A reader emailed me with a question about call forwarding in Lync. He wanted to keep call forwarding in place so people could receive calls while on the go. But, many of his users don’t change the forwarding while at their desks. They still take calls on their mobiles, using up minutes, when their PCs and/or VoIP phones are left unused.
So he’s looking for a way to stop call forwarding to certain numbers. At certain times.
It’s an unusual request. And after checking, we determined that such a setting isn’t currently available in Lync.
That doesn’t mean it’s not possible to configure call forwarding on a more granular level, though. In fact we came across two options for advanced call forwarding configuration. Here they are.
Tweak Call Forwarding with the “Set-CsClientPolicy” PowerShell Command
If you prefer administering in PowerShell, the Set-CsClientPolicy gives you dozens of configuration options for Lync client policies. Including call forwarding options.
For example, you could use the -HotdeskingTimeout switch to log a user out of their Lync Phone Edition after a short period of time (default is 5 minutes, but it can go down to as short as 30 seconds).
Or use -BlockConversationFromFederatedContacts to stop certain users from receiving outside calls initiated by the outside-the-office party. (Users can still call out though.)
Reserve Policy Control to the Admins with PolicyPak for Lync
We also located a third-party solution which allows you to manage Lync using Group Policy – PolicyPak for Lync. It operates like a layer on top of GPO, building in new options. Geared toward controlling which parts of the Lync client interface users can (and cannot) access.
The introductory video shows how to enable/disable a few common client settings. In terms of configuring call forwarding, PolicyPak for Lync essentially removes the control from users and puts it all in the administrator’s hands. Setting the policies you want becomes a piece of cake.
Want to test it out? A free Community Edition is available if you attend a PolicyPak webinar.
I’d recommend using Set-CsClientPolicy before trying PolicyPak. Just because there’s a lot of options available on that page, and it’s all built into Lync Server already. Still, both are useful ways of configuring many Lync client options. Including where & when calls can be forwarded.
P.S. – If you’re still on OCS 2007 R2 and you want to configure call forwarding, try Unify2’s Call Forwarding Configuration Utility. It lets OCS administrators configure simultaneous ring and call forwarding settings for users, from the same interface. Some of this functionality IS available in Lync Server though; if you haven’t upgraded, now’s the time to do it!