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Shared Lines Overview   
Article #6491

What is Shared Lines?

Shared Lines feature allows calls made to one phone number to be answered by multiple phone devices. Answered calls can easily be handed off to other phones sharing the same phone number. This feature is a commonly required function in many industries, such as retail, restaurant, warehouse, etc..

Note:  This free feature is available to all Office@Hand Editions and New Sign Ups. Additional cost may apply for new phone line and device purchases.

Features

  • Allow calls and lines to be shared among multiple desk phones; answer calls on any phone.
  • Place a call on hold then pick up from another phone.
  • Supports up to 8 lines with 16 phones with any combination between (1 x 1) and (8 x 16).
  • Compatible with all Office@Hand Polycom phone devices.

Benefits

  • Efficiently distribute incoming calls within a specific group.
  • Easily reach a person at different phones without the need of call transfers.
  • Eliminate any missed calls. Simply answer calls on any phone.
  • Easy to add and modify a Shared Lines group over the cloud, anywhere, anytime.
  • Included for free to all Office@Hand Editions. No additional cost to pay for this function.
  • Better branding and communications. All outbound calls from a Shared Line group will have a consistent phone number instead of individual numbers or extensions.

Note: This free feature is available to all Office@Hand Editions and New Sign Ups. Additional cost may apply for new phone line and device purchases.

Use Case Scenario
System Requirements
Add a group with Shared Lines
Frequently Asked Questions

Shared Lines Overview

Use Case Scenario

Restaurant

A local restaurant has set up all phones to ring simultaneously at the front desk, the bar and the kitchen.  A call comes in and all phones ring at the same time.  

  • The hostess is busy in seating customers and away from the front desk.  
  • The restaurant manager is at the bar.  She answers the call at the bar by simply pressing the line key which is flashing on the phone.
  •  The Manager greets the caller and then put the line on hold.  The hostess is back at the front desk and notices that there is call on hold.
  • The hostess then picks up the line and assists the caller with his reservation.

Benefits:  There will be no missed calls from your customers since you can answer incoming calls from any phone.

Retail

A local hardware store offers a toll-free number for all incoming calls which is assigned to a group of 10 phones that share phone lines.

  • When call to this toll-free number comes in, all 10 phones ring.
  • An available cashier answers a call in line #3 which a customer wants to check out the availability of a certain lawn mower.
  • The cashier then places the line #3 on hold and informs the colleague who is in charge at the garden section e.g. using the paging feature
  • The representative picks up the line #3 at the nearest phone and assists the customer immediately.

Benefits:  You can increase communications efficiency by sharing lines and phones among peers.

The scenarios above are just a few examples of the many benefits of sharing lines in your Office@Hand account.

System Requirements

  • A digital line is required for each line in a Shared Line group.
  • Polycom desk phones only. No Cisco desk phone is supported.

Add a Group with Shared Lines

Office@Hand Account Administrators can follow these steps to add a group with shared lines:

  1. Log in to your Office@Hand online account.
  2. Under Phone System, click Groups.

    Under Phone System, click Groups.

  3. On the Shared Lines tab, click the New Shared Line button.

    On the Shared Lines tab, click the New Shared Line button.

  4. Provide the Group Name, Manager’s Email, Extension.

    Provide the Group Name, Manager's Email, Extension.

  5. Select Existing Number or New Number. Choose the State, Area Code, and Lines count then click Add to Group. Click Next to proceed.
    Note: You may click Remove if you want to remove the current number and repeat the step to generate another number.

  6. Select a Device. You may Buy New Phones or Select Existing Phones.

  7. Select a saved Emergency address or create a New Emergency address.

    For a New address, ​fill out the Emergency Address, read the text before selecting the checkbox provided. Click I Accept then click Next to proceed.

  8. Fill out the Shipping information and select your shipping option. Click Next to proceed.

  9. Review and confirm the charges. Click Confirm to complete the order process.

    Upon completion, the Shared Line group will now appear, you may proceed to setup and customize your Shared Line.

Modify settings options are available:

  1. On the Shared Lines tab, click the Shared Line group that you wish to modify.

  2. Select the tab you want to modify.

  • Shared Line group name – Group Details where you can set up the extension number and Shared Line group name, group password and regional settings, etc.
  • Direct Numbers – Establish direct numbers (toll-free, local, vanity) with routing options.
  • Greeting & Block Numbers – Set up group greeting message (before routing) and block incoming calls.
  • Call Handling – Select options to forward calls when lines are busy during and after business hours.
  • Outbound caller ID – Select a number for external communications.
  • Messages & Notifications – Set up voicemail greeting, message recipient and notifications for messages, missed call, and received faxes.

