Home
Microsoft

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.

22 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.

Regular 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...

Occasional Contributor

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

 

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?
Occasional Visitor

Please can we have hold music in teams.

Senior Member

Would be great, if delegates were able to change call forwarding settings for the user who is delegating. For our customers this feature is more important than making calls on behalf of the user who is delegating.

Visitor

Will these features also work in the SfB client and/or on desk phones?

Occasional Visitor

For the Call Park feature, the language above states:

 

" The target employee can then retrieve the call from a Microsoft Teams client using the code provided by the original person answering the call."

 

Does this mean the target employee would be able to retrieve the call from their Teams app on their mobile device?

Thanks all - this is some great feedback! :)

 

Stefan Schönleber -- Re. delegates being able to manage settings on behalf of the manager -  We do have plans to enable this in our backlog. I don't have a firm timeline to share yet, but would love to check back with you to validate our designs as we get a bit closer to execution.

 

@wrall - Plans to enable first a default music on hold are underway (no customizability yet for the first version of this) - and potentially adding customizability later.

 

 

@Krishnan Raghupathi no worries, it's awesome that you guys are reviewing and discussing the community feedback. Keep up the good work :)

Senior Member

@Krishnan Raghupathi: Thanks for your feedback! Would love to give feedback on your design ideas, whenever you are ready!

New Contributor

It would be good if the call control components could be undocked while on a call that floats above all other apps.  Its a pain in the proverbial to have to open the full Teams client to get call control back when needed.

Occasional Contributor

Please add the option to send someone to voicemail so receptionists can forward a call directly to an executives VM box without disrupting the employees or customer with endless rings.

What we call "Team Call" in Skype for Business is renamed Group Call Pickup (GCP) in Teams.
This feature rename is not a great idea in my opinion, could only create more confusion in customers.
The REAL Call Pickup in Skype for Business is still missing.

Regards

Luca

Hi @Luca Vitali -- our design for Group Call Pickup in Teams does differ from Skype for Business - which leveraged the use of a pickup code. However, circling back with the team - this was done deliberately after a lot of discussion with major customers and understanding a lot of products that are in-market today. Here are the major points backing our implementation of modern Group Call Pickup

 

 

  • The top factor for low-usage in GCP in general is that users forget the code. You have a code per group, and if you have multiple groups which is very typical, you would have to remember multiple codes. It worked for people who pick-up calls frequently, but not for those that need to do that occasionally. Adding a bit of complexity in scenarios (picking up a targeted call or a secondary group call) made it impossible for most users to adopt. 
  • Due to the code management and other factors, GCP has always been a tenant-admin controlled feature. There was great desire for a user-driven experience in terms of setup and management.
  • Providing a modern user experience involved bridging the gap conceptually between Team Call and GCP - as most users seemed to be using Team call anyway

Hope this helps! As always thanks so much for the feedback, and please feel free to reach out to us anytime.

 

Occasional Visitor

Can I add this feature for my clients at <a href="https://www.smsinbd.com">SMSinBD</a>?

Senior Member

Looking through these comments, it seems that Teams still needs a fair amount of maturation (and perhaps architectural tweaking) before replacing SfB as a phone system. The collab stuff may be better, but that's a tough sell if basic functions like transfer to voicemail aren't there, and other basic features have a confusing/poor UX (clicking a default mobile number initiates a Teams call).

 

Comments like "have to open the full Teams client to get call control back when needed" are also troubling: if you're doing significant work elsewhere in Teams and have to context switch at the application level rather than the OS or physical device level, it undermines efficiency. It's also concerning that the expectation of dialtone-level reliability is sitting on top of and at the mercy of a heavyweight, frequently updated app.

 

Please please please... make sure the fundamentals are solid. Background blur is cool tech, but it's a nonstarter when you can't do something as simple as transfer to voicemail.

Occasional Visitor

Further to @Ryan Helmer When a call comes in and the default device is headset, the notification ringtone comes through on the headset. I would assume most staff dont wear their headsets all day, this is something that needs attention. Either let us specify the notification device (e.g. speakers) or allow us to select multiple ring devices. We miss so many calls because of this. 

New Contributor

I agree with you, if we can't have Teams ring on the PC/Speakers while having a headset call, that is a TERRIBLE break in user experience.  Our customer service team will be freaking out.  Hopefully, Teams can split these 2 sound requirements.