This entry is part 4 of 7 in the series Getting to know your VoIP System: One Feature at a Time


Getting to know your VoIP System: One Feature at a Time


Ring Groups

Also called: “call groups” and “hunt groups”.

What are VoIP Ring Groups for business VoIP phone service?

Ring Groups take incoming calls and automatically forward them to multiple extensions –which can either ring simultaneously, or in a sequence.


How do Ring Groups benefit you?

Ring groups for business telephone systems increase efficiency by ensuring that multiple staff members have an opportunity to answer incoming calls. This results in calls being answered faster.

Types of Ring Groups on Business VoIP Phone Systems

There are three common types: (we’ll go more in-depth we these in additional articles).

*For the following, a company has these extensions: (100, 101, 209 and 216).

  1. Simultaneous ring group – All extensions, in the group, will ring at the same time when a call comes in. The incoming call goes to the first person to answer.
     The call will ring on: 100, 101, 209 and 216 at the same time.
  2. Sequential ring group (also called linear ring group or cascading ring group) – one phone rings at a time, and in a set order. Each phone will ring for a specified amount of time before moving on to the next extension.
     The call will ring on: 100, then 101, then 209 and then extension 216.
  3. Circular ring group – this is very similar to the linear ring group, except, when the last extension is reached, the ringing will start again with the first extension, and continue until the call is answered.
     The call will ring on: 100, then 101, then 209, then extension 216. If 216 doesn’t answer, the call will go back to extension 100.


How do I use Ring Groups on my cloud based PBX system?

Ring groups are simple to set up once you know which extensions are to be included and how they should ring (see types of ring groups, below). If you need help figuring out how to set up your ring groups, according to your needs, contact us at (212) 290-2736.

Practical Applications of Ring Groups

  1. Can be used with an auto attendant. An auto attendant can send calls to ring groups and then each ring group can include various telephone numbers, extensions, or mobile phones. The opposite is also true: a ring group can forward calls to an auto attendant.
  2. Useful in call centers. When a customer calls a company, they can be greeted by an automated attendant. The customer will then select the desired department. Since each department has their own ring group, all of the phones in that department will ring when a call is sent there, and any member of that department can take the call.
  3. Ring groups help make sure calls are answered. Sequential ring groups work well in companies where one person is responsible for taking most of the phone calls. Incoming calls will first go to that person’s extension, but if they’re out of the office, the call will continue on to the next extension so that someone else can answer it.


Helpful tips:

  1. Ring groups can include phones that are on or off-site. This works well for businesses that have multiple locations, or for when employees work from home.
  2. Extensions can be included in more than one Ring Group. This is especially useful when an employee’s scope of work spans multiple departments.
  3. Ring groups can be associated with a telephone number, extensions –or an automated attendant can direct calls to various ring groups.
  4. If a simultaneous or sequential ring group is being used, and none of the extensions answer, then the system can be told to direct the call to voicemail, another extension, a cell phone, or even another ring group.


Next Week

Next week, we’ll discuss Call Queues. Call Queues provide a way to manage calls when there are more incoming calls than people to answer them.

Series Navigation<< Feature 3 – Automated Attendant Feature for VoIP Phone SystemsFeature 5 – Call Queues for Office VoIP Phone Systems >>