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Commander Phone Basics

What is Vocus Commander Phone?

Commander Phone is a hosted or cloud-based business phone system, utilising the latest technology to improve business communications.

Combining powerful business telephony features with Unified Communications and mobile device integration, Commander Phone puts you in control of your business communications no matter where you are.

Commander Phone is a full-featured IP phone service that arrives to you pre-configured and ready for use.

What are the benefits of Commander Phone?

No line rental

With a Commander Phone solution, you pay a low monthly fee based on the number of handsets you need and you don’t pay line rental regardless of the number of lines you might use. In addition, all your Local and National calls are included along with an IP phone handset, personal extension, voicemail to email and loads of other features typical of expensive business phone systems.  

No contract option

We know flexibility is vital in business, so we give you the option to choose a 0 month contract, or great discounts on our longer contract terms.

No large upfront equipment costs

Your Commander Phone service is delivered over the internet, so you get the features and capabilities of leading edge business phone, without the upfront cost of purchasing expensive PBX equipment. Your phone rental is included in your monthly plan, so all you need is a high speed Internet connection.

NBN-Ready Phones

Commander Phone equipment is NBN-compatible, so when the NBN arrives at your premises, you can transition over without having to upgrade your equipment.

Plug and Ring Set Up

Simply plug and ring – plug your Commander Phones into your internet connection and you’re ready to make calls. Easy cloud-based management means you can set and forget, or update user features using the online portal – Command Central.

Smart call management

With smart features to help you manage your calls, you'll never miss an important client call again. Take your business phone with you on your mobile, choose how your calls are directed and manage your call settings from anywhere with Command Central.

Flexible, portable and scales with your business

Just add more handsets as your business grows. If you’re relocating, plug your phones in to your Internet connection at the new premises and your phone system will work - you can even keep your existing phone numbers.

What is included with Commander Phone?

Commander Phone is all inclusive. Once you have selected your monthly plan, you'll receive the following as standard:

  • A fully featured Commander IP handset per plan
  • A full enterprise telephony feature set per plan
  • Unlimited local calls
  • Unlimited national calls
  • No Flagfalls
  • Free calls between all office phones and mobile phones on the same Commander account
  • A free Hunt Group
  • A free Auto Receptionist
  • The SMART UC Softphone application for Mac or Windows, with every plan purchased
  • Command Central web application to manage your service 
  • The Commander Phone Deployment team on hand to help you when you need them
  • Free access to the Commander Phone Support Centre to download all the 'self-help' you need

What kind of commitment do I have to make?

None - just select the No Lock-in contract option. We know flexibility is vital in business, so we give you the option to choose a zero (0) month contract, or great discounts on our longer contract terms.

What is the difference in the plans?

The only difference between plans is handset.
Each handset is fit for purpose. Handsets are used in many different situations in a business and Commander Phone offers handsets to suit including Executive, Office, Essentials or meeting room Conference Phones. 

What do I need to be able to run Commander Phone?

Commander Phone uses your local network and Internet connection to make and receive phone calls.

To be able to run Commander Phone in your environment, and across your Internet connection, there are some things to consider that will need to be in place:

  • Confirm that you have an Internet service that has the capacity and quality to carry your telephone calls (100kbps per audio call).
  • The ability to provide power to the new Commander Phone via the power pack we supply you or via your LAN switch (PoE capable switches).
  • Cabling that connects your new Commander Phone to your LAN switch (data network). Cat 5 or better. Note: We also supply you with a two metre patch lead along with your Commander Phone but you may need to check you don't require a longer cable.
  • Check your LAN switch for spare ports to make sure you can connect all of the new Commander Phones and all your other existing devices (computers/printers etc) as well.
  • Have a plan with Vocus to manage other services like fax, EFTPOS terminals and security systems.
  • Work with Vocus to transfer your existing numbers or get new phone numbers

I don't have a business grade Internet service? Can I use an ADSL or ADSL2+ service to work with a Commander Phone service?

An ADSL2+ internet service or better is suggested, but the Vocus team can help you confirm whether your service and its performance will support the Commander Phone service. If you need to upgrade, or get nbn  ready, we can help you.

