Group Call Pickup Coming to Lync Server 2013 in CU1 Update: Here’s How It Will Work

Roy Kuntz noted in his Lync Conference 2013 “Deploying Voice” session today that Lync Server 2013 will get Group Call Pickup functionality as part of CU1 update. Since this is one of the top requested features on this is very welcome news.

I caught up with Roy in the Lync Conference Lounge afterwards and we chatted about the details of how Group Call Pickup will work in more detail. Below are some of my notes: (note: I didn’t test or see the feature, so I’m going on what I’m told here)

  • Setup
    • Call Park Ranges will be used to define Group Call Pickup. Admins can check a flag when setting up a Call Park Range and then the range will be used for Group Call Pickup instead of a Call Park.
    • Lync Management Shell is used to create groups and add/delete/move users. (source: MicrosoftUC Blog)
    • A new version of the SEFAutil is used to assign users to the groups. (source: MicrosoftUC Blog)
    • Detailed Setup Steps: Click Here
  • How To Use
    • When a phone is ringing, dial the Park/Group Call Pickup number assigned to that extension to pick it up.
    • The original ringing user will get a missed call notification from Exchange UM. (source: MicrosoftUC Blog)
  • How Group Call Pickup (GCP) Works Behind the Scenes
    • An incoming call going to a user that is part of a GCP will ring the user and simultaneously be automatically placed in a Call Park.
  • Various Notes:
    • More than one Group Call Pickup per FE Pool can be defined
    • SEFAUTIL will be used to administrate the Group Call Pickup
    • If an extension is assigned to a Group Call Pickup, anyone will be able to pick it up as there is no authorization needed to pick it up.
    • All users need to be homed on a Lync Server 2013 with CU1 applied to use GCP feature. (source: MicrosoftUC Blog)
    • Feature noted to work with Lync 2010, Lync 2013 & Lync Phone Edition (really should work with any endpoint)
    • This feature is designed to work in scenarios where a user can *hear* the other phone ringing. The reason for this is that Lync has no concept of “Ringing” presence state that users can see. (I have argued for the need for such a state for dynamic/fluid/fast-paced voice scenarios, but at this time there Lync does not have one)

Session Slide Screenshots: Architecture


Planning Slide


What If I Don’t Have Lync Server 2013?

While you need Lync Server 2013 with the coming CU1 to get this feature as part of Lync, there are 3rd party products that bring this feature to Lync Server 2010. I would suggest looking closely at Cerebro from Colima. For video of these 3rd party call pickup options see:

Other Sources:


  1. Great news!!!
    Thank you Matt

  2. Best Lync related news i have heard in awhile lack of call pick up has caused massive issues in my Company

    Wasnt planning on Lync 2013 upgrade for quite awhile but this may force the issue now :)

    Matt did they mention if the Call Pick up was just by hearing a Phone ring or was there any type of call line appearance that may work on LPE or Client that notifies other user

    1. thanks for the question: see my updated notes.

    2. There are other call pickup solutions out there as well. Even for Lync 2010...

  3. Thank you, Matt ! Good article...

    I encountered only one difficulty ... when I try to assign a pool of numbers in the format #XXX, I was not able to configure voice routing. If I set numbers for orbit like 9000 (without pound) - all work correctly.

    If possible ... Tell please, what additional steps are needed to set up voice routing (dial plan ? voice routing ?) for numbers in the format #XXX

  4. more technical details:

  5. Hi Mat Landis.
    i have one question regarding group pickup service. i have deploy Lync Enterprise Voice in Survival Branch Appliance (SBA) and we enable one of EV feature called Group Pickup..could you help me to solve this problem


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