Tag: OCS 2007 R2 Attendant

What Does the Lync 2010 Attendant Console Do?

We interrupt the “Path to Lync Server” series to bring you a special post!

EJ from Texas emailed the Lync Insider with this question:

“I'm in the planning phase of our Lync implementation. One of my tasks is to know how the OCS R2 Attendant Console works with Lync Server. ¬†Would you have any insight into this?”

Yep, I do. In fact I already answered his question. And he gave the OK to post both question and answer here. Since the question's focused and relevant, I'm sure some people are confused over the Attendant as well. Let's tackle it.

What's the Attendant Console For Anyway?

Back in 2009, I reviewed the OCS 2007 Attendant Console. In that post I described the Attendant as “taking over main-office call management.” It allows someone (a receptionist or call center manager) to receive and forward calls to others, depending on their presence status.

In Lync 2010 the Attendant Console received a few enhancements. Now you can:

  • Initiate conference calls
  • Prioritize calls
  • Use one-click operation for answering/transferring/holding

What's important to note here – and what I told EJ – is that one part of the Attendant Console isn't there anymore. See, the OCS 2007 Attendant Console operated in two scenarios – a manager/delegate scenario, where the call manager assigns specific people (delegates) to answer certain calls on the manager's behalf. And a receptionist scenario, where the receptionist managed & forwarded calls as they came.

When Microsoft upgraded the Attendant Console from OCS 2007 to Lync 2010, they removed the manager/delegate scenario.

Where'd they put it?

Delegates in Lync

Image courtesy of Microsoft Download Center.
Directly into the Microsoft Lync client app, that's where.

Anyone using Lync can add other users as delegates. Say Josh wants to delegate calls to you just in case he's sick. Lync tells you that you've been added as Josh's delegate. Now you have the ability to make/receive calls (or set up meetings) on behalf of the “manager,” Josh. There's even an automatic contact group that contains people for whom you're a delegate.

This isn't a one-way street though. Lync 2010 supports multiple managers with multiple delegates. The functionality's intended to speed up collaboration between individuals and departments. If you're not there today, but one of your delegates is,they can answer a question for you from another department. And that department can keep on working.

You can even share applications and transfer files in the same conversations.

The Attendant Console is Still Useful,Though

In a way, this reduced the importance of the Attendant Console. That's okay though – it increases the ease of collaboration overall. Net positive. And the Attendant Console is still there in Lync Server. (Reception can still put that pushy salesperson on hold for a few hours.)

If you'd like details on delegation in Lync, download this Microsoft Training presentation file.
Microsoft Lync 2010 Delegate Training – Microsoft Download Center

This blog's received quite a bit of traffic in recent weeks! Thanks very much to everyone who stopped by for some Lync reference. Email me or leave a comment if any of these posts are helpful to you. I'd love to hear success stories (and any stumbling blocks) that pop up with your Lync Server exploration.

I'll resume the “Path to Lync Server” series next week. See you then!


OCS Insider Tip: Avoid Using Refurbished Polycom Phones for VoIP

We use Polycom phones for OCS. And we recommend them to clients. They're great when you want an external phone for using VoIP, just like a regular phone. (Well, a bit better, since Polycom phones also have a screen displaying your contacts' Presence status.)

However, these are all new Polycom phones. Not refurbs.

One of our clients decided to order a bunch of refurbished Polycom phones for some new hires (without consulting us, mind you). A few days after that they called us. “We're having Internet problems,” they said. “Everything's going so slow!”

So we sent someone out to have a look. Sure enough, their bandwidth was very low. Connection was fine; something was eating up bandwidth from inside their network. The servers? Nope. An employee PC? No.

Turns out that one of the refurbished Polycom phones was sucking up bandwidth like a supercharged vacuum cleaner. For no reason at all. We removed that phone and replaced it with a new Polycom phone. And the speed problem evaporated.

We tested the refurbished phone back at our office. But we never determined why it decided to become a bandwidth hog.

So, here's our Insider Tip for the week. Are you looking at Polycom for VoIP phones? Great idea! Buy new phones though. You might save money on refurbs…but you could also lose out on work time when they misbehave.


OCS Components: The Attendant Console

Back to the OCS Components Series! (Here”s a refresher if you”re new:¬† Call ForwardingPresenceConversation History )

Today I”m talking about the Attendant Console. Running as a standalone client (like Office Communicator), it acts as OCS 2007”s call reception/transfer centerpiece.

What”s the Attendant Console Do?
Saves you headaches on managing calls, that”s what. The Attendant Console allows someone (usually a receptionist or business office worker) to receive incoming calls. Transfer/forward them to others. Even place them on hold (with music!).