The Microsoft Lync Server 2010 Response Group application allows administrators to create and configure response groups to route and queue incoming calls to designated agents. Typical usage scenarios include an internal helpdesk or a customer service desk. See New Response Group Application Features for more information about Lync Server 2010 Response Groups. With the introduction of role-based access control (RBAC) in Lync Server 2010, a Lync administrator can delegate the management of the Response Group application to designated IT support staff. Unfortunately, a Lync administrator cannot delegate the task of modifying preconfigured forward telephone numbers on Response Group service queues, to designated supervisors. If your organization needs to regularly change the forward telephone numbers of Response Group queues, the RGS Commander is an excellent solution.
RGS Commander gives Lync administrators the option to delegate the adjustment of configured forward telephone numbers on Response Group service queues in case of a queue time-out or/and queue overflow. Response Group service queues are one of the cornerstones in the Response Group application architecture. If a Response Group agent is not available during an incoming call on a phone number associated with a Response Group workflow, the call is placed in a queue until a Response Group agent is available to answer the pending call. There are two options which a Lync administrator can configure for a Response Group queue. The first option, enable queue time-out, allows an administrator to configure what should happen with incoming calls that can’t be answered in a specified amount of time. The second option, enable queue overflow, allows an administrator to configure what happens when a queue reaches the defined maximum number of calls held in the queue. Both these settings allow the Lync administrator to configure different call actions. The Forward to telephone number call action, transfers incoming calls to another telephone number as soon as the call action is triggered. Figure 1 shows the call actions Forward to telephone number for queue time-out and queue overflow of a RGS queue in the Lync Server 2010 Control Panel. Click on image for larger view.
Some companies need to adjust the Forward to telephone number several times during a day. A good example exists in shift operations where forward telephone numbers on Response Group service queues for the queue time-out and/or queue overflow action, must be adjusted with each shift change. Unfortunately, there isn’t a practicable way to handle these situations with the current version of Lync Server 2010. If an administrator delegates the appropriate permission to the IT helpdesk, the responsible supervisor has to call the helpdesk to make the modifications. Alternatively, the administrator can delegate this permission directly to the responsible supervisor. Both solutions are not practical. The second solution, adds the supervisor account to the appropriate CS Response Group Administrator Active Directory group. This creates a security problem because members of this group are allowed to manage the whole configuration of the Response Group application. The RGS Commander solves this problem.
The RGS Commander is an ASP.net web site that allows permitted users to modify the forward telephone numbers of Response Group service queues that are configured with either a queue overflow forward telephone number, and/or with a queue time-out forward telephone number. Response Group service queues that are not configured with forward telephone numbers are not listed. Using Active Directory security groups, the Lync administrator can easily control which users have access to the RGS Commander web site and are able to modify preconfigured forward numbers, even if they have no Lync administrative permissions.
During installation the Lync administrator defines an Active Directory user account which has the appropriate Lync permissions. The RGS Commander uses this account for all Lync relevant tasks such as listing the queues and modifying the telephone forward numbers. Figure 2 shows a RGS Commander web site. The RGS Commander automatically lists all Response Group service queues in tables. The tables are configured with the call action forward telephone numbers for the queue time-out and/or the queue overflow.
Fabian Kunz works for Connectis AG Bern, Switzerland as a Unified Communications and System Center solution architect. Before joining Connectis, he worked for several different consulting company’s deploying Exchange Server, Office Communications Server, Lync Server, and Microsoft System Management Server / System Center Configuration Manager. I have over 12 years of experience in the IT industry. My work is primarily focused on IT architectures as well as complex deployments and can be contacted Favbia me at email@example.com or http://lync-solutions.com