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Contacts & Groups

Adding contacts is a good way to stay in touch with colleagues using Skype for Business. However, you don’t have to add a person to your contacts list to communicate with them—you can simply search for the person and right click their contact to send an instant message.

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Find someone

The quickest way to find someone at Ku via Skype for Business is to launch a search by typing the person’s last name in the search box on the Skype for Business main window. Skype for Business will search KU’s Global Address List, and the results display automatically.

TIP: You can also search by:

  • Department
  • Title
  • Distribution list – You can add distribution lists with less than 100 members to your contacts list.

Add a KU contact to your Skype for Business contacts list

Your contacts list simplifies your communications and lets you see presence and contact information for the people most important to you. Add to it the people you expect to be interacting with regularly.

To add someone as a contact:

  1. In the search window, type the last name, title or department of the person you want to add. The search results will automatically appear below the search bar.
  2. Right-click the person’s listing, choose Add to Contact List, and choose a group to add your new contact to. By default, you will only have one group to choose called “Other Contacts.” See Create groups for you contacts to learn how to add new groups.
    add to contacts list

Add a non-KU number to your Skype for Business contacts list:

Although it is possible to add a phone number in the Skype for Business desktop interface as a contact, we recommend the following method of first creating an Outlook contact and then adding it to Skype for Business so that the number appears as the contact's name (as opposed to the formatted number).

In Outlook:

  1. Launch Outlook.
  2. Select Contacts.
  3. Select New Contact
  4. Provide a name for the contact.
  5. Enter a number for the contact formatting as (###) ###-####
  6. Select Save and Close.

In Skype for Business:

  1. Launch Skype for Business.
  2. In the search box, enter the person's name as it appears in your Outlook contact list.
  3. The contact should appear in the search results.
  4. Choose Add to Contacts List and choose a group, or select Add to Favorites to add it to your Favorites group. (Adding a contact to your favorites group is how you can add the number as a short cut on a Skype-enabled phone.)

Add a non-KU Skype to your Skype for Business contacts list

As of June 2014, the University of Kansas has designated itself to include open federation within Skype for Business, which means that you can communicate directly and add contacts from other organizations that have also adopted open federation without having to request additional setup from KU IT. In addition, you can add Skype contacts to your contact list.

By default, members of those organizations will not be able to see your presence information unless you add them to your contact list and assign them a privacy relationship that grants the ability to view presence information. See Privacy Relationships for more information.

See Microsoft’s Directory for a list of other federated organizations.

To add a non-KU Skype or Skype for Business contact:

  1. Within Skype for Business, click on the Add Contact/Contact Group Button button.
    Add a contact or group button
  2. Hover over Add a Contact Not in My Organization and select Skype for Business or Skype.
  3. Type the person’s IM Address. Skype for Business will give you a symbol verifying it is an actual address.
  4. Select a Contact Group and Privacy Relationship to give the contact. By default, the contact will be given the External Contacts privacy relationship and won’t be able to view your presence information.
  5. Then select OK.

Create groups for people you regularly get in touch with

You can set up a group for each team you work with so you can see at a glance who’s available at any given time, or communicate with the entire team at once.

To create a new group:

  1. In the Lync main window, click the Add a Contact button. 
    Add a contact or group button
  2. In the drop-down menu, select Create a New Group.
  3. A new entry box will appear at the bottom of your contacts list. Type over the phrase New Group to give your group a name. Press enter on the keyboard to set it.

TIP: You can send an instant message to an entire group by right clicking on the group name and selecting Send and IM.

Placing contacts in groups

You have several options for adding a contact to a group.

  • If the person is not in your contacts list, you can search for them by last name, right-click their contact. Then, choose Add to Contacts List and select the Group Name.
  • You can drag and drop a contact from one group to another.
  • You can right-click on a contact in your contacts list and choose Move Contact To or Copy Contact To and select the new group.

TIP: You can have one contact in multiple groups. 

Track down a busy co-worker

One great feature is being able to “tag” a contact, which means Skype for Business will display a notification as soon a contact’s status changes, so you know that it’s okay to send an instant message or drop by.

To tag a contact:

  1. In the Lync main window, in your Contacts list, right-click a contact, and then click Tag for Status Change Alerts.
    tag for status change alert

To untag a contact:

  1. You can right-click a contact, and then deselect Tag for Status Change Alerts. Or, when you  are   alerted  that the contact’s status has changed, you can select Untag from the notification box.

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Skype With The World

Do you have friends or family that use Skype for Business at other universities or organizations?

KU has open federation for Skype for Business, which means you can connect with friends and colleagues at more than 850 organizations around the world that also offer open federation. You can add a non-KU person at an open federation site to your contacts list and immediately begin a chat or S4B-to-S4B voice or video call. Check the Skype Directory to find organizations that have Skype for Business open federation.

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