Using Wildcards with the Auto Attendant

One of the lesser known functions of the Auto Attendant is its ability to handle the wild card character "x". This feature allows you to configure the AA to perform advanced operations using pattern matching. In the example shown below, one of the Direct Destinations of the AA will be configured so that a caller can dial a number from the AA and be routed through a particular trunk. This technique would allow you to cascade the accounts between offices. For example, if you want to directly dial extensions (or any other account) between offices, you can set it up using this feature.

Note: Non-overlapping account numbers must be used before this feature can be used. Otherwise, the PBX will always find the local extension before it tries to use the dial plan to send it over the trunk.

  1. Create the AA
  2. Setup the "Extension Input" to match your office environment.

  1. Set up the usual direct destinations first. Then set up the wild card option, e.g., 5x as the "User Input" and 777* as the "Destination". This will force the AA to send any user input related to 50-59 to the dial plan with 777 as prefix. Then if the caller presses 54, the AA sends 77754 to the dial plan.

  1. Now set up the dial plan to route anything starting with the 777 over the trunk, say to the other office.