I have multiple locations. Can I still operate one Commander Phone service by installing the phones at each location?

Yes this is possible. An Internet service is required at each location for the Commander Phone to be operational.

What is the Commander Cordless Phone? 

The Commander Cordless phone comes as a part of the Vocus Commander Essentials Plan. It is a DECT handset and base station that allows you to move freely around the office, using all the features of the Commander Phone service, just like a desk phone. It has a 2.4” colour display and exceptional high definition voice quality

What is the Commander Desktop Phone?

The Commander Desktop phone comes as a part of the Commander Essentials Plan. It is a desktop handset that uses all the features of Commander Phone service and would happily find its home in a foyer, office environment, meeting room or hallway. It has a 2.7" B&W LCD screen, 6 programmable line keys, can manage up to 4 calls simultaneously and exceptional high definition voice quality.

What is the Commander Office Phone?

The Commander Office phone comes as a part of the Commander Office Plan. It is a desktop handset that uses all the features of Commander Phone service and would happily find its home at reception desk, office desk location, in a foyer or meeting room. It has a 4.3" colour display 10 programmable line keys, best in-class system design and exceptional high definition voice quality.

What is the Commander Executive Phone?

The Commander Executive phone comes as a part of the Commander Executive Plan. It is a desktop handset that uses all the features of Commander Phone service and will happily find its home in an executive office or a meeting/board room. It has a 7" colour touchscreen display, up to 29 one-touch line keys and exceptional high definition voice quality.

What is the Commander Conference Phone? 

The Commander Conference Phone is ideal for meeting rooms with exceptional sound quality, 3 metre 360 degree voice pickup from a 3 microphone array and includes excellent background noise suppression.

What discount do you offer?

In addition to the all-inclusive, zero set up fees for 24 and 36 month contracts, you can also receive half price monthly access fees for first 3 months on 36 month contracts!


Can I use my existing Internet connection?

Vocus Commander Phone uses your existing Internet connection to carry calls from your site and across the telephone networks. It connects your new handsets to our Commander Phone service. The size and quality of your Internet connection will determine how many calls can concurrently run over your connection. There are a number of factors that influence the quality of phone calls (called Quality of Service, or QoS) and number of calls (called Call Capacity) that can be concurrently made over your Internet connection.


These factors include:

  • The upload and download speeds of your Internet service
  • The distance your are from your Internet Service Provider’s exchange
  • The volume of other data traffic that concurrently uses your Internet Service

Our team can help you assess whether your current Internet connection will support the number of concurrent calls your business needs to make at the high quality that you would expect.

I have a phone solution from another provider, can I still have my numbers moved across to Commander Phone?

Yes, in most cases, you cerainly can.

How many calls can I make at a time?

You will need to think about how many calls will concurrently use your Internet service and make sure your connection will be able to support it. A Commander Phone call uses about 100 kbps of upload and download bandwidth per voice call. So for example, if you had an internet connection that supported 2000kbps upload and 500kbps download speed, we would suggest you could support 4 or 5 concurrent calls coming into or out of your business. Also consider, depending on the size of your business, you can have between 2 and 6 Commander Phone handsets for every concurrent call. So for example, a business with 10 staff may only need to support 2 or three concurrent calls on your Internet connection.

Can you put Vocus Commander Phone on my existing ISDN2 service?

No unfortunately not. Vocus Commander Phone is a Voice over IP service and uses your Internet data connection to carry voice. ISDN services are not required for Commander Phone.

What are the shipping costs?

Shipping is $9.95 per handset.

Is there a cost to add additional features on the phone?

Vocus Commander Phone gives every user an entire Enterprise Telephony feature set, not matter which plan they are on. All you need to do is pick the phone that best meets the needs of the user. Cordless through to Executives, all the features of the most sophisticated phone system are available to all users. 

What is a Commander Phone SMART Extra?

While Commander Phone is an all inclusive, fully featured phone system, there are optional extras to extend the capability of your business.

As your business grows and you want stay in control then Commander SMART Extras can keep things simple.


Commander Mobility integrates your smartphone into the phone service. Your desk phone and mobile phone operate together, meaning your business phone can come with you, no matter where you are.

