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.
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!
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.
Step 3. Create the Response Group Queue
Use the Lync Control Panel to create the needed Queue..
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.
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 )
Then you can select a language, configure a welcome message, and specify your business hours.
You can even specify your holidays if wanted.
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.
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
Step 6. Time to Test
Patrick Van Asch calls Info…
Ilse will receive the call as follows, I can see it’s a Call for Info.
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
Lync + Response Groups = Rocking