Skype for Business: Boss-Admin Call Coverage Procedures | Information Technology | University of Pittsburgh
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Skype for Business: Boss-Admin Call Coverage Procedures

This page documents common implementations of advanced phone coverage setups that are supported by Skype for Business. Microsoft labels these setups as "Boss-Admin" functions since in many cases, the person that requires coverage is a boss and the person handling the coverage (the delegate) is an administrative assistant.

In some cases, the "boss" won't necessarily be a person. Some departments will use a phone number associated with a resource account as a first point-of-contact (or "lead-in") number for an office. In these situations, the boss will be that resource account and the delegates will be those staff tasked with covering the lead-in number.

Please note that granting delegate access in Skype involves more than just call coverage. Delegate accounts can perform other functions in Skype including adding and removing events on the boss account's Outlook/Office 365 schedule and making calls on the behalf of the boss. Make sure to be aware of these implications before enabling delegate access.

Unless otherwise noted, these instructions cover the Windows version of the Skype client.

The last two sections involve submitting Telecommunications Service Request forms with Computing Services and Systems Development (CSSD).

Click here for a printable version of this webpage.

 

Designating a Single Delegate or Multiple Delegates

The Need: The boss needs to enable delegate access to another account or multiple accounts using their Skype client. Designating delegate access is a first step for numerous coverage configurations.

Does it Require CSSD Assistance? No

Cost: None

How to Do it in Eight Easy Steps:

 

  1. Log into a Skype client using the username and password of the University Computing Account associated with the phone number that needs to be forwarded.

  2. Click the forwarding icon at the bottom right of the Skype display. Click the Forwarding icon
  3. Navigate down to Call Forwarding Settings. Navigate to Call Forwarding Settings
  4. A "Skype for Business - Options" window will appear with advanced Call Forwarding options visible. Click the Edit My Delegate Members link at the bottom of the window. Edit My Delegate Members
  5. A "Call Forwarding - Delegates" window will appear. Click the Add button. Add delegates
  6. A "Choose a Delegate" window will appear. Enter a name in the "Choose a contact or to answer your calls" field. The Skype client will begin to populate the space under the field with potential choices as you type. Enter name in search field
  7. Select the appropriate listing from the choices so that it is highlighted. Click the OK button to designate the selected choice as a delegate. The "Call Forwarding - Delegates" window will show the selected choice as a delegate of the boss with the "Receive Calls" box checked. Choose a delegate and click OK
  8. Repeat steps 5, 6, and 7 to add more delegates. Click OK to close the "Call Forwarding - Delegates" window when you are finished. Close the Call Forwarding window by clicking OK

 

 

Be aware that anyone designated as a delegate can make calls on the behalf of the boss.

Call Forwarding – Routing Incoming Calls to a Delegate or Group of Delegates

The Need: A boss wants all calls to their number to route to a delegate or a group of delegates. The boss does not want their phone or Skype client to register the incoming calls. The boss has already designated delegates as described in the .

Does it Require CSSD Assistance? No

Cost: None

How to Do it in Five Easy Steps:

  1. Log into a Skype client using the username and password of the University Computing Account associated with the phone number that needs to be forwarded.

  2. Click the forwarding icon at the bottom right of the Skype display. Click the Forwarding icon
  3. Navigate down to Call Forwarding Settings. Navigate to Call Forwarding
  4. A "Skype for Business - Options" window will appear with advanced Call Forwarding options visible. Click the radio button next to Forward my calls to and click the field to reveal pop-up choices. Choose "My Delegates." Forward my calls to My Delegates
  5. Click the OK to save these settings.
 

To turn off call forwarding, select the "Turn Off Call Forwarding" menu option under the forwarding icon. Click on Turn Off Call Forwarding

Simultaneous Ring - Routing Incoming Calls to Ring Simultaneously to a Delegate or a Group of Delegates

The Need: A boss wants all calls to their number to simultaneously ring at the extension of a delegate or a group of delegates. The boss has already designated delegates as described in the of this document.

Does it Require CSSD Assistance? No

Cost: None

How to Do it in Five Easy Steps:

 

  1. Log into a Skype client using the username and password of the University Computing Account associated with the phone number that needs to be forwarded.

  2. Click the forwarding icon at the bottom right of the Skype display. Click the Forwarding icon
  3. Navigate down to Call Forwarding Settings. Navigate to Call Forwarding
  4. A "Skype for Business - Options" window will appear with advanced Call Forwarding options visible. Click the radio button next to Simultaneously ring and click the field to reveal pop-up choices. Choose "My Delegates." Forward my calls to simultaneously ring My Delegates
  5. Click OK to save these settings.
 

