Getting to know your VoIP System: One Feature at a Time
What is the VoIP paging feature?
The paging feature allows you to use your IP phone to make public announcements to individuals or groups of people. Paging announcements can be heard through individual Voice over IP phones or through your overhead public address speakers. The page feature is easily implemented through a cloud (hosted) phone system for businesses and it is commonly used with the park feature, which we discussed last week.
How does paging benefit you?
The paging feature allows you to contact a single co-worker, or multiple people very quickly since you can make an announcement, which is then heard through the speakerphone. This helps you to deliver urgent messages quickly –to an individual, a specific department, or the entire company. You can also use paging to alert a coworker that a call is waiting for them on park. Finally, a hosted VoIP phone system allows you to a page to another office location, and even if it’s physically located in another part of the world!
How do I use paging on my cloud based PBX system?
- To initiate an individual page (also known as the Intercom function), you dial *8 + extension. Don’t forget to press the #, checkmark or send button (depending on the model of phone you’re using–for example, the on the Cisco SPA504G, you press the # button to send, while on the snom, 720, you press the checkmark button to send). This announcement will only be heard through the phone’s speaker for the extension that you dialed.
- Zone paging (group call): separate codes can be programmed for paging individual groups or departments. This allows groups to just hear messages which are intended for them.
- To initiate a group page (which everyone will hear), lift up your receiver and dial *724 and then press the #, checkmark or send button (depending on the model of phone you’re using). Once connected, you can begin speaking.
Practical Applications of Paging
- Paging is an extremely useful function in warehouse environments and retail stores. In these types of environments, certain employees are often walking around and sometimes difficult to reach. However, paging makes it very easy to reach floating employees. Here’s an example involving Simon, a manager at a shipping fulfillment center. As a manager, Simon is always walking around the warehouse, but numerous calls come in for him throughout the day. Here’s how it works: when a call comes in for Simon, his secretary, Ross, places the call in one of the park spaces and pages Simon through their overhead loudspeaker system to pick up the call. Simon can walk over to the closest phone, lift the handset, press the Park button and speak to the caller.
- Paging is also a great feature for medical offices. Here’s an example using using Dr. Jones’ office, which has 4 patient treatment rooms. On very busy days, Dr. Jones is moving between these rooms as she sees patient after patient. As a result, her staff may not always know which exam room she is in. However, it’s important that she can be reached at all times. Using paging, her staff can always get ahold of her since the page will be heard in all of the exam rooms. This allows Dr. Jones to quickly attend to urgent situations.
- Remember, if you press *724, your announcement will be heard by everyone.
- If a phone is set to “do not disturb” (DND) mode, the page will not come through that phone. When a phone is in DND, it will ignore everything –almost as if it was unplugged.
Thanks for reading! Over the last two weeks, you’ve learned about the Park Feature and now the Paging feature for your business telephone system. Additionally, you’ve learned how these features compliment each other: such as by allowing you to place a call on park and then notify someone, via a page, that there’s a call waiting for them.
Next week, we’ll discuss the Automated Attendant. An automated attendant can serve as a “virtual” operator. It’s another great benefit of having a business VoIP phone system.