Main line questions (multiple lines, pickup anywhere, voicemail)

So we have just one number that almost all calls come into, answered by a receptionist. A few questions:

  • currently we have four extensions configured on her phone, with calls coming to the first, then rolling over to the next if the previous is busy (a single Ring Group using firstavailable). How can I set this to be only one extension? If this is not available we have a broader ring group that rings on a few other specific extensions (would like to continue this).

  • Is there a way to have it so that the main extension can be picked up from any phone (i.e. if the receptionist is in the kitchen, she could just dial something to pick up the call when she hears it ringing at the front desk)?

  • We got someone to record messages for voicemail for the main line (one for daytime, one for closed office). How can I A) upload those to the server, and B) switch the Voicemail message (we do have a Day/Night Call Flow toggle for ringing at other phones in the evening when the receptionist is gone)? I don’t see any interface for uploading files (though I may be looking in the wrong place).

*8 is call pickup. Set the call group and pickup group on the extensions you want to be able to pickup.

Uploading files…
Look under system recordings.

Make sure your recordings are in the correct audio format. If the originals are not, use sox to get them right.

There is no direct way to upload a voicemail greeting, but you can use something like SCP to copy the files from a PC to the appropriate VM directory. Again, make sure you have your formats right.

In regards to your receptionist extension:

This entirely depends on the type of phone you have. Essentially you need a phone that supports extended call waiting. We use Yealink sets that have this capability built right in (you configure one extension, and all 6 “line” buttons become that same extension. So if you’re on a call, and another comes in, it shows up on “line 2”, etc). Most modern SIP phones should do this. I’ve set it up on Cisco SPA5xx series, and even the old Cisco 7940/7960s running SIP firmware. Not sure about Grandstream or the others, but should be possible.

As for the callpickup, you probably want directed pickup of that extension. So if your reception phone is say 221, then anyone can dial **221 to pickup the call that’s ringing there. We have a customer who does this all the time, works like a charm (except the receptionist uses a sidecar to transfer calls normally, so when she picks up elsewhere she can’t remember anyone’s extension number to transfer to!)

I set up a callgroup with just the 4 front desk extensions, and then set all the relevant extensions up for the pickupgroup- need to wait until things calm down before I test, but that should let me use *8.

The front desk phone is a Polycom IP650 (with a sidecar module) so I think it should capable (it is a current and pretty capable device), but I’ll need to dive into that a bit. But with all the extensions in the current call group, it makes the pickup thing pretty straightforward for the moment (there are some other call rollover issues I’d like to resolve, but nothing critical).