Call Pickup in Lync 2013 CU1


News from LyncConf!

A new server-side capability is being added in Lync Server 2013, which provides for powerful Group Call Pickup capability for users.  Group Call Pickup (GCP) is the ability for a user to be able to retrieve a call originally destined for another user.  This capability is common in open-office environments where one hears a colleague’s phone ringing but knows that this person is unavailable.  The GCP feature allows for the call to be redirected and answered by an available member of the group instead of having the call go unanswered and routed to Voice Mail.

Generally the intent of Group Call Pickup and Team Calling is the same, allowing calls to one person to be able to be answered by any number of people.  When Team Calling is configured by a user though, their call is forked and presented to several endpoints and as a result cannot be retrieved by using Group Call Pickup.  As a result, their use is mutually exclusive – one can use either Group Call Pickup or Team Calling, but not both.

Team Calling is configured by end-users in their Lync client and does not require any additional Lync server elements to be enabled while Group Call Pickup is configured by the administrator on the server-side and requires a server-side component to be enabled.  Additionally, with Team Calling the group routing is limited to only the configured user endpoints while with Group Call Pickup anyone can pick up the call by dialing the number of the pickup group.



  • How are pickup groups defined ? Lync- or AD-based ?
    • They are defined in Lync and stored in CMS and internal SQL tables. It’s a new group pickup type
  • Who administrates pickup groups : create group, add/delete/move users ?
    • You use LMS to create the groups and then use a new version of the SEFAutil to assign users to the groups
  • How am I notified of a call within my pickup group ?
    • Like the PBX feature – you need to be able to hear the ringtone for a member of a group and then you can pick it up. It’s pure audio based.
  • · How do I pickup a call on the Lync client and on an IP phone : function key, #code, menu ?
    • The incoming call to a person, who is a  member of a group, is automatically also parked in the call park service at the pre-defined pick up number. You then dial the pickup number, either a normal number or a number with # in front. You need to make sure that your dial plan supports calling the number. The call park service then connects you to the incoming call. The originally called user gets notified that you picked up his call by a missed call notification from Exchange UM. You don’t need to be a member of the group to pick up the call. All users need to be homed on CU1


This will for sure help closing clean PBX compete deals, because no one shouldn’t be in doubt when we are talking the full UC stack with integration to all other office products, on who to choose Smiley

In my blog on Pickup vs. Team calling you can find other vendors that has built a solution to solve this missing feature, so if this new build in call pickup feature in Lync 2013 isn’t what you are looking for, maybe one of them can help you.

More to come on this subject when CU1 will be available for Lync server 2013   

Other information  here on Matt’s blog