Cisco Unified CallManager System Guide, Release 4.2(3)
Call Pickup
Downloads: This chapterpdf (PDF - 241.0KB) The complete bookPDF (PDF - 5.08MB) | Feedback

Call Pickup

Table Of Contents

Call Pickup

Understanding Call Pickup

Auto Call Pickup

Using Call Pickup Features with Partitions to Restrict Access

Call Pickup Guidelines and Tips

Dependency Records

Call Accounting

Call Pickup and Group Call Pickup Configuration Checklist

Other Group Call Pickup Configuration Checklist

Updating Call Pickup Configurations

Where to Find More Information


Call Pickup


The Call Pickup feature allows users to answer calls that come in on a directory number other than their own. The "Understanding Call Pickup" section describes this feature.

This section covers the following topics:

Understanding Call Pickup

Call Pickup Guidelines and Tips

Dependency Records

Call Pickup and Group Call Pickup Configuration Checklist

Other Group Call Pickup Configuration Checklist

Updating Call Pickup Configurations

Where to Find More Information

Understanding Call Pickup


Note Cisco Unified CallManager Attendant Console does not work with call pickup. The attendant console user interface cannot appropriately handle calls coming from or made to phones that belong to a call pickup group due to Cisco Unified CallManager Java Telephony Applications Programming Interface (JTAPI) and computer telephony integration (CTI) limitations.


Cisco Unified IP Phones provide three types of call pickup: call pickup, group call pickup, and other group call pickup.

Call pickup—Allows users to pick up incoming calls within their own group. Cisco Unified CallManager automatically dials the appropriate call pickup group number when the user activates this feature from a Cisco Unified IP Phone. Use the Pickup softkey for this type of call pickup.

For this type of call pickup, you can configure audio and visual notification to the rest of the call pickup group members that a call is available for pickup.

The following guidelines apply to call pickup notification:

Only users in the same call pickup group receive notification.

Use this feature for small to medium call pickup groups. If you configure notification for large call pickup groups, it can adversely affect some system resources. For every new call, there are as many messages generated as there are users in the pickup group. The larger the group and the more new calls, the greater the burden on system resources.

Only primary lines are notified.

In the case of multiple active notification alerts, the latest visual alert overwrites the previous ones. However, when a user activates call pickup, the user gets connected to the earliest call available for pickup, even if that call is not the visual alert that currently displays on the phone. You can avoid this mismatch by using visual notification without displaying calling or called party information. With this configuration, a generic message reading, "Call(s) available for Pickup" displays. The user can obtain the caller identification if Auto Call Pickup (AutoCallPickupEnabled service parameter) is disabled; see Auto Call Pickup for more information.

Group call pickup—Allows users to pick up incoming calls in another group. User must dial the appropriate call pickup group number when activating this feature from a Cisco Unified IP Phone. Use the GPickup softkey for this type of call pickup.


Note The same procedures apply for configuring call pickup and group call pickup features. Group call pickup numbers apply to lines or directory numbers.


Other group call pickup—Allows users to pick up incoming calls in a group that is associated with their own group. The Cisco Unified CallManager automatically searches for the incoming call in the associated groups to make the call connection when the user activates this feature from a Cisco Unified IP Phone. Use the OPickup softkey for this type of call pickup.

When more than one associated group exists, the priority of answering calls for the associated group goes from the first associated group to the last associated group. For example, groups A, B, and C associate with group X, and the priority of answering calls goes to group A, B, and then C. First, group X picks up incoming call in group A, though a call may have come in earlier in group C than the incoming call in group A.


Note Usually, within the same group, the longest alerting call (longest ringing time) gets picked up first if multiple incoming calls occur in that group. For other group call pickup, priority takes precedence over the ringing time if multiple associated pickup groups are configured.


Both idle and offhook call states make the Pickup, GPickup, and OPickup softkeys available. The administrator must modify the standard softkey template to include these softkeys for the users to invoke the Call Pickup feature. See Call Pickup and Group Call Pickup Configuration Checklist, and Other Group Call Pickup Configuration Checklist.

Auto Call Pickup

You can automate call pickup, group pickup, and other group pickup by enabling the AutoCallPickupEnabled service parameter.

When this parameter is enabled, the Cisco Unified CallManager automatically connects users to the incoming call in their own pickup group, in another pickup group, or a pickup group that is associated with their own group after users press the appropriate softkey on the phone. This action requires only one keystroke.

