Image Number 17 for United States Patent #6337906.
An apparatus and method for coupling an automated attendant to a telecommunications system. The apparatus includes a switching device which establishes connection between a plurality of trunk lines of an existing telecommunications system and a plurality of ports of an automated attendant. A switching device of the apparatus is controllable to establish communication between any of the trunk lines and any of a plurality of station line ports that are adapted to be coupled to a plurality of telephone stations, respectively. The apparatus substantially isolates either the switching network or the automated attendant from the AC audio portion of a telecommunications signal based on whether the automated attendant or the switching network is handling the telecommunications signal, and is capable of monitoring the status of the trunk and stations lines to detect for an on-hook condition.