To turn off call forwarding, select the "Turn Off Call Forwarding" menu option under the forwarding icon. Click on Turn Off Call Forwarding

Simultaneous Ring – Routing Incoming Calls to Delayed Simultaneous Ring to a Delegate or Group of Delegates

The Need: A boss wants all calls to their number to ring exclusively at that number for a designated period of time and then simultaneously ring at the extension of a delegate or delegates if it is not answered. The boss has already designated delegates as described in the of this document.

Does it Require CSSD Assistance? No

Cost: None

How to Do it in Six Easy Steps:

  1. Log into a Skype client using the username and password of the University Computing Account associated with the phone number that needs to be forwarded.

  2. Click the forwarding icon at the bottom right of the Skype display. Click the Forwarding icon
  3. Navigate down to Call Forwarding Settings. Navigate to Call Forwarding
  4. A "Skype for Business - Options" window will appear with advanced Call Forwarding options visible. Click the Edit My Delegate Members link at the bottom of the window. Edit My Delegate Members
  5. A "Call Forwarding - Delegates" window will appear. Click the link next to "Ring your delegates after this many seconds" to select 5, 10, or 15 seconds from the pop-up menu. This setting will determine how long incoming calls will ring at your number before simultaneously ringing at your delegate extensions. Select time for Ring your delegates after this many seconds
  6. Click OK to close the "Call Forwarding - Delegates" box and OK again at the "Skype for Business - Options" window to save your preferences.
 

To turn off call forwarding, select the "Turn Off Call Forwarding" menu option under the forwarding icon. Click on Turn Off Call Forwarding

Simultaneous Ring - Routing Incoming Call to Simultaneous Ring to a Delegate or Group of Delegates Only During Work Hours

The Need: A boss wants delegate call coverage only during work hours. After hours, calls will go to the boss' extension with no coverage.

Does it Require CSSD Assistance? No

Cost: None

How to Do it in Five Easy Steps:

  1. Log into a Skype client using the username and password of the University Computing Account associated with the phone number that needs to be forwarded.

  2. Click the forwarding icon at the bottom right of the Skype display. Click the Forwarding icon
  3. Navigate down to Call Forwarding Settings. Navigate to Call Forwarding
  4. A "Skype for Business - Options" window will appear with advanced Call Forwarding options visible. Click on All the Time link next to "These settings will apply." Click All the time
  5. Click the radio button next to "During work hours set in Outlook" in the "Call Forwarding - Time Setting" box. Click During work hours
  6. Click OK to close the "Call Forwarding - Time Setting" box and OK again at the "Skype for Business - Options" window to save your preferences.
 

To modify your work hours, you will need to open an Outlook client running on a Windows or Macintosh PC. Outlook version 2016 is recommended. Go to the "Outlook Options" window which can be accessed by selecting Options under the File menu. Click the "Calendar" link on the left side of the window to get to the time options. You can set your work hours by modifying the "Start time" and "End time" settings in the "Work time" section. Edit Start Time and End Time

Group Answer - Setting Up One or More People to Cover a Lead-in Number Using a Resource Account

The Need: Your department or office has a number that is advertised as the first point of contact in literature, business cards and webpages. The number should stay constant regardless of staff changes. One person or a group of people are assigned to answer calls to the number.

Does it Require CSSD Assistance? Yes

Cost: $14 a month for the call queue in addition a one-time setup fee of $27.50

How to Do it:

  1. Request a new Resource Account with Email from the department’s Responsibility Center Administrator (RC Admin).
    • The RC Admin will need to ensure that the new Resource Account is licensed for Skype for Business voice service.
    • The RC Admin will need to ensure that department’s preferred ten-digit phone number is associated with the new Resource Account.
    • If there is no pre-existing number to be associated, the RC Admin will request a new ten-digit phone number be assigned to the new Resource Account. This number will become the advertised lead-in phone number.

  2. If call coverage is going to be rotated between staff at an assigned location in the office space, acquire and configure a Polycom VVX 501 phone and plug it into the data port at the desk where the covering employee will sit.

  3. It is recommended that the phone be paired with a companion PC and synced with the Better Together Over Ethernet application. If such a PC is set up, whoever is monitoring the phone will need to log onto Skype for Business client on the PC with the Resource Account username and password. The phone’s touchpad can also be used to log in the Resource Account username and password:
    • Click Sign In in the lower right corner of the touchpad.
    • Use either the Web Sign-in or User ID option to authenticate the phone using the Resource Account username and password. The Web Sign-in option is easier since it does not require entering alphanumeric characters from the phone keypad.

