A better way?


Just wanted to pose a quick question.

I have a customer who operates in quite a few states. They have an inbound number for each said state. On each phone they have a separate account for each state that rings according to the number dialed. Pretty common scenario. Obviously, this get really messy really fast. For example if they had an inbound route for all 50 states and all possible area codes, there wouldn’t be enough accounts on the phone or buttons to accommodate such nonsense. My recommendation is that they just have a corporate number and have everyone call that, but they don’t want to do that at this time.

Other than the background story above. They need to know when other people are on the phone with a BLF indicator. However, if each phone has 7 accounts, I would have to add 7 BLF buttons for each user to see if they were on one of their lines.

Does anyone know a way to indicate a user/endpoint is on a call in this scenerio?

Thanks in advance.

Why a separate account for each state? Can one account suffice? Prefix the callerid with the state if they need to know where the call is coming from.

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If one of the features of the current setup is to set a local CID on outbound calls, you may find the commercial (paid) Caller ID Management module helpful:

I’m going to take a stab at the outbound side as well. If said agent needs to return a call from X state they press Y line. Otherwise there would need to be outbound prefixes for each user as they have a unique DID for their state (I’m guessing).

However, the real question here is do they want to monitor the state of Bob and know if Bob is on a call, any call/any line? Or do they want to monitor Bob and know when Bob is on a call for X state? The former requires a single BLF the latter requires 7 per Bob’s.

Hello and thank you. I think that jerrm is correct and I need to convince them that pre-pending the inbound routes would be the best way. They do in fact have a specific outbound DID for each state corresponding to an account line button that is local to each state (area code.)

I handled outbound CID by setting area code rules dialed through outbound routes. So, no matter what state any user dials, it will send the correct CID.

So, yes the real question is how can I monitor if a user is on a call if they have 7 accounts. What I did is just setup a BLF if they were on their 1st account line. This doesn’t cut it.

I think with the outbound rules I have in place, I can cut them down to one account. They just like that when a call comes from Montana, it rings their Montana line key. Cool for a while, but not scalable.

They have no idea the call is coming from Montana. The call is coming in to a Montana listed area code. This is a very important distinction that your client needs to learn about.

This is what I would do:

  • Each exten has 1 one account.


  • Create an outgoing dialing prefix for each state using a Outbound Route for each state.
  • Each outgoing route would have the override CID set to force each state’s CLID.
  • Each outgoing route would use the same Trun


  • Using the Set Caller ID module, create a CID for each state which will prefix the callers inbound CLID with the “State” prefix.
  • Modify your inbound routes for each state to go to this destination first before following on your usual destination.

Keep the “state” prefix the same for both Inbound and Outbound - It will keep things easy for the user and also means an extension could return a missed call and it would dial out with the correct CLID without any user intervention.

In my example, I used 927 for **Was**hington. 927 as in W-A-S on the 2-9 keypad of most phones. **Lou**isiana would be L-O-U so the prefix would be 568. **Flo**rida would be 3 5 6. You get the idea.


Schemes like this always route me incorrectly. I have a Missouri number. But I live in Chicagoland right now.

I was under the impression that the OP had a DID number for each state, rather than 1 DID and routing the caller to their home state number based on their CLID

You are correct in your assumption (or at least I assumed the same). But the point is that these kind of schemes are honestly useless any more. It is a legacy mindset that has not really been valid for years.

Above the low end prepaid market, consumers get a cell phone once and then keep the number for life now. Looking at the phone numbers for my 12 year old daughter’s classmates, fully half of them are not from the area code where we live. Including my daughter’s.

Which inevitably leads us into the path of CRM systems managing inbound call routing and outbound caller-ID management.

Having 50 DIDs is cool, but my experience is a single 800 number and dropping the calls into a CRM that can route your incoming calls based on customer profiles is a smarter way to move forward. It’s also measurably cheaper - my experience with SIP leads me to a $3.95 charge per number per month versus a single $3.95 for a single 800 number with the same per-minute cost either way. If that’s true, going to a single dial-in number would save you a couple hundred a month and get around permanent number portability.


If that is USD, you are significantly overpaying.

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