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Phone Line Types

Personal Line

A Personal Line is a phone number assigned to a named individual member of staff. Think of it as being similar to a personal email address. The personal number allows the user to receive calls and voicemail messages on a range of different devices including a deskphone, a softphone or a mobile phone. The user can change their status whenever they wish to divert their calls to a different device or to voicemail. The user does not actually need a deskphone at all to have a personal line; it is possible to use a softphone on a PC the whole time if they wish.

Alternatively they may chose to only ever use a single deskphone on their own desk and simply log on to that same phone every day. Any combination of softphone, deskphone and mobile phone use is possible, it is entirely down to personal choice. The benefit is that the user has options to make and receive calls wherever they are working. The main points to consider are:

  • All Personal Lines will work with a MiCollab softphone client.
  • All Personal Lines have voicemail.
  • All Personal Line users can host audio conferences and online web conferences.
  • A Personal Line is not suitable for staff who share a phone number.
  • A Personal Line is not suitable if the phone number has been published anywhere as a general point of contact.

If you are unsure whether a Personal Line is the right choice, it may help to consider what happens when the staff member goes on holiday. If it would be OK for people calling them to reach a voicemail box and hear a greeting which says the person is away, but they can call a different number or leave a message for their return, then a Personal Line will work. If you feel any calls or messages to that phone number will need to be acted on immediately by your department, that suggests that a Resource Line might be more appropriate. Also consider what would happen if the staff member moved to a different University department. Could the phone number go with them, like their email address will? If you think the number must stay with your department, then it is not a Personal Line.

Resource Line

A Resource Line is a number that is used for a location or a function or a role, rather than a single individual. So it is very similar in concept to a resource email account. A Resource Line will always be assigned to a physical phone. A Resource Line cannot use a softphone. A resource line will be suitable for functions such as:

  • a reception area
  • a department enquiry line
  • a meeting room
  • a phone number shared by two or more people

In the case of a phone shared by two or more people, the department should order a resource number with a generic name such as "Engineering Postgraduates", then each individual user can have the number allocated to them as a secondary number in the Peoplesearch directory.

A Resource Line can be configured to have voicemail, as long as there is a Resource email account with which it can be associated. A Resource email account can only be associated with a single phone line.

Read more about the choices for handling incoming calls.

Hotdesk Line

If a department has a desk intended as true hotdesk and not allocated to an individual, they may wish to order an extra desk phone as a hotdesk line. This is ideal for shared work areas. The phone will not have a published number, but any user with a Personal Line can log on to the phone and it will then have their personal number until they log off again.

Analogue Line

An analogue line is a traditional phone line which does not use the campus data network. An analogue line can be provided to any location on campus (or Wellesbourne) if there is a specific requirement. Valid requirements are:

  • A phone that people would expect to remain operational in the event of a power failure. These include lifts, car park barriers and entrance lobbies.
  • Residential lines
  • A modem
  • A fax machine
  • An alarm
  • A PDQ card payment machine
ACD (Automatic Call Distribution) Line

This would be a line for an agent who works on a Helpdesk or similar call centre, where calls are automatically answered, queued and distributed to the next available agent. If a department has a requirement for such a specialist system, they should discuss this with IT Services.