Category: Skype for Business

June 22nd, 2017 by Skype for Business News Aggregator

When it comes to Edge Replication checking, this looks like a false positive below. But I know we all like to see true. So you see where the date says 6/22? That change means the last status report was a few month’s earlier. That missing update creation, is possibly saying the replication is not working. this is not hard to fix, so lets fix it!

 

Perform the steps below:

  1. Go to the Front end server and open Skype Management Shell
  2. Run the command Export-CsConfiguration –Filename C:filename.zip
  3. Copy the file to the Edge Server.
  4. Open the Skype for Business Deployment Wizard
  5. Choose Install Or Update Skype for Business Server System
  6. Choose install local configuration store.
  7. Browse to the file and finish the wizard.
  8. You can restart the Edge Server or just wait several minutes.
  9. If this fails, you just need to restart the SFB replication service on the FE and Edge Servers.

 

This is the point at which you browse to the configuration Zip file. Its Step 7.

I hope this helps your issue. I have seen this just stop refreshing and this step normally fixes the issue in my experience.

 

Louis


Posted in Skype for Business

June 22nd, 2017 by Skype for Business News Aggregator

Recent updates for security and compliance include enhancements to Advanced Threat Protection, eDiscovery, Advanced Data Governance, Advanced Security Management and expanded support for Windows Information Protection. Read on to learn more about these updates.

Enhancements to threat protection visibility and controls

Office 365 Exchange Online Protection (EOP) and Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) were designed to keep your organization protected against cyber-attacks while supporting end-user productivity. The Office 365 team continues to enhance both EOP and ATP by offering deeper insights and more flexible controls. This month, we are introducing the following new capabilities:

Threat Protection status report—New reporting for ATP and EOP that adds visibility into malicious emails detected and blocked for your organization. This supplements the recently introduced reports in the Security & Compliance Center for ATP Safe Attachments.

The Projection status report is displayed in the Security & Compliance Center and is showing information associated with ATP safe attachments, Anti-malware engine, ATP safe links and ZAP.

Threat Protection status report.

Enhanced quarantine capabilities—Now all emails classified as malware from both EOP and ATP are quarantined. This builds upon the existing quarantine experience by allowing administrators to review and delete emails from quarantine.

New ATP Safe Links Policy features—Four new features build upon the Safe Link policies.

  • Per-tenant block list—Provides the administrator the ability to block specific URLs.
  • Email wildcarding for domains and handles—Enables you to save time by writing partial domain/handle names.
  • Split Safe Links policies—Allows Safe Links policies to be customized for specific user lists in the organization, including groups, individuals and divisions.
  • Expanded character limit for URLs—Enables blocking/allowing URLs with longer character lengths.

Window displaying how to enter a URL so that it is blocked across Office 365.

Safe Links Block URL list.

Additional details on these new features can be found in the Microsoft Tech Community, as well as on the EOP and ATP product pages. EOP is offered across our enterprise E1, E3 and E5 suites. ATP is offered as both a standalone SKU or as part of E5.

New features streamline your compliance process using Office 365

Businesses around the world must be able to keep and protect important information and quickly find what’s relevant to continue to meet legal, business and regulatory compliance requirements. At Microsoft, we know how demanding and complex compliance can be and have recently released several new eDiscovery and Data Governance features in Office 365 to support your compliance needs. These features include:

Optical character recognition in Advanced eDiscovery—Extracts text from image files or objects within the files, significantly reducing the amount of manual remediation work required to analyze image files.

Rights management (RMS) decryption in Office 365 eDiscovery—Automatically decrypts RMS-encrypted email messages at export time when you choose the MSG Export option.

Unified case management—Provides a consistent user interface spanning the eDiscovery capabilities in Office 365, from core to advanced, which helps to reduce potential human errors by streamlining eDiscovery case definition and eliminating several steps in the process.

Image that displays two windows illustrating how the unified case management works in Advanced eDiscovery.

Unified case management in Advanced eDiscovery.

Visit the Microsoft Tech Community for more details about the new eDiscovery features. Unified case management and RMS decryption are included with Office 365 E3. Optical character recognition is included with Advanced eDiscovery in E5.

