How do you *use* Follow Me

I’ve got the Follow Me module installed and activated on a couple of extensions. I see two different wiki pages on configuring it. I see *21 for activating and deactivating it.

But once you’re in a call how do you actually make use of it? How do you get the configured extensions to ring so you can pickup the call elsewhere?

Unless I misunderstand your meaning, once you’re on a call, it’s kind of too late to make use of it. The idea is that you configure Follow Me to send calls intended for your main extension, to alternate destinations so you can answer calls as if you are still at your desk. Typically use case is for sending calls to your mobile, but could also be used to send calls to your home number, a co-worker’s desk, etc.

What are the two wiki pages, they should prob be consolidated.

I guess I don’t understand what Follow Me is then. I thought it was sort of another kind of call parking: a call in progress could be set to ring on other phones. What then is it used for?

I guess I was wrong about there being two wiki pages. For some reason, it comes up twice in Google:

Follow me is actually could be called “Find Me” instead. It rings your extension, if call is not picked up with a couple of seconds, it is then forwarded to another extension, if nothing there, it can be routed to your cell-phone, and if nothing there, it then go to voicemail. It is almost a limited use feature as the caller usually gives up on waiting after 15 seconds or so and just hangs up.

What you are referring to is probably “Ring Group”, this can be setup so it rings a group of extensions all together or in a order (hunt) as they appear in the list, or a number of other ringing strategies For example if you have extensions 101,102,103, and 104 in the group and it is set to “hunt”. 101 rings first, then if no answer, it rings 102, and so on. If 101 is off hook, it can go to 102, if 101 and 102 are busy, then it will go to 103. There are a couple of settings can be manipulated to make something useful for almost any scenario. In case of the office, we usually use “ringall” strategy, which rings all extensions in the group at the same time and it can either ignore busy users or it can be set to ring the busy clients as well (they will hear a short beep in the speaker). You can also cascade multiple ring groups. For example a call comes in, it goes to ring group 1 which could be just one or two extensions, after a few seconds, the cal can be forwarded to the group 2 which has few more extensions in addition to the original two or its own set of extensions. This way if receptionist did not pickup, the cal can ring a couple of manager offices, and if nothing there, it just rings all phones in the office (could be acceptable in a small 10 people office), where it is important that a live person answers instead of IVR. After that the call can be routed to IVR…

There are also “Queues” that you can look into, but that is a bit too tedious and unnecessary for simple office work.

Ah, that makes sense. Ring my home extension. If no answer start ringing other configured extensions: people I bother, the water cooler, where I take a nap.

I’m already using Ring Groups. That’s what I use for inbound calls to ring all the extensions in my house.

So I need to go back to Parking Lots and figure out why transferring to the parking extension (70) is not giving me a lot announcement.

Until you have more than 1 person answering phones, and multiple incoming calls at the same time… then the queues become kind-of needed, ring groups are not enough then.

If you know about “attended” transfer vs. “blind” transfer please ignore this. But if not, this is often the concern that comes with the respect to parking. If you use “blind” transfer, then you do not hear the parking lot announcement as the transfer happens before the announcement is generated. This happens when after answering a call, you do “transfer”+70. In this case the inbound channel is disconnected from your channel and forwarded to parking lot channel which results in lose of the call for you and you get open line tone. Asterisk can not open another channel and play you announcement since your channel is already destroyed.

Attended transfer would be when you place the caller on hold (on your phone set), then call 70 which will give you the announcement, then you hit transfer to connect the on-hold party and the call to 70 which places the on-hold call into the parking lot as announced which at this point destroys your channel and you get an open line.

It is always a best practice to use attended transfers as this is the only way you can ensure that the extension, you transferring to is up and will answer.

Blind transfer is a crap shoot as if you transfer to a wrong extension or a busy extension, the call either gets dumped or forwarded to a voicemail which is not very polite.

Maybe that explains what I’m doing wrong then. My phones, Grandstream 2130s, have a trasfer button. They work and ring the selected extension. But using it to transfer to 70 – no announcement. So I assume that is a blind transfer.

I had not thought to put the call on hold and then try the transfer. Hmm, transfer button or just call extension 70?

if you have a programmable function button, you can make it just call 70. This way when you pickup the phone and want to park the call, you hit that function button and after the announcement hit transfer button. This is pretty simple 2 step process which will do the placing on hold, grabbing the next line and calling to the parking lot. If you phone has “transfer on disconnect” or “transfer on hook” feature available and enabled, you can hit the function key, listen to the announcement and hang-up to do the whole thing with just one button push and hangup. This is what I have in our offices, but we use Snom-320 phones which are pretty nice with all the extra buttons and programability. I am not familiar with Grandstream 2130.

Yeah, those look nice. But a bit large for a home environment. Not wild about the LCD display. I like the color display of the Grandstream 2130 and it has 8 physical buttons. The last software update added 12 virtual buttons you can scroll through on the color display which is really helpful. Fun to put a background on the display with the family name. Got them for $65 in a bundle.