  4. Log into the Skype for Business client on the companion PC with the Resource Account credentials and set up forwarding per the instructions in the section.
    Please note: the VVX 501 phone will retain the credentials as long as it is connected to the Ethernet port. Entering credentials for the phone is not required very often.

 

Group Answer – Routing Incoming Calls to a Lead-in Number to One or More People Using a Call Queue

The Need: Your department or office has a number that is advertised as the first point of contact in literature, business cards and webpages. The number should stay constant regardless of staff changes. One person or a group of people are assigned to answer calls to the number.

Your department wants the incoming caller experience to be more than just having their call rerouted to one or more extensions. In addition, you want any of the following options to be available:

  • an automated greeting upon call pickup
  • the caller placed on hold while every ringing every extension on a designated call coverage list
  • the caller kept hold if no one on the list picks up
  • music on hold
  • calls answered in the order that they are received.

 

These options are accessible with the creation of a call queue.

Does it Require CSSD Assistance? No

Cost: $14 a month for the Resource Account

How to Do it:

  1. Request that the Resource Account Administrator for your Department create a distribution list for the call queue. The list should contain the user account IDs of all extensions that will be participating in the call queue.

  2. Submit a University Telephone Services Request for the call queue. This request will need to be submitted by a department staff member that is authorized to approve Telecommunications charges. The form is available on the Technology website at techforms.pitt.edu/TSR/TelephoneServicesRequest.aspx.

  3. Select "Other" from the list of on-request services.

  4. Use the "brief description" field to document that you are requesting a Skype for Business call queue. Make sure that this description includes:
    • the ten-digit phone number and corresponding Resource Account (with Email) ID that the call queue will support
    • the caller ID that should appear when the queue answers a call
    • what should happen if no one is available to answer a call
    • whether or not the call queue will feature an automated greeting
    • whether or not the call queue will feature music on hold
    • how long callers should wait until being rerouted or disconnected.

  5. A representative from CSSD will follow up with you on the details of the call queue, including the recording of an automated greeting and the selection of on-hold music, if desired.

  6. Once the call queue has been put into effect, names will be added or removed from the distribution list by your assigned Responsibility Center Administrator. All names on the list will be part of the call queue and will be rung simultaneously if their Skype status is "Available."

 

Group Answer – Setting Up Advanced Lead-in Number Coverage Using an Auto Attendant

The Need: Your department or office has a number that is advertised as the first point of contact in literature, business cards and webpages. The department wants callers to be given menu options ("press one for admissions, etc.) that they can access by dialing single numbers. These options will route calls to either individuals or to a group using a call queue. The department also wants options to change at different times of the day.

These call handling features are accessible with the creation of a Skype for Business auto attendant. An auto attendant will engage incoming calls depending on conditions. The most common use of an auto attendant is processing calls that are received outside of business hours. Auto attendants can also be created to support other cases, such as handling calls that fall outside of the conditions of a call queue (such as being on hold beyond a specified amount of time).

Does it Require CSSD Assistance? No

Cost: $14 a month for the auto attendant in addition to a one-time setup fee of $27.50 plus any associated call queue fees (see )

How to Do it:

  1. Work with CSSD to establish a call queue (see .)

  2. Request that CSSD create a companion auto attendant for the call queue. This can be done by submitting a separate University Telephone Services Request. This request will need to be submitted by a department staff member that is authorized to approve Telecommunications charges. The form is available on the Technology website at techforms.pitt.edu/TSR/TelephoneServicesRequest.aspx.

  3. Select "Other" from the list of on-request services.

  4. Use the "brief description" field to document that you are requesting a Skype for Business "call tree" auto attendant. Before submitting the request, you should know:
    • the ten-digit phone number and corresponding Resource Account ID that the call tree auto attendant will support
    • a documented workflow of how calls into the call tree should be handled (pressing 1 will go to the front desk, pressing 3 will go to voicemail, etc.)
    • the usernames/phone numbers of any staff that will be direct-connect options for callers using the call tree auto attendant
    • the Resource Account IDs of any call queues that will be available as options for callers using the call tree auto attendant
    • the Resource Account IDs of any existing auto attendants that will be available as options for callers using the call tree auto attendant.

  5. A representative from CSSD will follow up with you on the details of the call tree workflow as well as when the auto attendant should be in effect.

  6. Once the auto attendant has been put into effect, names will be added or removed from any call queue distribution lists by your assigned Responsibility Center Administrator.