So, I need to apologise for this being so late, but I have finally got around to writing about Auto Attendants and Call Queues within the Teams environment.
These features have been available for some time now and people may or may not have had experience in setting them up but once I had got stuck into them, they were not as painful as I was expecting however it did require a little to-ing and fro-ing between resource accounts and various other bits within the O365 Admin Console.
First of all, lets get the low down on what Auto Attendants and Call Queue’s actually do. This will then hopefully give you an insight into how to utilise these features.
Auto Attendants: When people call a number associated with an auto attendant, their choices can redirect the call to a user or locate someone in your organization and then connect to that user. They can express their choices and interact with the menu system by using a phone keypad (DTMF) or speech recognition.
Call Queues: Call queues are a service that accept customer calls, plays a greeting message, and then places these calls in a wait queue while searching a pre-configured list of agents to answer these calls.
To summarize the Auto Attendants function is to assist a caller in going to the correct department or person within an organisation via an audible menu of options. The Call Queues are simply groups that contain a list of agents available to take calls. The Auto Attendant will often be used to pass calls to a Call Queue via its menu system.
I guess the point here is to highlight how to configure call queues and auto attendants.
So, first off let’s discuss licensing. Previously you were only able to set up AA/CQ accounts using an E1, E3 or E5 license with the Phone system add on. Fortunately, Microsoft have recently changed their licensing options with the addition of the Phone System-Virtual User License. These are obtained in the same way that you would purchase your regular licenses, under Purchase Services>Add Ons, but they are FREE!..
So, now you have your license. You can create your resource account.
From the Teams Admin Console expand ‘Org-wide settings’ and select ‘Resource Accounts’ and add a new account.
Give it a Display Name, User name and choose a domain. Then decide if it will be used for an Auto Attendant or Call Queue.
If you are using powershell to configure please note there are two different Applications IDs you can set, one for Call Queues and one for Auto Attendants.
Auto Attendant – ce933385-9390-45d1-9512-c8d228074e07
Call Queue – 11cd3e2e-fccb-42ad-ad00-878b93575e07
The commands to run are as follows:
New-CsOnlineApplicationInstance -UserPrincipalName firstname.lastname@example.org -ApplicationId “ce933385-9390-45d1-9512-c8d228074e07” -DisplayName “Auto Attendant”
New-CsOnlineApplicationInstance -UserPrincipalName email@example.com -ApplicationId “11cd3e2e-fccb-42ad-ad00-878b93575e07” -DisplayName “Call Queue”
Once you have created your resource account it will be displayed in the Teams admin console.
This account will need to be assigned the Phone System Virtual User license as you would a normal user account.
Within the TAC select Voice>Auto Attendants and Add a new Attendant
Use the add account button to select which resource account to apply to the Auto Attendant.
When using Direct Routing to assign your telephone number via Powershell run the following:
Set-CsOnlineApplicationInstance -Identity firstname.lastname@example.org -OnpremPhoneNumber +441234567896
Once this is complete you will then see the Auto Attendant in the TAC with your DR number assigned.
By clicking on the AA you have created it will allow you to configure settings such as Hours of Operation, Greetings and Menu Options.
As with the Auto Attendant a Call Queue is required to have an associated resource account. Also note if you are assigning a telephone number to the Call Queue it will also need to have a virtual license assigned.
In the Microsoft Teams admin centre select Voice > Call queues, then click Add New.
Name the Call Queue and add the required resource account.
Once this has been done you will be able to configure settings such as Greetings, Music on Hold, Call Time-Out Handling etc..
You will need to assign Agents to this new Call Queue.
You can select up to 200 call agents who belong to any of the following mailing lists or groups:
Office 365 group
The agents selected must either be online users with a Phone System license with Enterprise Voice enabled or have a Calling Plan.
Forwarding Calls to a Call Queue via an Auto Attendant.
Within the AA configuration is an option for Business Hours Call Settings. This allows you to configure how the syspem behaves when a call is received. This includes the Actions option. Here you cal set up a greeting or menu system that will allow a caller to decide who they want to speak to based on the options you define. ‘Press1 for Sales or 2 for Support’.
This is done by assigning a Voice App which is the Call Queue you have previously created.
So. I hope this brief overview has been helpful. If you would like to know more the Microsoft documentation can be found Here for Auto Attendants or Here for Call Queues.
Thanks for taking the time to stop by.