Commander CloudQ means your customers never get an engaged signal and you’ll never miss a call. While they are on hold they can listen to your latest specials!

Reception Central gives your receptionist the power to manage phone calls from their computer, dragging and dropping calls around the business, seeing who is available or not.

Reception Sidecar extends the use of the Commander Office phone with a Reception sidecar. It brings additional speed dials and phone status to the reception function.

Commander Collaborate - Bring Web Collaboration to your desktop and mobile phone through Screen sharing, Instant Messaging and Presence (IM&P) and audio conferencing bridges. This is the fully integrated unified communications experience, where your team comes together, on any device to collaborate in a super productive user experience. It is delivered as add on feature to the Commander Mobility mobile application and the Commander Softphone (desktop) application. There is NO additional software to be installed. Once purchased as a SMART Extra, the feature is automatically activated on the existing applications.

Additional Hunt Groups - You can purchase additional Hunt groups as your business grows.

Additional Auto Receptionists - You can purchase additional Auto Receptionists to manage additional inbound numbers as your business grows.

Valet Inspection - One of our certified Commander Phone technicians can visit your business and confirm that you have all the technical requirements in order to support the Commander Phone service.

Valet Installation - If you don't have time or inclination to install and test the Commander Phones, then a certified Commander Phone technician can visit you onsite, unpack, install and test your phones.

Getting Started

How long does Commander Phone take to activate?

Once you have placed your order, our Deployment team will get underway building and activation of your service. Shortly thereafter, your handsets will be shipped to you over the next 2 or 3 days. If you have chosen to install the handsets yourself and you will be receiving new numbers, then the service should be available for you to use once you have installed the handsets. If a Valet Inspection and/or Installation has been organised, or you need to transfer existing numbers (number port), then the duration for the final activation will be longer.

What's involved in setting up my Commander Phone service?

Commander Phone uses your local network and Internet connection to make and receive phone calls.

To be able to run Commander phone in your environment and across your internet connection there are number of things you should consider that need to be in place:

  • Confirm that you have an Internet service that has the capacity and quality to carry your telephone calls (We can check this with our Commander speed and quality test.)
  • The ability to provide power to the new Commander Phone via the power pack we supply you or via your LAN switch (PoE capable switches)
  • Check you have cabling that connects your new Commander Phone to your LAN switch (data network). Cat 5 or better. Note: We supply you a two meter patch lead with the phone.
  • Check your LAN switch for spare ports to make sure you can connect all of the new Commander Phones and all your other existing devices (computers/printers etc) as well.
  • Have a plan with Commander to manage other services like fax, EFTPOS terminals and security systems.
  • Work with Commander to transfer your existing numbers (port) or get new phone numbers

I am moving to a new address at the moment. How do I check on service qualification if I haven't connected any services yet?

We can complete a Service Qualification at the new premises while we are waiting for the new Internet service to arrive. This will determine the available speeds for the customer at that location. However, this will not guarantee that Commander Phone can be used over that Internet service. Usually distance from the service provider's exchange impacts the speed and quality of voice over the Internet connection. We suggest you wait for the DSL service to become active and then run a check to ensure the eligibility of the internet service for Commander Phone.

Do I need special equipment or a router to make the phone work?

No special equipment is needed to run Commander Phone. Using your local network and Internet connection, the Commander Phone handsets will operate along side your computers. It will carry your voice over your local network (for internal calls) and Internet connection (for external calls). Commander Phone delivers a high quality phone service and does have expectations for the speed and quality of your local network and Internet connection to operate.

Can I transfer my existing phone numbers to Commander Phone?

Yes. At your request, we can work with your existing provider of your business phone numbers and have them transferred to Commander Phone. This means that when somebody rings these numbers, the Commander Phone service takes over and directs the call to your phones. This is called a number port implemented by your existing suppler of the number. The number port can be done once your Commander Phones have been installed and are operational.

I have five numbers. How can I move them all to Commander Phone? Is that five difference services?

We suggest that you allocate your main business number to the complimenatry Hunt Group and the rest of your numbers can be allocated to the other individual handsets.

