Ring Groups / Paging / Intercom
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The “Ring Groups” feature enables you to route calls to multiple phones at the same time, whereas “Paging” is used to to make announcements to groups of people, like a PA system.
A ring group allows you to direct calls to a group of extensions, e.g. you can define a group of three sales people, and have the general sales number ring on all three extensions at the same time or one after the other. When you create a ring group, you assign a virtual extension number to it, as the number used by the phone system to address the ring group. To add a ring group from the 3CX Management Console, select “Ring Groups” and:
- Click “Add Ring Group” and enter the ring group options:
- Name – the name for the ring group.
- Virtual Extension Number – accept the default or specify a different one.
- Ring Strategy – select the appropriate ring strategy for this ring group:
- Prioritised Hunt – start ringing on the first extension, then the second etc.
- Ring all – all phones ring at the same time.
- Ring time – specify how long the phones should ring for.
- In the section “Group Members” add the extensions that belong to this ring group, moving the extensions up or down to configure their priority.
- In the “Direct Inbound Dialing” section, optionally assign a DID number to the ring group.
- In the “Destination if no answer” section, you can set the action to perform if the call does not get answered by the ring group.
Unlike “Call Queues”, “Ring Groups” predetermine the available internal extensions and hunts for those. If an extension becomes available during the ring cycle, it will not be added to the call flow.
Paging enables to ring a group of extensions and make an announcement via the phone speaker. The called party does not need to pick up the handset, as the audio is played through the phone’s speaker. The person paging does not have any audio feedback from the people being paged. Paging requires to set the relevant dial code in “Settings” > “Dial Codes” and a phone that supports and is configured for intercom.
To add a paging group from “Ring Groups”, click on “Add Paging” and enter the ring group options:
- Name – enter a name for the paging group.
- Virtual Extension Number – accept the default or specify an extension number.
- Ring strategy:
- Paging - add the extensions to page in the section “Group members”.
- Paging Multicast - is suitable for large paging groups and requires phones supporting multicast, on the same local subnet as 3CX. Define the target multicast address to send the audio stream to and then use the provisioning configuration method to configure the IP phone to listen to this address.
- Click “OK” to save the paging group.
To use the “Paging” feature, call the assigned virtual extension number, e.g. 800.
The intercom feature enables making an announcement to a single extension with two way audio, i.e. the called party can respond immediately without picking up the handset. To call a user via the intercom function, add the paging / intercom prefix in front of the extension number. Example: If your paging dial code is *11, to make an intercom call to extension 100, dial: *11100.
You can configure the intercom dial code in “Settings” > “Dial codes” > “Paging”. The extension using intercom needs to have the “Can Intercom” option enabled in “Extensions” > “Edit Extension” > “Rights”.