Frequently Asked Questions

TABLE OF CONTENTS

  1. What is a Shared Lines group?
  2. Will it be additional cost to add this feature?
  3. Which Office@Hand service supports Shared Lines (BLA) feature?
  4. Is there a limit to using Shared Lines function?
  5. Do the number of lines and number of phones have to match?
  6. How many simultaneous calls can be made to a Shared Line group?
  7. Are phones in a Shared Line Group associated with a user?
  8. What desk phone models support Shared Lines feature?
  9. Can Shared Lines be used on Office@Hand mobile apps?
  10. How many lines can be used in one Shared Line group?
  11. How many phone and devices can I add to one Shared Line group?
  12. How many Shared Line group can I set up with my organization?
  13. Can a same phone line used in different Shared Line groups?
  14. Can phones in a Shared Line group receive Paging or Intercom calls?
  15. Can I assign phones in different locations in the same Shared Line group?
  16. Can I add a direct line for a Shared Line group?
  17. Will there be additional costs for setting up a direct line?
  18. Do I need a direct phone number?
  19. Can I set up a general greeting for a Shared Line group?
  20. Can I block any numbers?
  21. What happens when all lines are busy?
  22. My phone is in a Shared Line group. What number will be shown on the caller ID if I make an outbound call?
  23. Can I set up the notification if I miss a call?
  24. Can I transfer a call to my colleague?
  25. Can phones in a Shared Line group Park and Unpark calls?
  26. Can I monitor the presence of a Shared Line
  27. Can a desk phone belong to a user and also be a member of a Shared Line group?
  28. Can calls be made to specific phones if they belong to a shared line group?

 

  1. What is a Shared Lines group?
    A Shared Lines group allows a business to set up a phone number in such a way that calls coming into the shared line can be answered in any of the devices sharing that line.
  2. Will it be additional cost to add this feature?
    The Shared Lines feature is included in all Office Editions and New Sign Ups with no additional cost.  However, additional cost will apply when adding new phone lines and/or devices.
  3. Which Office@Hand service supports Shared Lines (BLA) feature?
    All Office@Hand Standard and Premium Tiers and Editions
  4. Is there a limit to using Shared Lines function?
    Office@Hand Office supports up to 8 lines and 16 desk phones per one group.  It is recommended that all phones assigned in a Share Line Group must be located in the same location.
  5. Do the number of lines and number of phones have to match?
    No. These numbers depend on the business needs of the customer.  Any combination between (1 x 1) and (8 x 16) is permitted e.g.  2 x 4. In general the number of phones in a group will be at least the same or higher than the number of lines.
  6. How many simultaneous calls can be made to a Shared Line group?
    The number of simultaneous calls to a group corresponds to the number of lines assigned to a group e.g. a 4 line group supports up to 4 simultaneous calls (inbound or outbound)
  7. Are phones in a Shared Line Group associated with a user?
    No. Phones in such a group are shared devices and not associated with a particular user.
  8. What desk phone models support Shared Lines feature?
    Only Polycom desk phones: 321, 335, 550, 650HD, VVX-310, VVX-410, VVX-500.  
  9. Can Shared Lines be used on Office@Hand mobile apps?
    No. Shared Lines function is only available on desk phones.
  10. How many lines can be used in one Shared Line group?
    Office@Hand allows you to add up to 8 lines in one Shared Line group. However it depends on the number of lines supported by your phone devices. For example, if your phone devices only support 4 lines, the maximum lines that can be used are 4.
  11. How many phone and devices can I add to one Shared Line group?
    Office@Hand allows you to add up to 16 phones and devices in one Shared Line group.
  12. How many Shared Line group can I set up with my organization?
    There is virtually no limitation. However all phones in the same Shared Line group must be in the same location.
  13. Can a same phone line used in different Shared Line groups?
    No.  A line can only belong to one Shared Line group.
  14. Can phones in a Shared Line group receive Paging or Intercom calls?
    No. This feature is not supported in this release.  However, Paging and Intercom calls can be initiated from phones in such groups by using DTMF.
  15. Can I assign phones in different locations in the same Shared Line group?
    No. We recommend all the phones must be located at the same physical address due to the 911 emergency services requirements.
  16. Can I add a direct line for a Shared Line group?
    Yes. You can purchase a toll-free or local phone number for a Shared Line group.  
  17. Will there be additional costs for setting up a direct line?
    Yes. A company can purchase a direct line (toll-free, local or vanity) for better external communications.
  18. Do I need a direct phone number?
    It is a best practice for a business, but it is not required.  You can dial any of the phone numbers in a Shared Lines group.  All phone devices will ring at the same time.
  19. Can I set up a general greeting for a Shared Line group?
    Yes. You can set up a group greeting by either using default or customized greeting.  A caller will hear the greeting before routed to a shared line within a group.
  20. Can I block any numbers?
    Yes. You can block calls and faxes coming from a specific number. You can specify the numbers and area codes, as well as calls/faxes with no caller ID and calls from pay phones.
  21. What happens when all lines are busy?
    A caller can be routed to the Group Voicemail or certain extension based on the settings.
  22. My phone is in a Shared Line group. What number will be shown on the caller ID if I make an outbound call?
    Your administrator sets up the outbound caller ID as a group ID or individual line based on your business needs.
  23. Can I set up the notification if I miss a call?
    Yes.  You can setup your notifications on your online account.
  24. Can I transfer a call to my colleague?
    Yes. Calls answered in a Shared Line group can be transferred to other extensions in the same organization.
  25. Can phones in a Shared Line group Park and Unpark calls?
    Yes. You can Park/Unpark calls by using the Park soft key.
  26. Can I monitor the presence of a Shared Line Group on my phone?
    No. This feature is not yet supported in this release.  
  27. Can a desk phone belong to a user and also be a member of a Shared Line group?
    No. This feature is not yet supported in this release.
  28. Can calls be made to specific phones if they belong to a shared line group?
    No. All phones in a group act in unison. It is not possible to make a phone call (regular or Intercom) to a specific individual phone that is a member of a group.

See Also:
Office@Hand Service Expansion Frequently Asked Questions

Keywords: Shared Lines, Shared, Lines, Overview, Department Administration, 6491