Once I move my numbers to Commander Phone, can I use the same numbers if I then move my business to a new premises?

Yes you can use these same numbers on an internet service at the new location, whether this Internet service is delivered by Commander or not. There are some restrictions around the distance you can move numbers from one address to another. Our friendly Support Team will can help you  check with the authorities if you give them a call on 1300 948 555.

How long does it take to move my numbers from my existing service provider to your Commander Phone service?

The move of numbers from another service provider to Vocus requires that service provider to implement the move once we have requested it on your behalf. There are two types of moves. A category A, simple, one number port has a service level target from the service providers of approximately 5 to 10 business days. Category C, or complex, multi-line moves has a service level target of approximately 10-35 Business Days.

Can I choose from a list of numbers?

No, we are currently unable to give customers the opportunity to select numbers from a list.

Can I move my number to Commander Phone if I have a DSL on it?

Yes but not easily. Transferring a number will cancel any broadband service associated with that number and you need an active broadband service to run your Commander Phones. So if the service number is carrying the broadband you intend to transfer to Vocus, you will first need to transfer your broadband service to another service number. We can assist you with this process and advise you of the costs.

How do I log in to my account?

As an administrator, you will receive a communications pack with all your instructions, username and passwords. It means that you will be able to log into Command Central at commandcentral.vocus.com.au

What is the Administrator?

The Administrator is the representative in your business who has privileges to change and update the configuration of Commander Phone. The administrator uses Command Central to make these changes and updates.

What happens when Internet or power goes down?

As your Commander Phone uses your Internet service and local network, any power outages or internet faults will impact Commander Phone. There are a number of great features in Commander Phone which allow you to still be able to make and receive calls. Firstly, using SMART UC Mobility on your Smartphone, you will still be able to make and receive calls. We also suggest that you use the Simultaneous Ring feature to allow both the desk phone (which may not be operational) and your mobile phone will ring at the same time. Another great Commander Phone feature is the 'Call Forward Unreachable' feature, it allows you to set up a number to ring when your site, over the Internet is not reachable by Commander Phone.

Using Commander Phone

What are the phone features that Commander Phone Supports?

Commander Phone offers a range of smart features to put you in control of your business communications. View our Benefits and Features to find out more.

I only want to use certain features. Can I purchase those separately?

Commander Phone is an all-inclusive service and all features are available to be used by all users. As an administrator, Command Central allows you to restrict the features that are available to different user types. This is called 'Visible Service Packs', which you have the power to manage, customising Commander Phone to match how you need to use the service.

How many minutes are included with my account?

Unlimited local and national calls are included in every plan. Making calls between numbers that are on the same commander account are also for free.

Can I make International calls?

Yes you can. As an administrator, using Command Central you can also restrict who in your business can make International calls. This is called Outgoing Call Plans.

How do I retrieve my voice message?

Commander Phone converts your voice mails to email and sends them to your email inbox for you to listen at your desk or on your smartphone. You can also call into the Commander Phone voice portal and retrieve your messages over the phone.

How do I set up my greeting?

When you call into the Commander Voice Portal, you will be prompted to set up your voice mail greeting. Just follow the prompts.

How do I customise my answering rule?

Commander Phone is the SMART business phone. It allows you to customise the way calls are answered at the business level, department or group level and the user level. Command Central is used to customise the Auto Receptionist and Hunt Groups. SMART Schedules are used to customise these rules using time and date conditions. Individual users can change their own answering rules using Command Central or SMART UC on their mobile or desktop to change call forwarding, Do Not Disturb and other great answering rules.

What is the Softphone?

The Commander Softphone is included in the downloadable SMART UC application. It is complimentary and is included in every Commander Phone plan. It is our Mac or Windows application that allows your computer to host a 'soft' Commander Phone. It also allows you to manage your phone user settings, like call forwarding for both the softphone and your Commander desk phone. But it is also much much more....... If you would like the same capability on your smartphone, then the Commander Mobility SMART Extra is just what you need.

Can I answer calls with my Softphone?

Sure can. It's just like any other phone. All the features that are available on your desk phone, and even more, are available on your Softphone. It is also your video phone, where you can escalate a call from just audio into a video call. With the Commander Collaborate SMART Extra, you can host audio conferences in "MyRoom", use Instant Messaging and Chat, Screen share. So the Commander Phone is much more than an additional phone.

