Category: Technology

Today we’re handing over the blog to Scott O’Dell, a Technical engineer here at Broadtela. He works on the front lines assisting our customers and is a wealth of information. Take it away, Scott!

Faxes can fail for several reasons, but this post will touch upon the more common ones.

Since the faxes are sent across the public internet, if they were to traverse a major backbone that was having issues, then this could cause the faxes to fail. Anywhere from latency to packet loss can add to these failures. Familiarizing yourself with the errors can give you an idea as to what the issue is and where to act.

The HDLC Carrier Did Not Stop in a Timely Manner

This means that our fax server initiated a fax transmission with the far end, but there was a timing error that could not be resolved. This happens when the far end sends their Digital Identification Signal indicating their fax capabilities, such as data rate. Our fax server would then respond with our Digital Command Signal indicating our transfer rate. Usually faxes will start at 14,400 which is the Maximum bits per second speed. If that is too fast for the far end, then the appropriate response would be a Failure to Train. Our fax server would then negotiate a slower speed, but if the Term End does not respond then the end user would receive an error that the HDLC carrier did not stop in a timely manner.

Timed Out Waiting for Initial Communication

This error indicates that our fax server is waiting on the far end to send its initial Digital Identification Signal to continue the T.38 negotiation. The fax cannot proceed any further until the far end sends its signal first. If our fax server does not receive the signal, we will make attempts to talk to it by sending a CNG tone. Or, we would simply put a fax calling tone wherein our system would be playing fax tones trying to communicate with the far end. If we do not receive anything, our fax server would then tear the call down, and the end user would receive the error in their inbox.

Invalid Response after Sending a Page

This error indicates the far end did not respond with the proper message to continue the fax flow and the fax was terminated. An example would be our fax server sending an End of Procedure message indicating there are no more pages to be sent, and the Term End also responding with an End Of Procedure in lieu of a Message Confirmation, indicating the last page was received. Below is a screen shot from a Wireshark packet capture illustrating this behavior. As you can see the arrow pointing to the right is our fax server sending the EOP, and the arrow pointing to the left is the Term End responding with the same thing; thus, causing the fax error.

Disconnected after Permitted Retries

This error occurs when our fax server is trying to negotiate speeds with the Term End. When we start out at 14,400 bits per second, if that is too fast the Term End should respond with a Failure to Train. If they do not, and they keep sending us their receiving rate, the fax will fail with that error.

Far End Cannot Receive at the Size of Image

This would indicate the attachment is greater than the standard 8.5 x 11 document size. You can check this in Adobe Reader by clicking File->Properties->Page Size. Oftentimes scanned documents will exceed these dimensions which can cause failures with the Email-to-Fax service. To overcome this potential problem, you can use a third-party program such as Cute PDF to re-save the file before attaching it. Cute PDF has a default size of 8.5 x 11 so the only thing you are doing when using it is shrinking the document you have to fit the standard paper sized used in most fax machines.

Fax failures are not limited to these errors. Troubleshooting fax failures can be difficult due to how faxes are set up. All faxes start as voice calls until fax tones are detected. Once these are detected the negotiation process begins and if any packets were to break down during this process can cause the faxes to fail. If this were to happen, you should check the number you are faxing to ensure the far end is indeed playing fax tones. You can confirm this by placing a test call to the destination. If the far end is playing fax tones make note of how long into the call the term end starts to play these tones. If the term end is taking quite some time, then that can be the cause of the failures. This is because the sending side is waiting to hear fax tones, but if it is taking the far side too long, then the sending side may disconnect the call. If that is the case then the Term party would need to investigate their equipment.

Customers have seen an increase up to 98% success rate when using our Vfax service as we recently turned up a new vendor. Using our Vfax service allows our support team to pull the necessary packet captures in the event of a failure to quickly identify where the issue is originating from. We can then advise the customer the necessary steps to resolve the issue.

Hopefully this post gave you more insight to the Email to Fax service. If you ever need assistance with anything at all, please give me or one of my fellow Technicals a call!

There are two types of call transfer that your system if capable of:

  1. Blind transfer:  This is where the call is directy transferred to another user without any introduction.  Following the transfer, the other phone will ring showing the callerid of the original caller.  If there is no answer, the call would go to the voicemail of the numebr the call was being transferred to.
  2. Attended transfer:  In this scenario, the user transferring the call would have the opportunity to speak to the transfer recipient before the call is transferred.  The recipient on the transferred number sees the callerid extension  number of the user transferring the call rather than the original callerid.  If the recipient is not available or does not want to take the call, the user can return to the original call.