Announcing general availability of Supervision capabilities in Office 365 Advanced Data Governance

Many organizations have the need to perform supervision of employee communications. This need stems from internal security and compliance guidelines, or from regulatory bodies such as the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). In both cases, failure to have a demonstrable supervision process in place could potentially expose organizations to liability or severe penalties.

To address this need, we’ve released the new Supervision feature in Office 365 Advanced Data Governance. Supervision covers not only email communications, but also third-party communications streams, such as Facebook, Twitter, Bloomberg and many more. Visit the Microsoft Tech Community for more details about the general availability of Supervision.

Image shows the Security and Compliance window, with Identify the content to be reviewed feature selected with the conditions to review added.

Supervision policies in Office 365 Advanced Data Governance.

Supervision is part of Office 365 Advanced Data Governance, which is available as part of Office 365 E5 or the Office 365 Advanced Compliance SKU.

Windows Information Protection now supports Office desktop applications

In August, we announced our support of Windows Information Protection (WIP) for Office mobile apps on Windows tablets and phones, to help prevent accidental business data leaks while letting users maintain control over their personal data by designating content as “work” or “personal.” We’re pleased to announce we have expanded support for WIP to include the Office 365 ProPlus desktop versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, OneNote and Skype for Business. This will help provide more comprehensive protection of your business data on Windows 10 devices. To read more about WIP, check out our Microsoft Tech Community blog.

SIEM connector—now available for Office 365 Advanced Security Management

A year ago, we announced a way for you to get greater visibility and control over Office 365 with Advanced Security Management (ASM). Since then, we have added new features to help you better determine shadow IT activity. We also enhanced control over third-party apps connected to Office 365. After these updates, we started hearing that some of you were looking for a way to export alerts to other systems that are integrated into your existing workflows. Today, we are releasing a solution that supports centralized monitoring of ASM alerts with your security information and event management (SIEM) software. Integrating with an SIEM allows you to better protect Office 365 while maintaining your organization’s security workflow, automate your security procedures and correlate between your cloud-based and on-premises events.

There is no additional cost for an SIEM connector for ASM; you just need to have Office 365 E5 or the ASM add-on. To learn how to setup the ASM SIEM connector, please read “SIEM integration with Office 365 Advanced Security Management.”

Image displaying the first Configure SIEM agent configuration window with the Alerts enabled.

Configuration screen for ASM SIEM agent.

Join the Security, Privacy and Compliance Tech Community

These new features help broaden and enhance the scope of security and compliance capabilities within Office 365. Join our Security, Privacy and Compliance Tech Community to further evolve your organization’s security and compliance with these services and learn and contribute to security, privacy and compliance best practices. The Tech Community is a great resource to communicate and learn from your peers—as well as offer your insights on the growing importance of security, privacy and compliance.

—Office 365 team

The post New in Office 365 security and compliance—June update appeared first on Office Blogs.

Posted in Skype for Business

June 22nd, 2017 by Skype for Business News Aggregator

Image features two women in sunglasses, in front of a mural, holding a sign reading "I want to Voyaj."

Travel is the great connector. Visiting different countries gives us a broader perspective on the world and the people in it. Yasmine El Baggari, founder of Voyaj, wanted to take travel one step further.

Instead of staying in hotels or renting flats, Yasmine believes that matching travelers with hosts in their own homes can create powerful human connections and result in a more peaceful world.

Voyaj users create a profile video to describe their interests and what they offer, and post it to the site. Voyaj then finds the right combination of visitor and host and sets up a homestay for the traveler in the host’s home. From there, a deeper cultural understanding takes root. “It’s about building relationships and a sense of belonging for people—wherever they want to go in the world,” Yasmine says.

Inspiration for a global startup

The idea for Voyaj evolved from Yasmine’s experience as a teenager and a serendipitous Skype call with an uncle who’d moved from Morocco to San Francisco. “I’d never left Morocco,” she recalls. “I spoke to my uncle on Skype and he inspired me to explore the United States and the world.” Eventually, Yasmine toured 48 states, staying in 150 homes and meeting fascinating and enriching people regularly.

“When you’re sitting at a dinner table, you’re better able to build authentic connections and open your mind and your heart,” Yasmine says. That experience changed her life. “It made me a more open-minded person, and I want to bring that feeling to the world, through Voyaj.”

