By 1982, the system’s software was renamed X11, starting with Release 1. Northern Telecom was in an innovative spree, if you were at ROLM, AT&T you’d be mouthing “holy crap.” In the early 80s, NT released a new version of the PBX close to a year and by the end of the 80s, a new release came every 6 months.
Similar to Voice over IP, digital telephony was limited similar to the old SXS or Crossbar type of electromechanical PBX systems, but quickly proved otherwise.
Because I am not familiar with the Meridians, if you are a Nortel fanboy, you’ll probably get it.
X11 Release 1 (11/82)
- Mini CDR
- Network Class of Service
- Automatic Set Relocation
- Attendant Administration
- History File
- Attendant Overflow Position
- Attendant Overflow Position Busy
- Basic Alternate Route Selection (BARS)
- BARS Traffic Measurement
- Network Alternate Route Selection (NARS)
- Coordinated Dialing Plan
- Priority Queuing
- Flexible Call Back Queuing
- Off-Hook Queuing
- Network Authorization Codes
- Conditional Data Dump
- Expanded Trunk Groups
- Multiple Loop Directory Numbers
X11 Release 2 (6/83)
- ACD Package D: Provides comprehensive administration capability that includes status displays, reports, and load management functions.
- Call Park: Provides the capability for attendant or station user to place a call in a held state (park) where it can be retrieved by dial access from any console or telephone set in the system.
- Recorded Overflow Announcement: Allows incoming calls that are delayed in answering by the attendant to be routed to a recorded message notifying the caller accordingly.
- Flexible Code Restriction: Allows the customer to specify whether stations with toll-denied class of service will be allowed or denied access to outgoing trunk routes based on specific number patterns and/or the number of digits dialed.
- Speed Call – Enhancement: Allows the creation of a System Speed Call list (or lists) from access by any assigned station set irrespective of any class-of-service restrictions.
- System Speed Call
- IMS Software
- Network Traffic Measurement
- Network Control / Signaling
- Network Queuing
- Network Speed Call
- New Flexible Code Restriction
- ACD-D Auxiliary Processor Link
- Trunk Group Busy Enhancement
- Flexible Call Forward – No Answer
- Conference Control
- Bulk Data Load
- Agent Log-in/Log-out/Walk-away
- RAN Improvements
- Extended Agent Observe
- Reporting Enhancements
- Audible Message Waiting
- ESN Enhancements
- ETN Switch Compatibility
- Traveling Class of Service
- Manual Trunk Maintenance
- 100 Test Line Termination
- Loop Around Termination
- Routing Control
- CDR Enhancement
X11 Release 3 (10/83)
- Stored Number Redial: Allows telephones and attendant consoles to store one previously dialed number of 4 to 31 digits in length for automatic redialing.
- Outgoing Trunk Hunting: The outgoing trunk hunting feature allows the choice of linear hunting, the last available trunk on a trunk route, round-robin hunting, where the system distributes outgoing trunk calls among the members of a route.
- Network Call Transfer: Minimizes the use of access Tie lines in the connection between Meridian 1 switches when calls are transferred and provides improved transmission performance because of the reduced number of access Tie lines involved in a transferred call on the SL-1 network.
- Called Party Disconnect Control: Allows the Meridian 1 to be the controlling party for disconnect of incoming calls on CO, FX, CCSA, DID, TIE, WATS, Mode, and CAMA trunks.
- Secretarial Filtering: Allows a set to have calls forwarded to a second set and the second set can, if necessary, transfer calls back to the first set even if it remains in the call forward mode.
- SL-1 Tone Detector
- ACD/CDR Q Record
- Log-in/Log-out SL-1 Sets
- Management Reports
- 15 Minute Reporting Option
- DID/TIE/CCSA Route Reporting
- Quiet Agent Observe
- Restricted Agent DN
- BARS NCOS – Enhancement
- TGAR/TARG Capability for ESN
- Satellite Link Control
- ACD-D Internal Route Change
- End of File Mark Enhancement
- Password Enhancement
- Enhanced 911 Interface
Wow, E911 for the mid 80s. That’s just impressive. The competition must’ve been embarrassed. Maybe not so much given it took till the 90s for E911 to be everywhere.
X11 Release 4 (1/84)
- Flexible Hotline: Provides the capability to assign any single predetermined destination to be automatically rung from an associated 500/2500 telephone when the latter goes off-hook.
- Deluxe Hold: Adds two capabilities for calls placed on hold in multiple-appearance (single-call arrangement directory number environments:
- Individual Hold: indicates only those calls placed on hold on SL-1 telephones in a multiple-appearance single call arrangement. When a user puts a call on hold, normal hold (winking) is indicated at that telephone only. A slow flicker is shown at all other telephones with the multiple appearance.
- Exclusive Hold: allows users with multiple-appearance DNs to place calls on hold under the control only of their particular telephone. All other appearances of the DN do not indicate the held call and are excluded from entering it.
- Automatic Line Selection: Allows the SL-1 telephone to automatically select a line in a prioritized order when the handset is lifted.