Auto call pickup connects the user to an incoming call in the user's own group. When the user presses the Pickup softkey on the phone, the Cisco Unified CallManager locates the incoming call in the group and completes the call connection. If automation is not enabled, the user must press the Pickup and Answer softkeys to make the call connection.

Auto group call pickup connects users to an incoming call in another pickup group. The user presses the GPickup softkey on the phone, then dial the DN of that other pickup group. Upon receiving the DN, the Cisco Unified CallManager completes the call connection. If automation is not enabled, the user must press the GPickup and Answer softkeys, and then dial the DN of that other pickup group, to make the call connection.

Auto other group call pickup connects the user to an incoming call in a group that is associated with the user's own group. The user presses the OPickup softkey on the phone. The Cisco Unified CallManager automatically searches for the incoming call in the associated groups in the sequence that the administrator enters in the Call Pickup Group Configuration window and completes the connection after the call is found. If automation is not enabled, the user must press the OPickup and Answer softkeys to make the call connection.

For more information, refer to the following topics:

Call Pickup and Group Call Pickup Configuration Checklist

Other Group Call Pickup Configuration Checklist

Defining a Pickup Group for Other Group Call Pickup, Cisco Unified CallManager Administration Guide

Call Pickup Group Configuration Settings, Cisco Unified CallManager Administration Guide


Note CTI applications support monitoring the party whose call is picked up. CTI applications do not support monitoring the pickup requester or the destination of the call that is picked up; hence, Cisco Unified CallManager Assistant does not support auto call pickup (one-touch call pickup).


Using Call Pickup Features with Partitions to Restrict Access

You can restrict access to call pickup groups by assigning a partition to the call pickup group number. When this configuration is used, only the phones that have a calling search space that includes the partition with the call pickup group number can participate in that call pickup group. Make sure that the combination of partition and group number is unique throughout the system.

If call pickup group numbers are assigned to a partition, only those phones that can dial numbers in that partition can use the call pickup group.

If partitions represent tenants in a multitenant configuration, make sure that the pickup groups are assigned to the appropriate partition for each tenant.

A multitenant configuration provides an example of using partitions with call pickup groups. Assign the pickup groups to the appropriate partition for each tenant, and the group number will not be visible to other tenants.

Call Pickup Guidelines and Tips

The following guidelines and tips apply to using the Call Pickup feature:

You do not need to reset phones to reflect changes that relate to call pickup groups.

Although different lines on a phone can be assigned to different call pickup groups, Cisco does not recommend this setup because it can be confusing to users.

To pick up calls from a group that is associated with your own group, you must configure the calling search space, partition, and the Time of Day (TOD) parameter for members in the associated group to be active and able to accept calls within the same time period as your own group. TOD associates a time stamp to the calling search space and partition.

For example, a partition, ABC, remains active between 9 am and 5 pm. A calling search space, cssABC, contains partition ABC. A pickup group, pickABC, contains phone 1 and phone 2. Phone 1 and phone 2 reside in the same calling search space, cssABC. If phone 1 rings at 5:30 pm and phone 2 tries to pick up the call, this attempt fails because the partition is not active after 5 pm. If phone 1 rings at 9:30 am, phone 2 can pick up the call.

Dependency Records

If you need to find out to what devices a specific call pickup number is assigned, click the Dependency Records link that is provided on the Cisco Unified CallManager Administration Pickup Group Configuration window. The Dependency Records Summary window displays information about devices that are using the call pickup number.

If a pickup group is associated with other pickup groups, the dependency record of the pickup group shows the association information. For example, if pickup group A is associated with pickup group B and pickup group C, the dependency record of pickup group A shows the information on the association of pickup group A to pickup group B and C.

To find out more information about the devices, click the device, and the Dependency Records Details window displays. If the dependency records are not enabled for the system, the dependency records summary window displays a message.

For more information about Dependency Records, refer to Accessing Dependency Records in the Cisco Unified CallManager Administration Guide.

Call Accounting

Cisco Unified CallManager Release 4.1 implemented the following changes in call accounting (and they remain implemented in subsequent releases):

When a call pickup occurs, the system generates two call detail records (CDRs). One CDR applies to the original call that is cleared, and another CDR applies to the requesting call that is connected.

