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Matt Landis’ Enterprise Connect 2017 Skype for Business Notes

sfb-at-ec17

Will keep this blog updated as I see new things that strike me as interesting.

Streamed Keynotes

Microsoft Keynote by Ron Markezich on March 29 at 10AM EST: click here

Microsoft Announcements

Auto Attendants & Call Queues are GA

Skype4B Vendor Announcements

-EventZero Announces Support for Spectralink: click here

  • Jabra Introducing Jabra Speak 710 click here. Skype for Business Certified & Some Unique Points
    • HIFI Grade for  playing music
    • Button for Cortano/Siri/Google Now
    • Link 2 Speak 710 devices together
    • Stand to tilt the Speak 710

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-Nureva HDL 300 aspires to make conferencing audio better using “8,192 Virtual Microphones“ looks interesting. (Not Skype for Business Certified) click here

-Audiocodes takes a different track to create a Huddle Room System (HRS) by bundling IP Phones and USB Speaker phones. Will click here

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Others Following #EC17:

http://tomtalks.uk/2017/03/microsoft-skype-business-news-enterprise-connect-2017/

“Ctrl + Shift + T” Shortcut No Longer Works to Transfer Calls in Skype for Business 2016

 

imageOn the Lync 2013 & Skype for Business 2015 PC client it was possible to use the shortcut key of Ctrl + Shift +T to blind transfer a call from a conversation with minimal clicks. In short, from the conversation window you could press Ctrl + Shift +T, type the extension number and press ENTER and the call was transferred.


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One unique thing about using the Ctrl + Shift +T shortcut is that it opened a Lync 2013 window that was different than the window that was opened if you clicked Call Controls | Transfer on a conversation window. (below is the Ctrl + Shift + T window and the standard Skype for Business 2015/2016 transfer contact search window)

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Now in the Skype for Business 2016 client the “Ctrl + Shift +T” shortcut appears to no longer be available.  (Note: The Office documentation says that Ctrl + Shift + T is “Not available with all Office 365 subscriptions.” but in our testing it does not work even with Skype for Business Server either.)

So its back to Call Controls | Transfer

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then type extension number or contact name and click “Transfer Now”.

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If you need to transfer a lot of calls efficiently you may be a candidate for an attendant console.

Skype for Business User Tip #45: Dial a Number from Outlook Contact Using Skype for Business

 

Want to dial a phone number from a Microsoft Outlook Contact? You might expect a “dial” button somewhere near each phone number, instead you find this functionality in Contact | More | Call.

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If Skype for Business client is installed it will dial the phone number using Skype for Business.

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If you have only one Phone Number for this Contact, or you want to dial the first phone number, you can save one click by just clicking Contact | More | Call. This will dial the first phone number if there are more than one.

Another way to save another click is to add a shortcut to the “Quick Access Toolbar”. Click on More | Call and then right click on Call and “Add to Quick Access Toolbar”. (as shown below)

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Now you will have one click access to dial a phone number from an Outlook Contact.

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One last interesting thing I’ve noticed is that where you create the “Quick Access Toolbar” shortcut from is significant. 

  1. Right clicking on “Call” creates a shortcut that dials only the first Phone Number on a Contact (see below)
  2. Right clicking on the phone number list creates a shortcut with a dropdown that gives the opportunity to select a specific phone number. (see below)

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Corresponding shortcuts created.

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For more cool User Tips, get the Skype for Business User Tips & Tricks for Anyone Free eBook

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See the other Skype for Business User QuickTips (formerly known as Lync)
http://windowspbx.blogspot.com/search/label/Skype4BUserTip

Office 365 Cloud PBX Call Queue “Answer Delay” Experience

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NOTE: Cloud PBX Call Queue functionality is still in Preview, so final release may have different functionality.

One ongoing challenge with Skype for Business Server Response Group Service has been what has been referred to as the “answer delay”. This is the time between when a Skype for Business user answers a call and the media is flowing and the user can say “Hello” and start speaking.

