Telephony & call centre glossary


  • Agent: A person who is answering calls in a call centre.

  • API: Application Programming Interface; it’s a set of routines, protocols and tools that defines interactions between multiple software applications.

  • Attended transfer: Attended transfer is a transfer of a call in which the agent who is making the transfer intends to talk to the new agent, the receiver of the transfer, before finishing the transfer. It’s also known as Warm transfer.


  • Barge in: Call monitoring type in which the person who is monitoring joins the call and interacts with all the parties.


  • Call forwards: A telephony feature that enables automatic redirecting of calls based on predefined criteria.

  • Call waiting: A feature that can be enabled or disabled on a specific phone in Compass. When the feature is enabled, the agent is able to receive multiple calls in waiting while they are already in call. When the feature is disabled, the second call is rejected or redirected automatically.

  • Cherry-picking: Feature that enables agents to pick and answer a call from any caller in a queue.


  • Dial plan switch: Set of call-routing rules that can be enabled or disabled for various conditions.

  • Dial plan switch shortcode: A unique number that can be used as a shortcut for referencing the dial plan switch in order to change its setting.


  • Extension: In business telephony, extension refers to a phone number on an internal telephone line attached to a private telephone network (PBX).

  • External number: External number refers to a phone number that is outside a private telephone network (PBX).


  • Function key: One of a set of keys on a telephone that executes functions, such as speed dialling a phone number or opening a new line.


  • Join a queue: Become an agent in the queue that can receive queue calls. It is possible to be a part of multiple queues at the same time.


  • Leave a queue: Leaving a queue means the user is no longer an agent in the queue and will, therefore, no longer able to receive incoming calls in the queue.

  • Listen in: Type of call monitoring in which the person who is monitoring the call is not able to interact with any of the parties. Listening in can be executed in the way that no party is aware they are being monitored, only one party can be aware they are being monitored, or all the parties are aware they are being monitored.

  • Log in to a phone: To use a user profile and settings on a specific phone.

  • Log out of a phone: To stop using a user profile and settings on a specific phone.


  • MAC address: Media Access Control address. It’s a unique identifier for a device with network capability, in this case a telephone.

  • Mortal user: A user that has the minimal amount of permissions in the application.


  • PBX: Private Branch Exchange. It’s a private telephone network used within a company or organization that enables users to communicate internally (within their company) and externally (with the outside world), using different communication channels like VoIP, ISDN or analogue.

  • Provisioning: Process of preparing and equipping a network to allow it to provide new services to its users: (in Compass specifically) process of automatically supplying a phone with the correct settings to work with Compass/VoIP platform.


  • Queue weight: Queue prioritizing number system where a higher number means a higher priority.


  • Sign in [to an application]: To enter the information required to begin a session.

  • Sign out [of an application]: To end a session.

  • SIP: Session Initiation Protocol. It’s a signalling protocol used in VoIP communications allowing users to make voice and video calls, as well as messaging.

  • Supervisor: Agent who has the ability of call monitoring agents under their supervision.


  • Unattended transfer: Unattended transfer is a transfer of a call to another person (agent) without consulting the new person (agent) first. It’s also known as Blind transfer.


  • VoIP: Voice over Internet Protocol. It’s a method and group of technologies for the delivery of voice communications and multimedia sessions over Internet Protocol (IP).


  • Whisper: Type of call monitoring where the supervisor has the ability to speak to only one party in the call without the other parties being aware of it.

  • Wrap-up: Automatic agent status that is triggered after a queue call to prevent the agent from receiving new queue calls for a set period of time.