Forwarding phones in a ring group to cell


#1

I have a department doing working from home that is set up as follows:

EXT: 300 (ring group)
| 301 (IP set at home)
| 302 (IP set at home)
| 303 (IP set at home)
| 304 (IP set at home)
| 305 (IP set at home)

I am trying to arrange things so that if somebody at home wants to step away from their desk they can forward their at-home line to their cell phone, then cancel it as they see fit.

So far, though, I haven’t found a way to make this work with calls coming in through the ring group - it is easy enough to forward calls that were placed directly to x303 to cell, but I haven’t found a way for a call to 300 to be forwarded. Any call forwarding options set on the phone are apparently simply ignored when coming from a ring group call and neither that extension nor the cell will ring.

Is there any way to make this work?


#2

No. System owned calls do not follow extension rules. In the case of a ring group, one might try and forward to a cell and if out of range or cell is off, it would immediately go to cell VM effectively hijacking that call and preventing others from being able to answer.


#3

Is there a way for an end user to claim all calls to a ring group for a period of time, then release them? As it is I have to stay up until 11pm to manually transfer the entire ring group to a particular cell. There is not a repeating pattern of who will be covering which overnight so I can’t set up a schedule.

Short of giving that department access to the PBX what options do I have?


#4

Just thinking out loud here (and have not used or tested this), but what if you put the default destination of the Ring Group to an extension that can have that phone Call Forward or Ring Simultaneously to the cell phone phone.

If that works, then perhaps you can use the User Portal to give them the ability to change the cell phone that it forwards to.

Let me know if you try this and if it works.


#5

Why not configure office hours and then route to the needed phone at 11PM using inbound rules?


#6

Provide the users with a (WAVE or similar) softphone, allow multiple registrations to an extension? When they step away they start the app. Same extension…same everything.


#7

Different person comes on every night at 11, no pattern to the schedule that can be programmed in.


#8

I’ve been working on that, I have two users with iPhones though and for the life of me I can’t get wave to register. All of the settings are correct, but it just won’t do it. I suspect that verizon is screwing with the traffic (this was happening on another user who fixed it by calling verizon) but they won’t call them for some reason and verizon won’t talk to me.

Is there another soft phone that I could try besides the GS wave?


#9

So, then examine the possibility of using inbound mode and dial codes on the inbound routes


#10

plenty of softphone options - Bria, Zoiper etc … but they all function basically the same as far as registration goes. Are the home users over a VPN back to the PBX? If not, then the WAVE will need the same registration settings as the desk phone. If they are, then the mobile phone will need a VPN as well… Make sure you allow more than 1 concurrent registration … and you may also need to change the ACL policy to allow all on the extension.


#11

No VPN to connect, just point to the firewall and the system routes the SIP traffic accordingly.

With the Xfinity I had two users who had to call and ask for the SIP traffic to be unlocked for some reason.

I wonder what would happen if I put an L2TP link on the iPhone… I’ve never tried that, but I’ll have to get somebody to give theirs up because I don’t have a test device.

What is a good softphone client for a Mac? I can start playing with that at least.


#12

When I first set things up I had six phones all with the extension. The hopes would be that people would turn their ringer off or set their phone to DND when not on shift but they would forget to turn things back on. I also was running into weird behavior when two or more people would set the phones to forward to a cell phone then forget to turn off the forwarding. When a call came in it would ring on multiple phones that were set to forward to different cells and the calls would end up not ringing anywhere.

I don’t want to give the end users access to the portal. I don’t mind giving them clear instructions on how to do something, but allowing them access to the PBX with the ability to mess up the system completely or shadow other calls just isn’t going to happen.


#13

I assume the desk phones work at home? Does the softphone not register when it’s on the same network?


#14

The desk phones work at home, they don’t use their iPhones on their home wifi connections but rely on the cell carrier data plans, which is what they need to be using anyway since if they are at home they wouldn’t be forwarding calls to their cells.


#15

Why not use “Endpoint Call Forwarding Support” in the ring group. We use it all the time when someone wants to get ring group calls on their cell, when they step out for a bit.


#16

Interesting. Another new feature not talked about…

Snag_9f82e6

I am not sure what the warning is talking about, but then again, this is the first I have heard of this feature. Anyone know which firmware release added it?

Edit - from the manual

This allows the UCM to work with endpoint-configured call forwarding settings
to redirect calls to ring group. For example, if a member wants to receive calls
to the ring group on his mobile phone, he would have to set his endpoint’s call
forwarding settings to his mobile number. By default, it is disabled.

However, this feature has the following limitations:

  • This feature will work only when call forwarding is configured on
    endpoints, not on the UCM.

  • If the forwarded call goes through an analog trunk, and polarity reversal
    is disabled, the other ring group members will no longer receive the call
    after it is forwarded.

  • If the forwarded call goes through a VoIP trunk, and the outbound route
    for it is PIN-protected and requires authentication, the other ring group
    members will no longer receive the call after it is forwarded.

  • If the forwarded call hits voicemail, the other ring group members will no
    longer receive the call.


#17

I have had some clients have issues using the GS Wave App when using an iPhone and TMobile. So free alternative soft phone is Smartphone ++
Works very well and can transfer calls


#18

Came out way back in 1.0.17.16. We’ve been using it since then. The only issue we sometimes run into is that call forwarding is configured on the endpoints (not visible via the UCM) So, if a user forgets to turn off their call forwarding on their endpoint, it can hard to track down where a call is going sometimes. Not a deal breaker for us, but something to think about.


#19

Link phone forward with UCM forward.


#20

It looks like a promising option. The one issue I’m finding is that it doesn’t seem to have any audio while the cell phone is ringing - no rings, no hold music, no beeps, just silence. I’m patient enough to wait for the connection to go through, but worry that others will assume the call has dropped and hang up.

Is this the expected behavior? Is there anything that can be done to let the callers know that they haven’t been disconnected, possibly a recording that says “your call is being forwarded, you will hear a few moments of silence, do not hang up”?