Communal telephones are those phones that are unassigned and are available to everyone to use. Any supported device can be added to the web portal and provisioned as a common area phone by account admins or owners. The common area phone can also be enabled for hot desking, so that phone users can sign in or out.
Several scenarios can be addressed using common area phones:
- A common area phone and hot desking can be set up on a desk that does not belong to a particular employee if it is a shared desk.
- The common area phone can be used by visitors to contact an employee if the reception area is unattended.
- It is possible to set up a common area phone for any employee who needs a pager or intercom in the warehouse or office.
- Adding phones as delegates is possible if a manager oversees the phones in the common area. If this is done, the telephone in the common area will be able to make and receive telephone calls on behalf of the user of the phone.
- The following accounts are available: Pro, Business, Education, and Enterprise
- You will need admin or account owner privileges in order to use these accounts
- With a license for Zoom
- Devices certified by Zoom
You can see an overview of the provisioning process before adding a phone to the Zoom web portal.
Limitations of common area phones
The following features are not available on common area phones:
- Inbox of voicemail
- Recordings made ad hoc or automatically
- Handling of calls according to business hours, holidays, and closings
- Monitoring of calls
- And custom hold music (the default hold music is used by common area phones)
- Local blocked lists (common area phones are blocked on an account-by-account basis)
Consider one of these workarounds if you need one of these features:
- The desk phone should be assigned to a phone user and assigned to the user’s mailbox. In the meantime, you can still enable hot desking on your device so that other users can log in as well.
- Using the common area phone’s Call Handling capability, you have the option of forwarding all calls to an auto-receptionist, call queue, or group of shared lines.
- If you require nominated emergency services, this workaround will not be of any use to you.
How to add a common area desk phone
Adding a desk phone anyone can use is as simple as following these steps. Several common area phones can also be added in bulk.
- Join the Zoom web portal by logging in.
- To gain access to the Phone System Management section, click Users & Rooms in the navigation menu.
- You will then find a tab called Common Area Phones.
- Click on the Add button and fill out the information as follows:
- Site (only visible if you have multiple sites):
- Depending on your needs, you’ll have to specify which site your common area phone will be assigned to.
- Display Name:
- If you want to identify your common area telephone, you should enter a display name.
- Description (Optional):
- Describe your common area telephone in as much detail as you can.
- Extension Number:
- This is the extension number that should be assigned.
- Emergency Address (only visible if you don’t have multiple sites):
- The address to be assigned to the common phone in case of emergency. There will be an emergency address applied to the common area phone if you select a specific site for the phone.
- Designate a package for outgoing calls.
- Specify the emergency address country. Depending on the country, you can’t use certain extension numbers for phones.
- Specify a timezone on the common area phone to display the time.
- MAC Address:
- Identify the desk phone by entering its MAC address.
- Device Type:
- Use the drop-down menu to select the model and brand.
- Provision Template (Optional):
- Select a provision template to apply custom settings to the device if it supports provision templates: If the device supports provision templates, select the template to apply the custom settings.
- Save the changes.
- Activate the device.
- (4) Assign the common area phone a direct number (optional).
You can change the settings of a common area phone after adding it.
How to convert an unassigned desk phone to a common area phone
Provisioned desk phones can be converted to common area phones without having to re-provision them.
It is possible to unbind the desk phone from the phone user by editing its settings.
- Log into Zoom’s website.
- Select Phone System Management, then Users & Rooms from the navigation menu.
- Hover over Unassigned and click it.
- Find and click the phone’s display name.
- You will be prompted to choose Why is this phone a communal phone.
- As if you were adding a common area phone, you need to provide the same information.
- Once your changes have been saved, click OK.
Once the desk phone appears, click Disabled. After several reboots, the conversion is complete.
- Reboot your common area phone to bring it online if it is offline.
How to convert a common area phone to an unassigned desk phone
Changing a common area phone into an unassigned desk phone does not require re-provisioning.
- Zoom’s web portal is available when you sign in.
- Select Users & Rooms from the menu in the navigation bar.
- Click on the tab Common Area Phones under the System Settings section.
- Locate the phone that you wish to convert and click on it.
- Scroll down and click Unassign.
You will see the phone listed under Unassigned. It may take several reboots before the conversion is complete.
- Add a phone user to the desk phone.
How to add a common area phone to a call queue
Call queues can be added to common area phones.
- Zoom’s web portal requires you to sign in.
- To view the call queues, go to Phone System Management on the navigation menu.
- Select a queue for which you would like your phone to be added.
- Then click View or Edit under the Membership section.
- Then click Add.
- You will see a tab for Common Area Phones.
- Find the phone you want and click the OK button.
How to add a common area phone to an auto receptionist
When the auto receptionist is closed or off duty, you can call a common area phone.
- Log in to Zoom.
- Select Phone System Management from the navigation bar, then click Auto Receptionists from the left panel.
- You will be able to add the phone number to the auto receptionist by clicking its name.
- Click Edit on the Route to section under the Business Hours and Closed Hours section.
- Enter the name of the phone in the text box, select Common Area Phone, and finally select it from the list.
- You will now be directed to the next screen.
How to add a common area phone to an IVR
With an IVR system, you can provide a common area phone option in the IVR menu.
- Sign into the Zoom web portal by entering your username and password.
- Then click Phone System Management and then Auto Receptionist in the navigation.
- To add the phone to the auto receptionist on an IVR system, you will need to click on the name of the system.
- In the case of an auto receptionist that does not have an IVR, you should set one up.
- You can edit the information in the Interactive Voice Response (IVR) section of the Business Hours or Closed Hours section by clicking Edit.
- Then select the key you would like to edit.
- From the key edit screen, select the forwarding option.
- Click the OK button.