The system is also capable of making conference calls joining three calls.

Blind Call Transfer

YLXfer1

In the first call, press the TRANSFER key

YLBXfer2

Enter the number to transfer to and then press the TRANSFER soft key

The calls will be transferred and the phone will return to the ready screen.

Attended Call Transfer

YLXfer1

In the first call, press the TRANSFER key

YLXfer2

Dial the number that you want to transfer the call to and wait for the call to be picked up.  You may talk with the recipient.

YLBXfer2

To complete the transfer of the call, press the TRANSFER key

The call will be transferred and the phone will return to the ready screen.

In the situation where the recipient of the transferred call is not available, or does not want to take the call, the user should just hang up and return to the original call by pressing the first green flashing line key.

Conference Calling

YLConf1

Initiate first call. Press the conference key

YLConf2

Dial second call.  Once connected, press CONFERENCE key .

YLConf3Man

During the conference call, the MANAGE soft key allows the user to manage the other parties

YLConf4Man

Using the up and down arrow keys, one of the other parties can be selected and their line mutes or removed

Important VoIP 911 Information

Enhanced VoIP Communications provides all customers with 911 access to a national emergency call center.  In the case of an emergency you should dial 911 on your telephone to access 911 services.  When you reach a 911 agent, the agent will ask you which emergency service you need: fire rescue, emergency medical assistance or law enforcement.The agent will then ask you for the address where you need the emergency service.  You should be prepared to confirm your address and call-back phone number with the operator.  Please do not hang up unless told directly to do so and if disconnected, you should dial 911 again.  You should print your address and phone number and keep it close to each of your phones or work areas so that visitors and guests can quickly determine where emergency services should be dispatched to. Please see below for an important note regarding keeping your physical location(s) up-to-date in our database.


Keeping your Physical Address up-to-date

Enhanced VoIP Communications provides a web based interface for updating your physical location(s). Customers must review this information and keep it current at all times. In case you are not able to speak during a 911 call, the emergency personnel will dispatch response vehicles to your last registered address. You need to update your VoIP 911 information if you move your device to a different physical location. If different extensions have different physical locations you will need to setup multiple emergency locations and assign each extension to a different location.


Backup recommendations

It is important to note that in the event of a power failure or loss of Internet connectivity at your office you will be unable to dial 911.  You should inform all employees and visitors of this important limitation of 911 service.  The use of a small inexpensive battery backup device available at most electronics retailers will prevent short term power failures from affecting your telephone service.  It is a good idea to have a backup plan for dialing 911 in case of an extended power failure or loss in Internet connectivity.  This might include keeping a cell phone available nearby or attaching a phone to your regular fax phone line.


Important Note Regarding Test Calls

Please do not use our service to make 911 test calls from your telephone.  If you wish to perform a 911 test you must arrange this with our customer service group.  Unscheduled test calls to 911 services will automatically be charged a $95.00 service fee.  Only dial 911 in an emergency.

WebRTC – short for Web Real-Time Communications – is a new standard that makes it possible to have a conversation from your Web browser.

Overview

WebRTC is a communications standard developed by the W3C in close cooperation with the RTCWeb standard developed by the IETF. RTCWeb functions at a lower protocol layer; WebRTC enables the embedding of this functionality in applications and websites.
What is WebRTC?

The WebRTC standard solves a very common problem: incompatibilities for real-time communications. Today, to place audio or video calls from a computer, users need to download proprietary software and create accounts. WebRTC leverages the recent trend in which the web browser IS the “application”, and facilitates browser-to-browser communication, with no software downloads or registration needed. The browsers themselves include all the capabilities needed to support the standard. WebRTC standardizes communications between browsers, enabling audio and video communications, and data bridges to support text chat or file-sharing.

Though the WebRTC standard has obvious implications for changing the nature of peer-to-peer communication, it is also an ideal solution for customer care solutions to allow direct access to the contact center. For example, a user of a mobile customer care application could click one button to directly talk to an agent, without leaving the application or its context. Similarly, customers (or prospective customers) browsing a website, whether on a mobile device or at their computer, could easily initiative a chat with an agent. The overall effect is a seamless experience that eliminates the “context gap” – customers no longer have to search for a contact center phone number or wait for a call back, or re-explain the issue from the beginning to a contact center agent.

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