Configuring Ring Groups / Paging / Intercom
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The “Ring Groups / Paging” feature allows you to route calls to multiple phones at the same time, whereas the paging feature allows you to make announcements to groups of people; more like a PA system.
A ring group allows you to direct calls to a group of extensions. For example, you could 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. This will be the number used by the phone system to address the ring group. To add a ring group:
- From within the 3CX Management Console, select “Ring Groups” > “Add Ring Group.”
- Now enter the ring group options:
- Name – Enter a 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 will ring at the same time.
- Ring time – Specify how long the phones should ring for.
- In the section “Group Members” add the extensions that should be part of this ring group. Move the extensions up or down to configure the priority of an extension.
- In the “Direct Inbound Dialing” section, optionally assign a DID number to the ring group.
- In the “Destination if no answer” section, you can define what should happen if the call does not get answered by the ring group.
Unlike “Call Queues,” “Ring Groups” predetermine which internal extensions are available and hunts for those. If an extension becomes available during the ring cycle it will not be added to the call flow.
Paging allows someone to ring a group of extensions and make an announcement via the phone speaker. The called party will not need to pick up the handset as the audio will be played through the phone speaker. The person paging will not hear any audio back from the people being paged. Paging requires a phone that supports intercom and that is configured to allow it, the paging dial code needs to be set in “Settings” > “Dial Codes.” To add a paging group:
- Click on “Ring Groups” and then select “Add Paging.”
- Now 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: In the section “Group members” add the extensions that should be paged.
- Paging Multicast: Suitable for large paging groups. Requires phones to support multicast and to be on the same local subnet as 3CX. Define the target multicast address where the audio stream should be sent to. Then, configure the IP Phone to listen to this address using the provisioning configuration method.
To use the “Paging” feature call the virtual extension number, e.g. 800.
The intercom feature allows a phone system user to make an announcement to a single extension. In this scenario the audio is two way, and the called party can respond immediately without picking up the handset. To call a user via the intercom function, add the paging / intercom prefix to the extension number. For example to make an intercom call to extension 100 you should dial: *11100 (if your paging dial code is *11).
You can configure the intercom dial code in “Settings” > “Dial codes” > “Paging.” The user that will use intercom must have the right to do so. Go to “Extensions” > “Edit Extension” > “Rights,” and check the “Can Intercom” option.