Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Enterprise Voice is HOT!

imageTags: #lync #rgs #voice As discussed in earlier blog posts I'm really convinced that Microsoft Lync can replace your (current) sometimes old-fashioned PBX. Besides all the other cool features and business enablers like (virtualization support, collocation components etc) Enterprise Voice is getting more serious now.

Doing various projects now running Microsoft Lync as PBX lot’s of questions are coming up at customers. And I really do understand. So if you have doubts or additional questions feel free to read this blog post and sent me your questions or comments. Lots of questions I got from customers are:

  • Q: Is there something like hunt groups in Microsoft Lync? A: Yes, this functionality is covered by Response Group Service. If your organization has groups of people who answer and manage certain types of calls, such as for customer service, an internal help desk, or general telephone support for a department, you can deploy Response Group to manage these types of calls. The Response Group application routes and queues incoming calls to designated persons, who are known as agents. You can increase the use of telephone support services and reduce the overhead of running these services by using Response Group. TIP: Response Groups can be managed my PowerShell or the (Lync CP). I really recommend to create and maintain your RG”s by PowerShell since it is easy to use and very powerful. This feature is controlled via various PowerShell commands. The commands I used the most.
  • Set-CsRgsAgentGroup -Instance <AgentGroup> [-Confirm [<SwitchParameter>]] [-Force <SwitchParameter>] [-WhatIf [<SwitchParameter>]]

    Set-CsRgsQueue -Instance <Queue> [-Confirm [<SwitchParameter>]] [-Force <SwitchParameter>] [-WhatIf [<SwitchParameter>]]

    Set-CsRgsConfiguration -Identity <RgsIdentity> [-AgentRingbackGracePeriod <Int16>] [-Confirm [<SwitchParameter>]] [-DefaultMusicOnHoldFile <AudioFile>] [-DisableCallContext <$true | $false>] [-Force <SwitchParameter>] [-WhatIf [<SwitchParameter>]]

    Set-CsRgsWorkflow -Instance <Workflow> [-Confirm [<SwitchParameter>]] [-Force <SwitchParameter>] [-WhatIf [<SwitchParameter>]]

    TIP: there are lots of more useful PowerShell cmdlet’s to configure RGS. See the complete list of the cmdlets that ship with Lync Server 2010.

    TIP: You can also open the Response Group Configuration Tool webpage directly from a web browser by connecting to https://<webPoolFqdn>/RgsConfig.


  • Q: Is there a music on hold functionality? A: Yes, this functionality is easy to set on each level in your Lync infrastructure via Set-CSClientPolicy Global -EnableClientMusicOnHold:$TRUE and [MusicOnHoldAudioFile] can be used and is used to see where your WMA file is placed. TIP: You can simply place that WMA file on a [UNC-path] centrally. If you are using Lync also from outside of your firewall I really suggest to put this (music)file in Group Policy and set it via that way. When set to True, music will be played any time a caller is placed on hold. When set to False, music will not be played any time a caller is placed on hold. The default value is False.
  • TIP: The Call Park application supports only Windows Media audio (.wma) files for music on hold. The recommended format for Call Park music-on-hold files is Media Audio 9, 44 kHz, 16 bits, Mono, CBR, 32 kbps.

  • Q: Is there functionality for common area phones? A: Lync Server introduces support for common area phones, which makes it possible to use Lync Server to provide phone service and unified communications functionality from common areas, such as building lobbies. Same here Common Area phones can be maintained and configured by PowerShell. Example:  Set-CsCommonAreaPhone -Identity <UserIdParameter> [-Confirm [<SwitchParameter>]] [-Description <String>] [-DisplayName <String>] [-DisplayNumber <String>] [-DomainController <Fqdn>] [-Enabled <$true | $false>] [-EnterpriseVoiceEnabled <$true | $false>] [-LineURI <String>] [-PassThru <SwitchParameter>] [-SipAddress <String>] [-WhatIf [<SwitchParameter>]]

Conclusion: all these features and functionality are well documented and nice to read. I really suggest you download the latest Microsoft Lync Server 2010 Documentation Help File (here) and read how powerful Lync is and how it can replace your existing PBX-infrastructure. Much success while implementing!

Next: lots of new and cool stuff is coming up! If you are interested in how to implement a AudioCodes Mediant 1000 and configure Enterprise Voice in Microsoft Lync check out this weblog one more time Winking smile

Sources: Microsoft Lync Server 2010 Documentation Help File, TechNet

1 comment:

Pantherfan69 said...

Thanks for providing some info on Response Groups. I have to differ with you about managing via powershell for this. There are no easy ways to see how the menu trees are setup for IVR via powershell
I went through hoops to manage an ivr system via the gui just to get around the lack of management via powershell. Having to use the get-csrgsworkflow command to load information into memory, then try and guess what actions/answers may or may not be defined, was just not something i wanted to deal with.
Hopefully in the future there will be an easy way to get all the information about a workflow, until then I will have to recommend it only be managed via gui