Support Line - Call Forward All through Hunt Pilot to cell phone

Unanswered Question
Oct 10th, 2008

I know I may be beating a dead horse, but I've found so much help in these forums that I figured I'd give it a shot.

We have a Cisco Unified Communications Manager Business Edition and we are running into a configuration issue. What we would like to do is to create an emergency support line for our IT staff. The way we would like this to function is that a caller dials a number, CM accepts the call and dials out to our IT staff's cell phone numbers in a round-robin fashion. To avoid the caller getting dumped into the IT staff's voice mail on their cells, we would like the staff member to have to dial a number to accept the call. If there is no answer, the call rolls to the next cell number. If no one is available, the caller should be directed to Unity Connection to leave a message. Unity then will send out text and email messages to the support staff.

I know that we can use Unity to perform an assisted transfer, which will require the user to press "1" to accept the call, and we are able to get Unity to send out the notifications (text and email) when a voice message is left. The issue is with Call Manager making the outbound calls to the cell phones.

What we have attempted is to setup DNs that call forward all to the users cell numbers. These DNs have been added to a Line Group, which has a Hunt Pilot attached to it. Any time this pilot is called, we get a reorder. Using the DNA, we see that "no device is associated with the DN", which is under the DN for the first users cell forward. If we add that DN as a second line to that users IP Phone (7940), then the call into the Hunt Pilot rings that line on the IP phone, not the CFA to the cell phone.

After weeks of digging around, it seems as though CFA in a Hunt is just not possible. My boss wants official word from Cisco about this, but TAC doesn't seem to want to help due to service contract issues (which blows my mind, as we have opened several cases in the past two months for configuration related issues). Our Business Edition came with Contact Center Xpress, although we do not have the resources available to install it. If CCX will carry out this task, that might be enough to push management into getting another server to support this, but without being able to play around with it, I don't know.

If anyone has any suggestions on how to make this work, I would GREATLY appreciate the help!

Thanks in advance,


I have this problem too.
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rob.huffman Fri, 10/10/2008 - 10:19

Hi Geoff,

Always interesting isn't it :)

Call Forward settings on individual Hunt member phones are ignored when presented a call via the Hunt feature. Here is a clip;

The concept of hunting differs from that of call forwarding. Hunting allows Cisco CallManager to extend a call to one or more lists of numbers, where each such list can specify a hunting order that is chosen from a fixed set of algorithms. When a call extends to a hunt party from these lists and the party fails to answer or is busy, hunting resumes with the next hunt party. (The next hunt party varies depending on the current hunt algorithm.) Hunting thus ignores the Call Forward No Answer (CFNA) or Call Forward Busy (CFB) settings for the attempted party. This also applies to CFWD ALL settings.

From this doc;

So, any Forwarding settings have to be done on the Hunt Pilot itself. These Destination settings (on the Hunt Pilot) need to be configured to go to the Unity Voicemail Pilot # or perhaps this is where you Forward out to the Cell #;

Hunt Forward Settings

Forward Hunt No Answer - When the call that is distributed through the hunt list is not answered in a specific time, this field specifies how to forward the call.

Destination This setting indicates the directory number to which calls are forwarded. (This can be the Directory Number of the Unity VM Pilot)

Forward Hunt Busy - When the call that is distributed through the hunt list is busy in a specific time, this field specifies how to forward the call.

Destination This setting indicates the directory number to which calls are forwarded. (This can be the Directory Number of the Unity VM Pilot)

Maximum Hunt Timer - Enter a value (in seconds) that specifies the maximum time for hunting.(Used in conjunction with Forward Hunt Busy)

Maybe you could leverage these Unity Connection configs to achieve your desired results. These will ensure that the Message is not left unattended;

Cascading Message Notification

Cascading message notification allows you to send notifications to a widening circle of recipients. Cisco Unity Connection continues to send notifications according to the devices you selected until the message has been saved or deleted by a recipient.

For example, to create a cascade of message notifications for your Technical Support department,

Chaining Message Notification

Message notification can be set to "chain" to a series of notification devices if an attempt to send notification to the first selected device fails. The definition of failure to a notification device is based on the options you select for retrying a device that is not answered or is busy.

Hope this helps!


rsandner1 Fri, 10/10/2008 - 10:59

Thanks for the quick reply Rob!

