Note that Skype for Business at CERN is being decommissioned. Please migrate to CERNphone instead.

  • What are the advantages of using Skype for Business (aka Lync)


    Skype for Business (aka Lync) provides extended phone functionalities. When a number is activated on Lync Phone system then phone calls can be done with Lync IP Phone OR/AND using a softphone. Softphone is an application (such as Skype for Business) installed on Windows/Mac or smartphones (Android, iPhone, Windows Phone). The advantage of using a softphone is that it's possible to make phone calls whenever Internet is available (for example while being in another country). It saves cost of roaming charges.

    It offers also possibility to easily configure forward/simultaneous ring to another CERN number.

    More information about features can be found in help pages, including a section Get the best when using Lync phone number


  • Skype for Business versus Lync

    Skype for Business is the successor of Lync (more information here).  
    Lync applications installed on desktops (Lync 2013 on Windows and Lync on OSX) and on mobile phones (Lync 2013 on iPhone, Lync 2013 on Android and Lync 2013 on Windows Phone) will continue to work.


  • "Skype for Business" versus "Skype"

    "Skype for Business" is a successor of Lync application. "Skype for Business" and consumer "Skype" are two different applications. Both can be installed and started on a Windows computer at CERN.
    Below you can see the icons for both applications:

    In general we advise to use "Skype for Business" in most cases as it allows to contact people from CERN and moroever people on consumer version of "Skype"

    • Use "Skype for Business" to contact people having CERN account. All CERN account are activate for "Skype for Business".

    • Use "Skype for Business" to contact people from other companies using "Skype for Business" and Lync.

    • You can use "Skype for Business" to communicate with a personal contact who is using commercial version of "Skype". You can add a Skype contact similarly to adding another "Skype for Business"/Lync contact.

  • How can I call external numbers: Geneva, Switzerland or another country

    To call Switzerland, for example Geneva region "022<phone number>"
    To call another country, for example France: "+33<phone number>", or "0033<phone number>" Calling external number involves charges so it's necessary to have specific rights. You can request the rights in "Phone Request" on https://edh.cern.ch.

    • Select "Phone Line Modification" in "Subscription type" of "Phone Request"
    • Select rights to be applied on the given numebr in "Phone request options" : "No external access" or "Local area" or "Worldwide"

    If you don't have yet rights on the phone system then you can dial the "Automatic Switchboard System at 79999"

    To dial special phone numbers (like 0800...) please note:

    • Several numbers starting with 08/09 are part of value added or premium rate numbers. Most of these value added and/or premium rate numbers are blocked in our call center.
    • Free numbers are allowed and accessible from Skype for Business and IP Phones without any PIN code.
    • Some French numbers (such as Telerabais, short numbers 36xx, 10xx etc) are reachable only from France and cannot be called from CERN landlines. Most of those numbers have an international equivalent that can be reached from anywhere. 

      For a free call to Switzerland dial from Skype for Business or from an IP phone: 0800 XXX XXX 
      For a free call to France dial from Skype for Business or from an IP phone: 0033 800 XXX XXX 

    • Please open a service-now ticket if, for professional reasons, you have to call a number which is blocked from CERN landlines.

  • Is there a cost when calling from a softphone

    There is always a cost when someone calls a standard telephone number (e.g. +41222323234) from a softphone or from Skype for Business IP phone. The cost depends on agreements with operators. In case a destination phone number is a CERN phone number, then the cost is 0 CHF. Examples of CERN phone numbers: +41227677222, 77222, +41754115600, 165600.

    If you use a softphone or Skype for Business IP Phone to call an e-mail address (e.g. first.name@example.com) then the call is for free.

  • How to activate a Lync number in shared offices

    In shared offices we recommend to activate Lync/Skype for Business phone number by using "Common Area" phone number type. From Resources portal choose "Skype for Business" service -> Common Area -> "Get a new phone number"

    More information about phone number types are available on help pages

  • Lync doesn't ring on my computer when receiving incoming call

    Check if a ringtone is selected for incoming calls. If a ringtone is set to "None" then no sound will be played on incorming call. The property can be set in: Tools -> Options -> Ringtones and Sounds -> Calls to: My work number

  • Who can see my presence

    CERN users can see availability of other CERN users on Skype for Business/Lync. 

  • Can I make external calls from another phone?

    Standard phones provide possibility to make external calls from another phone by specifying persnoal PIN (cf. phone system help page). Skype for Business doesn't provide this functionality. At the same time there is softphone application, so people can make phone call from wherever they are if they have a laptop.

  • Can I use several audio devices with Skype for Business (aka Lync)

    Yes, you can connect to your computer several audio devices and then configure in Options which one to use. In addition during a phone call it's possible to change the device to another, click "Change Device" in a pop-up window of the phone call. It's sometimes useful to switch to a headset to have hands free.

  • Can I use a headset with a Lync phone

    It is not recommended to use a headset connected to the phone. Please connect a headset to the PC and use it with the Skype for Business application instead.

  • How can I change settings on my voice mailbox

    Call (+412276)71111 to access your voice mailbox (change greetings, check messages etc.)

