential Multiple Numbers”. Put your iPlum number first & then the answering service phone number. The call will first ring on your iPlum number and if you don’t answer, it will roll over to the external answering service. You can choose to send the unanswered call to the main number voicemail.

Note: If you manually dismiss the call on external line, its device will force the call to its local voicemail.

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n) How to setup business hours for my auto-attendant (IVR)?

Please check multiuser auto-attendant example to create Time profiles.

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o) How to setup business hours when iPlum calls are routing to an external number?

Please check multiuser auto-attendant example to create Time profiles.

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p) Can I transfer my existing number to iPlum and setup auto-attendant?

There are multiple options:

Yes, you can port your existing number into iPlum.

In case you can’t port, you can use your existing number and set call forwarding from it to an iPlum number where you setup auto-attendant.

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q) Which Caller-ID will show for incoming iPlum calls?

You can choose to show the Call Origination Number (default settings) or your iPlum Number as the display Caller-ID for your incoming iPlum calls. This option is available in Auto-Attendant Settings.

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r) How to display main iPlum number for all outgoing iPlum calls for all users in my iPlum account?

You can setup your account such that it will show main iPlum number when any user in your iPlum account makes an outbound calls irrespective of their own iPlum number. For each user you can set their Caller-ID number to use Main iPlum Number.
Accounts || Select Account || Profile & Permissions || Caller ID || Edit & change to Main account number.

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s) How to transfer calls between extensions?

Yes, after you receive a call on any extension via Auto-Attendant (IVR), you can transfer call to another iPlum or external number by pressing *7 (star 7) and entering the 10 digit phone number followed by #. After the call is connected, press:

0 to conference.

1 to exit yourself.

2 to end call transfer.



Example:

A calls B. B wants to transfer call to C.
(C – Phone Number: 202-123-1234).


After A gets connected to B, B will enter *7 in their dialpad followed by 2021231234#.

A will hear Music-on-Hold.

B can talk to C for one-one conversation, then press 0 to conference C into the call with A.

Or press 1 to take itself (B) out of the bridge and let A and C have the conversation.

Or press 2 to end the call with C (keep conversation between A and B).

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t) Can I record my iPlum calls?

Yes, you can enable call recording feature. You automatically get an email alert when you have a recording which you can play in the iPlum online portal or iPlum app. This feature also includes an optional “Consent” message which you can play for incoming calls if your state requires it.

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u) What are Advanced Auto-Attendant (IVR) Settings?

It is recommended to keep default values for this section.

  • System Parameters: Ring time interval between call legs = 18 seconds.

  • Invalid extension tries (before disconnecting the call) = 3.

  • Number of times to play greeting (before disconnecting the call) = 3.

  • Incoming Caller ID for Extensions. Choose between “Show actual calling number” (default) or “Show main account iPlum number”.

  • Get notification in iPlum app (Not recommended). Check this option if you want to get an alert in your iPlum app whenever there is a incoming call to the iPlum number where Auto-Attendant is setup irrespective if the caller selected any extension after listening to the greeting.

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Helpful links:

How to port an existing number into iPlum?

How to setup a business team account in iPlum?

Voice Network Mode – Incoming

Voice Network Mode – Outgoing

All Q&A