Every business day for the month of November, we will be posting a useful tip for 3CX, a powerful SIP-based unified communications platform.
If you want to broadcast messages using a phone’s speaker, you need to set up a paging or intercom extension. 3CX makes this easy to do in the 3CX Management Console.
Let’s clarify two terms to begin with. When talking about 3CX, this is what paging and intercom refer to:
- Paging: Broadcasting messages from one caller to many extensions. With paging, the caller can’t hear what the extensions are saying.
- Intercom: Broadcasting messages from one caller to one extension. With intercom, the caller can hear what the extension is saying without the extension picking up their phone (provided they have compatible equipment).
So remember: paging means you’re calling many extensions, intercom means you’re calling one extension.
Paging Extensions in 3CX
With 3CX, paging is controlled under ring groups. In the 3CX Management Console, go to “Ring Groups,” and select “Add Paging.”
From here, the process is the same as setting up a ring group, except that you choose “Paging” from the “Ring Strategy” drop-down list:
- Enter a name for the paging ring group.
- Enter a virtual extension number if you want to change it from the default.
- Select “Paging” from the “Ring Strategy” list.
- Add the extensions you want to page to the “Group Members” section.
And that’s it!
To use it, just dial the Paging Dial Code + Paging Group Extension.
The default dial code for the paging function in 3CX is *9. You can change this dial code to whatever you want by going to Settings > Dial Codes and changing the code under “Paging.” Remember that your dial codes need to be unique and hard to mess up.
As an example, let’s say you set up a paging ring group at extension 307. To page this group using the default paging dial code, you would dial *9307. Every extension in the ring group will then hear your page.
Remember that audio with pages is one-way: when you page using a paging extension, they can hear you but you can’t hear them.
Intercom in 3CX
To use the intercom function, you don’t need to set up a ring group. You just need to use the paging dial code before calling any extension.
Let’s say you want to page just one person. Their extension is 212. Using the default paging code as said above, you would dial *9212 to initiate an intercom with that person.
Remember that audio is two-way with intercoms, and the person who was called can respond without picking up their phone.
Note: The intercom function is off by default. The administrator must enable the function for any extension that wants to use it (i.e., the caller’s extension). Go to Extensions > Edit Extension > Rights and enable “Can Intercom” to give them permission to do so.