Enabling Skype for Business Users to Join a Conference via “Call Me At”

A scenario I have come across several times and usually forget the answer to is:

What configuration does a Lync user require to be enabled for the ‘Call me at’ conference feature?  

In this post I will address that question and some common end-user challenges with using this feature.

If you are not familiar with it, the ability to join a conference using the “Call me at” option it is a powerful communication feature. In Microsoft Skype for Business (SfB) and Lync, it allows end-users joining a SfB conference call (i.e. participants) to join the audio portion of the call by having the SfB server call out to whatever number the user specifies. This could be their cell phone, desk phone, or any manually specified phone number – provided the user is enabled for it, and as the Enterprise Voice feature set has been deployed.

When the user launches a Skype meeting, they are presented with some options to join the audio portion of the meeting as shown below. This screen shot shows one of the first sources of confusion – the “Call me at” drop-down box of numbers appears blank:

image

I have yet to determine if this is a SfB system configuration but I have seen it in the field several times. If this holds true for you, the best solution is user awareness, and fortunately once they click on the “Call me at” option (radio button), they will see a choice of numbers as shown here:

image

Another challenge with this feature is that if the end-user is not configured on the back-end server (Lync Server 2013 used here), the end-user experience is confusing. Even though the SfB client will allow the user select this join method, it will produce a generic error as shown here:

image

If you are seeing this error, check to make sure the user is enabled in the Skype for Business (SfB) or Lync Server 2013 deployment. And what settings enable them to use this feature?

Two system settings can be used to enable this conference join option. This is an “either / or” situation.  If they are enabled for either of these settings, they will be able to join conference audio using the “Call me at:” feature:

  1. Enterprise Voice, or,
  2. Conference Policy Setting (“Allow participants not enabled for Enterprise Voice to dial out”)

For the Enterprise Voice setting, if the user is enabled for “Enterprise Voice” in the Telephony setting of their account, they will have this capability regardless of the Conferencing policy setting. The setting for Enterprise Voice is in the user account in the Lync/SfB Control Panel:

image

The Lync/SfB Server Conferencing Policy setting which will also give a user this capability is the “Allow participants not enabled for Enterprise Voice to dial out”. It is available in the Lync/SfB Conferencing Policy setting in the Administrative Control Panel as shown below.  Lync/SfB policies can apply at different levels (Global, Site, User) so ensure that whatever policy you enable this setting with, is the effective policy applied to the user accounts you want to enable this feature for.

image

Any SfB user with this Conference policy setting enabled will be able to join via the “Call me at” option even if they are NOT enabled for enterprise voice.

The only other question around this feature is usually from Administrators who want to know how to control which numbers the end-user is given as choices. This is controlled by the same number options that show up in the Lync/SfB address book.

Happy Skyping,

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