BLF/Watch issues if user has two phones

Unanswered Question
May 13th, 2009

I have run into this issue now at two separate sites.

I have a user who has two phones, one at home and one at the office. Both are configured to recieve calls on the same DN. The issue is that this seems to have strange effects on BLF and Watch buttons. Either the user cannot see the status of other users, or the other users cannot see this user. Is there a supported way to configure one user with one extension on two phones, and sill have BLF and watch buttons work as they should? Or is this not possible? I assume the system is getting confused as to which phone it should be monitoring, but there must be a way around this.

Any input greatly appreciated.

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David Harper Wed, 05/13/2009 - 16:13

You will indeed have problems with other phones monitoring either of the phones with the shared line.  Basically the way it works is that if the dn specified in the watch command is set as line one on multiple phones, then the results of the watching can be unpredicatable.  Typically the phone monitored is the one with the lowest ephone number, but there is no guarantee it will stay this way.

A couple of ways to try and address this:

1. Use monitor rather than watch.  If the phones only have a single line on them then monitoring that line will work fine.  If the phones have multiple lines that are used, then this approach won't work.

2. If you specify a dn that is unique on the phone and not on button 1 with the auto-line command and watch that dn, then you can continue to have the shared line on button 1.  However, the auto-line command also controls which line goes off hook when you lift the handset, so that may not do what you want either.

Unfortunately, you are bumping up against a limitation in the implementation of the watch function, and at the moment, there are no perfect solutions.


Dave. Wed, 05/13/2009 - 17:08

Thanks for the info.

Is there a recommended method for setting up a home phone? What if i setup an overlay on that phone, and use a 'hidden' extension as the primary, and the real dn as a secondary. At least incoming calls would ring in, but i do not know how watch/BLF would react to the DN being in an overlay? One of the home phones is a 521, so with only one button, I am kind of limited in options. The second site where i have this setup has multiple lines on the phone, which creates an issue when using 'monitor' as you mentioned.

Regarding the BLF buttons in my current setup, the user who has two phones looses their BLF buttons and ability to watch other users. I can understand the issue with other users 'watching' this user due to the issue with two phones, but why would that affect their ability to see the status of others? Does this just go back to the confusion it creates in the system?

David Harper Wed, 05/13/2009 - 17:36

Is it feasible to re-arrange the buttons on the phone that has multiple lines configured so that the uniqueness requirement for the watch button could be met?

I'm not certain the overlay solution would work, though I don't know any good reason why it wouldn't.  I suspect this is something that is not actually part of the QA test plan, though one of the other guys may be able to say for sure.  An alternative is to use blast groups or SNR to allow the two phones to have different DNs, but still ring simultaneously.  That would allow the phones to be watched properly, though it may not scale if you have lots of users with this requirement.

On the question of the phones with the shared lines having trouble monitoring phones that presumably do not have shared lines, there isn't any fundamental reason I can think of why this should not work reliably.  I'd suggest logging a TAC case for this bit and getting an engineer to debug the problem.




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