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Feature Overview and Benefits of Microsoft Lync Server 2013 : Enterprise Voice

11/18/2013 2:24:58 AM
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1. Call Forwarding

Call forwarding settings are available to Enterprise Voice users, and they give some flexibility not found in traditional PBX systems. Enterprise Voice users can control exactly what actions occur when an incoming phone call is received, such as ringing for a specified amount of time before being forwarded to an alternative number or to voice mail.

When an incoming call is received, users can have it ring their work number, mobile number, or home number, or simultaneously ring a combination of any of them. Furthermore, if the user doesn’t answer any of these options, the call can be forwarded after a user-specified timeout, either to voice mail such as Microsoft Exchange Unified Messaging or until it rings an additional number.

Endpoints automatically use phone numbers published to Active Directory as options for the users, but individuals can add additional mobile or home phone numbers if necessary.


Tip

If a user works remotely—even for just a day—at a phone number not published in Active Directory, the user can configure Lync Server to forward calls to or simultaneously ring that number. These settings can also be configured based on working hours defined in Microsoft Office Outlook so that forwarding or simultaneous ringing occurs only during business hours.


The flexibility is the key component here because each user can configure settings individually to meet his own needs, and unlike with a traditional PBX, the changes require no effort from the administrator because the controls are part of Lync.

2. Delegation

Being enabled for Enterprise Voice enables users to define delegates to answer calls on their behalf, but the delegate functionality is slightly different from team-call, where a group of people are rung on behalf of a user. In the situation of a delegate and a boss, the boss might elect for calls to ring only the delegate first, allowing delegates to screen calls on behalf of the boss and transfer users if necessary.

Delegates have the option to use a blind or consultative transfer to send the caller to a boss. In a blind transfer, the caller is sent directly to the boss without notification, whereas in a consultative transfer, the delegate first calls the boss to check whether he wants to accept the call. Only if the boss desires to accept the call does the delegate transfer the caller.

Delegates can also perform safe transfers in which they remain on the line with the caller and principal to ensure that the two parties are connected before removing themselves from the conversation. A key advantage of Enterprise Voice delegation is that these options are performed using a graphical user interface, and users have no need to memorize phone keys and codes to perform these types of transfers.

3. Response Groups

Response Groups are a feature Lync Server provides to manage and direct inbound callers to agents. Workflows can be defined in which callers are prompted with specific questions and then directed to a queue of agents who consist of Enterprise Voice users. The callers’ responses to any questions are converted from speech to text and displayed to the agent receiving the call.

Additionally, Response Group agents appear as anonymous to the caller. Administrators can define multiple workflows, queues, and algorithms for routing callers to the correct agents. Agents can also participate formally or informally, meaning they either can manually sign out of a Response Group or can be automatically included in a group that receives calls anytime they are signed in to Lync Server.

4. Call Park

Call Park features allow a Lync Server Enterprise Voice user to answer a call at one endpoint and then put the user on hold, or “park” the call temporarily. The user can then pick up that same call at some other location or endpoint.

5. Private Lines

An Enterprise Voice user can have a private telephone number hidden from address lists and contacts in addition to the primary telephone number, which is published to users. This additional line can be configured to ring with a different sound to differentiate calls to the private line from the regular number.


Note

Private lines do not ring delegates or team-call groups even when delegation is enabled for the user.

6. SIP Trunking

The concept of SIP trunking is a feature that has been supported in Communications Server since OCS 2007 R2. SIP trunking enables Lync Server to connect either to another IP-based PBX using SIP or to an Internet Telephony Service Provider (ITSP).

SIP trunking is generally used when integrating Lync Server directly with an existing IP-PBX from vendors such as Cisco or Avaya without the need for a media gateway device. Alternatively, it can be used to provide telephony service to Lync Server without the need for traditional PBX, media gateway, or wiring. Instead, an ITSP provides SIP trunking services across the Internet to allow Lync Server to make and receive phone calls using purely VoIP without a traditional phone infrastructure. It is also the method by which Lync Online users can leverage Lync for telephony functions.

7. E911

Enhanced 911 features are now provided in Enterprise Voice so users can dial 911 and have that call connected to an emergency routing service. Through the use of the location information discussed previously, the routing service is automatically provided with the endpoint location when dialed.


Note

It is important to note that Lync Server does not provide E911 capabilities, but can provide location information to an E911 routing service on behalf of the endpoints.


 
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