Shared lines - Call flow

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We have a US standard plan. 3 users, 3 lines and 3 phones. We were sold 3 Cisco 8861's. When I reached out to set up an account the sales person didn't even offer shared lines despite my description of our call flow -- now I'm learning it's possible on ring central and I'd like to set it up before I need to cancel our account. I've got a week and a half before that deadline.

What we want for our call flow is very simple; 3 lines shared on 3 phones, with users able to hop on any line, whether the line is in use or not. Our mainline is line 1 and if in use calls roll to line 2 or 3. If all 3 are in use than the call goes to voicemail.

This was the call flow we used in our old office -- we just wanted to be able to keep that flow while using wifi phones so we don't need to wire our new space.
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Mike Borden

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Posted 9 months ago

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TaK IT

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Mike, I think you're confusing what a "line" is in your scenario. Right now, it sounds like you are likely using a call queue with fixed order ringing. Is the issue you're experiencing that you've named your seats "Line 1", "Line 2," and "Line 3" to mimic the multi-line system you've likely transitioned from and staff complain that they can't answer all the "lines" when they hear it ringing? There is no restriction on inbound/outbound call capacity (for the most part), so no lines will ever be "in use" as you're likely accustomed to. 

It sounds like when a call comes in, it rings on "line 1" (perhaps just ringing a single user?) and when it spills to "line 2/3", certain phones cannot answer those calls? 

Also, you're going to have a miserable experience if you use the 8861s on Wi-Fi - you should invest in the wiring to ensure you aren't setting yourself up for failure.
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Mike Borden

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Yeah, looks like we're going to hard wire. Our sales rep was horrible and didn't give us any heads up. The cisco 8861 bugs out and when conferencing 2 lines will half the time mute one of the users (then is fixed when you reboot the phone).

We're definitely looking for "shared lines" because the call flow we want should allow any of the phones to connect to each line (even to join a call mid conversation). Looks like we're going to have to get polycoms instead of the ciscos. Not happy that we wasted 2 weeks when this was an option all along but not presented to us.
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Mike,

Even with a Polycom phone with shared lines, the call would have to be conferenced to join in mid-conversation. It's not like a home phone with an extension you can just pick up. I have shared lines with a Polycom vvx450 and if a line is being used (red presence) I can still pick up it and get a dial tone.
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Mike Borden

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Hmmm - we used to be able to do that on our panasonic system... I guess we'll have to cancel and go back to the analog unit :/
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Dean Moberg

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What I did instead of shared lines is set up MONITORING on each of the three lines/ presences with permissions for all three users entitled to pick up any line at any time. So no matter what line the phone rings on, it is available to be picked up by any “presence” user. It can be set up to ring sequentially or simultaneously. Simultaneous means each person can pick up each line at the first ring. This is good so each user can have a dedicated line which is meant for them. It’s also good in that if the call comes in through one user/presence while they are busy, it can be picked up by someone else. It also provides for all presences to have each call ring on their phone. (The poly vvx450. Works well for this. Also, you can put any “line”/ call on hold and pick up from any of the other phones. You can also both talk at the same time to the caller. I also configured a park for each extension. Ext. 11,12,13 park 111,112,113 for easy memory. This way you can put the call on a phone slot and each person knows where the call is intended to end up. And it gets better, since you can set caller ID up with a code at the end of caller I’d, based on which line the call comes in on, you’ll know which line the call came in on (presence 1,2,3 or the main number via IVR. I use the IVR wut one main number that is meant for general pickup. Sorry if you got this too late.
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