Combining Call Queues and Auto Attendants

With the increase in popularity of Skype for Business Online Cloud PBX (as it is known for now…), I have been approached on many occasions and often presented with pushback, around the limitations of Cloud PBX Call Queues.

My first response is quite simple – they aren’t designed to replace an enterprise grade business contact centre. If we take a second to think about Server Response Groups – they were never aimed at replacing Enterprise Contact Centre, more so, bridge the gap to the requirement.

So, back to the point, with Cloud PBX Call Queues, I am often approached on their capabilities and limitations.

The main one being the fact that they are single tiered, so we call a given number, enter a given queue and a call is distributed to queue agents based upon Distribution lists:

Incoming calls via a Call Queue onlyTo overcome this limitation, it is time to start combining Call Queues with Cloud PBX Auto Attendants!

Auto Attendants allow us to record custom business menu greetings/menu prompts that can then feed into a Cloud PBX Call Queue depending upon the key pressed. Auto attendants not only allow for transfers to call queues, but they also support the ability to transfer to another AA!

So, if we think about this for a second, we can record a customer business hours menu prompts (Press 1 for Sales, Press to for HR, press 3 for Marketing) that then transfers into either, another tier of options, or a given queue:

Combining Auto Attendants with Call Queues

Based upon the above logic and call flow, we can introduce tiered call queues, providing callers with several options to find the queue best suited to handle their call.

The downside to this approach; each Cloud PBX Call queue requires a service number – they aren’t infinite either…hopefully we will support SIP only call queues soon!

Admittedly, it is still not providing feature parity when compared to a Contact Centre, but by using the above methodology, we can start to build out those ACD scenarios.

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Persistent Chat – All Channel Servers are down

I was recently rebuilding my home lab, purely as a refresher when I ran into a (new for me) hurdle when deploying Persistent Chat.

I had deployed;

  • Single standard Edition Server
  • SQL Server with Reporting Services, hosting Monitoring and Archiving

I had then decided to update my deployment by adding Persistent Chat to my Standard Edition Server (Collocated)

  • My lab was running the most current windows updates and SfB Updates
  • I updated my topology to include pChat
    • FQDN – SE01.uccorey.local
    • SQL Store – SE01.uccorey.local\rtc
    • File Share – SE01.uccorey.local\UCShare (File Share)
    • Remaining options left at default
  • Successfully published my topology with no issues
  • Started the Skype for Business Persistent Chat Service

Issue:

When I then went to manage the service, via the Skype for Business Server Control Panel, I was presented with the following error;

CSCPError

Solution:

The first area I checked was the event viewer logs, initially the “Lync Server” logs were not showing any issues and were only capturing my starting and stopping of the service.

After reviewing the application log, the following error was being presented;

EventViewerError

After seeing this, I updated the permissions, on the MGC databases, under the RTC SQL instance located on my Standard Edition Server and then for good measure, restarted the server – which corrected the issue and allowed me to continue on with my pChat configuration.

Hope this helps you!

Skype for Business SEFA Util

For those wondering, Secondary Extension Feature Activation – SEFA 🙂

I am slow off the mark with this one, but for those Administrators that have been using Lync Server 2013 SEFA Util, you will be pleased to know what a Skype for Business iteration has now been released!

Download here

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Skype for Business Mobility App Released

We were teased with the inclusion of an introduction screen in a recent update to Lync 2013 Mobile for Windows Phone, but as of Monday 6th July, version 6.0.1430.0 has been released – Skype for Business for Windows Phone.

Skype4B Intro Skype4B Version

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

At the moment, it seems to only be available for Windows Phone, with pretty much the same features, with an updated UI as it seems, but I will update if and when I find any differences, also as and when the iOS and Android apps are released – Happy Monday!

 

Centralised Logging Agent – Key does not exist

I hope everyone is well and enjoying their Skype for Business experiences, today’s post is more of a quick tip as opposed to in depth troubleshooting.

The fix will help you with you when troubleshooting at the component level though!

So a colleague of mine was having issues with Unified Messaging integration (which turned out to be a quick fix with OCSUMUTIL.exe), during the troubleshooting process I suggest he used the CLS logging tool.

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Skype for Business CU1 Released

Good morning, good afternoon and finally good evening!

On June 19th, Microsoft released the first Cumulative Update for Skype for Business Server 2015.

