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Microsoft

Microsoft Bookings has grown tremendously since its inception several years ago, and as it has matured and we have received your feedback, we have added more features and capabilities. We are continuing to enhance Bookings and ensure it is a powerful solution for businesses

 

Updated for the enterprise

Enterprises offer a variety of different services to a variety of different people; therefore, they need a solution that is both versatile and customizable. That’s where Bookings comes in. With Bookings, a large enterprise can create booking pages with relevant services and schedules for their many appointment needs. It can be used across the organization for internal or external appointments, and provides a simple, yet powerful solution to ease the hassle of scheduling appointments for both, the booking the appointments and those who provide the service.

 

Making things easier across your organization

It’s all about simplicity and consistency. Every booking is created and managed in the same way, meaning the platform can be used across the organization without needing to retrain users across different software. With Bookings, your key scheduling tools are all in one place. Various appointment types, staff members, schedules, and booked customers can all be managed from the internal admin page. Reducing the need to switch between locations to find relevant information saves you time and helps to keep things simple. With customizable business hours for each service and staff member, scheduling is easily tailored to ensure minimal effort is needed to find a time that works best for everyone. The added value you get from using Office 365 is automatic syncing between Bookings and your Outlook calendar. Bookings calls staff’s free/busy availability from their Office 365 account to inform booking availability, and once an appointment is booked through Bookings, the staff’s Office 365 calendar is automatically blocked to reflect the change. When that perfect appointment time is found, friendly confirmation and reminder emails are sent out to ensure a pleasant experience from end to end.

 

Every organization is different, which is why we’ve built flexibility into how the product can be used. Bookings can be used for scheduling common external services, such as booking a financial advisory consultation, job candidate interviews, client meetings, healthcare visits, or customer service appointments in retail. It can also be used for internal services too, like conducting IT support calls or running student office hours, either virtually or in person. Using Bookings can help you show up in a consistent way to those outside your organization, whether it be appointments with customers or partner organizations you work with frequently – there’s a Bookings page for so many scenarios. Even when scheduling meetings when there is calendar visibility, such as within your own organization, Bookings helps keeps things organized and efficient. Appointments with a set time limit prevent over-booking of necessary time slots and allow for built in buffer time, like when moving from place to place in between meetings. Ability to set availability for different services helps create clear boundaries on when different appointments should take place, such as a professor leaving Tuesdays for undergraduate office hours and Thursdays for graduate thesis meetings. This helps reduce context-switching and keep staff organized and focused. There are numerous possibilities and they can be customized to fit the situation and needs of many different parts of an organization.

 

Add services to simplify booking and ensure uniformity across appointment typesAdd services to simplify booking and ensure uniformity across appointment types

 

Easily manage staff calendars and schedule new appointments from one pageEasily manage staff calendars and schedule new appointments from one page

 

Publish a Bookings page so attendees can book the appointment they want when it works for themPublish a Bookings page so attendees can book the appointment they want when it works for them

 

Confirmation emails can be sent to staff and attendees when an appointment is bookedConfirmation emails can be sent to staff and attendees when an appointment is booked

 

Introducing the Bookings app in Teams

As we expand our view on how Bookings can benefit enterprises, a key part of that journey is how Bookings will show up in Teams. Microsoft Teams is the hub for teamwork in Microsoft 365 that brings together chat, video, voice, and your favorite apps in one place. In the coming months, the power of Bookings will be available as a Microsoft Teams app. The Bookings app in Teams makes it easier for you to schedule and set up virtual appointments, one of the fastest growing engagement models for organizations connecting with external customers.  Bookings in Teams allows you to create booking pages, add appointment categories, assign staff, and both schedule new and manage existing appointments all within the Teams calendar – no more switching between apps to do simple tasks. Plus, when you need to access additional Bookings functionality, simply click “Open in Bookings” and be redirected to the web Bookings app instantly. Set up your next virtual appointment through the Bookings app in Teams by adding it from the Teams app store and navigating to the Bookings tab in the Teams calendar.  Check out more of what Teams is offering here.

 

Get the Bookings App in Microsoft TeamsGet the Bookings App in Microsoft Teams

 

Bookings calendar is available right within Teams as an additional calendar tabBookings calendar is available right within Teams as an additional calendar tab

 

As Bookings continues to grow, we are committed to developing new features and capabilities that ease the various pains of scheduling and empower organizations to organize their business in a way that makes sense to them. While we continue on this journey, we want to hear from you! Let us know what you think about Bookings and what you want to see in the future – all in UserVoice.

 

Learn more about Bookings, how to set it up, and start creating your own bookings pages.

 

 

31 Comments
New Contributor

This is great news to have it in the Teams App Store. When will it show up in the Teams app store? It is not there today.

Super Contributor

This is great looking forward to this !!!

Regular Visitor

Will this be available for education users as well? 

Occasional Visitor

I need a booking tool that will allow my scientists to book equipment:  hoods, PCR machines etc.  Allow me to group the equipment, so they can see what is open.  In the past I've used overlayed Classic SharePoint calendars. 

Senior Member

Great news!