Finding focus with OneNote and organizing ideas with PowerPoint

Startups require focus and strict organization. Whatever funding is available can’t be wasted on inefficiency or unclear direction. For clarity, Yasmine often meditates briefly before starting a new task or giving a presentation. “You have to be aligned with your mission,” she says. “I take this time to remind myself of why I’m doing what I’m doing, and stay focused on the goal.”

Microsoft OneNote and PowerPoint help Yasmine find focus and stay on track. “I use OneNote to plan my ideal day,” she explains. Using the To-Do Tag feature, she creates task lists that can be checked off as they’re completed. Items tagged as a to-do can be found through a search, making it easy to return to important items. “I make sure I’ve checked everything off my list before I go to bed.”

Yasmine frequently pitches Voyaj concepts to potential investors, partners and team members. She uses PowerPoint to create presentations about Voyaj and explain the direction the company’s heading.

PowerPoint features like charts, graphs and embedded video help Yasmine tell the story of Voyaj “in a simple but effective way,” she says. Using the commenting feature, Yasmine and her team members can share their thoughts as they refine each draft for presentation—no matter where each is located.

Coming full circle with Skype collaboration

Yasmine lives in San Francisco now, where she works closely with a team of eight people. “We’re building an empathy algorithm that matches people based on their common values and experiences,” she says.

But the rest of her team—and partners and investors—are widespread. Yasmine’s come a long way from her childhood in Morocco and her first overseas exposure through a Skype call with her San Francisco–based uncle. And Skype has re-entered her life, again making the world a smaller place. “We span five different time zones. Skype helps us come together, communicate, share ideas and open endless possibilities and opportunities for Voyaj,” Yasmine says. “I believe that hospitality can bring the world together. And Office helps me build strong relationships, so we can make this vision a reality.”

The post Building global relationships with Office 365 appeared first on Office Blogs.

Posted in Skype for Business

June 22nd, 2017 by Skype for Business News Aggregator

There has been a new June 2017 update released for the Skype for Business Mac Clients. This could be cumulative update 5 i cant see it mentioning cu version anywhere at the mo so its June update for the SfB Mac Client with a lot of new features added and improvements, any SfB mac user I’m sure will want to get this update.

There is a ton of new features including some of the highlights and there’s even Microsoft Teams meeting join from meetings tab which is nice! Some highlights below:

  • PowerPoint presentation while in a meeting
  • Join a meeting by phone
  • Users can now join non-federated meetings directly from Skype for Business
  • Users can now join a Microsoft Teams meeting directly from the Meetings tab in Skype for Business
  • Added Touch bar support

A full feature list with June update is further on in the post.

This again shows Microsoft hard work with improving the mac client.

 

There seems to be two new known issues to consider as well

Updating

You can AutoUpdate or the Manual download link if below. Suspect the new update will be there soon.

Download link

https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=54108

Version – 16.8.0.196

Released – 20/06/2017

 
New features added and there’s a ton of them!
  • Users can now share a PowerPoint presentation while in a meeting.

  • Join a meeting by phone — Users that are enabled for Enterprise Voice can now join a meeting with the audio on their phone.

  • Call-back on phone in a meeting — Users that are enabled for Enterprise Voice can now get a call-back on their phone while in an on-going meeting. Click the More Options button () to find out more.

  • Users can now search for contacts whom they previously haven’t talked to directly from the Chats tab.

  • Users can now join a Microsoft Teams meeting directly from the Meetings tab in Skype for Business.

  • Users can now join non-federated meetings directly from Skype for Business, rather than having to join in their browser.

  • Users can see meeting information (organizer, join URL, conference ID) while in a meeting.

    NOTE: For Meet Now, the phone number and conference ID are not available; only the join URL is available.

  • New Contacts tab shows who has added you to their contacts list in Skype for Business.

  • Users can close the "On Hold" overlay while in a meeting. Held calls can be resumed from the new More Options button ().

  • Added Touch bar support for various functionality.

 

Improvements
  • Losing connection during meetings only will now automatically reconnect if dropped due to network problems once sufficient network quality has been re-established.

  • Fixed a memory issue with the 4th Generation Macbook Pro where the app would leak excessive amounts of memory after a video call, or VBSS screen sharing.