Call Forward gets differentiated from call pickup in CDR Analysis and Reporting (CAR).

Automatic call pickup and automatic group pickup, except other group pickup, get categorized as pickup calls in CAR. Enable these features via the AutoCallPickupEnabled service parameter. If they are not enabled, the CDRs for call pickup, group pickup, and other group pickup remain the same as prior to release 4.1; that is, categorized as forwarded calls in CAR.

A CDR search returns all CDRs that match a specific time range and another search criteria as specified. If users are interested in the type of call that is associated with a particular CDR, the search result displays a call type field that indicates whether the call is a pickup call.

Call Pickup and Group Call Pickup Configuration Checklist

Table 31-1 provides a checklist to configure call pickup and group call pickup.

Table 31-1 Call Pickup and Group Call Pickup Configuration Checklist 

Configuration Steps
Related procedures and topics

Step 1 

Configure partitions if you will be using them with call pickup or group call pickup numbers.

Adding a Partition, Cisco Unified CallManager Administration Guide

Using Call Pickup Features with Partitions to Restrict Access

Step 2 

Configure a call pickup group. Make sure that the call pickup group number is a unique directory number (integer).

Adding a Call Pickup Group, Cisco Unified CallManager Administration Guide

Call Pickup Group Configuration Settings, Cisco Unified CallManager Administration Guide

Step 3 

Optionally, configure visual or audio (or both) notification to members of the call pickup group that a call is available for pickup.

Call Pickup Group Configuration Settings, Cisco Unified CallManager Administration Guide

Directory Number Configuration Settings, Cisco Unified CallManager Administration Guide

Step 4 

Assign the call pickup group number that you created in Step 2 to the directory numbers that are associated with phones on which you want to enable call pickup:

Only directory numbers that are assigned to a call pickup group can use the Call Pickup feature.

If partitions are used with call pickup numbers, make sure that the directory numbers that are assigned to the call pickup number have a calling search space that includes the appropriate partitions.

Assigning Call Pickup Groups to Directory Numbers, Cisco Unified CallManager Administration Guide

Step 5 

Add a call pickup or group call pickup button to the phone button templates, if needed.

You only need to do this for Cisco Unified IP Phone model 12 SP, 12 SP+, and 30 VIP.

Modifying Phone Button Templates, Cisco Unified CallManager Administration Guide

Step 6 

To configure the pickup (Pickup) and group call pickup (GPickup) softkeys for the phone, add the Standard User or Standard Feature softkey template to the phone.

Modify the template to include the Pickup and GPickup softkeys with the following steps.

Select Device>Device Settings>Softkey Template in the Cisco Unified CallManager Administration Main Page.

Select the desired softkey template.

Select the Softkey Layout Configuration link.

Select On Hook or Off Hook call states.

Select Pickup in the Unselected Softkeys box.

Click the right arrow to move the Pickup softkey to the Selected Softkeys box.

Select GPickup in the Unselected Softkeys box.

Click the right arrow to move the GPickup softkey to the Selected Softkeys box.


Note To restrict calls to be picked up by phones within its own group only, deny the GPickup or OPickup softkeys in the softkey template.


Softkey Templates, page 40-24. Assigning Softkey Templates to IP Phones, Cisco Unified CallManager Administration Guide

Step 7 

If you want automatic call answering for call pickup and group call pickup, enable the AutoCallPickupEnabled service parameter by entering the value True. The default specifies False.

Auto Call Pickup.

Service Parameters Configuration, Cisco Unified CallManager Administration Guide

Step 8 

Enter a value for the Call Pickup Locating Timer service parameter. When a user activates the call pickup feature from a phone in the call pickup group, the system sends a call locating request to each actively alerting call in order to determine which call has been alerting (ringing) the longest (because that is the one to which the user connects). This parameter specifies the maximum time in seconds that the system should wait to receive responses to these call locating requests before determining from the information received which call is to be answered. If the timer expires before the system receives all the responses, the longest alerting call from the responses received is the one answered. Responses could be delayed due to network problems. This timer prevents the system from waiting indefinitely for responses before allowing the user to pick up a call.

The default value specifies 1 second. The value ranges from 1 to 5 seconds.

Other Group Call Pickup Configuration Checklist.

