Understand how Team Helpdesk System supports making calls using Skype

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Sometimes, technicians may need to contact callers via a phone call on emergency support requests. Under such scenarios, Team Helpdesk provides support for  making calls to any telephone/mobile number anywhere in the world right inside your Outlook – using Skype.

Team Helpdesk can use Skype to make internet phone calls (VoIP) with a valid SkypeOut account. Voice over IP (VoIP) is a protocol that allows users to transmit voice data over an internet connection, essentially allowing you to make phone calls to someone without going through your telecom provider. There are many types of VoIP solutions, some requiring dedicated hardware and others based purely on software such as Skype. Skype is a free VoIP application that uses a peer-to-peer networking scheme to route users’ calls. However, to make calls and send messages to telephones/mobile phones, you would need to buy credits. The international call charges are reasonably prices and make sense for your helpdesk needs if a good internet bandwidth is available for a quality voice over calls. To learn more on calls from Skype, visit http://www.skype.com/allfeatures/callphones/ .

How to get started?

Unlike other helpdesk settings which are performed by helpdesk manager/admin and saved in Exchange public folder, the phone settings are performed by individual technician and saved to the system registry of the system.

For the first time, when a technician tries to make a call (or send a SMS) to a mobile or phone number, Skype would automatically pop up a message asking you if to allow the Outlook Application (Outlook.exe) access to that Skype functionality.

If no prompt is displayed from Skype, just enter a phone number in the ‘Test Your Phone Connection’ section, and click the dial button. That should popup the Skype dialog, asking if Outlook.exe should be allowed access to use Skype. Click ‘Allow Access’.

You will have to select the first option ‘Allow this program to use Skype‘ and then click OK to continue. This setting is performed only one-time per user; subsequent access happens seamlessly to the technicians, that is, Skype remembers the selected option and would allow access as long as the user don’t explicitly unset it under Skype > Tools > Advanced Settings tab > Manage other programs’ access to Skype.

If for some reason, Skype does not seem to responding to calls or SMS commands from Team Helpdesk add-in in Outlook, most likely, Outlook.exe might be prevented by Skype to use it. You can easily enable it from the ‘Manage other programs’ access to Skype’ option.

Making Calls to caller/technician
With support for making outgoing calls enabled, either using Skype or attached phone, technicians then can start making calls to callers, technicians and Outlook contacts on a click of a button, all inside Outlook. Technicians can easily use the buttons and menu items available in the Team Helpdesk ongoing and resolved toolbars, Outlook case form, contact folder etc.

Making call to caller

Making call to technicians

Making a call to an Outlook contact
(Supports Skype only as Outlook has already provided inbuilt support for making calls to attached modem phone)

Calls made from Team Helpdesk are not recorded, but are logged (available in the log section of the support case form).