[VoiceOps] 9-8-8 dialing when an outside line access code (9) is being used

Nathan Anderson nathana at fsr.com
Mon Jul 18 22:05:11 EDT 2022

(Quick off-topic note: did some setting on VoiceOps mailman get changed
halfway through the morning?  "From:" now shows voiceops list address
instead of original sender's -- which I'm fine with -- but then
"Reply-To" is getting added and set to sender.  So I now have to add
voiceops address to "To:" or "CC:" manually if I want my reply to go to
the list.  Not cool.)

Hunter Fuller wrote:

> Look. I get that the dial-9 thing is not how you would build a system
> today, but what I'm trying to say is this:
> If the current way worked for decades, through multiple phone system
> forklifts, enabling us to not retrain our users; and if 988 is the
> first time we have ever had any issue with it; then at what point
> Exactly were we "supposed to" have "seen the light" and migrated away
> from it? And what value would it have brought us at that time?
> It's not like our users are constantly getting confused by this. We
> dispatch an email to new employees with basics on using the phone, and
> not once has anyone ever found it confusing or difficult. Some of
> these users will have dialed their desk phone the exact same way for
> THIRTY YEARS (not an exaggeration). What value does it bring me to
> shake it up, aside from giving them the ability to dial 988 without a
> delay? Is there even one other benefit? I am genuinely grasping here.

I'm generally sympathetic with this position, actually.  As I said
before, I prefer *not* to replace customers' existing phone systems,
and that way there is no re-training nor taking on the role of
supporting a replacement system.  And if/when we do replace somebody's
aging PBX, I want to remove as much friction as possible and add as few
things to the canned training spiel as possible: get in, install the
thing, show somebody the basic ropes as quickly as possible and with as
few disclaimers as possible, and get out.  We have a tough enough time
just with things like "this is how voicemail now works" and "sorry no,
we are *not* going to try to emulate your outgoing key system: you must
now either do extension-to-extension transfer, or call parking", heh.
So if it is relatively easy to accommodate older (and
established/habitual) usage patterns alongside newer ones all without
creating tons of extra work for us, we will.

Carlos Alvarez wrote:

> Right, and their switch traps the 9 so you don't have to route it.  I
> may be mistaken, but thought the original question was about routing on
> a modern switch, where the 9 is not relevant.

I went back & read through the prior posts, and can't find anything
that affirms your assumption.  Yes agreed, in the particular scenario I
laid out there, we don't have to worry about the 9.  What I was
responding to, though, was your rhetorical question re: whether "there
[is] really a switch out there in use today that needs [an outside line
prefix]", and pointing out that at least anecdotally, yeah: there are
plenty.  I gather that there are many "operators" of all stripes that
subscribe to this list: systems integrators, service providers, a
little of columns A and B, etc.  And though the OP himself didn't say
one way or the other, there are clearly people responding to this
thread who are actively supporting older systems.

> Weird, pretty much every old PBX I ran into had the fax lines on it,
> and sometimes even alarm lines on it.  One of my early trainings with
> alarm panel integration, in the 90s, was all about coordinating the
> dial-9 rules.
> I'm old, and maybe you mean more recently.  I know we did a dial 9 in
> the early 2000s, now I can't remember when most people dropped it.

I am mostly talking about customers whose dialtone we took over
servicing within the last 10 years.  But these were also phone systems
that had been installed 5-10 years or more prior to when we got there,

I guess I should clarify that the vast, vast majority of these are
small businesses in a fairly rural context.  Typically with maybe 3-4
POTS trunks, including the fax line.  (And yes, often we will see alarm
circuit sharing a line with fax.  Just that neither are touching the
main KSU at all, and [thus] have no shared line appearances on any of
the handsets.)

Heck, at our own office, before we moved over to all-IP, our prior
system which had been installed in the early 2000s was a Nortel MICS
with roughly 16 POTS trunks (why it wasn't T1, no clue...this whole
thing was installed well before my time).  Same situation: fax line
completely separate.

-- Nathan

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