  • Fixed an issue where the notification centre would be filled out with alerts about network problems.

  • Fixed an issue where 00 was always normalized to + regardless of the user’s region.

  • Fixed an issue where dialling vanity numbers wouldn’t correctly translate to digits, and the call would fail.

  • Fixed an issue with double dial-tone sounds while dialling a PSTN number.

  • Fixed an issue that prompted users to update meeting due to policy changes when scheduling public meetings.

  • Fixed mute and unmute issues.

  • Fixed various screen sharing issues.

  • Fixed other UI and crash issues.

  • Fixed issues with sign-in.

 

System requirements for Mac

  • Skype for Business Server 2015 or Lync Server 2013
  • OSX 10.11 (El Capitan) or OSX 10.12 (Sierra)
  • Outlook Mac build 15.27 (161010) required for Outlook integration

SfB / Lync Server / Online Requirements

For best experience SfB Online is recommended for full feature set but for on premises deployments its the following

Don’t forget about known issues as well

Latest issues added

  • Contact Management, including Delegate Management, is not supported if Unified Contact Store is enabled
    Users cannot modify their contacts list in Skype for Business if a user account is enabled by the Skype for Business administrator for the Unified Contact Store for Exchange. Users can make changes to their contacts list in Outlook.

  • Skype for Business on Mac fails to sign in

    Workaround:

    1. Remove “Mozilla/5.0” from the WIASupportedUserAgents parameter in AdfsProperties. Essentially, you will need to:

      1. Run Get-AdfsProperties | select wiasupporteduseragents and get the output.

      2. Then remove _only_ “Mozilla/5.0” from the output.

      3. Then run Set-AdfsProperties -WIASupportedUserAgents with the output from step b.

    2. Revert back to using Lync for Mac 2011.

More details on all known issues below

https://support.office.com/en-us/article/Known-issues-Skype-for-Business-on-Mac-494ac5d5-50be-4aa7-8f5a-669c71c98c9a?ui=en-US&rs=en-US&ad=US

 

Client Functionality and Client Comparison

Also worth checking out the Client comparison tables for Skype for Business Server 2015 with the new update so you know differences between windows and Mac clients.

Interesting it now notes separate client comparison for Skype for Business Server 2015 and Lync Server 2013

SfB Server list – https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dn933896.aspx

Lync Server 2013 list – https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/gg425836(v=ocs.15).aspx

 

References

https://support.office.com/en-gb/article/What-s-new-in-Skype-for-Business-2016-cece9f93-add1-4d93-9a38-56cc598e5781#OS_Type=Mac

https://support.office.com/en-us/article/Known-issues-Skype-for-Business-on-Mac-494ac5d5-50be-4aa7-8f5a-669c71c98c9a?ui=en-US&rs=en-US&ad=US#new1

https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=54108


Posted in Skype for Business

June 22nd, 2017 by Skype for Business News Aggregator
By Bill Haskins
Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise's open platform approach, specifically third-party PBX integration, has us paying attention.

Posted in Skype for Business

June 22nd, 2017 by Skype for Business News Aggregator

The much anticipated 2-way whiteboard experience is rolling out to a Surface Hub near you! This update is post the Creators Update which was released a few weeks ago, and should be delivered via another Windows Update.

The new whiteboard is a vast improvement on the original. While 2-way collaboration is probably the biggest new feature, there are some other really neat features too!

Cool Stuff

The whiteboard recognises common shapes, turning your hand drawn art work in to perfect shapes. Additionally, you can draw perfect tables. There is also a handy ruler that provides information on the angle you are drawing at.

The pen experience has changed giving a wider selection of options, including a highlighter. The pen also responds to pressure; the more you apply the thicker the line.

Check it out:

Turn on the coolness

Some of this coolness needs to be turned on from the settings cog. This can be found at the bottom right of the whiteboard:

 

Sharing the whiteboard

To share the whiteboard you will need to sign in to the Whiteboard app and share a link to the other Surface Hubs that want to join the shared session. This experience is enabled via OneDrive and the whiteboard will be saved there.

