lync attendant replacement

Lync Attendant Replacement

If you are considering using the Lync 2010 Attendant console for a switchboard operator/ reception console / attendant console in your Skype for Business or Lync 2013 environment you may want to be aware of some of the weaknesses to avoid unexpected poor experience for key enterprise voice users. Below are a few items that commonly lead to the need for a Lync Attendant replacement:

  • Lync 2010 Attendant has not been updated for several years
  • Lync 2010 Attendant has fairly significant bugs that have not been addressed for some time (see below)
  • Lync 2010 Attendant does not have the Skype for Business or Lync 2013 User Interface/User Experience
  • The Attendant Installer is a bit dated and seems to corrupt the Office 2013 Installation which causes Lync SDK Applications to not work properly: Details Here
  • Lync 2010 Attendant is not designed  to work with Better Together and Better Together over Ethernet IP Phones such as Lync Phone Edition and Polycom VVX IP Phones. Click Here
  • Lync 2010 Attendant is not supported with Office 365* Click Here
  • Lync 2010 Attendant Limitations
    • Search results are limited at 50
    • Limit of 10 DL’s
  • Lync 2010 Attendant user does not have access key Unified Communication features such as:
    • Screen sharing
    • Full featured Instant Messaging
    • Full Skype for Business Meetings experience
    • Video Calls and Meetings are not supported
    • No integration with Outlook & Exchange Calendars
  • Lync 2010 Attendant is not based on the Skype for Business 2016 client which means supportability must be tested separately from the Skype for Business (Lync) client

Since an attendant console operator is a key user in any enterprise voice switchover it is critical that no risks are taken with this key user for voice adoption.

Lync 2010 Attendant Bugs

In this section we will look at the specific reported bugs:

Lync 2010 Attendant has fairly significant bugs that have not been addressed for some time:

  • Option to transfer calls to Voicemail not always available/inconsistant: Click Here
  • Voicemail contact method is not available on Exchange Distribution Lists
  • Mobile and Other contact methods not available on Exchange Distribution Lists
  • Cannot expand DL’s with more than 100 members
  • Issue transferring calls to user Skype/Lync User with Team Call setup: Click Here

Lync 2010 Attendant Alternative?

If you have very simple operator console needs you may be able to use these alternatives and as a Lync attendant replacement:

  • Skype for Business 2016 Client
    • Cons: The transfer experience is not very efficient or consistent for more than a very few calls.
    • Cons: Can lead to a very key person in the Skype for Business implementation being dissatisfied with your voice solution
    • Cons: No Exchange Calendar integration
  • Certified Skype for Business IP Phone with Expansion Module
    • Cons: Generally IP are a good choice when it you have a few fixed contact you transfer to, but when the switchboard operator needs to search for contacts IP phones with expansion modules tend to break down
    • Cons: Finding related contacts, taking notes, and many of the common tasks operators do in a Unified Communications setting are not efficient with IP phones with expansion module.
    • Cons: No Exchange Calendar integration

If you are looking to ensure that the attendant switchboard operator has the best possible solution you will want to implement a full featured Lync attendant replacement console:

  • Widely Adopted software-based, Skype for Business specific Attendant console like Attendant Pro for Skype for Business
    • Attendant Pro for Skype for Business & Lync: Click Here
    • Competella (requires additional backend server infrastructure)

 

* – Not listed on supported endpoints.

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