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)
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
Next, run Update-CsAdminRole to update the RBAC roles for the SLA cmdlets:
Restart all the Front End Servers (RTCSRV service) in all the pools where SLA was installed and enabled:
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.
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.
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.