I realize that there are other blogs that discuss this, and my apologies to the owners, but TechNet itself isn’t so clear and this comes up in the forums regularly. I wanted to clarify just what is Lync and Skype for Business Response Group (RGS) group alert time vs queue time-out as well as discuss their relationship. I feel it is best to do so through the use of scenarios. Please feel free to comment below if you feel I missed something.
Group Alert Time
This setting is simply how long the entire group will be tried in seconds before it gives up. It does not mean how long each group member’s phone will ring. This setting becomes more clear when we look at it in relationship to the queue.
This setting is the total amount of time all groups in the queue will be tried. There are scenarios where the time in the queue is actually longer than the queue time-out is set, and this can be observed in scenario B below.
Scenarios and Examples
It’s easier to explain this through the use of individual scenarios, so I will attempt to outline this below.
Scenario A – Single group in a queue with queue time-out set to be longer than group alert time
In this scenario, the group will ring for the alert time seconds defined in the group and stop. Since the queue time-out has not been reached, the group will ring again. This will repeat until the time-out has been reached. This scenario is handy for when you want the call to fail to another member of the group after a set time-frame. For example, if you have a four-member group set as round robin, with an alert time of 10 seconds, and your queue time-out is forty seconds, each available member of the group will hear the phone ring assuming nobody picks up.
Scenario B – Single group in a queue with queue time-out set to be shorter than group alert time
In this scenario, even though the time-out is reached the ringing will continue until the group’s alert time has been reached. For example, if the queue time-out is 10 seconds, but the group’s alert time is 30 seconds, the phone will ring for 30 seconds before the queue acts on the time-out. This is typically due to a misconfiguration rather than a planned scenario.
Scenario C – Multiple groups in a queue with queue time-out set to be longer than the sum of the group alert times
In this scenario, multiple groups are set up and ordered within the queue. The first group will be tried until it’s alert time is reached, and since the queue time-out has not been reached, the next group will then be tried. After each group is tried, a check to see if we’re past the time-out is made. Since we are not, the first group will be tried again and so-on.
Scenario D – Multiple groups in a queue with queue time-out set to be shorter than the sum of the group alert times
In this scenario, multiple groups are again set up and ordered within the queue. The first group will be tried until it’s alert time is reached (similar to scenario B, this can extend the queue time-out), and a check is made to see if we’re past the time-out. If so, we perform our time-out call action. If not, we move to the next group and try it for it’s full alert time. At the end, we check to see if we’ve passed the time out and move forward.
Hopefully that cleared a few things up for a few searchers out there, if so or if not leave a comment below.