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PBX Messages in Spok Messenger

Spok Messenger provides support for messages to be initiated via a telephone capable of sending Dual Tone Multiple Frequency (DTMF) tones. This functionality is achieved using either standard Voice Modems or Dialogic cards. The sections included in the PBX Messages section are described below:

PBX Global Settings

This screen allows you to configure global options for the behavior of the PBX Gateway. The PBX Common Settings dialog can be accessed.

  1. Choose Interfaces > PBX > PBX Settings. The PBX Common Settings dialog displays.



No. digits (Local ID)

The number of digits that the system should use for the local ID.

No. digits (Escalation ID)

The number of escalation digits the system should use.

No. digits (Message)

The number of DTMF digits to enter for PBX (canned) messages. So if, for example, it is set to 2, *01 would need to be entered to send PBX message number 1. Refer also to the Sending Alphanumeric Messages section in the PBX Operation section.

IVR Input Timeout

Number of seconds of inactivity before IVR prompt times out and repeat its current message. If it repeats the message twice with no user input detected, it hangs up the call.

Normal paging tone

The tone that should play when a normal page is sent.

Priority paging

The tone that should play when a priority page is sent.


Automated Message Settings *

* Only applies to interfaces that support DID messaging (i.e. ISDN or T1 / E1 dialogic PBX ports).

Use last x digits of dialed phone number

The number of trailing digits to use in DID lookup. For example, if the dialed number was 555-1234, and this setting had a value of 4, it would use the number 1234 as the DID lookup.

Prepend x to automated messages

Automatically adds this text to the start of automated messages. If you had this set to “Please Call:” and then checked the “Append Caller ID to message,” the body of the message would come out as “Please Call 555-1234,” where 555-1234 was the phone number of the calling party.

If dialed phone number not configured, treat as local ID

If no DID Messaging rows are found matching the dialed number, this performs a Local ID check on the digits instead. If no DID match is found and this option is not checked, then the caller is prompted to enter the recipient (LocalID) via DTMF. The number of digits required depends on the number of digits specified in the global server settings.

Append Caller ID to message

When available, the Caller ID digits of the dialing party are appended to automated DID messages.


MD-110 Serial Connection Settings

Use last x digits of voice port to match PBX port extension

The number of digits to use to match port.

Append Caller ID to message

When available, the Caller ID digits of the dialing party are appended to automated MD110 messages


PBX Port Configuration

Exactly one PBX Gateway per PBX Port is defined. Because of this, you cannot add or delete PBX gateways because they are automatically created and deleted with PBX ports. In the above example, one PBX Gateway called “PBX Port” is defined. If no ports appear in this panel, you need to define at least one port to use the PBX protocol.

  1. Choose Interfaces > PBX > PBX. The PBX Gateways dialog displays.
  2. Edit desired information, using the description of the fields below.

    Access PIN

    The four digit number needed to gain access to this PBX line. It is only used if the following option is enabled.

    Use PIN

    Forces the Access PIN defined above to be used when checked. In this case, the first voice message sent upon call connection is “Enter PIN Number.” If the Access PIN is entered correctly, the call proceeds as normal, otherwise the call is terminated after one PIN retry. 

    Support priority calls

    Requires callers to add an extra digit after the Pager Number. A 1 makes the call a priority call, whereas a 0 is treated as a normal call. Please note that this extra digit is mandatory when this option is enabled – calls are not initiated if it is not used.

    Limit number of messages

    Limits the number of messages a user may send during a single call.

    Maximum messages per call

    The maximum number of messages a user may send during a single call if a limit number of messages is set.

    Enable escalations

    Enables or disables the ability to send to escalations, even if the escalation is embedded in a group, schedule, etc.

    Enable extended functions

    Enables or disables extended PBX functions such as absence/presence and cancel escalation.

    PBX Extension

    The number of the PBX extension to which this port is connected.


After changing any of these parameters, the Save button becomes enabled. Click this button to commit the changes to the database. The new settings take effect immediately. Once the PBX Gateway is configured, you may wish to define alphanumeric messages that can be included as part of a message initiated via a telephone.


PBX Operation


Normal PBX Messaging

Provides the ability to dispatch messages via telephones capable of sending DTMF tones using the following procedure:

