Ringgroups/followme in ringgoups, queues and followme

There are times when people want to put ringgroups and/or followme’s inside another queue, ringgroup or followme. Here is how to do it and what to expect.

First I’ll start with some basics. When you use a queue, it always answers the call before doing anything - so it should never be a member of another queue, ringgroup or followme. Next, there is an annoying ‘difference’ in how you put numbers for a queue vs. ringgroups and followme. When you want to use an ‘outside’ number for a ringgroup/followme you put a ‘#’ at the end. You DO NOT do that for a queue, it will not work.

Now to the details. The simple answer is that a ringgroup/followme can be added as a member of another ringgroup/followme by simply adding ‘#’ at the end of it. So if you have a ringgroup 422 - then inside the parent ringgroup you would put 422#. To put that ringgroup as part of a queue, you just put 422. Similarly, if an extension has a followme and is a member of a queue, the followme will always be used, you can not isolate it to ringing just the extension. In the case of ringgroups and followme setups - if you simply put extension numbers in the list - only the extensions will be rung - you wil not ring the followme. And - if you put just the ringgroup number without a ‘#’ at the end, you will not ring anything because it will try to interpret it as an extension which doesn’t exist.

There are a few more details to be aware of; ringgroups and followmes are designed to behave as ‘good citizens’ when included as a member of another ringgroup, followme or queue. That means the ultimate ‘parent’ of the hiearchy should ‘retain control’ of the call flow behavior. So, if you have a ‘destination if no answer’ at the very top going to an off-hours voicemail box, the ‘children’ ringgroups and followme destinations will be ignored and should not lead to unexpected behavior. (in the past, it was necessary to carefull craft the ringgtimes of children to try and accomplish this) This also means if you have an announcement as part of a ringgroup or follwome - that annoucement will be skipped when acting as a ‘child.’ This keeps it from answering the channel and breaking the controlled behavior of the ultimate parent.

The ‘control’ maintained above all breaks down if you have members that go off the system (cell phones, etc.) that could answer the call. When any such ‘off system’ destinations are used, you should alway incorporate ‘confirmation’ as part of the ringgroups and followme configurations which will keep control by assuring any off system user is really answering the call - vs. a voicemail or answering machine.

One last thing - use such complex hiearchies ‘at your own risk’ which means do some serious testing. I went through some fairly complex scenarios when I developed the control points to accomplish this ability - but there are too many complex configurations to forsee every possible scenario.