Brainstorming a call flow using auto attendants and call queues

%3CLINGO-SUB%20id%3D%22lingo-sub-185777%22%20slang%3D%22en-US%22%3EBrainstorming%20a%20call%20flow%20using%20auto%20attendants%20and%20call%20queues%3C%2FLINGO-SUB%3E%3CLINGO-BODY%20id%3D%22lingo-body-185777%22%20slang%3D%22en-US%22%3E%3CP%3EWe%20have%20one%20team%20in%20our%20organization%20which%20is%20looking%20to%26nbsp%3Breplace%20their%20current%20PBX%26nbsp%3Bsolution%26nbsp%3Bwith%20users%20being%20enabled%20with%20Phone%20System%20and%20Calling%20Plans%20in%26nbsp%3BSkype%20for%20Business%20Online.%20Along%20with%20this%2C%20they%20would%20like%20to%20create%20a%20call%20flow%20which%20matches%20their%20current%20one%20with%20the%20PBX%20system.%3CBR%20%2F%3E%3CBR%20%2F%3ENo%20matter%20how%20many%20times%20I%20try%20and%20wrap%20my%20head%20around%2C%20I%20can't%20quite%20put%20my%20finger%20on%20the%20best%20way%20to%20make%20this%20work%20using%20auto%20attendants%20and%20call%20queues%20in%20Skype%20for%20Business%20Online.%3CBR%20%2F%3E%3CBR%20%2F%3EHere%20is%20some%20background.%20This%20team%20has%20five%20offices%20in%20the%20US%2C%20though%20only%20four%20have%20a%20%22main%20number%22%3A%20Chicago%20office%2C%20New%20York%20office%2C%20Cincinnati%20office%2C%20and%20San%20Francisco%20office.%3CBR%20%2F%3E%3CBR%20%2F%3ETheir%20current%20call%20flow%20is%20as%20follows.%3CBR%20%2F%3E%3CBR%20%2F%3E%3CU%3E%3CSTRONG%3ETier%26nbsp%3B1%3A%20Office%20number%3C%2FSTRONG%3E%3C%2FU%3E%3CU%3E%3CSTRONG%3E%3CBR%20%2F%3E%3C%2FSTRONG%3E%3C%2FU%3EIf%20a%20person%20calls%20any%20of%20the%20four%20main%20numbers%20noted%20above%2C%20the%20number%20rings%20the%20receptionist%20phone%20for%20that%20specific%20office%20for%2015%20seconds.%20If%20no%20answer%20after%2015%20seconds%2C%20the%20call%20proceeds%20to%20Tier%202.%3CBR%20%2F%3E%3CBR%20%2F%3E%3CU%3E%3CSTRONG%3ETier%202%3A%20Broadcast%20group%3C%2FSTRONG%3E%3C%2FU%3E%3CBR%20%2F%3EWhichever%20offices%20were%20not%20called%20in%20the%20above%20step%2C%20will%20now%20all%20simultaneously%20have%20their%20main%20numbers%20ringing%20at%20the%20receptionist%20phone%20for%2015%20seconds.%20In%20other%20words%2C%20if%20New%20York%20office%20was%20called%20in%20Tier%201%2C%20then%20Chicago%2C%20Cincinnati%2C%20and%20San%20Francisco%20main%20numbers%20will%20all%20be%20ringing%20simultaneously%20in%20Tier%202.%20If%20San%20Francisco%20was%20called%20in%20Tier%201%2C%20then%20New%20York%2C%20Chicago%2C%20and%20Cincinnati%20will%20be%26nbsp%3Bringing%20simultaneously%20in%20Tier%202.