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The Lync 2010 switchboard

In many phone systems, an Attendant or Operator Console is an expensive addition. Lync 2010 conveniently includes a free software attendant console right out of the box. The screen grabs below are from a demonstration I once gave, and give a good overview of the Lync Operator Console. To access the console, you run the Lync Attendant client instead of the standard Lync client. The logon however, looks very similar.

The Lync Operartor Console is designed to be run full screen. You can see your contact groups on the right of the window.

You can organise the list of contacts other than alphabetically, in a variety of other ways, such as who's available, the company that they work at etc.

If the lists are too long, you can simply type the user name to find them.

One nice aspect of the Lync 2010 console is that it will display additional information about the contacts listed in the Lync directory. This information includes whether the Lync contact is available for incoming calls and alternative methods (such as email details) that a user can be contacted on.

Along the top you have buttons for calls, voicemail, call history, followup, forward, options and mic and headset options.

Being Lync 2010, the Attendant, can do more than just make a phone call. When you click on New, you also have the ability to prepare conference calls, make instant messages and make group instant messages.

You can also have a variety of call forwarding settings for people who are otherwise engaged and cannot accpet a phone call.

When in a live phone call, across the top you have the options to hold, transfer, consultative transfer, invite someone into the conversation and hang up. Down the side of the window you have a Notes field, IM (if a Lync user) Dial Plan and Contact History.

A nice feature is that you can drag and drop users to a phone call. Calls stack on the right of the client.

To answer an incoming call double click on the call shown. Double clicking a call on-hold, will bring it back and put the other call(s) on hold.

If the console is minimised, you will see a pop up (known as a toast) appear at the bottom right of the screen to show that there is an incoming call.

These are the options for the contacts.

To start a conference call, drag and drop contacts onto a call.

Recent repeat callers are noted on the incoming call toast.

To transfer you can just search and hit enter if you find the right user. You can also transfer directly to voicemail.

If you click a transfer button, you can't change calls until you have decided what to do with the call in transfer.

This has been an overview only, if you would like a more in depth guide, do read the Microsoft Lync 2010, Attendant documentation. Other articles in this series:-

Lync Accessibility Support

Lync 2010 Virtualised Testing

How to make Lync directive and consultative transfer calls

How to federate Office 365 Lync with Lync On-Premise