Lync 2013 Call Pickup Groups Oddity

lync 2013 call pickup groups During one of our recent Lync 2013 installations, the customer needed Call Pickup Groups. The basic premise of which is that users have a “group” and if they hear another phone ringing on the desk of a user in their group, they can key-in their group code and answer that call. It’s very handy and it works okay.

There are several ways to implement this: by using SEFAutil or better yet the My Lync Lab Call Pickup Group Manager.

We set up the users. We set up the groups. We went live. All was well.

<insert ominous sound>

Until… it wasn’t.

Quickly after go-live, the customer reported several users that just “disappeared” from their group/orbit. It happened often. They were there – then later they weren’t. We could not find any logs or any ideas at all why this could possibly be happening. The customer was re-adding users daily. This issue was not affecting all users, just some, and not all users in a particular group/orbit…and not all on the same group/orbit. Just some orbits. Baffling.

Last week I was at Microsoft Ignite and teed this issue up with some of the MVP/MCM that I knew. I talked about it in a few sessions and asked some super smart people. I got a couple interesting responses including “SEFAUtil? I’m out… burn that down, man…” and also, “Wow, strange – we never implement group call pickup,” and others as well.

The good news is that my customer is persistent. They opened – on their own – several Microsoft cases and after many hours of time they found a common issue.

All affected users, it appears, were using Polycom VVX phones and also using the Call Forwarding feature. The customers were using Polycom VVX UC Firmware v5.2.0.8330 centrally provisioned and upgraded from Lync 2013 itself. All of this happened in early March 2015 – about two months ago as of this writing.

During the customer’s research – and Microsoft’s research – the 5.2.2 firmware was released and the Release Notes are useful.

Specifically this Resolved Issue – VOIP-95153.

lync 2013

Isn’t that fun?  The customer upgraded their phones from v5.2.0.8330 to v5.2.2.0501 and all is well. The problem went away.

Of course Polycom v5.3 firmware is out – and Lync qualified now – so that’s on the to-do list with this customer when they are ready.

Just wanted to share a specific note from the field. Has anyone else had confusion with their Lync 2013 Call Pickup Groups?

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