- 500 Set Features: Provides rotary dial access to the Speed Call, Call Forward, and Permanent Hold features.
- Distinctive Ringing: Allows calls over specified trunk routes to distinctively ring stations as opposed to the standard audible signaling arrangement.
- Integrated Voice Messaging System (IVMS): Expanded previous SL-1 capabilities to include voice store and forward (VSF) messaging.
- Autovon Interface
- Autovon CDR
- Flexible Line Lockout
- BARS/NARS 1 + Dialing
- Variable Trunk Seizure
- CDR Charge
- Double Density Line & Trunk Cards
- Line Preference Enhancement
- Network Enhancement
X11 Release 5 (1/85)
- PBX Interface (DTI/CPI): Provides a 24-multiplexed digital connection for voice and/or data from a Meridian 1 to a digital DS-1 facility.
- Departmental LDN: Allows up to four different departments to be identified by their own specific listed directory number.
- Data Port Hunting: Allows up to 128 data access modules to be assigned in a trunk group
- Call Register Enhancement: Allows a separate logical memory page to be assigned to both call registers and trunk timing blocks, thereby increasing the number of call registers from 1200 to approximately 1500.
- Meridian SL-1 XN Memory Expansion: Increases the amount of memory available on the SL-1XN in the areas of Program Store and Protected Data Store.
- Enhanced End to End Signaling (EES): Allows a telephone to send and receive DTMF codes, thereby extending the EES capability to internal PBX calls and incoming trunk calls.
- Incoming Trunk Group Exclusion: Associated with the BARS/NARS feature, provides the capability to deny the routing of incoming trunk calls to specific prefix codes.
- Multiple DID Office Code Screening for NARS: Supports on-net to off-net conversion for sites that have varying numbering schemes.
- Offnet Number Recognition for BARS/NARS: Removes the need to use two additional CO trunks to terminate a call at a company-owned location.
- Privacy Override: Allows multiple-appearance, single-call-arrangement directory numbers assigned to SL-1 telephones to have class-of-service control of privacy.
- ESN AT&T/EPSCS Interface
- Optional Outpulsing Delay
- ACD Log-Out Enhancement
- ACD Reports Enhancement
- Message Waiting Lamp Testing
- ADM Trunk Hunting Enhancement
- ROM Enhancement
X11 Release 7 (12/85)
- Station Category Indication (SCI): Allows the attendant to selectively answer internal calls in accordance with a predetermined priority status.
- Controlled Class of Service (CCOS): Formally introduced for the Hotel/Motel industry, was applied to the business environment to allow a station’s level of access to the external network to be changed to a pre-determined system level using a controlling SL-1 telephone.
- Automatic Trunk Maintenance: Provides a means of periodically testing network resources by measuring facility loss and noise parameters to prevent under-utilization due to poor performance of service outage. Associated hardware to provide tone detection capabilities was also introduced.
- Multi-Tenant Service: Allows each of the 32 customer groups within the Meridian SL-1 to be partitioned into 512 tenants to facilitate resale of services.
- Meridian Digital Telephones
- Meridian M3000 Touchphone
- Flexible Line Lockout
- CDR Enhancements
- DISA Enhancements
X11 Release 8 (6/86)
- Last Number Redial (LNR): Allows users to simple redial the last number dialed without having to key in the digits again.
- Pre-translation: Provides a means of utilizing Speed Call lists to implement a flexible dialing plan.
- Supervisory Console: Allows one attendant in each customer group to function in a supervisory capacity when the associated console is placed in a position-busy mode.
- 63 Attendant Consoles: Allows 63 attendant consoles for each customer group compared to the previous fifteen*.
- BARS/NARS Enhancement: Extends the previous three- or four-digit translation mechanism to eliminate potential routing conflicts when utilizing the BARS/NARS feature.
- Station to Station Call Waiting: Allows internal calls to enter the call waiting state via a new station class of service.
- Digital Trunk Interface (DTI): Extends DTI functionality to additional Meridian systems including MS, NT, and XT.
- Command and Status Link
- Command and Status Link Alpha
- Fast Tone & Digit Switch
* So much for that maximum 32 attendant consoles on that System 85 huh? Dammit!
X11 Release 9 (6/87)
- Trunk Verification from Stations: Provides the capability for a classmarked 2500 set to seize a particular trunk within a trunk group, receive dial tone, and outpulse digits to complete a call to a remote maintenance site. This feature is used as part of a PPC-based Network Management system to allow physical testing of each trunk in a network.
- New Distinctive Ringing: Offers the ability for stations to have a distinctive ring to distinguish various call types. The distinctive ringing is enabled for specific trunk groups.
- Meridian M2317 Digital Display Telephone
- ESN Access to ADM/MDM Trunks
- 16 Port 500/2500 Line Card
- Print Routing – Enhancement
X11 Release 10 (1/88)
This software release introduced new business opportunities in key vertical markets, such as lodging, health care, telemarketing, and the federal government. In addition, Generic X11 Release 10 culminated the development program, embarked on in 1984, to recombine the Hotel/Motel Generic (X37) into a single stream business offering. Thus, users in the lodging environment utilized features formerly only available to the business segment, and vice versa. Generic X11 Release 10 introduced a total of 18 new feature options, partitioned typically for vertical markets, but additionally available to all users of this software base.
