How to Setup Shared Line Appearance in Skype for Business Server 2015


Update 3/6/16 - Updated list of supported Polycom phones.

Shared Line Appearance (SLA) is a new feature in the Skype for Business Server November 2015 Cumulative Update.  To enable this feature, you must have first deployed this cumulative update.  You can download the latest Skype for Business Server 2015 Cumulative Update here.  There are also two TechNet articles, Plan for Shared Line Appearance in Skype for Business Server 2015 and Deploy Shared Line Appearance in Skype for Business Server 2015, that provide additional information.  Shared Line Appearance is configured via PowerShell using the following cmdlets:

Shared Line Appearance enables you to configure a group of multiple devices that can each answer calls to a shared phone number (extension).  SLA is supported only on the following phone devices (it is not supported for Skype for Business clients on computers, mobile phones, or other devices):

Polycom (with firmware update 5.4.1)

  • VVX201
  • VVX300/301
  • VVX310/311
  • VVX400/401
  • VVX410/411
  • VVX500/501
  • VVX600/601

Setting up an SLA group enables the following:

  • All delegates in the group can answer inbound calls to the same shared number.  The calls can be PSTN-based or SIP-based.
  • Delegates can hold and pick up calls.
  • Delegates can transfer calls to a number outside of the SLA group.
  • Delegates can see how many calls are currently on the shared number, and view the status of each of those calls.
  • You can configure a maximum number of concurrent calls for the shared number.  You can also set how you want additional calls to be handled after this maximum is reached.  Excess calls can be rejected with a busy signal, forwarded to an alternate number, or forwarded to voice mail.
  • You can configure how you want missed calls (calls not picked up after a certain time) to be handled.  If you enable voice mail for the group identity, missed calls automatically go to voice mail.  If you do not have voice mail enabled for the group identity (shared number), you can choose for missed calls to be rejected with a busy signal, forwarded to an alternate number, or disconnected.

Enabling Shared Line Appearance

After installing the Skype for Business Server November 2015 Cumulative Update the installer will have deployed the latest version of the SLA application, however, the application is not enabled by default.  You will need to enable it by following the steps outlined below:

Register SLA as a server application by running the following command for each pool:

New-CsServerApplication -Identity 'Service:Registrar:%FQDN%/SharedLineAppearance' -Uri http://www.microsoft.com/LCS/SharedLineAppearance  -Critical $false -Enabled $true -Priority (Get-CsServerApplication -Identity 'Service:Registrar:%FQDN%/UserServices').Priority


Note: You may need to click on the image above in order to read the text.

Next, run Update-CsAdminRole to update the RBAC roles for the SLA cmdlets:


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Restart all the Front End Servers (RTCSRV service) in all the pools where SLA was installed and enabled:

Stop-CsWindowsService RTCSRV


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Start-CsWindowsService RTCSRV


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Now that SLA is enabled, you will need to create an SLA group and add users to it.  Create the SLA group by using the Set-CsSlaConfiguration cmdlet:

Set-CsSlaConfiguration -Identity <IdentityOfGroup> -MaxNumberOfCalls <Number> -BusyOption <BusyOnBusy|Voicemail|Forward> [-Target <TargetUserOrPhoneNumber>]

Note: What you specify for Identity must be a valid Enterprise Voice-enabled user.

In this example I created an AD user called MainOfficeSLA, enabled it for Skype for Business, enabled it for Enterprise Voice, and assigned it a phone number.


Note: You may need to click on the image above in order to read the text.

Next, add delegates to the group.  These are the users that will receive notification of an incoming call to the Main Office number:

Note: Each user added to the group must be a valid Enterprise Voice-enabled user.  You can add delegates that aren't homed on a Skype for Business Server 2015 pool.


Note: You may need to click on the images above in order to read the text.

Once a user is added as a delegate, you can see below that two lines show up on the user's phone (VVX 500):

I only see two lines because when I created the SLA, I specified the "Maximum Number of Allowed Calls" to 2.  From the user's Lync/Skype for Business client, even though SLA is not supported for Lync/Skype for Business clients on computers, the user is notified that they were added as a delegate for the SLA group:

When a call comes in to the SLA group and is picked up by another user, you can tell by the red bar that is shown for that particular line.  In the example below, there is a call on 01-Main Office:

The user that took the call, can then place it on hold:

Other users could see that the call on that line is on hold by the flashing red bar.  They could then pick up the call by selecting that line on their phone.