To work on addressing this issue, Cloud PBX Call Queues have been rewritten to be optimized to work on the cloud & at scale. (Microsoft did not just port the SfB RGS code to Office 365, but have been rewritten by the Microsoft team to optimize the functionality & performance for the cloud.)

We have done some testing to see what the “answer delay” is on the new Office 365 Call Queues (in Preview at this time).

What The Testing Site Bandwidth Looks Like

We tested using a site with 100MB Up/5MB Down data pipe.

The “Skype for Business Network Assessment Tool – Results Analyzer” results were:

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(site located near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)

The “Answer Delay” Experience Our Test Site Has

Below is the Cloud PBX Call Queue  “answer delay” experience on various common endpoint devices:

Device Answer to Talk time
Polycom VVX 600 5.10 seconds
Skype for Business 2016 client + USB Headset 4.26 seconds
Lync Phone Edition (Polycom CX600) 5.36 seconds

From our tests the configuration with the least delay is the Skype for Business client with a USB headset.

Note that the above averages come from tests over multiple days at different times during the days.

What the SIP Trace of a Cloud PBX Call Queue “Answer” Looks Like

Below is a SIP trace of a the timing of a Cloud PBX Call Queue answer.

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A plain English reading of the SIP trace:

  • 10:31:27.233 – Call Queue (hg_ab0e…) is ringing SfB user (demo02)
  • 10:31:30.076 –SfB user (demo02) answering incoming call from Call Queue (hg_ab0e…) clicks “Answer”
  • 10:31:32.717 – Call Queue (hg_ab0e…) “Refers” SFB user (demo02) to call the incoming call (blc20…)
  • 10:31.32.717 – SfB user started “Trying”   incoming
  • 10:31:32.960 -SfB user (demo02) Invites/starts connecting to incoming call (blc20…)
  • 10:31:33.649 –Around this time media is flowing between SfB user (demo02) & incoming call (blc20…)

So our stopwatch measuring “answer delay” is ticking between 10:31:30.076 and 10:31:33.649 so in this case the “Answer Delay” was 3.573 seconds (4secs. w/rounding). The “delay” is largely a result of setting up the call between [demo02] and [blc20…] after demo02 clicks “Answer”.

Some Thoughts

One surprise from this test is how close the Lync Phone Edition was to the other devices, which means the Skype for Business team has done some significant improvement to Call Queues over RGS. The current “answer delay” is a result of negotiating the connection between the Skype for Business user and the incoming call after clicking Answer.

Since this is still considerable delay users may wonder how to know when they can say “Hello” and my old article about Skype for Business RGS is still relevant, read it here.

Skype for Business User Tip #44: Which of Multiple Incoming RGS/Call Queue Calls Will Be Answered First?

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Interestingly not all Skype for Business endpoints handle answering Response Group Service / Call Queue calls with the same logic. When multiple calls are coming from a RGS /Call Queue, which will be answered?

For example: Let’s say you have 3 incoming calls from your “FrontDesk” Response Group (or Cloud PBX Call Queue). On your Skype for Business client you will see 3 incoming call toasts. If you press the button on your USB headset, which call will be answered? (LIFO = Last Incoming Call/Oldest Incoming/Longest Ringing will be answered first. FIFO = First Incoming Call/Newest Incoming/Shortest Ringing will be answered first.)

 

Skype for Business endpoint Answer Method Behavior
Skype for Business PC client [Window + Shift + O] LIFO
USB headset Headset button LIFO
Polycom CX300 USB Pickup handset LIFO
     
Yealink IP phone Pickup handset LIFO
Lync Phone Edition IP Phone (Polycom CX600/HP 4120/etc) Pickup handset FIFO

Of course, if you click on a specific incoming call toast, that call will be answered.

For a ton more cool User Tips, get the Skype for Business User Tips & Tricks for Anyone Free eBook

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See the other Skype for Business User QuickTips (formerly known as Lync)
http://windowspbx.blogspot.com/search/label/Skype4BUserTip