Written by Rob Quickenden, Cisilion CSO
As 2018 draws to a close, Microsoft have announced four huge features and enhancements that were promised in their roadmap. These advanced voice features will not make it through to Skype for Business Online, instead, they’ll be rolled out to organisations using Teams with Microsoft Phone System – before you’ve had a chance to finish your turkey and mince pies!
The four new features are:
• Group Call Pickup
• Call Park
• Shared Line Appearance
• Location Based Routing
1) Group Call Pickup (GCP)
An enhancement to the current call group feature that enables users to create custom groups and have colleagues answer their calls when they are not available. As an example, I could choose to “forward my calls” and forward to a call group. From here, it’s easy to decide who is in my group and what the desired “ringing order” needs to be – call everyone, or ring people in a particular order.
All users within the call groups will also be able to choose to receive full audio and visual notifications for incoming calls as well as decide what type of notification they want for each group member.
2) Call Park (CP)
Found on most traditional PBXs (including Skype for Business on-premise) and has been one of the big ticket request features. Users, such as reception, can now better assist the caller and help connect them to other employees. When a call comes in, a user is now able to “park” the call. A unique code will be given to the user who parks the call which can be passed to anyone as needed.
The same user – or anyone who needs to take the call – can then retrieve the call from a Microsoft Teams client using the code provided by the original person answering the call. This is really useful if you answer the call and need to take it in another room or from your mobile.
3) Shared line Appearance (SLA)
An enhancement to the delegation feature that lets a user choose a delegate to answer or handle calls on their behalf. Shared Line Appearance can configure any voice enabled user as a shared number with multiple lines to respond to multiple calls. These calls are not actually received on the shared number, instead they are forwarded to users that act as delegates for the shared number. Anyone of the delegates can pick up the call.
This feature is especially helpful if a user has an administrative assistant, or where a sales team has a manger or dedicated sales support who is always available to pick up calls.
4) Location Based Routing (LBR)
Makes it possible to restrict the routing of calls between VoIP endpoints and PSTN endpoints based on the location of the parties in the call – especially where local regulations require restrictions, such as in India. LBR enforces call authorisation rules based on the user’s location policy and their actual location as specified by the administrator.
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