Q&A About Microsoft Lync Boss Admin and Shared Line Appearance


What is Lync Boss Admin?

The Lync Boss/Admin feature allows you to place a call on hold for another user and pickup with one button press.

How Do I configure Boss Admin?

The overview of how you setup Boss Admin is:

  • Lync Server 2013 has Boss Admin enabled at the server level out of the box. If you have Lync Server 2010 you will need to run a little SQL to enable Boss Admin functionality. Click Here.
  • Now you need to use the Lync client of the “Boss” Lync user and add Delegates which will be the “Admins”.
    • There can be more than 1 Admin for each Boss.
  • Now on the Boss phone you add a Boss/Admin button for each “Admin”
  • On the Admin phone you need to add a Boss/Admin Boss button for “Boss” they assist.

You can either add Boss/Admin buttons from the phone UI or the phone Web UI as shown below:


Now below you can watch how Boss/Admin works on Snom UC Edition Devices:


Q. What are caveats to watch out for?

  • On Admin phone, the Boss button will show “In a Call” and “Holding” but it will not show “Available'”, “DND” or “Busy”.
    • The Boss/Admin button is not a Lync User presence button, but a Boss/Admin status button.
  • Only Lync Qualified devices supporting Boss/Admin feature work with Boss/Admin
    • Lync Phone Edition, Lync Client do not support Boss/Admin
  • Appears like you may not want to mix Polycom VVX and snom UC Edition devices when doing Boss/Admin scenarios
    • In my quick test you can place a call on hold on snom (admin) and pickup on Polycom (Boss), but if you place the call back on hold from Polycom you cannot pickup from snom. (in other words a polycom would not make a good admin phone in a mixed environment…:)
    • While pickup does not seem to work between vendors, the “In a Call” and “Holding” status does seem to display correctly.


Q. What are some pleasant surprises around Boss/Admin

  • If you have several Admins for 1 Boss, the Admins can all “pickup” a call placed on hold for the Boss by other Admins via the Boss button on their phone
    • This is ironic since the Boss himself can only pickup a call placed on hold for him if he has an Admin button assigned for the Admin who placed the call on hold.
    • In other words: the Boss need a dedicated button for each Admin that might place a call on hold for him. Admins associated with Boss will see and be able to pickup all calls placed on hold for the Boss by another Admin
  • If an Admin placed 2 (or more) calls on hold for the Boss it will be handled quite elegantly: the Boss or Admin will be presented with a list of calls (by Caller ID) they can select from to pickup when they press the Boss/Admin button.


Q. Does Lync Support Shared Line Appearance? (CO Lines, Key System Emulation)

Lync Server does not have the concept of Shared Line Appearance/ CO Lines/Key system emulation but by being a little creative with the new Boss/Admin feature might be able to emulate this functionality somewhat. (With caveats)

The overview of how to do this on snom UC Edition:

  • Setup a Lync user called something like “Line1” to act as your place holder Boss Lync user. This Lync user will have no IP phone associated with it.
  • Add all the users/phones that will participate in this “share line appearance” group as delegates to the “Line1” Lync “Boss” user using the Lync client.
  • Now add a Boss/Admin button for the “Line1” “Boss” to each phone that will participate in this “share line appearance” group
  • If you want phones to “silently” ring, Login to snom web UI and goto Identity1 | Login | Ringtone for Forwarded Calls = Silent (not necessary)
  • Call “Line1” user. You should now be able to place this call on hold and pickup from any of the phone in the group.


See this “SLA” in action below:

Caveats to consider

  • The phone that put the call on hold will not have the “Line1” (Boss/Admin) lit. I will look like a standard call on hold. But it will say on the display
  • You will likely want to see if “Line1” is already in use (On a Call/On Hold) and then send subsequent calls to Line2, Line3 etc. I have not figured out a method to do this…yet.


If you have an findings about Lync Boss/Admin I’m very interesting in your feedback. Please comment below or on Twitter.

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  1. Hi Matt, great article I have been pretty vocal on your other posts and in forum about the need for Line Appearances to be added as a real feature since Lync 2010 Server was released, if Lync is ever to be called a true PABX replacement

    In my setup I do something similar to your workaround using the Snom 760, except I register the sip identities directly on the users phone and then set the silent ring option, then setup Boss\Admin delegate on these phones

    So then have trained users that when they hear phone ring it is there own call and when the phone flashes with no ring it is a call for another user - its a little messy but it works and the Hold | Boss Admin works great after that

    This all relates to Lync very messy Team Call \ Call Forward Settings which works great if your single user\ voicemail but works terribly in this scenario when assigning calls to someone else as users will not always have correct settings- but ill leave my gripes on this for another time

    In my opinion if there was someway that Lync could display a ringing flash on a button or even as a presence status - Boss Admin and even Lync Call Pickup would work perfectly without the need for Team Call, etc

    I even approached Snom direct on this idea but they said it could be possible but would require a better use case or would need to be funded by ourselves - maybe something I can hassle someone about at Lync 2014 Conference

    Anthony M

    1. Anthony, if there was concept of parking slot (say #400) that could be assigned to button on phone, and that button would light when someone is in the park, this could solve problem for many I think.

  2. Hi Matt, thank you so much this article, I've recently got a Lync pilot going in my company (30 users). One issue I've come across is shared lines. Some of our executives have multiple phones in their offices, and I would like to join the same call from multiple phones at the same time by just pushing a button (Line1 for example) on the phone. Is there anyway to currently do that using a Lync phone?

    Oleg M.

    1. This sounds like a conference or "listen in/join in" call scenario. The snom UC edition has announced one click meeting join from snom 7xx is coming (see

      The "barge in" is usually associated with a call center 3rd party app.

  3. Regarding your statement above: "Lync client does not support Boss/Admin", can you clarify? The Lync client absolutely can be used to make and receive calls on behalf of another user, and you can see via presence when the boss is in a call.

    1. agree poorly worded. should say that Lync client doesn't have single click call hold/pickup or indicate that call is on hold for Boss.


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