Interesting to understand why it has been silent in the Bookings communication (i.e this Blog) for a year and a half (since 2018)? How come it has been so silent?

I miss Bookings in the PowerAutomate service (flow.microsoft.com). I can see that there is a lot of integrations in Flow with 10to8 booking solution but nothing from Microsoft own service Bookings. How come?

 

//David

 

Senior Member

@Jessica_Wilczek AS of today (3/4/2020) I can no longer see the Max Attendee or Let the customer manager their own booking options on the services page.  Has there been a change? The User Interface in general appears to have changed.

 

Services I had previously configured are still there and although I can no longer see the Max attendee information, when booking that service the number I configured in that field yesterday is still being recognised. 

 

However when I book multiple people into the same time slot, when the entry is added to the booking calendar I can no longer see the names of the customers who made those bookings.

 

Yesterday and every day before that the experience was different.

 

Microsoft

@Marce2220  Thank you for letting us know about this issue. We are currently addressing it on high priority. In the meantime, you can load Bookings directly using https://outlook.office.com/bookings or https://outlook.office.com/bookings/services and it should bypass the issue.

Occasional Visitor

Is there a planned release date? The app isn't available in the Teams App Store as of yet.

Senior Member

Thanks so much @Jessica_Wilczek  Those links worked great, appreciate the prompt response :smile:

 

Occasional Contributor

@Jessica_Wilczek I'm wondering about the internal use of Bookings.  Right now we can set Bookings so that user is forced to log in (for an internal only Bookings application) however they are still required to manually enter all their personal information.  It would make a lot of sense if either you could lock it to what is stored in Azure AD or at least populate all that info the way you do when a Customer is added through the admin portal.

New Contributor

@Jessica_Wilczek  This is great news.  Where can I find documentation for using Bookings from the enterprise perspective?  I ask because all the documentation for setup and use I can find seem to be focused on the small business, not the enterprise perspective.  Any pointers to enterprise related documentation would be very helpful.  We are really looking at Bookings as being an external facing appointment calendar for individuals for many of our departments (this use case is not covered in the documentation I have seen), but are also looking at it as a way to book appointments for product pick-up using our 6 docks (this use case seems to more closely align with documentation I have seen).  

 

I am also looking forward to the Teams capabilities.  Do you know which quarter this year that those capabilities should be available?

 

Thank you.

Senior Member

Hi @Jessica_Wilczek 

 

Is this the best place to log a problem I found in Microsoft Bookings or is there somewhere I should log a support ticket?

 

Problem we encountered:

We successfully created a service with a Default duration of 30 minutes.

We successfully set the Maximum Attendees value to 8 so 8 people could book into each 30 minute booking.

We successfully set up specific date and time availability for the Service.

 

We then successfully published our booking page BUT then the problem occurred. As people started to book, their bookings started to go into the wrong spot in the booking calendar. People who were booking for the 9am slot were being added to the 9:30 slot and other time slots.  Some bookings ended up in a time slot on the booking calendar that corresponded with their bookings but there did not seem to be any pattern to it.  

And although we set the max attendees to 8 the booking page didn't seem to recognise that.  We had some time slots with 19 people in it. So we have had to manually fix this after all the bookings have been made by calling customers and moving them to a new timeslot.

We tested this a lot before we published the booking system and the Max attendees didn't seem to be a problem and as soon as the bookings were made the time slots would dissapear. The bookings were also going into the right position in the booking calendar during our tests. 

 

So my only thought is that the load of people is what caused an issue??  Too many people trying to book at the same time etc.

Has Microsoft found anything during testing like this?

Based on some feedback from customers I also learned that some of them are opening the booking page. Leaving it open on their screen for a period of time then making a booking, but the booking page is letting them book any time that looks available even if the time is no longer available. If they refreshed their page I think they would have seen that times were no longer available but it's hard to tell a person to refresh their page. Is it possible to create a 'time out' feature or can it be changed to recognise when a booking has been made even if the time slot appears available because the customer hasn't refreshed their page?

 

Occasional Contributor

@Jessica_Wilczek I'm looking forward to see bookings entering Office Teams. At the moment you can assign staff at general level when adding a service. It would be great if we also can assign staff members when setting up specific time slots at service level. 

 

Further it would great to have a more easy access to other bookings calendars when staff is participating in more than one calendar.

Senior Member

@Jessica_Wilczek where is the best place to log the problem I found (documented above).  I'd like to keep using it but this bug caused a lot of additional work after the bookings had been made (calling people and manually re-booking them etc.

Frequent Visitor

Will this be available in the Government Cloud?

Occasional Visitor

With this expanded availability, are there any new features in the road map? From user voice I see some of the most voted requests are from way back in 2018 and still no feedback on most of them.

We're looking at this to manage the maximum onsite users when Covid-19 restrictions are eased, and  adjustable/multi select time slots when a user is booking and User information from logged in user would be the ones that I care the most, but I see some other feature suggestions in user voice that would add value to this project.

Microsoft

@Thomas Lange  Yes, Bookings is already available for A3 and A5 users.

