This tends to be a little article about how to solve a very common issue. A manager wants to have an assistant line, meaning that his phone is not ringing, but the secretary's phone is, and the secretary transfers it by demand to the manager. Initially when I first faced this problem, having some background in normal PBX configuration, this is a special feature. Why? Because if you forward all calls to your secretary, when your secretary calls the call is forwarded to her and so on, meaning that the secretary canot call you.
When contacting Cisco TAC on this issue, they said, the only way I can do this, is by IPMA Phone Services, and that means it will work only on phones 7960 and 7940. Since my problem was facing two 7905 IP phones, I was in serious trouble. So i sat down and started thinking. Here is what the solution is. The key answer is Translation Pattern.
Let's say we have 3 phones: Manager-100, Secretary-101, Normal user-105.
We have 3 partitions: Internal, Manager, Translation100-101
We have 1 translation pattern 100 with called number transformation 101
We have two calling search spaces: Manager(containing part. Intern and Manager), Internal( containing part.Internal and Translation100-101)
The manager phone has calling search space Manager assigned meaning he can call phones in internal partition and in manager partition, and is in partition Manager. Secretary phone is in calling search space Manager and in partition Internal. The normal phone is in css Internal and partition internal. The translation pattern is in calling search space internal and partition internal.
What happens here is that when manager or secretary calls, the number 100 because they are in a css that doesn't contain the translation, it won't translate for them. But if a normal phone calls, because he is in a css that has translation pattern, the number 100 will be translated to number 101.
I would be really glad if someone from the tac team, will read this and give it to their respective tac engineers.
This is a great example of what Translation Patterns were envisioned to do... good work on figuring it out!
For most (but not all) Manager/Assistant scenarios, we typically will recommend using IPMA due to its drastically expanded feature set versus using a Translation Pattern. One important distinction for many users would be the ability to enable/disable the functionality you have implemented based on an as-needed basis, and/or based on the identity of the calling party, and much more.
If the requirement we need to match is fairly small and restricted, as you have outlined, a Translation Pattern sounds like a good fit.
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