Microsoft Office Communicator’s Call Coverage Capabilities

When Microsoft released OCS R2; they added two significant call coverage features.  When we use the term call coverage, the idea is the ability to call a pilot or pivot number which then in turn cases other phones to ring in hope of getting the call answered.

Generically we will focus on Team ring and Response Group.  Both have the idea on hunting down or ringing different endpoints trying to get an off hook or answer event.

The first component team dialing is based upon an initial call going to an individual in the company and then the phone call gets forwarded to a team of individuals trying to get a call answered.

The second component deals with an inside or outside endpoint calling a number directly and having an Auto Attendant (AA) answer the call and then by using a tree, select a group of endpoints to send the call to.

So both components mentioned above does by definition call coverage but which component you need to configure or use depends upon how call coverage component is initiated.

Now let’s look at team ring dialing.  The main purpose of this is to have a call answered if the original receiver of the call is not readily available.  The person setting this up would be considered the ‘Ring Leader’ and the leader would add members of his/her team and then configure how the ring feature will occur when a phone call is sent to the leader.  The leader may choose an option so that the call coming in will ring the leader and all team members simultaneously or ring the leader first then after no answer to continue ringing each team member.  For the second ring option, the ring leader may specify how long the call should attempt to ring his/her line for ringing for other team members.

Response Groups are quite different.  First of all, a pilot number is created and is dialed directly.  The call is then answered by an automated attendant who plays recorded prompts setup by the administrator.  The automated attendant presents a menu of options to choose from to further direct the call to the right party or parties.  Additionally, response groups have automatic voice recognition (ASR) feature enabled by default for possible mobile users needing hands free support and has queuing support if all parties are currently busy in a call or not available.

Related Course:

Implementing and Maintaining IM/Presence, Conferencing, and Telephony Using Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 R2 (M50214)

Author: Richard Luckett

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