Azure Communication Services May 2024 Feature Updates
Published May 10 2024 01:31 PM 2,220 Views
Microsoft

The Azure Communication Services team is excited to share several new product and feature updates released in April 2024. (You can view previous blog articles here.)  

 

See this month’s updates:

  • Business-to-consumer extensibility with Microsoft Teams for Calling
  • Image Sharing in Teams meetings
  • Deep Noise Suppression Desktop
  • Updated Calling native SDKs for Android, iOS, and Windows
  • Updated Calling native UI Library for Android and iOS

 

Business-to-consumer extensibility with Microsoft Teams for Calling

 

Now in general availability, developers can take advantage of calling interoperability for Microsoft Teams users in Azure Communication Services Calling workflows.


Developers can use Call Automation APIs to bring Teams users into business-to-consumer (B2C) calling workflows and interactions, helping you deliver advanced customer service solutions. This interoperability is offered over VoIP to reduce telephony infrastructure overhead. Developers can add Teams users to Azure Communication Services calls using the user's Entra object ID (OID).

 

Use Cases

  1. Teams as an extension of agent desktop: Connect your CCaaS solution to Teams and enable your agents to handle customer calls on Teams. Having Teams as the single-pane-of-glass solution for both internal and B2C communication increases agent productivity and empowers them to deliver first-class service to customers.
  2. Expert Consultation: Businesses can invite subject matter experts, on Teams, into their customer service workflows for expedient issue resolution, and to improve their first call resolution rate.   

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In a world where customers need quick resolution and seamless interactions, Azure Communication Services B2C extensibility with Microsoft Teams makes it easy for customers to reach sales and support teams and for businesses to deliver effective customer experiences.

 

For more information, see Call Automation workflows interop with Microsoft Teams.

 

Image Sharing in Microsoft Teams meetings

 

Microsoft Teams users can now share images with Azure Communication Services users in the context of a Teams meeting. This feature is now generally available. Image sharing enhances collaboration in real time for meetings. Image overlay is also supported for users to look at it in detail.

 

Image sharing is helpful in many scenarios, such as a business sharing photos showcasing their work or doctors sharing images with patients for after care instructions.

 

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Try out this feature using either our UI Library or the Chat SDK. Note that the SDK is available in C# (.NET), JavaScript, Python, and Java:

 

Deep Noise Suppression for Desktop

 

Deep noise suppression is currently in public preview. Noise suppression improves VoIP and video calls by eliminating background noise, making it easier to talk and listen. For example, if you're taking an Azure Communication Services WebJS call in a coffee shop with considerable noise, turning on noise suppression can significantly improve the calling experience by eliminating the background noise from the shop.

 

For more information, see Add audio quality enhancements to your audio calling experience.

 

Calling native SDKs for Android, iOS, and Windows

 

We updated the Calling native SDKs to improve the customer experience. The April release includes:

  • Custom background for video calls
  • Proxy configuration
  • Android TelecomManager
  • Unidirectional Data Channel
  • Time To Live lifespan for push notifications

 

Custom background for video calls

 

Custom backgrounds for video calls is now generally available. This feature enables customers to remove distractions behind them. The custom image backgrounds feature enables customers to upload their own personalized images and use those as background.

 

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For example, now business owners can use the Calling SDK to show custom backgrounds in place of the actual background. You can, for example, upload an image of a modern and spacious office and set it as its background for video calls. Anyone who joins the call sees the customized background, which looks realistic and natural. You can also use custom branding images as background to show a fresh image to your customers.

 

For more information, see QuickStart: Add video effects to your video calls.

 

Proxy configuration

 

Proxy configuration is now generally available. Some environments such as highly regulated industries or those dealing with confidential information require proxies to secure and control network traffic. You can use the Calling SDK to configure the HTTP and media proxies for your Azure Communication Services calls. This way, you can ensure that your communications are compliant with the network policies and regulations. You can use the native SDK methods to set the proxy configuration for your app.

 

For more information, see Tutorial: Proxy your calling traffic.

 

Android TelecomManager

 

Android TelecomManager is in public preview. It is a system service that manages audio and video calls on Android devices. Use Android TelecomManager to provide a consistent user experience across different Android apps and devices, such as showing incoming and outgoing calls in the system UI, routing audio to the device, and handling call interruptions. Now you can integrate your app with the Android TelecomManager to take advantage of its features for your custom calling scenarios.

 

For more information, see Integrate with TelecomManager on Android.

 

Unidirectional Data Channel

 

The Data Channel API is generally available. Data Channel includes unidirectional communication, which enables real-time messaging during audio and video calls. Using this API, you can integrate data exchange functions into the applications, providing a seamless communication experience for users. The Data Channel API enables users to instantly send and receive messages during an ongoing audio or video call, promoting smooth and efficient communication. In group call scenarios, a participant can send messages to a single participant, a specific set of participants, or all participants within the call. This flexibility enhances communication and collaboration among users during group interactions.

 

For more information, see Data Channel.

 

Time To Live lifespan for push notifications

 

The Time To Live (TTL) for push notifications is now generally available. TTL is the duration for which a push notification token is valid. Using a longer duration TTL can help your app reduce the number of new token requests from your users and improve the experience. 

 

For example, suppose you created an app that enables patients to book virtual medical appointments. The app uses push notifications to display incoming call UI when the app is not in the foreground. Previously, the app had to request a new push notification token from the user every 24 hours, which could be annoying and disruptive. With the extended TTL feature, you can now configure the push notification token to last for up to 6 months, depending on your business needs. This way, the app can avoid frequent token requests and provide a smoother calling experience for your customers.

 

For more information, see TTL token in Enable push notifications for calls.

 

Calling SDK native UI Library updates

 

The April updates include Troubleshooting on the native UI Library for Android and iOS, and Audio only mode in the UI Library. 

 

Using the Azure Communication Services Calling SDK native UI Library, you can now generate encrypted logs for troubleshooting and provide your customers with an optional Audio only mode for joining calls. 

 

Troubleshooting on the native UI Library for Android and iOS

 

Now in general availability, you can encrypt logs when troubleshooting on the Calling SDK native UI Library for Android and iOS. We've made it easy for you to generate encrypted logs to share with Azure support. While ideally calls just work, or developers self-remediate issues, customers always have Azure support as a last-line-of-defense. And we strive to make those engagements as easy and fast as possible. 

 

For more information, see Troubleshoot the UI Library.

 

Audio only mode in the UI Library

 

The Audio only mode in the Calling SDK UI Library is now generally available. It enables participants to join calls using only their audio, without sharing or receiving video. Participants can use this feature to conserve bandwidth and maximize privacy. When activated, the Audio only mode automatically disables the video function for both sending and receiving streams and adjusts the UI to reflect this change by removing video-related controls. 

 

For more information, see Enable audio only mode in the UI Library.

 

You can learn more about these updates and Azure Communications Services Communication Platform as a Service in our overview 

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Last update:
‎May 21 2024 04:52 PM
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