When operating a call centre environment, you often want to be able to easily see the status of your agents. Mitel 3300 phone systems provide a TCP stream containing realtime data about the call centre phones (agents), paths and queues.

TallyMate (TV Display)

When developing TallyMate for Hope Media, I needed to listen to this stream of data and make sense of it to display on some big TV. I ended up writing a Python application to achieve this. This code was based on the specs provided in the document “Mitel Networks – Data Services – Programmer Reference“.

Today I am providing this code, with the hope that you may also be able to make use out of it.

Grab the Code on GitHub

Pull requests are welcome.

 

Requirements

  • Mitel ACD Real Time Events stream capable phone system
  • Python 2.7
  • Apple OS X or Windows (Linux has not been tested but will probably work)

Testing the Mitel ACD Realtime Events Stream

To test that this stream is available in your Mitel system, you can use a Telnet command: telnet 192.168.201.2 15373 (ensure you substitute in the IP Address of your Mitel system)

Upon connecting to this stream, you should immediately see data appear in your Telnet console, such as “74R13024320140115”. In this example, the first two characters are the numerical identifier of the data, and “R” signifies a keep-alive packet.

Performing actions on an ACD-enabled phone, such as logging on, answering a call, placing a call or logging off will show different data in your Telnet console.

Refer to the document “Mitel Networks – Data Services – Programmer Reference” for full details on the format of each data packet.

Setup

  1. Confirm your phone system meets the requirements.
  2. Download and install Python on your computer.
  3. Copy the mitelacd.py and mitel_data.json files to a directory on your computer
    e.g. “C:\MitelACD\” or “/Users/anthony/MitelACD/”
  4. Change the IP address in mitelacd.py to the IP address of your Mitel system (line 8) This must be the IP address you checked with Telnet in the above section.
  5. Run the mitelacd.py file (double click if you have Windows file associations setup, or use your command line).
  6. Confirm that mitel_data.json is being written to by performing actions on an ACD-enabled phone and checking the file modified timestamp. You will see some data sent to your Python console window, but please note no keep-alive packets are written to the console

Setup is now complete. This application must keep running to read the stream and write the results to the file.

MITEL_DATA.JSON

Once you have started running your script you can develop further applications to consume this file. There are four sections to this file:

  • Paths
  • Agents
  • Groups
  • Last Updated Timestamp

Each agent can have the status “in”, “out”, “busy”, “idle”, and “timer”. When creating a simple available/busy indicator it is best to group these status together. “in” and “idle” both mean the ACD Agent is available to take a call. “busy” and “timer” mean the ACD Agent is unavailable to take a call, but logged on. “out” means the agent is not logged on and thus can’t take calls.

Groups and paths show similar data. Depending on how your Mitel system is setup determines which one you should use. It is suggested you start by using the “groups” and change this if you find some data is being incorrectly reported.

The “waiting” field shows how many people are in the queue. This field is a fixed length and ranges from “000” to “999”.

The “agents” field shows how many agents are logged on at the present time. This field is a fixed length and ranges from “000” to “999”.

The “longestwait” field shows in MM:SS how long the longest queue member has been in the queue. For example, a value “0015” means a caller has been waiting for 15 seconds. This will remain as as “0000” when no one is in the queue.

The timestamp is the last time the file was updated, stored as a floating point Unix Epoch timestamp. Although it is a floating point number, some systems will not support precision greater than one second.

There are some values written in the sample JSON file. You may remove these before starting your application to ensure only data specific to your site is stored in the file.

Running as a Background Application

How you setup this program as a background application is up to you. Indeed, you don’t even need to run it in the background. You could leave the terminal window running in a desktop session.

In a Windows environment the easiest way to set it up as a background application is to set up a scheduled task which runs on system boot. This means it will run as soon as the computer starts up. Assuming there are no bugs in the application, it should keep running indefinitely.

This application has proven to be reliable over inbound call center periods with as many as 15 agents active on calls at once and with many more in the queue. As the whole processing loop is wrapped in a try/catch block, invalid stream data and file system errors will be ignored. You may miss some data, but it will catch up next time more data is provided.

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I'm Anthony Eden, and I'm a broadcast technologist. I've been working in broadcast media since 2008 (getting my start in Community Radio while still at school), and developing software and websites for just as long. Right now, I work full time for Hope Media, and provide some freelance services through Media Realm.

Follow Anthony on Twitter: @anthony_eden or Google+