Service Parameters Configuration, Cisco Unified CallManager Administration Guide

Step 9 

Notify users that the Call Pickup feature is available.

Refer to the phone documentation for instructions on how users access the Call Pickup feature on their Cisco Unified IP Phone.

Other Group Call Pickup Configuration Checklist

Table 31-2 provides a checklist to configure other group call pickup.

Table 31-2 Other Group Call Pickup Configuration Checklist 

Configuration Steps
Related procedures and topics

Step 1 

Configure a list of associated groups that can be chosen from all pickup groups. The list can include up to ten groups.

Defining a Pickup Group for Other Group Call Pickup, Cisco Unified CallManager Administration Guide

Step 2 

Configure Calling Search Space and TOD parameters for members of the associated groups to your group.

Calling Search Space, Cisco Unified CallManager Administration Guide

Time-of-Day Routing

Call Pickup Guidelines and Tips

Time Schedule Configuration, Cisco Unified CallManager Administration Guide

Time Period Configuration, Cisco Unified CallManager Administration Guide

Step 3 

Add the other group call pickup button to the phone button templates, if needed.

You only need to do this for Cisco Unified IP Phone model 12 SP, 12 SP+, and 30 VIP.

Modifying Phone Button Templates, Cisco Unified CallManager Administration Guide

Step 4 

If you want automatic call answering for other group call pickup, enable the service parameter AutoCallPickupEnabled by entering the value True. The default specifies False.

Auto Call Pickup.

Service Parameters Configuration, Cisco Unified CallManager Administration Guide

Step 5 

Enter a value for the Call Pickup Locating Timer service parameter. When a user activates the call pickup feature from a phone in the call pickup group, the system sends a call locating request to each actively alerting call in order to determine which call has been alerting (ringing) the longest (because that is the one to which the user connects). This parameter specifies the maximum time in seconds that the system should wait to receive responses to these call locating requests before determining from the information received which call is to be answered. If the timer expires before the system receives all the responses, the longest alerting call from the responses received is the one answered. Responses could be delayed due to network problems. This timer prevents the system from waiting indefinitely for responses before allowing the user to pick up a call.

The default value specifies 1 second. The value ranges from 1 to 5 seconds.

Service Parameters Configuration, Cisco Unified CallManager Administration Guide

Step 6 

To configure the other group pickup (OPickup) softkey for the phone, add the Standard User or Standard Feature softkey template to the phone.

Modify the template to include the OPickup softkey with the following steps.

Select Device>Device Settings>Softkey Template in the Cisco Unified CallManager Administration Main Page.

Select the desired softkey template.

Select the Softkey Layout Configuration link.

Select On Hook or Off Hook call states.

Select OPickup in the Unselected Softkeys box.

Click the right arrow to move the OPickup softkey to the Selected Softkeys box.


Note To restrict calls to be picked up by phones within its own group only, deny the OPickup softkey in the softkey template.


Softkey Templates, page 40-24. Assigning Softkey Templates to IP Phones, Cisco Unified CallManager Administration Guide

Step 7 

Notify users that the Call Pickup feature is available.

Refer to the phone documentation for instructions on how users access the Call Pickup feature on their Cisco Unified IP Phone.

Updating Call Pickup Configurations

The following notes apply to updating call pickup configurations:

You cannot delete a call pickup group number when it is assigned to a line or directory number. To determine which lines are using the call pickup number, use Dependency Records. To delete a call pickup group number, reassign a new call pickup group number to each line or directory number.

When you update a call pickup group number, Cisco Unified CallManager automatically updates all directory numbers that are assigned to that call pickup group.

Where to Find More Information

Related Topics

Phone Button Template Configuration, Cisco Unified CallManager Administration Guide

Cisco Unified IP Phone Configuration, Cisco Unified CallManager Administration Guide

Partition Configuration, Cisco Unified CallManager Administration Guide

Softkey Template Configuration, Cisco Unified CallManager Administration Guide

Additional Cisco Documentation

Cisco Unified IP Phone user documentation and release notes (all models)

Cisco Unified IP Phone Administration Guide for Cisco Unified CallManager, Cisco Unified IP Phone Models 7960G and 7940G

Cisco Unified IP Phone Administration Guide for Models 7902G, 7905G, and 7912G on Cisco Unified CallManager

Cisco Unified IP Phone 7970 Administration Guide for Cisco Unified CallManager