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Know your team's availability with phone presence.

Eliminate the guesswork with real-time presence information of select phone lines.

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What is phone presence?

Phone presence is the status display of another phone extension or business phone line. It provides an at-a-glance view of the line status such as if it's busy, ringing, or unavailable.

The phone presence feature is often configured on desk phones for administrative assistants and others with a business need to view a phone number's status.

Modern business phone systems also extend the presence state to smartphones using VoIP apps that indicate the user is on a mobile phone.

Benefits of phone presence

Viewing the status of another business phone line is useful. Knowing the phone status helps you:

  • Minimize interruptions. Take messages instead of transferring a call through.

  • Set proper expectations. Inform callers you're sending them to a voicemail.

  • Save time. No need to check if someone's at their desk.

  • Enhance collaboration. Let anyone who's available answer incoming phone calls.

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How to manage your phone presence

It's easy to manage your phone presence with Nextiva so you can enjoy uninterrupted phone conversations.

Manage your phone presence

  1. Sign in to the Nextiva App on your desktop or mobile phone.
  2. Desktop users can change their status from the dropdown under their name. If you're using a smartphone, tap your photo and change Set My Availability to automatic, mobile, away, or busy.
  3. Optionally, add a message to "What's on your mind?" for your team to see.
  4. Tap the back arrow to save your changes. When you're on a call and when you hang up, your phone status changes automatically.

Adding a Busy Lamp Field (BLF)

  1. Sign in to the Nextiva Voice Portal.
  2. Click on Features located at the top of the screen.
  3. Click to expand the Monitoring section, then click the Busy Lamp Field option. Select the desired User(s) whose lines are to be listed on the phone by adding them from the Available Users box to the Monitored Users box.
  4. Click Save. Toggle the Busy Lamp Field option "ON" if it is not already.

The BLF phone presence feature often requires specific permissions to be granted.
Contact your account administrator for guidance.

For more information, please read this article on Nextiva Support.

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Phone presence FAQs

Phone presence is the status of a user's ability to communicate on the phone, instant message, or in-person. The status is set automatically as well as manually. Typical statuses include: available, on a call, unavailable (do not disturb), or offline.

The status is displayed on authorized users' desk phones and softphone applications.

To monitor the status of multiple business phone lines, you will want to consider the use of a sidecar. A sidecar is a hardware device that attaches to your desk phone. It displays extensions along with each of their statuses. This is seen in large department stores as well as office managers.

A more robust way exists for power users to monitor the status of multiple VoIP extensions. The use of the Unity Dashboard provides powerful functionality to route incoming calls effectively.

Employees connected to a business phone system can download and install a VoIP app to their smartphone for staying in touch with coworkers. With an app, they can indicate they can answer calls, use instant messaging, and join conference calls.

Nextiva users can download the Nextiva App on the App Store and Google Play.

The most common use-case for setting up phone presence is for an administrative assistant. They need up-to-the-second presence status of their executive's phone. They are entrusted with this information to minimize interruptions. Another top example is when a front office needs to see the status of others at a glance before they transfer a call.

With more and more users working remotely, employees use business phone apps to stay in touch. Within those apps, presence information is displayed intuitively, even on cell phones.

A more industrious use of phone presence is found in VoIP call center software for supervisors. These offer fine-grained control to managers to view all on-going calls, agent status, and supervisor tools to monitor or join calls as desired.

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