%20Same%20idea%20if%20Cincinnati%20office%20is%20called%20first%20in%20Tier%201%20(ring%20Chicago%2C%20New%20York%2C%20and%20San%20Francisco%20in%20Tier%202)%2C%20or%20if%20Chicago%20is%20called%20first%20in%20Tier%201%20(ring%20New%20York%2C%20Cincinnati%2C%20and%20San%20Francisco%20in%20Tier%202).%3CBR%20%2F%3E%3CBR%20%2F%3E%3CU%3E%3CSTRONG%3ETier%203%3A%20Voicemail%3C%2FSTRONG%3E%3C%2FU%3E%3CBR%20%2F%3EIf%20no%20answer%20at%20Tier%202%20from%20any%20of%20the%20other%20offices%2C%20then%20call%20goes%20to%20voicemail.%20This%20part%20is%20the%20simple%20part%2C%20and%20I%20know%20it%20can%20be%20done%20using%20a%20shared%20mailbox%20being%20enabled%20with%20a%20Phone%20System%20license.%3CBR%20%2F%3E%3CBR%20%2F%3EI%20cannot%20decide%20if%20these%20%22main%20numbers%22%20for%20the%20offices%20need%20to%20be%20service%20numbers%20or%20user%20numbers%2C%20as%20I%20cannot%20think%20of%20any%20way%20to%20duplicate%20the%20call%20flow%20above%2C%20nor%20even%20come%20close%20to%20it!%20I%20know%20that%20call%20queues%20allow%20redirecting%20to%20another%20call%20queue%20or%20auto%20attendant%2C%20but%20this%20would%20effectively%20require%20having%20all%20of%20the%20other%20%22main%20numbers%22%20be%20call%20agents%20for%20Tier%202%20noted%20above%2C%20and%20call%20agents%20can%20only%20be%20users%2C%20not%20service%20numbers%2C%20since%20there%20is%20no%20way%20to%20add%20multiple%20service%20numbers%20as%20call%20agents.%3CBR%20%2F%3E%3CBR%20%2F%3EAnybody%20have%20any%20thoughts%20on%20this%3F%20I%20had%20been%20trying%20to%20figure%20out%20something%20for%20the%20past%20week%2C%20and%20just%20could%20not%20wrap%20my%20head%20around%20this.%20I've%20created%20a%20number%20of%20auto%20attendants%20and%20call%20queues%20for%20other%20teams%20in%20our%20organization%2C%20but%20can't%20think%20of%20how%20we%20would%20manage%20this%20required%20call%20flow.%20The%2015-second%20ring%20duration%20is%20not%20a%20firm%20requirement%2C%20as%20I%20know%20call%20queues%20can%20only%20be%20configured%20with%20a%2030-second%20minimum.%3C%2FP%3E%3C%2FLINGO-BODY%3E%3CLINGO-LABS%20id%3D%22lingo-labs-185777%22%20slang%3D%22en-US%22%3E%3CLINGO-LABEL%3ECloud%20PBX%3C%2FLINGO-LABEL%3E%3CLINGO-LABEL%3EPSTN%20Calling%3C%2FLINGO-LABEL%3E%3C%2FLINGO-LABS%3E%3CLINGO-SUB%20id%3D%22lingo-sub-204116%22%20slang%3D%22en-US%22%3ERe%3A%20Brainstorming%20a%20call%20flow%20using%20auto%20attendants%20and%20call%20queues%3C%2FLINGO-SUB%3E%3CLINGO-BODY%20id%3D%22lingo-body-204116%22%20slang%3D%22en-US%22%3E%3CP%3E%3CA%20href%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Occasional Contributor