Just in case you wonder, this is only supported on Surface Hub for now. You’ll get a cute message telling you so. Microsoft are working on extending this feature to all Windows 10 devices later this year:

 

Select “Sign in” from the top right:

A box will pop up, select “Sign in”:

Enter your credentials and then select “Start session”:

Next you need to share the link to the other Surface Hub devices that want to participate (hopefully this is automated in a future release). To do so, select the “Copy” button. For more information on this process you can click the information icon highlighted below:

Now open up the “Messages” tab from Skype and paste the link in. The far end can open the link which will take them to the shared whiteboard session:

And here it is in action! Note the avatar of the remote user, which is shown where they are currently writing:

 

 

The post New 2-way whiteboard rolling out to Surface Hub appeared first on UC Geek.

Posted in Skype for Business

June 21st, 2017 by Skype for Business News Aggregator

We’re working on a big post (again!). It’s directly in response to a reader comment, and deals with a critical part of Skype for Business adoption.

In the meantime, as I promised, here are the results of the Lync Polls I conducted.

On-the-Blog Poll Results

Lync Server Poll Results June 2017
(I’m obscuring actual vote numbers on request.)

58% of the blog poll votes went to “We moved to Skype for Business Server.” No big surprise there. Several votes went to Office 365’s Skype for Business Online, too.

What I found curious was that 25% said they still use Lync Server!

Spiceworks Poll Results

If you’re a Spicehead too, here’s the URL for the voting results over there:
https://community.spiceworks.com/topic/2003305-are-you-still-using-lync-server
All responses voted for: “No, we moved to Skype for Business”

Thanks to everyone who voted.

So, what do the results tell us? Most Lync users moved to Skype for Business, and are doing just fine.

A larger-than-expected percentage still use Lync Server though. I did get a little feedback on this…the main reason? Corporate inertia. Management doesn’t want to invest the time & money to move from Lync to Skype for Business.

For those in such a situation, if you want to move to Skype for Business? You have several ways to demonstrate its value to Management.

  1. Start up an Office 365 trial in one department (maybe IT?). The fastest method, and the closest to Server deployment. Then you can show Management how the workflow benefits from it.
  2. Federate your Lync Server with a colleague’s or vendor’s Skype for Business Server. Might take some asking around, but eventually you’ll find one. That way you can show the differing experiences between Lync and Skype4B.
    • We actually convinced a customer to move to Skype for Business this way…just by using our own Skype4B Server. I’m not opposed to doing so again, if it’ll help you!
  3. Ask to sign up for a Microsoft Teams trial. It’s obviously not the same, but it’s a simple way to show how Microsoft has updated their software since Lync.
  4. Request a live Skype for Business demo from an IT agency. May not change anything, but at least Management gets to see the Skype for Business UI at work!

Lync Users: Lync Server 2013 IS Still Supported, So You’re in Good Shape

If you’re honestly happy with Lync Server, then more power to you! Just keep the server secure and up-to-date. Lync Server 2013 will receive mainstream support until April 2018. It doesn’t reach end of life until April 2023.

We’ll have the next big post coming up as soon as possible. Don’t forget to join us again next week!

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The post Poll Results: Some Organizations DO Still Use Lync Server! appeared first on The Skype for Business Insider.

Posted in Skype for Business

June 21st, 2017 by Skype for Business News Aggregator

I noticed this whilst looking at something else, and thought was interesting / worth passing on. It might help someone out or help diagnose a user issue.

Signing into Microsoft Teams now also signs you into Skype for Business, using UCWA. This happens “behind the scenes” without you being aware of it, but if you monitor your Skype for Business presence from another user you’ll see it happening. You can also see it in Fiddler:

This happens both when using the Teams client but also using the website at teams.microsoft.com. It’s likely that this is an initial step before more integration with Skype for Business, such as presence. Changing your Teams presence today doesn’t update anything in Skype for Business, but use of the Teams client is enough to bump your Skype for Business status from Inactive to Available.

I was curious about how Teams could sign you in without asking you for credentials. I would imagine this only works if you use the same Microsoft account for both Skype for Business and Teams. What seems to happen is that Teams sends enough information from your Teams login to be able to apply for a valid Bearer Token from the Online.Lync.com service.

Sending Instant Messages don’t show in Teams. However, the instant message is received by the UCWA instance running inside Teams – but it declines the conversation:

Nothing is shown in the Teams client when this happens. This is potentially problematic because if the Teams client is the only client you are using, you will still show as signed into Skype for Business, but you will effectively “ignore” everyone’s IMs. It might be that Skype for Business IM support is coming to Teams in the future, but right now the messages are received, but not understood. Voice and Video calls are also declined.