Occasional Contributor

Is there a support page where we can log a support request?

 

We are planning on using Teams for our Covid-19 response to allow booking of appointments for offices around the area. We plan to then use the TSV file to be printed out and given to the security guard to confirm that the person has an appointment.

 

The issue we have is the TSV  file is not showing all information for a booking such as email address or name of client.

 

When we run tests the booking is confirmed and appointments sent out but when we go to the shared calendar via outlook, the Information is missing.

 

To get the information to show, we must go into each appointment in bookings, select the customers and click save.

 

Once we do this the information appears within the calendar booking appointment.

 

If we do not have a TSV file to give to the guard who will not have access to any equipment we will have to look at a different solution.

 

If we can get this to work we will look to expand the use of bookings for other systems such as online assessment of repairs, potentially a booking system for desk availibilty under reduced capacity etc.

 

Another question that we are being asked is can this be used with shared mailboxes so we can potentially use this to book resources as such beds.

 

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

@AndyfF360 Thanks for highlighting this feature request. We really value this feedback. We are happy to say that we working on this feature currently but we don't have a precise timeline for it yet. Shared mailboxes as resource type is supported (DLs and Conf Room) and they can be added as staff. We have seen this use case being already adopted by few of our customers. Thanks for your interest and support to Bookings!"

Occasional Visitor

@Radhika_Khetan_MSFT Is there a Microsoft Bookings Roadmap anywhere? I see the uservoice forums. However i dont see any activity from Microsoft on the Bookings subject. There are a lot of feature requests. For example exporting all custom fields to Excel in the TSV export. That feature is really needed.

 

For this example: A customer provides online tastings. The tastings samples can be picked up from the store. Or the customer can send it to their customers. Checking a appointment in Outlook to check who comes to pick it up or who wants it send to them is not user friendly and takes a long time. The custom data should show in the TSV file

 

Senior Member

Have recently found and issue, if we say that a service is available between 10:30 - 12:30, 10:20 - 11, 10:15 - 11- 2:45.... or any time that isn't on the hour e.g. 11-12, 11-1 etc... those times won't appear in the booking page as available times.  Times will only appear available if they start and end on the hour.  Has anyone else noticed this?

Hi @Marce2220 Thankyou for reaching out. Unfortunately, we have never faced this issue and do not face it currently. Can you check the staff availability of this service as well? If that does not solve, do you mind sharing screenshots of business hours, service availability, assigned staffs and their availability, scheduling policy? We will be able to assist you better then. Thanks for your love and interest in Bookings.

Not applicable

Nice.  However...

 

We really need the ability to have it book all staff members as a group that are added to a Service, not just 1 of them.

 

We want to use this to let prospects book sales appointments with my business partner and I.  We both need to be available and we both need to be booked.

 

Likewise, we want to use it to let job applicants book interviews with all our team leads collectively.  Again they all need to be available and they all need to be booked.

 

Thanks.

Senior Member

@Radhika_Khetan_MSFT - You said "Shared mailboxes as resource type is supported (DLs and Conf Room) and they can be added as staff. We have seen this use case being already adopted by few of our customers." - We have found that Bookings cannot check for availability on a shared calendar, when using the self-service appointment scheduling. When using a shared mailbox as a Staff for appointments, it would have to be managed by a Bookings admin as opposed to using the self-service option, correct?

Established Member

Is there any plans to add the possibility to:

 

Group services and sort then in alphabetical order?
To be able to view staff profiles and picture from O365

To add Application level access to the Bookings API?

We feel like the service is amazing, but the front end has a lot of important features missing for now. 

Occasional Visitor

@baytech-jeff-1 I agree with you.

 

Today we are losing a lot of internal staff to 3rd party apps like Calendly.

They are abandoning Microsoft Bookings simply because of the inability for our customers to book staff whose availability overlaps.

 

We have services that require the both the sales rep and technical subject matter expert to be available in order our customer to be serviced.

Not possible today via Bookings.

Senior Member

Hi

 

Is it possible to be able to use just one member of staff for multiple services, the reason being that I am trying to use bookings for booking time on available equipment in a test facility, this means that up to 10 individual bookings can be made at the same time on different kit  which has been set up as a service but there is still only one member of staff (me).

When someone books out "Kit A"  at  9.am on Monday someone else cannot book out "Kit B" at that time as it says the staff member is busy even though the kit is free to use, I cannot set up an individual email address for each piece of kit and use that as staff as that would get ridiculous trying to sync all the calendars into a master calendar.

TIA

Established Member

@MartinMiller69  
I dont think you can do that. Its built around booking people that generally cannot be in two places at the same time. :\

Senior Member

@vitaliivan 

 

Thank you, its a shame as it could have been so easy.

New Contributor

Hi, just testing this out, nice idea, poorly implemented.  Would really like the ability to rename the elements, eg staff should be 'Service Centre' and 'Customer' should be 'Vehicle' in my example.  Also the available 'custom fields' on Customer too limited, I'd need 'Service Anniversary' instead of 'Wedding Anniversary' LOL. 

Super Contributor