Ad-hoc Conferences

Overview

Ad-hoc conferences or Multi-party calls can be initiated by a user at any time during a call, there is no need for advance scheduling of a conference bridge.

Only an internal extension can initiate the conference, after that both internal and external callers can be added to it. There is no limit to the number of participants allowed in an ad-hoc conference. 

Once the conference has been initiated, only the initiator of the conference can add additional internal or external callers.

Initiating a Conference

The steps to initiate a conference is slightly different based on the type of phone you have.

Nortel Phones with Conference key

  1. While on a call, press the Conf soft key
  2. Dial the extension or external phone number of the party you want to add to the call
  3. To add the new party to the conference press the Conf soft key again
  4. To return to the conference without adding the new party press the Cancel soft key

Nortel Phones with Feature key

  1. While on a call, press the Feature key followed by the feature code 3
  2. Dial the extension or external phone number of the party you want to add to the call
  3. To add the new party to the conference press the Feature key followed by 3 again
  4. To return to the conference without adding the new party, disconnect call with the new party

Other Nortel Phones or SIP Phones

  1. While on a call, dial *88
  2. Dial the extension or external phone number of the party you want to add to the call
  3. To add the new party to the conference, dial *89
  4. To return to the conference without adding the new party, dial #8
Note: Some third party SIP phones provide their own conferencing capability and may display their own Conference softkey. If you are using one of these sets but wish to use the UCX based Ad-hoc conference feature, then you must use the in-band DTMF method described under the All phones entry above.

Call Join Feature

The Call Join feature allows calls from 2 separate lines to be conferenced together. This feature is applicable only under the following conditions:

  • It is a Nortel phone with a Conference soft key or a Connect soft key
  • The phone has a minimum of 2 Line (DN) keys
  • The calls on both lines can be conferenced

To activate Call Join on a Nortel IP phone:

  1. While in a call or conference on the first Line (DN) key
  2. Make or receive a call on the second Line key, caller(s) on the first line is placed on hold
  3. Press the Conf soft key followed by the Join soft key
  4. Press the first Line key to join all parties into a conference
  5. You can continue to add as many parties to the existing conference with the above steps

To activate Call Join on a Nortel Digital phone:

  1. While in a call or conference on the first Line (DN) key.
  2. Make or receive a call on the second Line key, caller(s) on the first line is placed on hold
  3. Press the Conf or Connect soft key
  4. A message is displayed: "Conference Press held line"
  5. Press the first Line key to join all parties into a conference
  6. You can continue to add as many parties to the existing conference with the above steps

System Wide Conference Options

You can configure system wide options for Ad-hoc conferences by adding the NWAY_OPTIONS variable to the configuration file. The following options are available:

NWAY_OPTIONS Description
NWAY_OPTIONS = "x" This is the default value. Close conferences when the last internal party exits.

NWAY_OPTIONS = "Fx"
 
Play DTMF digits to the conference AND close conferences when the last internal party exits.
NWAY_OPTIONS = "F" Play DTMF digits to the conference AND do not close conferences when the last internal party exits.
NWAY_OPTIONS = "" If the value is left as blank, conferences are NOT closed when the last internal party exits.

Perform the following steps to configure the NWAY_OPTIONS variable:

  1. Navigate to PBX -> PBX Tools -> Configuration File Editor
  2. Apply the filter 'global' and edit the file globals_custom.conf
  3. Add the NWAY_OPTIONS variable with the desired value
  4. Click on the Save button followed by the Reload Configuration button

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conference
conferences
ad-hoc
nway
n-way