Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Lync Attendant Console and RGS Formal Participation Policy

It's been quite a while since I've blogged about Lync. I've been a very busy boy trying to finish renovating my basement before the weather turns too nice to be stuck indoors. Thankfully, the crappiest spring I can remember has allowed me to get a lot done. Between that and my day job, it hasn't left me with much free time or energy to blog.

Last night, I was helping a client complete their migration from a legacy PBX to Lync Enterprise Voice. Their receptionist was going to use the Lync Attendant Console to manage incoming calls via a simple Response Group.  Since there were a few people who rotated into the receptionist role throughout the day, we needed a simple way to ensure that calls would only go to the person currently on reception duties.

I set up a RGS group via the Lync Control Panel called Receptionists.  I set the Participation Policy to Formal (#1 in the picture below) and the Routing Method to Attendant (#2).

The Routing Method determines how calls are routed to queue participants. You can select from Longest Idle, Parallel, Round Robin, Serial, and Attendant.  The Attendant method means that queue participants will see all the calls in the queue and can select whichever call they want to answer (as long as they are using the Lync Attendant Console), unlike the other methods, which presents calls to users one at a time.

The Participation Policy defines how users are signed into their appropriate queue.  Setting it to Informal means the user will be sent calls from the queue whenever they are signed into Lync.  Setting it to Formal means the user controls whether or not they are signed into a queue.  In the standard Lync client, users can click on Options - Tools - Response Group Settings, which will bring them to a webpage where they can select which queues to be signed into.

However, there isn't a similar method to reach the website from the Lync Attendant Console (which seems like an oversight to me).  So, for Attendant Console users who are signing into formal queues will have to browse to the website manually.  The website will be located on your site's external web services URL (defined at the server level in your topology).  It will be something like:

Hopefully, this oversight will be corrected in a future Lync Attendant Console update.