More information can be found here whilst the actual download is here.

In summary, CU1 addresses the following issues;

  • KB3069206 Exchange UM Auto Attendant can’t transfer call to phone/extension number in Skype for Business Server 2015 environment
  • KB3068921 RTCHost.exe process persistently consumes many CPU resources on a Skype for Business Server 2015 Front End server
  • KB3068926 Default presence configuration parameter is incorrect on a Skype for Business Server 2015 server
  • KB3068920 Skype for Business Web App connected to a wireless network crashes during audio/video or application sharing session
  • KB3068196 Call to a RGS number cannot be transferred to an available RGS agent in Skype for Business Server 2015-based client
  • KB3068197 Skype for Business Server 2015 RGS agent receives a toast for a second call after agent accepts the first waiting call
  • KB3068931 You cannot join a Skype for Business 2015 meeting when the server is deployed in Turkey system locale
  • KB3068932 “Device is not allowed to join” when you click a Skype for Business meeting URL on a Windows Phone 8.1 phone

Keep an eye out for updates to my previous post, for details on how to apply this update!

Happy Monday!

Updating Skype for Business Front End Servers

Following on from my previous post, performing an In Place upgrade, I thought I would put together an overview of the simplified pool update process.

The Skype for Business Server management experience has introduced some very useful commands and processes. Firstly, the In-Place upgrade process itself, which introduced you to the Smart Setup and the Start-CsPool command, all which on their own reduce the operational loads significantly!

In this post, I will walk you through the simplified process of performing maintenance on your Skype for Business Enterprise Edition Front End Servers.

Now to summarise the overall process, I will let these two images do all the talking, on the left is the Lync Server 2013 Patching Process, on the right the same for Skype for Business Server 2015

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Risual Event – Skype for Business – Are you Ready?

 

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Skype for Business, are you ready? 

Everyone is talking about Skype for Business, why? How does this impact your business?

After the success of our Skype for Business webcast, we have invited Microsoft down to our offices in Stafford to discuss the main changes to you. The event will enable you to discover the changes to your business as well as the overall technical changes. We will be providing a free lunch and a unique networking opportunity with break out session for both public and private sector organisations in the afternoon.   

Event summary

 – An in depth look at the exciting new changes and what these mean for your organisation

– Breakout sessions for Private and Public Sector including case studies, customer speakers, demo sessions and round table discussions

 – A unique opportunity to network with similar sized organisations from both sectors


In order to secure your place, please click on the RSVP link and we will do the rest!

Agenda
09.00 – 09.30: Arrival and refreshments
10.00 – 10.15: Introduction
10.15 – 11.00: Skype for Business what does it mean for your business?
11.00 – 11.45: Guest speaker Leigh Smith – Microsoft
11.45 – 12.30: Guest speaker Gill Furlong – Essex County Council
12.30 – 13.15: LUNCH
13.15 – 14.00: Technical update
14.00 – 14.15: Refreshments and networking
14.15 – 15.00: Breakout sessions – choice between Public Sector or Commercial session
15.00 – 16.00: Refreshments and networking
16.00: Event close

 

                                       

When?
28th April 2015

Time?
09:00-16:00

Where?
risual House,
Parker Ct,
Staffordshire Technology Park,
Stafford,
ST18 0WP

Find us with Bing
     





 

risual House
15 Parker Court
Stafford Technology Park
Beaconside
Stafford
ST18 0WP


T:
0845 6800077
E: Enquiries@risual.com

 

 

 

 

Installing the Skype for Business Client

First and foremost – RIP Lync 😦

For those that have missed it, Microsoft have now released the Skype for Business client, KB2889923. Although the Skype for Business Server 2015 server components haven’t been released yet, we can still use the new clients against Lync Server 2010 or 2013.

In this post, I will be running through the client experience, when using the new client against a Lync Server 2013 Pool, as well as the experience when changes are made to the client policy switch parameter, EnableSkypeUI.

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#Skype4B Architecture Updates

My previous post provides a direct download link to the content I will be referencing in this blog post, the purpose of this post is to summarise the content whilst at the same time adding my opinion to the “improvements”.

So if you are anything like me you will be counting down the days to the upcoming #Skype4B webcasts, to which I received confirmation on my attendance for all sessions! (Lucky boy aren’t I?!).

Now for the content…

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