Skype for Business – Busy on Busy

One may ask, why are we talking about Skype here in this Unified Communications Blog? The reason is Skype as any other tool providing communications possibilities is a part of Unified Communications presence, and each update and feature to make corporate or business communication more efficient, easy, secure etc – is a topic to review and tell the audience.

The story about the new features of Skype for Business Server 2015, which appeared together with the June update.

Skype Business users were waiting for this feature for a long time, and it finally appeared! This is an opportunity to not receive an incoming call if the user is already talking to another subscriber or is in the conference, the analog of the signal “Busy”, with two different actions: Busy on Busy, and Voicemail on Busy.

Let’s remind, that users Lync and Skype for Business see at an incoming call. It does not matter whether the user is available now, or is talking with someone, or is in the conference – when an incoming call comes, he will be notified of the new call to be reacted to. You can take a call, you can refuse it by sending it to your voice mail – but you need to do it yourself. It’s not for everyone, and it’s not always convenient.

Therefore, with new server updates, it finally appeared possible to include the user behavior similar to old analog phones, which you could not call twice.

There are two options:

  • Busy on Busy – when the user is “busy”, if he has an active conversation – reset the call, returning “Busy”.
  • Voicemail on Busy – if the user is busy, if he has an active conversation, automatically send a call to voicemail in Exchange.

These parameters are server-side, that is, they do not depend on which client the employee uses: usual, mobile, phone – it does not matter.

Which of the incoming calls ignore this feature, and still come to Skype for Business?

If the user is a member of any Response Group – then, even with the Busy setting enabled, and with the active call, the call from the answer group will still be displayed to the user.

If the user is a member of the call group of another user (Team Call) – the call that came to the call group will still be displayed to the user.

How to enable this mode?

First, you need to install on Skype for Business servers a patch version not lower than .259 –

Secondly, you need to install a new server application on the Front-End servers responsible for handling calls, with the following command (this is all one line):

New-CsServerApplication -Identity ‘Service: Registrar: sfbpoolfqdn / BusyOptions’

  • -Uri -Critical $ False -Enabled $ True
  • -Priority (Get-CsServerApplication -Identity ‘Service: Registrar: sfbpoolfqdn / UserServices’). Priority

Where instead of sfbpoolfqdn you need to substitute the server name (if you have a Standard) or a pool of Skype for Business servers (if you have an Enterprise).

After the command is successfully executed, you must run the Update-CSAdminRole command.

After that, you need to restart the RTCSRV services on the servers on which the command for adding the server application has been executed. To check that the service was launched successfully, it is possible that events with code 62003 – “Busy Options service started successfully” – appear in the event log of Skype Server.

And in the end, you need to run the Set-CSVoicePolicy -EnableBusyOptions command $ true

By default, no mode of operation is automatically changed for any user. To enable Busy, you must run the following command for a specific user:

Set-CSBusyOptions -Identity [email protected] -ActionType BusyOnBusy

This command will ignore the next incoming calls if the user [email protected] already speaks.

To enable automatic forwarding to voicemail, you need to execute the command:

Set-CSBusyOptions -Identity [email protected] -ActionType VoicemailOnBusy

To see which mode is set for the user, you can use the command Get-CSBusyOptions -Identity [email protected]

And cancel the “busy” when calling, and return the ability to receive many simultaneous incoming calls, you can use the command Remove-CSBusyOptions -Identity [email protected]

Conclusion – for certain categories of users who need to “beat” the next incoming calls during the current conversation, the function is useful.