Skype for Business Online - Call Queues
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Skype for Business Online – Call Queues

As previously mentioned in my post about auto attendants, I briefly discussed covering the new addition of Call Queues in Skype for Business Online in a follow-up post. That being said, I will describe what exactly a call queue is and how this functionality can be beneficial to you when leveraging Cloud PBX. I will cover how to deploy and operate call queues in my next blog post, so stay tuned.
In it’s simplest form, a call queue provides automated call distribution for incoming calls. It does this by distributing all waiting calls in a FIFO (First In, First Out) manner to any available agents using Attendant Routing. Call queues are typically used hand in hand with auto attendants, where the call queue will serve as a routing target for that Auto Attendant. Similar to on-premises Skype for Business hunt groups, call queues allow you to have custom greetings as well as music on hold. Each call queue will handle up to 200 calls per instance and will queue up each incoming call accordingly. Each call queue will also allow for up to 50 agents. Although the Skype for Business Online call queues lack many of features that the on-prem Skype for Business Server hunt groups have (comparison table below), Microsoft plans to make changes in the coming months to try get the feature parity between on-prem and online environments.
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Here are a few of the pre-requisites when choosing to implement Call Queues in your environment.

  • You will need to have a service number (either by porting an existing number or by acquiring a new number.)
    • Service numbers can be toll or toll-free
      • If it is toll-free you will need PSTN Consumption billing
  • Call queue agents only require Cloud PBX licensing and do not require PSTN calling licenses or a PSTN number
    • On premises Lync/Skype for Business users cannot be call agents
    • Cloud PBX with on premises PSTN connectivity  (either via existing pool or Cloud Connector Edition (CCE)) cannot be call agents
  • Call queue agents must be using the Skype for Business 2015/2016 client, Lync 2013  client, or IP Phones (certified for Cloud PBX)
    • Apple Macintosh and Mobile clients cannot be call agents

Now that you have the low down on call queues, you should have a good idea if this would be something you’d like to implement into your environment. As I alluded to earlier, stay tuned for my next post on configuring and deploying call queues.

2 thoughts on “Skype for Business Online – Call Queues

  1. You mention “Cloud PBX with on premises PSTN connectivity (either via existing pool or Cloud Connector Edition (CCE)) cannot be call agents” but can calls be transferred to them? Do they then need PSTN Calling in Office 365?

  2. Brian Siefferman

    Hi Trent, provided they don’t fall under either of the scenarios mentioned (CCE or existing pool) then they will be able to receive and transfer calls from the call queue. This only requires a PBX license for each agent but will not require a PSTN calling add-on license unless they are transferring the call to a PSTN endpoint outside of Skype for Business. I hope this answered your question.

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