- Automatic Wake Up
- Room Status
- Message Registration
- Property Management System Interface
- Background Terminal
Federal Systems Telemarketing:
- Station Loop Pre-emption – ACD Enhancements
- Line Load Control
- Dialed Number Identification Service
- Call Party Name Display
- CFNA/Hunt by Call Type
- Call Forward No Answer 2nd Level
- 500/2500 Conference Enhancement
- Do Not Disturb Enhancement
- Malicious Call Trace
- Internal CDR
- Auxiliary Processor Link
- ACD Timed Overflow
- Enhanced Hotline
X11 Release 12 (12/88)
Generic X11 Release 12 was introduced in November 1988 to offer another subset of powerful features to Meridian SL-1. ISDN Primary Rate Interface (PRI) capability was made available as well as console and ACD enhancements, further data networking flexibility, specific features for Health Care and Hotel markets, additional business feature offerings and memory expansion for the Meridian SL-1 ST all combined to bring new services. The following features were provided with this release:
- Incoming DID Digit Conversion
- ACD-D Auxiliary Security
- Directed Call Pick Up
- ACD Priority Agent
- Enhanced Music
- Meridian SL-1 ST Memory Expansion
- Overlay 10/11 Enhancements
- Multiple Background Overlay Programs
- Night Service Time of Day
- Attendant CPND Enhancement
- Call Number Information Message
- M2317 Enhancement – English/French
- CDR Enhancement
- ADM Trunk Hunting – Enhancement
- ACD Enhancement
X11 Release 13 (3/89)
The availability of X11 Release 13 in March 1989 added numerous additional business features and system enhancements. The existing four-digit numbering scheme was expanded to accommodate up to a seven-digit dialing plan to alleviate potential conflicts with directory number assignments. The expanded numbering plan also met the needs of large single system applications that may otherwise exhaust their numbering capacity.
Expanded software parameters addressed the requirements for additional networking routing capabilities with the BARS, NARS, Autovon, and Coordinated Plan features. Other feature parameters expanded included additional Call Pickup Groups, Speed Call lists, Group Call Members, and Multiple Appearance Directory Numbers.
In addition, other enhancements to existing features included Distinctive Ringing for Dial Intercom, Speed Call/Auto Dial with Authorization Code using one key stroke, and an enhancement to the Call Party Name Display.
- Network Call Party Name Display (NCPND): Provides networkwide visual display of name and number over PRA facilities.
- Display of Non-PRA Calls: Uses the trunk route access code and member number instead of CLID on the terminating telephone set display when network calls are routed over non-ISDN facilities.
- Call Redirection/Call Forward All Calls Enhancements: Provide information updates for both the calling and called telephones display for CLID and NCPND under those calling conditions.
- Back-up D Channel: Provides redundancy for the D-Channel Handler Interface (DCHI) circuit card with automatic switchover, if necessary, to the backup unit in the event of failure.
- ISDN Application Protocol: Provides interworking to facilitate message exchange between Meridian SL-1 and the DEC computer to support applications such as telemarketing, message desk, and support center operations.
- Call-By-Call Service
- Calling Line Identification in CDR
- ISDN Signaling
- ISDN Primary Rate Access
- ISDN Signaling Link
- Advance ISDN Features
- Inter-Exchange Carrier
- Software Capacity Expansion
- Directory Numbering Plan
- Call Pick Up Group
- Speed Call Lists
- Group Call Members
- Trunk Route Members
- Trunk Group Access Restrictions
- Multiple Appearance DNs
- NARS/BARS NCOS Groups
- NARS/BARS Route List Entries
- CDP Route List Index
- CDP Route List Entries
- CDP NCOS Groups
- CDP Steering Codes
X11 Release 14 (12/89)
- Software Capacity Expansion: Extended the upper-limit parameters on the following features:
- Private Line Routes
- Dial Intercom Groups
- Trunk Routes
- Customer Groups
- Network Authorization Codes
- Pre-translation Groups
- Centrex Switchhook Flash: Facilitates the emulation of the SL-1 as a key system behind a Centrex switching office to permit call transfer
- No Hold Conference: Allows a station user to set up a conference call without losing voice contact with the original party such as in an emergency call.
- Audible Reminder of Held Calls: Extends to proprietary telephone, the Permanent Hold capability on 500/2500 telephones of alerting users periodically of the held call situation.
- Night Key for DID Digit Manipulation: Permits different call treatments to be implemented either after hours or during specific times during normal business hours.
- ISDN Enhancement:
- Network Call Redirection
- Network Ring Again for 500/2500 Sets
- ISDN Signaling Link Enhancements
- Audible Tone for ACD Observe
- Data Agent Log-In
- Flexible Incoming Tones
If you thought this was an exhaustive list, wait till the 1990s. Their PBX just kept growing and growing!