MS Bookings Feedback

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New Contributor

I was reseaching and testing Bookings to aid in automated schedule of my teams service requests process.   The below information was observed in my tests and I would welcome feedback if these items are truly limitations &/or some items could be caused by the way Bookings is configured for my company's environment.   Thank you

 

  • Custom field information NEEDS to be included within the Booking notification emails confirming the bookings, within MS Teams when viewing the booking, and inside the Outlook calendar invite

 

  • Today, I am using Power Automate flows to capture the service request details and send these details to my team via email for every new request.  My team then has to go into the Sharepoint List to modify each request during its lifecycle which is a cumbersome manual process; & I wanting to eliminate having to go into Sharepoint

 

  • If I were to move to Booking, there would still be manual process to view the details (Custom Fields) of each request via the online Bookings app; which is not ideal

 

  • Would be nice to be able to see the custom field information within MS Teams when viewing the booking; I cannot see this information within MS Teams

 

  • Reporting
    • Enterprises require detail reporting which Bookings fall very short

 

  • There should be a direct export to Excel vs having to mess around with tab separated value files converting the TSV file

 

  • The custom field headers to not convert correctly producing a report that is not feasible for leadership

 

  • No MS Form integration within the MS Bookings Online App only MS Teams

 

  • Having the ability to inject an existing MS Form data into every booking & have this information available in the Outlook calendar invite, when view the booking in MS Teams, via an export report, etc.; is a must feature many companies

 

  • Or make the Bookings custom field readily available without having to navigate into the online application, services, edit the service

 

  • Minimum lead times counts regular hours not business hours nor seems to recognize the current hour when making the booking

 

  • Ex.
    • I set the min lead time to 72 hours, booking a service on a Thursday or Friday at 1 pm CT shows all day Monday open.  

 

  • I had to change the min lead time to 120 hours to block Monday from being bookable if the booking was made on a Thursday or Friday with 72 hours. 

 

  • Double bookings and Booking algorithm

 

  • Test scenario:
    • 2 Services A and B created
      • Configured to create MS Teams meeting
      • If Booking created by Staff, Customer can modify the request
      • 1 hour meeting
      • Min lead time 120 hours with Max of 60 days
      • Business hours 9 am- 5 pm CT

 

 

  • 3 staff members assigned to the service
  • Customer has ability to choose Anyone or a specific staff member
  • Chose a date and time each of the 3 staff members' Outlook calendars were open

 

  • As the customer I selected the A service choosing the Anyone option for May 10th at 11 am CT.  Bookings created the booking, put a calendar invite on my calendar as the customer & on my team member's calendar as staff (Bookings assigned this booking to another staff member).  

 

  • I went back to book another A service for May 10th at 11 am CT and even though I had the above booking assigned to my Outlook calendar as the customer, it still showed me as available as a Staff member to deliver the service. 

 

  • Why wouldn't Bookings see that I was already booked for this time?

 

  • Algorithm
    • https://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/msoffice/forum/all/bookings-select-staff-optional-feature/5c1669...
      • For the Select Staff - Anyone feature, it's not designed to distribute appointments by an alphabetical order. The assignment problem is a combinatorial optimization problem, and Bookings uses a set of algorithms to solve this problem. From my limited knowledge, I cannot tell you how these algorithms work exactly, but they may be required to perform as many tasks as possible by assigning at most one agent to each task and at most one task to each agent, so the assignments will be balanced.  Thus, you don't need to have the concern that Bookings will distribute assignments randomly or unequally.

 

  • Testing scenario to try and see the logic behind the algorithm used in Bookings
    • 3 Services A, B, and C
      • Configured to create MS Teams meeting
      • If Booking created by Staff, Customer can modify the request
      • 1 hour meeting
      • Min lead time 120 hours with Max of 60 days
      • Business hours 9 am- 5 pm CT

 

  • 3 Staff members (George, John, and Rick assigned)
  • Anyone option ONLY

 

  • First Booking Service A:
    • Chose date and time each Staff member showed available May 10th at 11 am
      • Booking assigned to Rick

 

  • Second Booking Service B:
    • Chose date and time each Staff member showed available May 10th 1 pm
      • Booking assigned to Rick

 

  • Third Bookings Service A:
    • Chose date and time each Staff member showed available May 10th 3 pm
      • Booking assigned to John

 

  • Fourth Bookings Service C
    • Chose date and time each Staff member showed available May 11th 9 am
      • Booking assigned to John

 

  • Fifth Bookings Service B
    • Chose date and time each Staff member showed available May 11th 2 pm
      • Booking assigned to George

 

  • Sixth Bookings Service A
    • Chose date and time each Staff member showed available May 11th 4 pm
      • Booking assigned to George

 

  • The above test showed that Bookings will assign the same person twice before moving to a different person and in alphabetical order.  Does this seem accurate as its not "round-robin" or truly a balancing algorithm as described in the above ask Microsoft blog?  

 

  • Bookings page customization
    • My team delivers ~ 20 service items to our core field sales teams; and growing.  

 

  • Having 20 separate individual boxes and only 8 services showing on initial loading of the bookings page with a select more option is not ideal for my customers.  It would be nice to have more options to customize the bookings page such as making the service selection a drop-down list.  
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