Bridge Communications

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Skype for Business Response Group Add-on - Part I

I was reading through the Skype for Business forums the other day, in search of users that could benefit from sort of Skype for Business utility when I came across the following post;

If you know anything about response groups you have most likely dealt with a situation like this.  Let's say you are a small organization with 5-10 users in a response group that provides some level of customer services to incoming callers.  It is most likely not feasible for your company to spend $3000 a user for some sort of contact center application, so you try to leverage your existing Skype for Business deployment and response groups to handle the calls.  Everything seems fine on the surface, but then a user puts a reminder in his/her calendar, Skype for Business sets him/her to busy, and the calls stop going to that user.

There are some options, but none of them are without issue.  You could switch the response group to attendant mode, forcing the phones to ring on every call no matter the user state.  The problem with this solution, is now when you are on a call, you get continually interrupted visually, and with audio beeps in your ear with every new call until some other user answers it.

Over the next several weeks I am going to create a free utility for the Skype for Business community, showing you the code along the way.  It will allow us to use Skype for Business Response Groups alone, as a limited contact center replacement.  When finished I will post it on technet for users to download.  Here are the features our application will have.

Main Features

1.  Timed forced presence -  Our application will have a timer that runs in the background.  When a user does not have an active audio call, our application will force the availability to available allowing users to have calendar events and still receive calls.

2.  Pause button - Our application will have a pause feature that will set the user busy when they need to run to the bathroom, lunch, etc.

Additional features

1.  Ability to run in the system tray - Our application can start minimized to the system tray, this will help give the best user experience.

2.  Ability to set a post call wrap up time - Before setting users back to available we'll give them time to enter data in crm or some sort of customer service application.

That's all for today, next week we will begin programming.

Doug Routledge, C# Lync, Skype for Business, SQL, Exchange, UC Developer  BridgeOC
Twitter - @droutledge @ndbridge

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