UCWA is the Unified Communication Web API and it’s Microsoft’s API for HTTP-based, RESTful communication in Skype for Business. It’s the foundation on which other APIs, such as the Skype Web SDK and the Mobile SDK are built. Using UCWA you can monitor and update presence, view and manage contact information and engage in conversations. The most popular use of UCWA today is in the Skype Web SDK. You can learn how to embed Skype for Business functionality into your website using the Skype Web SDK by reading my series on Getting Started with Skype Web SDK.

 

Posted in Skype for Business

June 21st, 2017 by Skype for Business News Aggregator

Today’s Microsoft Office 365 post was written by Jon Kandiah, chief information officer for Three.

Profile picture of Jon Kandiah, chief information officer for mobile provider Three.

Three is one of the United Kingdom’s fastest-growing networks, covering more than 97 percent of the population. We were the first network to introduce unlimited data and offer 4G at no extra cost. But to continue delivering a high-quality, reliable mobile experience to our customers while innovating across our services, we needed to make significant changes to our business, including rebuilding our entire IT infrastructure. We kicked off a digital transformation in our workplace by choosing Microsoft Office 365.

Long-distance teamwork is key to sharing information and ideas across our distributed organization. We have offices in Maidenhead, Glasgow, and Reading, along with 324 retail stores and offshore offices in New Zealand. To keep up with the swift pace of innovation and stay ahead of competitors, we needed to better connect our employees and adopt an agile methodology. To do this, we introduced Microsoft Teams, the chat-based workspace in Office 365, and the concept of circles—groups of five to nine people working in virtual teams across the company. Each circle uses Microsoft Teams as a hub for virtual teamwork. Today, employees across all our locations work together more efficiently using Microsoft Teams in conjunction with Microsoft Planner. We use Microsoft Teams to make our teams more productive, and we use Planner to streamline each circle’s projects.

By bridging geographies and departments, each customizable workspace in Microsoft Teams acts as a foundation for a more agile organization. Microsoft Teams works across devices, including mobile phones, so all employees can participate in conversations anytime, anywhere. We started by creating circles within our People Team—which includes employees from our human resources, property and facilities departments—and assigning quarterly outcomes to each circle. These circles collaborate to improve organizational agility, and the glue that keeps them all working together productively is Microsoft Teams.

Our use of Microsoft Teams has also accelerated the adoption of Office 365 services across the organization. Microsoft SharePoint Online team sites, OneNote notebooks and Power BI dashboards are built into each Microsoft Teams workspace, so people intuitively use them. It’s a totally different approach to rolling out technology—what used to be an IT-driven exercise is now happening more organically, and we are seeing the dividends in improved productivity.

With the introduction of Office 365, we also eliminated the need for third-party products in our organization. We had people using Slack, Trello and Google Hangouts, but we can now offer a suite of interoperable productivity tools that make it easier to get work done—Microsoft Teams, Microsoft Planner and Skype for Business Online—all within the context of Office 365 and our more agile workplace. We trust the advanced security capabilities built into Office 365 and Microsoft Azure Active Directory, so I am comfortable knowing that our company data is more secure.

Three has an ambitious, transformational plan to deliver what our customers need. With empowered, agile and connected employees, we are well on our way to achieving our goal.

—Jon Kadiah

The post Mobile provider Three calls on Office 365 to support workplace digital transformation appeared first on Office Blogs.

Posted in Skype for Business

June 20th, 2017 by Skype for Business News Aggregator

I’ve covered Response Groups in a number of earlier posts. Microsoft has started implementing similar functionality in Skype for Business Online, called Call Queues.

Where Response Groups are quite comprehensive and have “lite” call center functionality, Call Queues aren’t there yet. There are a number of key differences between the two. First up, let’s have an general overview of Call Queues, then we’ll compare them with Response Groups.

General

The purpose of Call Queues is to provide automated call distribution to a group of users, called agents. You can have up to 50 agents assigned to a Call Queue. Agents are assigned to a Call Queue using distribution lists, or mail enabled security groups. The Call Queue can handle 200 simultaneous calls. If you’re handling 200 simultaneous calls, you should evaluate contact center software to see if it offers you additional functionality that you can take advantage of.

