What is a Group?
A Group is a collection of Contacts that can be called at once. Groups can be Ad hoc (created on the fly), or predefined. Predefined Groups are listed in the Group tab. Each Group is listed with a name and an associated group presence. The two possible group presence definitions are:
ESChat currently supports eight group types, providing a diverse set of options for managing users. The available group types are:
A Personal Group is the simplest and most common choice for contacting a Group of Friends. Only the Group Owner can edit the members of a Personal Group. Personal Groups are created by a User for their personal use. Similar to an entry in a private phone book, a Personal Group only appears in the Owner's Group List and only the Owner can call the Group. Therefore with a Personal Group, Users may not remove themselves from someone else's Personal Group.
A Personal Group cannot be joined once a call is in progress (i.e., late join).
Personal Groups are one of the two types of Groups that can be created from the phone/device.
Member Groups are similar to Personal Groups, with the exception that all Members of the Group have the ability to call the Group. When created, a Member Group will appear on all members phones/devices. The Group Owner of a Member Group can assign Edit Privileges to other Users who may then add and remove Group Members. Additionally, Members of a Member Group, who have the appropriate Priority level, may remove themselves from a Member Group.
Members of a Member Group that did not join the call when initiated may join once the call is in progress (i.e., late join).
Member Groups are the second type of Groups that can be created on the phone/device.
Enterprise Closed Groups are similar to Member Groups, with the exception that the Call Visibility Selectable and Join Call in Progress functions are selectable on a Group by Group Basis. Enterprise Closed Groups must be created on the web portal.
Enterprise Open Groups are publically visible for Users that have the appropriate Priority within the Enterprise. Users with appropriate Priority access may join an Enterprise Open Group. Enterprise Open Groups are ideal for common interests like "Running" or "Commuters".
As with Enterprise Closed groups, the Call Visibility Selectable and Join Call in Progress functions are selectable on a Group by Group basis.
Enterprise Dispatch Groups allow for two types of users, initiators and receivers. Receivers will receive calls made to that group. Initiators can start a call to a group, but not receive calls made to that group. For example, if you have a large company with a small facilities team, you may wish to set up the Facilities group and a dispatch group. The members of the facilities team can be set up with both initiate and receive capabilities. All others in the company would be set up with Initiate only.
Then, when Employee A calls the Facilities group, it will only include Employee A and the facilities team. No one else will be pulled into the call.
Broadcast Groups may only be created by the Administrator, who is the Group Owner. Users may be placed into a Broadcast Group as Call-Only privilege or Member privilege. A User with Call Only privilege may initiate a call to the Broadcast Group. A User with Member privilege will receive a Broadcast Group call.
A Broadcast Call will interrupt an active non-Broadcast PTT call. A Broadcast Call is sent to all User Handset Devices that are registered with the system at the time that the call is started. During the time that a Broadcast Call is active, the Server will attempt to contact each registered User Handset Device from the Broadcast Group for a specific duration of time in order to deliver the Broadcast Call.
The Surveillance Channel Group type mimics an LMR Radio, with a dedicated channel that users can join and leave over time. Once started, the call will stay open until a configurable time period or until last the user has left the call. Based on configuration, the call can be idle for up to 20 minutes before the call will be dropped. Configuration parameters may be changed on web portal.
The Unicast Channel Group type is similar to the Surveillance group. It is a dedicated channel that users can join and leave over time. The difference is that the Unicast Channel supports one way communication. In a Unicast Group, one user is allowed to hold the floor indefinitely, preventing others from taking the floor.
A user may add themself to an Open group type from a device, however this user may not add other users to open groups. With PC Dispatch, Android and iOS devices, you may only add/remove members from a Personal or Member group created on that User Login.