Occasionally your ShoreTel system will just flat refuse to dial certain numbers on certain phone lines. In my experience this happens most with PRI/Voice T1’s dialing to specific area code/prefix combinations. A lot of times this is due to those no-contract prepaid cell phones you get for $30 at Wal-Mart. Other times it’s weird long distance rules. Sometimes it makes no sense and you get a reorder tone just on that one line for that one set of ten numbers, but all over lines work fine.
If you have some analog lines coming into your building for faxing and emergencies then you have a work around. You’ll need to make sure you have long distance dialing on those lines if the numbers you are having issues with are long distance from your area.
What you’re going to do is make an alternate trunk code to let your users specifically dial out on these lines.
Step 1 – Log into your ShoreWare Director. If you’re still putting in a user name and password you might check out my article on ShoreTel Active Directory Integration.
Step 2 – Click on System Parameters and select “Dialing Plan”. Typically you’ll have a lot of numbers set as “Extensions”. The number 9 is almost always set up as a Trunk Access Code. Simply select another number you aren’t using as extensions and set it as a one digit trunk code. I usually set the alternate one under ‘8’.
Step 3 – Go to Trunks -> Trunk Groups and find your analog lines (if you haven’t wired them into a switch, this is a good time to do so). Change the “Access Code” to “8” and click save.
Step 4 – The last thing you need to do is make sure your users have access to the lines you just changed. Go into their user groups and make sure that trunk group is checked in their options.
This works really well for fax machines if you want to make sure that they dial out on a specific set of lines if one or other set is not working.
Another extremely useful thing you can do with this works well when you have an office in another city. Normally your ShoreTel system is set up to call out in a partial ‘least cost’ manor.
For example, Town A is long distance to Town B and you have a branch office in Town B. Your headquarters in Town A would automatically dial out from your branch office’s lines in Town B and get a local call. This is the magic of a Voice over IP system. ShoreTel can be set up to do this effortlessly.
However, there might be a reason you’d need to force the system to dial out from Town B’s lines. This is how you do that. This has a lot of temporary troubleshooting potential.