We have one team in our organization which is looking to replace their current PBX solution with users being enabled with Phone System and Calling Plans in Skype for Business Online. Along with this, they would like to create a call flow which matches their current one with the PBX system.

No matter how many times I try and wrap my head around, I can't quite put my finger on the best way to make this work using auto attendants and call queues in Skype for Business Online.

Here is some background. This team has five offices in the US, though only four have a "main number": Chicago office, New York office, Cincinnati office, and San Francisco office.

Their current call flow is as follows.

Tier 1: Office number
If a person calls any of the four main numbers noted above, the number rings the receptionist phone for that specific office for 15 seconds. If no answer after 15 seconds, the call proceeds to Tier 2.

Tier 2: Broadcast group
Whichever offices were not called in the above step, will now all simultaneously have their main numbers ringing at the receptionist phone for 15 seconds. In other words, if New York office was called in Tier 1, then Chicago, Cincinnati, and San Francisco main numbers will all be ringing simultaneously in Tier 2. If San Francisco was called in Tier 1, then New York, Chicago, and Cincinnati will be ringing simultaneously in Tier 2. Same idea if Cincinnati office is called first in Tier 1 (ring Chicago, New York, and San Francisco in Tier 2), or if Chicago is called first in Tier 1 (ring New York, Cincinnati, and San Francisco in Tier 2).

Tier 3: Voicemail
If no answer at Tier 2 from any of the other offices, then call goes to voicemail. This part is the simple part, and I know it can be done using a shared mailbox being enabled with a Phone System license.

I cannot decide if these "main numbers" for the offices need to be service numbers or user numbers, as I cannot think of any way to duplicate the call flow above, nor even come close to it! I know that call queues allow redirecting to another call queue or auto attendant, but this would effectively require having all of the other "main numbers" be call agents for Tier 2 noted above, and call agents can only be users, not service numbers, since there is no way to add multiple service numbers as call agents.

Anybody have any thoughts on this? I had been trying to figure out something for the past week, and just could not wrap my head around this. I've created a number of auto attendants and call queues for other teams in our organization, but can't think of how we would manage this required call flow. The 15-second ring duration is not a firm requirement, as I know call queues can only be configured with a 30-second minimum.

2 Replies

Hi,

Create four users: New York Reception, Chicago Reception, Cincinnati Reception, San Francisco Reception and enable them for Skype and assign your main number to that user. Sign in with those users to each reception phone. Set the setting "Unanswered calls will go to" to the Tier 2 call queue.

 

Then create a Call Queue for each location New York Tier 2, Chicago Tier 2, Cincinnati Tier 2 and San Francisco Tier 2. Add the Reception phone account for the other offices to that Call Queue.

 

Create a Voicemail user that you forward calls to if nobody answers the Tier 2 call.

 

Example for New York
1. Call comes in to New York reception and rings for 15 seconds
2. Call is forwarded to Call Queue New York Tier 2 and rings on Chicago, Cincinnati and San Francisco for a minute or two
3. If no answers within a minute call is forwarded to voicemail


An alternative is to create just one Tier 2 Call Queue. Then the first reception user will be able to take the call even after the first 15 seconds and you will only need one group since all reception phone users will be a call agent of that queue.

 

Example for New York
1. Call comes in to New York reception and rings for 15 seconds
2. Call is forwarded to Call Queue Tier 2 and rings on New York, Chicago, Cincinnati and San Francisco for a minute or two
3. If no answers within a minute call is forwarded to voicemail

@Linus Cansby

 

Hello Linus,

 

I know it has been some time since you made this reply. I wanted to follow up on this and let you know that I initially thought this would work perfectly, but now that our organization is finally getting a chance to try this out, it seems we have hit a small challenge.

 

I've enabled the four user accounts as you've suggested, and signed into the Skype for Business client as those users. The challenge is in setting up the "Unanswered calls will go to" setting. I had originally hoped this could be set up to direct to the user object in our on prem Active Directory which was created to represent the corresponding call queue created in Skype for Business Online. However, it now appears that this is impossible, as this object cannot be selected under "New Number or Contact". In addition, we do not assign a phone number to call queues, as we do not expect them to be called directly (they are simply part of a call flow).

 

Let me know if this was confusing in any way, and I'll be happy to explain it a bit differently. I hope you can understand what I was trying to say here.

 

Do you have any suggestions? I suppose that assigning some throwaway number to the call queue may be our only option for this.