  1. Dial the extension number used by the PBX Interface in Spok Messenger.
  2. The PBX Interface answers your call after a preset number of rings (two by default).
  3. The PBX Interface prompts you with Enter PIN, Enter Pager Number, or Select Function. In the latter situation, skip to step 7.
  4. Enter the four-digit access PIN using the numbers on your telephone. This information is available from your Spok Messenger administrator.
  5. If the PIN is incorrect, the PBX Interface reverts to Step 2.
  6. The PBX Interface prompts you with Enter pager number or Select Function.
  7. Enter the Local ID of the recipient for this message. This number is a preset length configured by your Spok Messenger administrator, and hence may need to be padded with zeros. For example, you should type 003 to contact the recipient with a Local ID of 3 if your system uses three digit Local IDs. You should type 0003 to contact the same recipient in a four digit Local ID configuration. Please note that the Local ID can include up to 10 numbers. In addition, leading zeros can be used.
  8. You may need to enter an extra digit to set the priority of this message. Entering a 0 makes the message a normal priority, whereas entering a 1 renders the message a high priority.
  9. If the Local ID entered is not available in Spok Messenger, the PBX Interface responds with Pager Not Registered and reverts to Step 6.
  10. The PBX Interface prompts you with Enter Message.
  11. Enter the message you wish to send using the numbers on your telephone. More information on the formation of messages is presented below.
  12. Press the * key twice to send the message. The PBX Interface in Spok Messenger responds with Message Sent, and reverts to step 6. If you have no more messages to send, just hang up.


PBX Interface Transaction

A typical PBX interface transaction is described below.

  • Spok Messenger: Enter pager number or select a function
  • User Enters: 003
  • Spok Messenger: Enter message
  • User Enters: 1234567**
  • Spok Messenger: Message sent


PBX Function Options

The PBX Interface can be used to execute certain functions as well as for sending messages. These functions are mostly concerned with Absence/Presence and the setting of diversion and buddies to recipients. 

In order to execute a Function Option, type * and the Function Option digit when prompted for Enter Pager Number.

The Function Options are as follows:

  • Makes the recipient absent
  • Makes the recipient present
  • Cancels an escalation
  • Sets a diversion
  • Clears diversion
  • Sets a “cc” recipient
  • Clears a “cc” recipient
  • Self-test (Sends a test message to the given recipient)


As an example of a Function Option, say you want to make pager number 44 absent, and then divert it to pager number 55. The procedure for this is as follows:

  • Enter pager number or select a function
  • User enters: *1 44
  • You are now absent
  • Enter pager number or select function
  • User enters: *4 44 55
  • Diversion activated


Now you change your mind, and want to make 44 present again and clear the diversion:

  • Enter pager number or select a function
  • User enters: *2 44
  • You are now present
  • Enter pager number or select function
  • User enters: *5 44
  • Diversion Cleared


To cancel an escalation:

  • Enter pager number or select a function
  • User enters: *3 0000000001
  • Message sent


Sending Alphanumeric Messages

Spok Messenger maintains a list of alphanumeric PBX Messages, which can be inserted into messages initiated via the PBX Interface. 

To insert a PBX Message:

  • Press *, followed by the PBX Message you wish to send (i.e. *01).

NOTE: You can insert multiple alphanumeric PBX Messages as part of the message you wish to send and mix and match alphanumeric messages with numeric digits. For example, if you have configured message number 01 as Contact Extension Number then you would type *01 123 to send the message Contact Extension Number 123. In this example the *01 portion of the message specifies the PBX Message to insert into the text, and the 123 specifies the extension number to append to the end of the PBX message. You can combine as many PBX messages and numeric characters as you like within a single message, in any order.


PBX Message Management

PBX Messages allow alphanumeric messages to be sent via a touchtone telephone. Entering a * followed by a (by default) two-digit number as part of the message phase of a telephone call invokes the corresponding predefined alphanumeric message.

If you wish to view, add, edit, or delete PBX Messages, choose the Interfaces > PBX > PBX Messages menu option. The following window displays.


The number used to include this alphanumeric message.

Message text

The actual text that is included in the sent message.


Adding PBX Messages

A new PBX message can be added.

  1. Choose Interfaces > PBX > PBX Messages. The PBX Messages dialog displays.
  2. Click New. The fields clear and information can be added.
  3. In the ID field, enter an ID for the PBX message.
  4. In the Message text field, enter the text for the PBX message.
  5. Click Save. The new PBX message is created and displays in the list.
  6. If you attempt to define a new PBX Message with the same ID as an existing message, the following error displays. Click OK to acknowledge the warning.
  7. Enter a new PBX ID.
  8. Click Save to save the changes.


Editing PBX Messages

  1. Select the existing PBX message to be edited from the list. The information for the message is populated in the fields.
  2. Make any desired changes to the PBX message.
  3. Click Save. The changes to the PBX message are saved.


Deleting PBX Messages

An existing PBX message can be deleted from the database.

  1. Select the message to be deleted from the list.
  2. Click Delete or press the delete key on the keyboard to delete the PBX message. The message is deleted.


PBX DID Messaging

The DID (Direct-Inward-Dial) Messaging feature allows you to configure automated message dispatch. You can associate a particular DID phone number with a message and the recipient to which you want the message to be sent. Users dialing into your system trigger the message dispatch by dialing the specific DID phone number you have configured.

Choosing a Dialed Number Suffix

The Dialed Number specified is not the entire phone number, but rather the last few digits, depending upon the range of numbers available to your system. For example, if you owned the numbers 555-5500 to 555-5555, you could assign the following numbers to automated DID messaging.

Real Number

Dialed Number Suffix