Hold the phone. Where are my lines?

Curtis Glassen Company News

We hear it often. Where are my lines? It’s one of the most frequently asked questions right after customers upgrade to a new 3CX VoIP phone system.

The short answer: there aren’t any.

But if you’re like us, you want to know more. Let us explain how technology has advanced and, more importantly, why it benefits you.


First generation of phone systems: Line Key Systems

The new systems route, rather than just “patch through”.

The key system featured buttons dedicated to each phone line that comes into the business. Like an illuminated game of musical chairs, these buttons would light up whenever calls came through. Pressing one of the line buttons connected or ‘patched you through’ to the corresponding phone line. This was a solution only suitable for smaller businesses.

New VoIP phone system:

Today’s phone system

The phone systems of today have come a long way from their predecessors. These systems have been designed to be more versatile, capable, and more user friendly. These systems can do much more than just “patch through” your calls.

– More functionality

These new systems generally have a lot more functionality built into them. Features, such as call trees, recordings, menu/auto-attendants, multiple ring groups, and rule based routing, take over these lines when a call comes in. In other words, a line can be occupied by more than a phone. The system immediately takes these calls over and begins routing them. Talk about convenient automation.

– Designating Paths

Plain old telephone lines are quickly becoming a thing of the past. These lines are being replaced with higher speed and higher capacity delivery systems. Instead of each line being limited to one call, newer delivery systems can carry multiple call paths. Using the rules and menus that have been setup, the system routes the calls to you. There is no need to watch each line.

Directing Traffic Without Line Buttons

Since there are no line keys to press, one cannot simply place the call on hold and press the line key from another phone to pick up the call. The call needs to be transferred somewhere, most commonly to either the destination phone or a ‘shared parking space’.

How To Transfer a Call

Shared parking spaces work in a very similar fashion to how the line key system worked, and come in handy if the person you need to transfer the call to isn’t instantly available. There are buttons assigned to them, which light up when a call is parked there. One can transfer the call to a shared parking space, then press the corresponding shared parking space button on another phone to pick up the call.

Ultimately, You Make the Call

While there are significant differences between the two systems in terms of capability, the main purpose remains the same: connecting callers to people. Since there are now many ways to accomplish this, our team consults with our clients to better understand their issues, workflows, and needs. From there, we make design recommendations and implement a system completely customized to you.