How to I move calls from my desktop phone to my mobile or back the other way?

Sometimes you may want to keep the conversation flowing and take your desk call with you across to your mobile (so can stay mobile and on the go).  You may also wish you could move a call back to your desktop phone when you return to your desk. Commander Phone allows this and more: Move the call across devices - without interruption - with the simple push of a button, without starting a new call and without initiating a call transfer. With Commander Phone your call moves seamlessly between the mobile network and Commander Phone.

What is the Auto Receptionist?

The Commander Phone Auto Receptionist is your complimentary 24 x 7 personalised receptionist service. It will answer all your incoming calls and direct them to the right location. As an administrator of the Commander Phone service, you can personalise and brand with welcome greeting and instruct your callers to select options, which will transfer the calls to users, departments or mobile phone numbers depending on the time of day or day of week. Rest assured, with Commander Auto Receptionist, you'll never miss a call again. If you need to have more than one Auto Receptionist, then a Commander SMART Extra is the way to go.

What is a Hunt Group?

A hunt group is a sub-group of users that you nominate to receive calls as a group of users. The phone calls 'hunt' based on the following rules:

  • Circular – sends calls in a fixed order. The call is sent to the first available person on the list, beginning where the last call left off
  • Regular – sends calls to users in the order listed by an administrator. Incoming calls go to the first available person on the list, always starting with the first person on the list
  • Simultaneous – rings all of the users in the group simultaneously; the first user to pick up the ringing phone is connected
  • Uniform – as a call is completed, the user moves to the bottom of the call queue in a shuffling fashion. The next incoming call goes to the user who has been idle the longest. If a user receives a call that was not directed to them through the Hunt Group, the call is not included in the receiving order for uniform calls

Can I use the Commander Phone SMART UC application with my service?

Yes. You sure can. The Commander SMART UC application, downloaded from the Apple iTunes store or Google Play App Store, is a Commander SMART Extra. Once you have purchased the SMART UC SMART Extra, these applications will run on your Apple or Android smartphone and connect over the mobile data or wifi service to Commander Phone. You then have a fully featured Commander Phone running on your smartphone. It uses the data connection on your mobile to make and receive phone calls, collaborate with others and even make video calls.

How much data is used for a Commander Mobility call on my mobile phone's internet connection?

A Commander Phone mobility call, using your mobile internet connection will use approximately 0.750 MB per minute to 1.5 MB per minute of data during the phone call. A Commander Phone mobility call using a Wi-Fi hotspot will not use any mobile internet data.

What is Instant Messaging and Presence? (IM&P)?

Commander Instant Messaging and Presence (IM&P) is a SMART Extra. Adding to the capability of SMART UC, to bring chat capability and presence (availability of others) to your SMART UC Mobility or SMART UC Softphone applications. It means you can see whether someone is available in the business and maybe start the conversation with an initial chat. You can then escalate the chat to a phone call or video call with a single click or press of a button.

What is Commander Phone Audio Conferencing?

Commander Phone allows every user, from their handset or SMART UC application to make a conference call with two other people. Commander Audio Conferencing allows you to have many more than three people in a conference call. It means you can hold court in a meeting with many other people inside and outside your business. With Commander Collaborate, share your screen and deliver a presentation to the whole audience.

Is Commander Collaborate used for conferencing? Can it be used for video conferencing?

Commander Collaborate gives each user the opportunity to set up their own audio conferencing facility. Video calling is available as a part of the SMART UC applications.

Can I use my existing IP phones with Commander Phone?

No. Commander Phone is a high-quality voice service that has been tuned for optimal performance. The combination of the handset and the Commander Phone features work in conjunction to deliver the best experience for you and your customers.

Can I use a cordless phone?

Yes. You can. The cordless phone that is offered in the Commander Essentials plan is the Commander Cordless handset. It comes with a base station and one handset. You can purchase up to an additional 4 handsets for the base station. This represents only one phone plan.

What is Command Central?