Comments (17)

  1. Jeff Schertz says:

    Just to clarify this feature is available on all VVX models except the VVX 101 (which does not even support Lync/SfB registration). This means that all currently available models running 5.4.1 support Lync/SfB registration including the features outlined
    in this article (VVX 201, 300/301, 310/311, 400/401, 410/411, 500/501, 600/601).

    1. Henry says:

      We have a customer they don't like the SFB client to pop up to let them know they have a incoming call, and they expect the SLA can meet their requirement, however seems SLA doesn't play hold music for the incoming calls.

  2. Matt Edlhuber says:

    Hi Doug, Thanks for the great blog, I find myself here a lot. Just curious on where you see this feature typically deployed? Is this used in a Front Desk / Receptionist type scenario? Is it an Executive/Assistant scenario? I'm trying to wrap my head around
    where this fits in along side of things like Response Groups / Delegates / Team Call?

    In my lab I setup a simple SLA with 2 lines, 2 delegates. If one delegate answers an incoming call, I see a very very brief toast on my SFB Client pops up and says Bob answered the call, but it's super brief. Then on the phone you don't really see who has picked
    up the call which to me seems to be a limitation, wouldn't that be helpful information. My VVX just shows that the line is picked up (solid red) or on hold (flashing red). Am I missing anything there or is that the expected behavior?

    Thanks again,
    Cheers
    -Matt

  3. dodeitte says:

    @Matt Edlhuber

    I usually see it in a scenario where there is a shared number among a group of users...similar to what Team Call offers. That is the expected behavior.

  4. dodeitte says:

    @Jeff Schertz

    Thanks Jeff! I updated the list.

  5. CypherMike says:

    Now that https://support.microsoft.com/en-gb/kb/3061064 is released we'll probably see more and more deployments. A couple questions:

    - An EV user already exists with the DID we'd like to assign to the SLA group. Should this user be assigned a new number, so we can use the desired one with the SLA group?
    - Do members/delegates of the SLA group usually have the same number but different extensions or it doesn't matter. What happens when they make outgoing calls? Which number is displayed? In our case the desire is to show the same number as assigned to the SLA group. In this case, should all users be assigned the same DID with different extensions?
    - In the above commands use stated "In this example I created an AD user called MainOfficeSLA, enabled it for Skype for Business, enabled it for Enterprise Voice, and assigned it a phone number." The Powershell example below doesn't show how you set the number, could you elaborate?

    Thanks in advance!

  6. Bill Garner says:

    Is it possible to assign common area phones to the SLA Workgroup?

    1. Ryan Bess says:

      I too am interested in seeing if common area accounts are able to be in an SLA group.

      1. I've assigned a common area phone as a delegate to SLA and it is working - but it appears not the be a supported configuration.

        In the technet article https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/mt612811.aspx - it states that "Each user added to the group must be a valid Enterprise Voice-enabled user:"

        1. Dino Caputo says:

          While using common area phones as delegates appears to work, I have found the line updating is not working. For example when assigning CAP accounts as delegates, when calls come in the other delegates are not aware or any other lines being in a call.

  7. John Miller says:

    Hi Doug,

    Helpful as always!

    Can I use the LineURI for a Response Group as an SLA?

    Thanks,

    John Miller
    Enabling Technologies
    https://www.enablingtechcorp.com

  8. Another Excellent Feature!

  9. Henry says:

    Thanks for sharing the process, just wonder how can we see the details of all SLA created without knowing those identities' names?
    The current SLAs are created by another guy already left company, and I need to continue his work at customer site, but how can I check those SLAs that he created before?

    Much thanks.

  10. Do we have Music-On-Hold feature in Shared line appearance?

  11. Hans says:

    I have the VVX 310 series along with SLA setup. I turned on the Paging feature in the phone also.
    What I don't see is when I answer an incoming call I put them on hold but don't have the option to page to a group.
    Is there an option I have missed or is this simply not available with SLA's?

  12. Jamie Jensen says:

    What can be done about SLA sensitivity? I have had 2 scenarios where the 3 lines of an SLA drop to one line appearance if I add another delegate to the SLA delegate extension.

    I also lost the SLA appearances when I started using Line Customization.

    Am I essentially limited to having the SLA on the phone and no other customization?

    1. Phillippe Monforte says:

      Hey Jamie, we are having the same issue.
      If you add one of the users that is in the SLA as a delegate for another users phone, the SLA lines drop off and back down to just one. Remove the additional delegate from that user and they appear again.

      But we are also having the same issue if a user gives a user their mailbox access to, it is coming up on the phone as a delegate and dropping off the SLA lines.

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