Creating a Response Group in Lync


It’s been a while since I have been able to blog…but now TechEd is done, and we have launched Lync here in Belgium, so time to blog what I have shown in Berlin for TechEd, and during the Launch.

First thing I want to blog about, is the enhancements that have been done to the Response Groups in Lync. The following TechNet article lists the New Response Group Application Features (http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/gg398373.aspx):

  • Anonymous calls
    You can configure a response group so that agents can accept incoming calls and make outgoing calls on behalf of the response group without revealing their identity. When anonymous calling is enabled, callers cannot call agents directly unless the agent expressly offers a direct number. During an anonymous call, the agent can see that the call is anonymous. The agent can put the call on hold, make both blind and consultative transfers, and park and retrieve the call. Anonymous calls cannot start from an instant messaging (IM) or audio/video session, but the agent or the caller can add IM and video after the call is established.
    Anonymous calls do not support conferencing, application sharing, desktop sharing, file transfer, whiteboarding and data collaboration, or call recording.
  • Attendant routing method
    With the new attendant routing method, all agents who are signed into Lync Server 2010 and the Response Group application are called at the same time for every incoming call, regardless of their current presence status. With attendant routing, Microsoft Lync 2010 Attendant users who are designated as agents can see all the calls that are waiting and answer waiting calls in any order. When a call is answered, the other Microsoft Lync 2010 Attendant users no longer see the call.
  • Integrated manageability
    In Lync Server 2010, Response Group manageability is integrated with Lync Server 2010 manageability: Lync Server Management Shell cmdlets support all Response Group management tasks, and Microsoft Lync Server 2010 Control Panel supports common Response Group management tasks.
  • Caller experience improvements
    In Lync Server 2010, Response Group supports more flexible interactive voice response (IVR) configurations and prompts, such as for invalid or no response to IVR questions and messages before music on hold or queue timeouts.
  • Web service
    In Lync Server 2010, the Response Group application provides a more robust web service that supports customized agent consoles. You can use the web service to retrieve information about agents, agent group membership, agent sign-in status, call status for groups, and the response groups that support anonymous calls.

In addition, it is now very easy to create a Response Group, be it a Hunt Group, or a real IVR one. I’ll show you the last ones in a few simple steps.

Step 1. Create your Lync agents

Make sure you have create some Lync users, that you can include in your Response Group. In my example, I will use my own demo account of Ilse Van Criekinge, that I want to add to a simple IVR Response Group, called Info.

Step 2. Create your Response Group

Use the Lync Control Panel, select Response Groups in the left pane, and click on Group. I have already created the Info Group, click on Edit to be able to select Show Details.

IVC-0340

I’ve chosen as Participation Policy, Informal, meaning that every agent will be a member of that group once logged in into Lync. If you set it to Formal, the user will need to check into the response group seperately, using a web interface, as I will show later on, since Ilse is a member of the Helpdesk group as well, were the Participation policy is set to Formal.

I have chosen in my example to define a custom group of agents, but now it is also possible to use an existing email distribution list!

IVC-0342

Another new thing is the routing method Attendant, which means in short that all agents who are signed into Lync Server 2010 and the Response Group application are called at the same time for every incoming call, regardless of their current presence status. With attendant routing, Microsoft Lync 2010 Attendant users who are designated as agents can see all the calls that are waiting and answer waiting calls in any order. When a call is answered, the other Microsoft Lync 2010 Attendant users no longer see the call.

IVC-0345

Step 3. Create the Response Group Queue

Use the Lync Control Panel to create the needed Queue..

IVC-0346

IVC-0347

Step 4. Create the Workflow

To create the workflow, you need to select the tab Workflow, and you will be guided to the Response Group Configuration Tool.

IVC-0348

I choose to edit the existing Interactive Response Group, called Info.

First I need to Activate and Name the Workflow! (For those of you that have been playing around with Response Groups in OCS R2, you don’t need to create a contact anymore using command line utilities as LCSCMD and so on Smile)

IVC-0349

Then you can select a language, configure a welcome message, and specify your business hours.

 

IVC-0350

You can even specify your holidays if wanted.

IVC-0351

And then it’s time to configure the Interactive Voice Responses. I have chosen to create 2 valid responses (you can define up to 4), and for the second option, I defined two additional choices.

IVC-0352

IVC-0353

Step 5. Check Membership of Agent Groups

Once logged into Lync, you can easily go to Tools, Response Group Settings, and use the Lync Web portal to sign into formal agent groups, and see to which agent groups you belong. Since Info has been configured with an Informal Participation Policy, the option to clear membership is greyed out Smile

IVC-0354

IVC-0355

Step 6. Time to Test

Patrick Van Asch calls Info…

IVC00322

Ilse will receive the call as follows, I can see it’s a Call for Info.

IVC-0336

When I accept the call, this is the info provided to me…thereby I know without any word being said, that the call will probably be about a question on the product Link Smile

IVC-0337

Lync + Response Groups = Rocking Smile

 

Ilse

Comments (41)

  1. Christian says:

    Do You have any knowledge on implementing the resouce group tab directly in the Lync Client, as it was possible in Communicator ?

  2. Christian says:

    Hi again

    Another question – If the Response Group participation policy is set to Formal and we are within business hours – And no agents are signed in – what are the options for call actions ?

    (Im not asking to the timeout or overflow features for the queue, because these features are focused on other scenarios)

    Best regards

  3. Christian, guess the answer to your second question can be found here:

    blogs.msdn.com/…/creating-a-response-group-3-creating-and-configuring-a-queue.aspx

    Not sure about your first question if you can recreate it, since you need to remove it explicitely when moving to Lync (technet.microsoft.com/…/gg425759.aspx)

    Ilse

  4. ML49448 says:

    Hi,

    I am trying to set up a response group, but when calling it using another lync user (lync call), nothing hapens on the agent side.

    The caller just gets the welcome message and the waiting music.

    I tried this with callers who are enterprise voice enabled and callers who only can perform pc-to-pc calls.

    Any suggestions?

  5. ML49448 says:

    Hi,

    I am trying to set up a response group, but when calling it using another lync user (lync call), nothing hapens on the agent side.

    The caller just gets the welcome message and the waiting music.

    I tried this with callers who are enterprise voice enabled and callers who only can perform pc-to-pc calls.

    Any suggestions?

  6. chaminda says:

    Is it possible to notify the user about his rank on the queue while the user remains on the queue ?

  7. Njd says:

    What are the requirements of the group "info"? Does it have to be an AD user, contact or group? We have a contact object that we Lync-enabled, however it appears the SIP can't match the telephone number in the contact card. Am I approaching this the wrong way?

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