May 2022: New Common Area Experience

Zoom Phone is introducing an updated workflow for managing common area phones, analog telephone adapters (ATAs), and Zoom Phone Appliances in the web portal. On May 22, 2022, account owners and admins will be given the option to switch to the New Common Area Experience (or choose to remain on the current admin experience). Any new Zoom Phone accounts, from May 22, 2022 onwards, will utilize the new Common Area Experience automatically and no further action is needed. On January 1, 2023, Zoom will automatically enable the New Common Area Experience for all customers who have not yet opted-in.

This improved workflow makes it easier and more consistent for admins to add and manage Zoom Phone devices in Common Areas. A Common Area can be any area in an office that is available for use by more than one employee. For example, if your organization has a hybrid office space, you can define each hoteling station as a Common Area, then assign phones to this area so that employees can use them.


New experienceOld experience

Admins can define Common Areas and assign devices. You can configure each Common Area’s extension and settings from a centralized place.


Admins could only configure common area devices separately. You could configure common area phones in the Users & Rooms page while ATAs were in the Phones & Devices page.


This article covers:

Prerequisites for using the New Common Area Experience

Summary of major changes

The following sections highlight the major changes introduced by the New Common Area Experience compared to the old experience.

Migration of existing common area phones

Once the New Common Area Experience is released, existing common area phones will be converted to Common Areas in the new Common Areas tab. Associated settings (Policy and Settings tabs) are also migrated.

During the migration, the existing devices and all the details will be migrated over and no additional action is needed.

New Common Area tab in Users & Rooms page

ATAs, Shared Offices (common area Zoom Phone Appliances), and common area phone settings have migrated to the new Common Areas tab in the Users & Rooms page.

The Common Areas tab is a new central place to manage Common Areas and their assigned devices (desk phones, ATAs, and Zoom Phone Appliances). The Common Areas tab has a list of extensions and settings, not a list of devices as in the old Common Area Phones tab.

The table columns and functions like search filters and import/export options remain the same as the old experience.

New experienceOld experience
Device extensions/settings managed in one place:

Phone System Management > Users & Rooms > Common Areas tab

Device extensions/settings managed in various places:

Phone System Management > Users & Rooms > Common Area Phones tab

Phone System Management > Users & Rooms > Shared Office Tab tab

Phone System Management > Phones & Devices > Analog Telephone Adapter tab

Workflow for adding a Common Area

The workflow for adding a Common Area is similar to adding a Zoom Phone user. You can add a Common Area to create a profile/extension, then you can assign desk phones, Analog Telephone Adapters, or Zoom Phone Appliances to the Common Area.

Phones & Devices page

All assigned desk phones, ATAs, and common area phones are consolidated into 1 table. Admins can easily see each device’s assigned Common Area or phone user. You can also filter the table to only display devices assigned to a certain Common Area or phone user.

Assigning devices to a Common Area

Admins can assign devices to a Common Area using two methods.

Batch importing or updating Common Areas

Similar to importing or updating phone users using a CSV file, admins can perform batch CSV imports to add Common Areas with the device directly assigned. You can also perform batch import unassigned devices in the Phone & Devices page.

Common Area membership in routing methods

Admins can assign Common Areas as members of auto receptionists, call queues, and call pickup groups. This means common area phones, ATAs, and Zoom Phone Appliances can be members.

Note: Make sure you reviewed the license requirements for common area membership in routing methods. 

New experienceOld experience
Members of auto receptionists, call queues, and call pickup groups can be:
  • Phone users
  • Common Areas, which can contain:
    • Common area phones
    • ATAs
    • Zoom Phone Appliances
Members of auto receptionists, call queues, and call pickup groups can be:
  • Phone users
  • common area phones


Common Area API changes

If you're not using the Common Area Phone API you don't need to take action. We have introduced the Common Area API to support the new Common Area changes. Please note that you will have to switch over to the new Common Area API by the end of the year. Learn more about the changes on the Zoom Developer Platform site.