    If you don't remember PIN to your voice mailbox then reset it using Resources portal .

    In Skype for Business on Windows quickly access your voice mail from "Voice Mail" menu


  • Can I use WiFi to make phone calls

    Wired network provides more reliability so we recommend to use the wired connections. If you are using Wifi network that has poor signal there can be some problems with the quality of the call or even with call disconnetions. If you experience a problem with CERN network (wired or Wifi) then please contact service-desk@cern.ch.

  • Can I create a meeting in Skype for Business and invite non-CERN people

    You can create an ad-hoc meeting or you can send a Skype for Business invitation from Outlook. More information can be found on Create a conference meeting.
    People (also non-CERN) can join the meeting by calling a special number: +41227663200 and providing a conference ID, or they can join a meeting using Skype for Business.

  • How to manage contacts

    There are two types of contacts

    "Frequent contacts" changes dynamically so if you have contacts that should be at the top of the list then mark them "PIN to frequent contacts".

    To add a contact:

    You can choose how to sort them: by Groups, by Status, or by Relationship (not yet available on OSX and iOS).

    For each contact you can define "Privacy Relationship" - right click on the contact and specify the assignment. It's useful to mark people in your team as "Workgroup", then you can sort your contact by "Relationship" and moreover people in "Workgroup" are able to bypass "Do not disturb mode".

    • Frequent Contacts: based in your activity (instant messaging, calls, etc.) Skype for Business/Lync builds dynamically the list
    • Contacs manually added by you; by default people don't see your status adding manually a contact means that you allow him/her to see your status
    • search Skype for Business/Lync address book (Lync searches in CERN Address Book + your contacts on CERN Mail system)
    • right click and choose "Add contact".
  • How to add a picture

    To upload your picture to CERN Social, E-mail system or Lync system: login to http://social.cern.ch click on your profile -> Edit your Profile -> Upload a picture and mark the option "Set Social picture as source for Outlook and Lync"

    You can also upload your picture in Options of Lync, but the picture will be visible only by people who can see your status, and moreover the picture will not be visible in Outlook.

  • How to connect to a Skype user

    NOTE: this is only available when using Skype for Business for Windows.
    Type the name you'd like to search for in the search box, and select "SKYPE DIRECTORY". You can restrict searches by adding the location you'd like to search.

  • Reset my voice mailbox PIN

    You can reset your PIN from Resources portal

When somebody leaves CERN then his number is automatically unassigned after 7 days. If a person had a Lync IP Phone device then it's necessary to change the name of the device to the new number and reassign it to another person in network database: http://cern.ch/network. If the old user is still logged in on the device then remove the power cable, next plug the power cable when pressing buttons * (wildcard) and # (hash).


On MAC it's possible to define and work on different desktops. By design applications that are not attached to a given desktop are not able to use it. If you are working on a desktop where Lync is not allowed then you will not receive notifications about incoming calls or instant messages. To allow Lync send such notification click on the Lync application in "Dock" bar -> Options -> Assign to "All Desktops"


When somebody leaves CERN then his number is automatically unassigned after 7 days. If a person had a Lync IP Phone device then it's necessary to change the name of the device to the new number and reassign it to another person in network database: http://cern.ch/network. If the old user is still logged in on the device then remove the power cable, next plug the power cable when pressing buttons * (wildcard) and # (hash).


To perform Factory Reset of Lync IP Phone (Polycom CX 600 and HP 4120): unplug the power. Press simultaneously: wildcard * key, and hash # key, and plug the power. The phone asks for the confirmation before the factory reset
​If you have Polycom VVX model then please contact service-desk@cern.ch for a support.  


  • Problems when Skype for Business account is different than Windows account

    There might be problems when somebody is logged into a Windows computer using an account "A" and then he signs into Skype for Business using another account "B". For example it's not possible to connect to Exchange services, can't save the conversations etc. In such a case it's necessary to recreate the "Sign in" info.

    • Close Skype for Business and then re-launch Skype for Business

    • Click "Delete sign-in info"

    • Click "Sign in"

    • Fill information for the primary e-mail address (first.last@cern.ch), account name, password.

    • Sign into Skype for Business

  • Polycom VVX: how to configure the language?

    It is possible to configure the language even if it is not possible to read the menus:

    • Press the "Home" button on the phone

    • Select "Settings": the "tools" icon on VVX 201, and the "gear" icon on VVX 411

    • Select "Basic", or press "1" if you cannot read the phone language

    • Select "Preferences", or press "1" if you cannot read the phone language

    • Select "Language", or press "1" if you cannot read the phone language

    • Select the desired language

  • Polycom VVX: how to display my favourite contacts in the home screen?

    When you add contacts as favourites in the Lync / Skype for Business application, those favourites display on your "Home screen" and in the Contacts list on your phone.

    • The VVX 201 has 1 line key available, so you will see the first favourite contact (in alphabetical order).

    • The VVX 411 has 11 line keys available, so you will see the first 11 favourite contacts (in alphabetical order).