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Additional Voice Features for the New Year

As we close out the calendar year, we have 4 important features and enhancements on our roadmap that we promised a year ago. Today we are announcing that Group Call Pickup, Call Park, and Shared Line Appearance will be available before the end of December 2018. Additionally, Location Based Routing moves into preview this December and based upon customer feedback, will be released for general availability next quarter. Let’s review each feature and how they can enhance your calling experiences in Microsoft Teams.

 

Group Call Pickup (GCP) is an enhancement to the current call group feature that enables users to create custom groups and have colleagues answer their calls when they are not available. To configure, click on your picture in the upper right and select “Calls” and then “Call answering rules”. As an example, I can select “forward my calls” and choose to forward to a call group. Then it’s easy to choose who is in my group and the desired ringing order – call everyone or ring in order. In addition, users in the call groups will also be able to choose to receive full audio and visual notifications for incoming calls in the group. They can also decide what type of notification they want for each group member. Many of our international customers have asked for these enhancements and we look forward to hearing about its usage.

 

Call Park (CP) is used in companies where employees are hard to contact when they are working. Users (such as reception) can assist the caller and help connect them to the at-large employee. When the call comes in, reception (or any user) can park the call by using the “more actions” icon. A unique code will be given to the person who parks the call. An intercom, pager, or even texting can be used to send the code to the target employee. The target employee can then retrieve the call from a Microsoft Teams client using the code provided by the original person answering the call.

 

Shared line Appearance (SLA) is an enhancement to the delegation feature that lets a user choose a delegate to answer or handle calls on their behalf. SLA can configure any enterprise voice enabled user as a shared number with multiple lines to respond to multiple calls. The calls are not actually received on the shared number, instead they are forwarded to users that act as delegates for the shared number. Any one of the delegates can pick up the call. This feature is especially helpful if a user has an administrative assistant who regularly handles the user’s calls.

 

Location-Based Routing (LBR) makes it possible to restrict the routing of calls between VoIP endpoints and PSTN endpoints based on the location of the parties in the call - especially where local regulations require such restrictions. It enforces call authorization rules based on the user’s location policy and their actual location as specified by the administrator. LBR starts public preview this month and subject to user feedback, will become generally available toward the end of CY19-Q1.

 

Together, these four features represent a significant milestone in how calls are handled by Microsoft Teams. Users can now easily add these different ways of working and collaborating based on their company needs. Please let us know which scenarios you plan to use these features for! We expect documentation with further details to be available later in December and we will update this blog with those URLs.

7 Comments
Senior Member

The channel integration framework for Dynamics 365 allows the a telephony provider to be integrated into the dynamics client using a simple widget. The framework is channel agnostic. The question is are we going to see a widget that will allow the Microsoft Phone system to be the telephony provider and integrated within Dynamics 365. It would see very odd if that were not the case, but I cannot find any information anywhere about it. Hopefully the ability to use the Microsoft Phone system (i.e. Teams calling) will roll out together with these new voice features.  If anybody has any information about this I would be very grateful.

Frequent Contributor

Can we just get the 'voice call' button on a contact card in teams to offer the option to call their phone numbers?  Believe it or not, not everyone uses skype/teams for voice calls.  When I click that button and it places a skype call, it causes havoc on the other end.  

Couldn’t agree more. Some small, but important features are being missed. Please vote for my idea: https://microsoftteams.uservoice.com/forums/555103-public/suggestions/36191869-lets-make-contacts-gr...

Senior Member

Some more things missing from Voice that are quite important:

 

  • Pull call - or the ability to change from desktop to mobile/vice-versa
  • Transfer calls to PSTN - the ability to transfer to an off-net (non-PhoneSystem) number
  • iOS CallKit Integration including CarPlay
  • Dialpad in mobile by default instead of having tap 4 things to start to dial a number
  • Dial from command bar in desktop client
  • Dialpad focus - when on the Calls tab, the text box for the phone number should have focus by default
  • Improvements with Click To Dial - some protocols work, others don't - ability to specify and take over: tel: dial: callto: ucdial: sip: skype: and (wishful thinking) tapi interception - with number formatting auto-correction would be a dream

 

Also, ever since adding a Polycom phone to my account, and we are in "Teams Only" mode, some of my colleagues see me listed as "Using Skype for Business" on occasion.

 

Lastly, I've seen some strangeness with incoming calls:

  • a call was coming in, ringing on one laptop, not on my mobile device
  • a call came in, I clicked to answer in Teams right away and the call disappeared - have to let it ring a full ring before answering so that the calls don't disappear

 

Occasional Contributor

 @Andrew Morpeth I couldn't have summed it up better, as you did in your uservoice post. You got my vote.

 
Occasional Visitor

Can you please add to your to-to list for MS Teams the following?

 

1. While watching a recording that may be stored within Files for a team, it completely resets the video when you click on an incoming chat. That should not happen and should pick up where you left off...

 

2. While watching a video within Teams, please add hotkeys to pause/start the video (i.e. spacebar), and also add in forward or rewind 15 second buttons.

 

These additions would positively impact the user experience significantly while viewing recordings from teams. thanks!

Frequent Visitor
When can we expect Teams feature roadmap for 2019?