This is what I figured. As the document that you referenced says that by design, you can't do this. I'm OK with that.

I was curious as to whether or not you knew how to fork out calls through Unity? I have played around with the "Greetings" settings for my user and have been able to "supervise transfer" a call to an external number, which meets most of our requirements. The issue still, however, is that if the one user fails to answer the call, it will simply re-attempt to get a hold of the same user. I can't seem to figure out a way to get it to fail over to another user if the first isn't able to take the call, without providing a hunt pilot to dial the cell forward extensions. It doesn't like it if I try to add more than one extension.

I did look into the "Chain" notification method, but this seems to require the user to have left a message and hung up. We would prefer to have the caller get a hold of a "live" person instead of leaving a message and waiting in "limbo" until someone is able to call them back.

Thanks again for your help,


rob.huffman Fri, 10/10/2008 - 12:45

Hi Geoff,

I wish that I had a great,snappy answer for this dilemma but.....(think empty skull) I can't think of a good to way to accomplish this as a "live" call. I would look into some sort of 3rd party product (probably a dialer) that could continue to circulate this call until someone answers.

Sorry man!


rsandner1 Fri, 10/10/2008 - 12:52

Thanks for your efforts Rob.

I had something working with our old CME setup, which would forward calls on certain DNs to a Asterisk setup, which was able to do everything we wanted. Due to the investment made with the full blown call manager setup we purchased, they don't want to accept that something that costs as much as this system won't do what we want. I'm going to continue to look into this when I have time and we'll see what I can come up with, but I'm not hopeful at this point.

Thanks again for your assistance,


vpreenja Sat, 10/11/2008 - 11:05

Hi Geoff,

The feature that you are looking for is possible with Call Manager. Cisco has come up with a new feature called mobile connect. We can use this feature to achieve your goal.

Mobile connect is a feature that rings your desk phone and your cell phone simultaneously. So if you make 3 extensions the member of the hunt group associated with the hunt pilot and configure those extensions to ring their associated mobile numbers simultaneously, that will ultimately hunt b/w the your cell phones too.

This will not be able to work in simple hunt group scenerio because:

1. CFA will be ignored in case of hunting.

2. If the call is forwarded to cell phone and that does not answer, that cell phone is not able to revert to the call manager as that cell is not a registered device on the call manager.

Hope this helps!!!

rsandner1 Mon, 10/13/2008 - 11:13

Thanks for the idea, vpreenja!

I had mobility setup in our testing environment and it was working (I did not test the hunt options, however). I have been trying to set mobility up again and have run into some problems. I believe that it is configured as it was while we were testing, but the call destined for the desk phone never rings out to the user's cell phone.

I have created a Device Mobility Group (which I did not have during our testing phase), as well as Device Mobility Info (again, which wasn't in the testing setup). I also have setup the Mobility Configuration Information, but I am a little bit confused on this one. In our test setup, I had the Handoff Number going to my cell phone, without a Partition (we are not using partitions), and a random DN for Enterprise Feature Access. It worked in the testing setup, but it no longer does now. I'm not sure what this number should be.

I have also setup a Remote Destination Profile for myself which has my User ID specified, and Association Information has my DN. I have set an Associated Remote Destination and added my cell phone number to that (9XXXXXXX). I have also tried to put our cell forward DN in this as well (30XX). Neither seem to dial out though.

On my Phone Configuration page, I have set my Owner User ID to my ID, and I have checked Enable Extension Mobility. I have also verified that Association Information (Line [1]) has my Associated Remote Destination.

Finally, under End User Configuration, I have Enable Mobility and Enable Mobile Voice Access checked and the correct Remote Destination Profile is in the box (we do not have Access Lists setup currently, but I did create one earlier today that allowed my user ID).

Given all of the above, can you tell what I may be missing? My guess is that it has something to do with the Handoff Number settings, but I don't have enough understanding of it to be sure.

Thank you for your assistance,


anthoney_murphy... Sun, 10/12/2008 - 09:42

I am not entirely sure on this but if a phone is involved in a hunt group the CFA settings are ignored. I belive you have to log the phone out of the hunt group. I think the setting is under the phone configuration page. The user should be able to do this with a custom softkey template applied to the phone.


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