As with Cloud PBX Auto Attendants, you can upload a corporate greeting. If you don’t have a favorite application for this, try Audacity. You can also specify a music on hold file, that’ll be played while callers are in the queue waiting for an agent.

When you setup group, you need to allow time for the group to sync from Azure Active Directory to Azure Address Book Service.

Calls are distributed to all of the agents in the groups you configured, to a maximum of 50, or there is a global setting to reduce this count further. If you’re using groups with larger membership, be aware that not everyone will be offered every call. If you want more certainty in who is offered a call, create custom groups.

Overflow

Each Call Queue has an overflow threshold, after which new calls will have some configurable action taken on them rather than the call being added to the queue. This can be 0 to 200, but has a default of 50.  You can select actions of DisconnectwithBusy, Forward, or Voicemail.

There is also a timeout option, so that after a certain amount of time in the Queue, calls are send to another Call Queue, Auto Attendant, Voicemail, or User. You can also just disconnect the caller.

Consider whether you want to use the disconnect options. While the caller will hear a busy tone, you may want to forward the call to voicemail, and play an informational message. I would never recommend a disconnect for the Queue timeout – why would you disconnect someone after they’ve been waiting in the queue for 10 minutes (or however long you configure).

You’ll need a Cloud PBX Service Number to assign to your Call Queue, and you can use both tolled and toll-free. You can use a new service number for setup and testing, and port in your existing number.

The timing of the port may prove awkward if this is your main number. You can setup your Call Queue with a new number, and have your existing main number forwarded to it. When you receive notification that the number has ported, you can edit your Call Queue to use the new number directly.

Your Tenant needs to have E5, or E3 plus Cloud PBX licensing, in order to have Cloud PBX Call Queue available.

If you want your Cloud PBX Call Queue to direct calls to a voicemail box, you should setup a phantom user (a user account with no real human attached to it), and have that mailbox be the target of Queue.

Call Queues allows Online SfB users with a Cloud PBX license to be agents, regardless of what region they’re in. A PSTN Number or PSTN Calling user licenses isn’t required. Agents must be using the SfB 2016 or Lync 2013 desktop clients, or a Cloud PBX-certified IP phone. No Mac or mobile clients are supported according to documentation from March 2017, however I have seen the iOS client in action as a Call Queue agent.

You cannot use SfB on-prem users, Cloud PBX users with have PSTN connectivity through an on-prem connection, either through CCE or a full on-prem pool. You also can’t use on-prem only services like response groups, and you can’t distribute a call to an external PSTN number.

Comparison with Response Groups

Call Queues have some of the functionality of Response Groups, however at this point Response Groups have far more flexibility and functionality.

Call Queues lack IVR capability. If you need this, you can front a Call Queue with a Cloud PBX Auto Attendant. Have the Auto Attendant deliver calls to the Call Queue.

Response Groups have a richer management story. It’s possible to delegate management of a Response Group to a user (like a help desk manager) and relieve IT of the management burden. This isn’t possible with Call Queues.

Response Groups have the concept of Formal and Informal mode. Formal mode requires the user to logon to the Response Group to receive calls. Informal mode is where the user is always “logged on”. Call Queues offer only Informal mode.

For overflow scenarios, Response Groups allow you to act upon the oldest call in the queue or the new call. Call Queues only allow you to act upon the new call.

When it comes to distributing calls to agents, Response Groups offer 5 call routing methods: Attendant, Parallel, Serial, Round Robin, and Longest Idle. At this point, Call Queues offer only Attendant routing.

And lastly, when you’re building a list of agents, Call Queues use only distribution lists or email enabled security groups. Response Groups can use DLs, but also allow you to manually build a list of agents.

Outside of these major differences, the two services are very similar. I would expect that additional Call Queue functionality will be released often. Be sure to check the Office 365 Roadmap to see if a feature you’re interested in is on the way.

You can provide feedback on what features you feel are important with Skype for Business. The Skype Operations Framework academy page has online training for you to learn more.


Tagged: Call Queue, Cloud PBX, Main Number, Response Group

Posted in Skype for Business