Persistent Chat is Deployed–Now What?

Persistent Chat (PChat to those near that have come to love it or hate it) is an interesting beast in that it isn’t very widely used in many organizations, if it is used at all. However, I have found that PChat provides valuable communication and collaboration opportunities for many user groups in a company.

For example, help desk personnel can post information in a room about trending issues caused by an application upgrade, and they can share their fixes. Once the next shift comes in, they can review the information previously posted.

Deploying PChat is covered by several Technet articles and several blogs. It is fairly simple, unless you want stretch pools, to deploy PChat. The basic steps are to:

  1. Create the PChat Pool in the Topology Builder.
  2. Install the prerequisites on the target servers.
  3. Run the Deployment Wizard.
  4. Make sure you update the install to match the rest of the environment.

The next steps are pretty simple, as well. However, it is easy to forget a few steps. So, let’s cover the individual pieces that are needed.

Persistent Chat Policy

Configure the Persistent Chat Policy to enable PChat, and assign it to the user accounts. You can edit the existing Global policy if you want, or create another policy and enable PChat for it and then assign it to users.

Create a Category 

You will probably want to create multiple categories depending on your permission model, the types of users, or even the location of the users.

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The Category needs to include:

  • Allowed members – To add users to the room, they must be listed in the Allowed members list. This can be confusing in comparison to Group Chat. The category basically defines what users are allowed to be assigned to rooms in the category. Allowed members can include OUs, Distribution Groups, Domains, and individuals
  • Denied members – As in all Microsoft products, deny overrides allowed.
  • Creators – You need to define the list of creators. These are the administrators that will have the permissions to create rooms in the category.

Note: The Enable file upload does not work for Lync 2013 clients, it will only for down-level clients.

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Create Rooms

The creators can create rooms, and then assign the Managers role so that the managers of a room can add and remove users to the room. Remember, they can only add users that have been previously identified in the category.

The page for creating new rooms is pretty self-explanatory.

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Edit/Modify Room Settings

Changes can be made to a room in the My Rooms screen by hovering over the room name and then clicking on the Edit icon when it appears. Another method would be to use the Lync 2013 client, enter the room, and then click on the ellipses and expose the menu that allows you to Manage the Room.

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