Command Central is the web application for users and administrators to manage the service. While the Commander Phone technology runs in the Commander Cloud, you have the control to manage many aspects of the service at any time. As a user, you can change the way you want your Commander Phone service to operate, turning features on and off, updating your call forward and simultaneous ring preferences. As an Administrator, you can keep the Commander Phone system up to date with the changes in your business. People, Visible Features, Schedules, Hunt Group and Auto Receptionist configuration can be all in your control at any time.

What is SMART UC?

SMART UC is the Commander mobile phone and computer based Unified Communications application. It brings all of a user's communications experience to one, unified application no matter where they are. On your smartphone it is Commander Mobility. On your computer, it is Commander Softphone.

What is Commander Softphone?

Commander Softphone feature is licensed with every Commander Phone plan. The application, called SMART UC, operated on Mac or Windows computers and brings phone calls, video and unified communications to your desktop. It can be downloaded for free from the Commander Phone support pages for use across the computers in your business.

What is SMART UC Mobility?

The Commander Mobility feature is a SMART Extra for your smartphone. The application, SMART UC, brings Unified Communications to your Apple or Android smartphone so that you can take your business phone system with you, no matter where you are. The latest version can be downloaded from the Apple iTunes or Google Play Stores. Look for SMART UC.

What is SMART UC COllaborate?

The Commander Collaborate feature is a SMART Extra for SMART UC, running on your computer or smartphone. The application brings more Unified Communications capability to your Apple or Android smartphone in the form of Instant Messaging and Presence, Audio Conferencing and Screen sharing. The feature is activated on your existing installation of SMART UC when you purchase the SMART Extra.

What is Reception Central?

Reception Central is the computer based application for receptionists in your business to better manage phone calls. Receptionist can add this application as a SMART Extra so that they can manage the distribution of phone calls via the application in addition or instead of using the handset to transfer calls.

What is a Valet Inspection Service?

Valet Inspection is a SMART Extra that you can purchase to have one of our qualified technicians check that your local network and internet connection are capable of running Commander Phone. To make sure that the upcoming installation of the phones occurs without a hitch, the inspection checks that:

  • You have enough power and LAN ports to support each of the Commander Phones
  • You have enough patch cabling to each of the Commander Phone locations
  • Your internet router's configuration is sufficient for Commander Phone
  • The Commander check reports that your internet service has the speed and quality to support Commander Phone

If you do not have the time or the inclination to check your environment's 'readiness' then the Commander Valet Inspection Service is the right service for you. Whether you choose to check your environment yourself or you choose a technician to check, either need to occur before we process to the Valet Installation service.

What is a Valet Installation Service?

A Valet Installation is a SMART Extra that you can purchase to have one of our qualified technicians visit your site and install and test the Commander Phones. The installation covers the:

  • Unpacking and installing each of the Commander Phones in the required locations. The standard fee covers the installation of 3 handsets. The installation of additional handsets is $49 per handset.
  • Testing of each of the handsets to ensure they can contact the Commander Phone servers and make phone calls.
  • Re-testing of your Internet service speed and quality.

If you do not have the time or the inclination to install the Commander Phones yourself, then the Commander Valet Installation Service is the right service for you.

Factors that will affect your voice quality.

There are a number of factors that influences the quality of phone calls (called Quality of Service, or QoS) and number of calls (called Call Capacity) that can be concurrently made over your Internet connection.

These factors include:

  • The upload and download speeds of your Internet service
  • The distance you are from your Internet Service Provider’s exchange
  • The volume of other data traffic that concurrently uses your Internet Service

So we’ve developed a traffic light test to verify that all three factors are checked and are right to go.

The Commander Phone team can help you check your speed. The results will tell you whether your existing Internet service will be able to carry all the voice and internet data that you need. Remember, no matter what the answer, Commander can help you with the right Internet connection to carry all your voice and data needs. A less than perfect result does not mean that Commander Phone is not suitable for you.

Need help or support?

The Commander Phone support team is on hand to help you with any questions you may have. Please feel free to call us on 1300 948 555, or email us on customersupport@vocus.com.au

Got questions that we haven't answered?

Call us on 1300 948 555, or email us on customersupport@vocus.com.au