Single SIM-enabled Number for Teams calls, Mobile & Desk Phones
Published Mar 16 2022 08:49 AM 7,231 Views
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The new Teams Phone Operator Connect Mobile service is an industry first that lets you use a single SIM-enabled mobile phone number across your company provided mobile, desk phone, and Microsoft Teams. This is enterprise-grade security and consistent call quality as you move between mobile voice and data networks. Mahendra Sekaran, VP of Program Management for Microsoft Teams, joins Jeremy Chapman to share the quick admin steps to set up the first fixed mobile convergence productivity solution for business.

 

Screen Shot 2022-03-16 at 11.21.43 AM.png

 

  • Instead of two business numbers, use and pay for just one SIM-enabled mobile number
  • Uplift from a voice-only call to a Teams call. Add video, people, and share content
  • As an admin, assign a SIM-enabled phone number to your employees, set policies for enterprise-grade security
 
 

QUICK LINKS:

00:46 — Operator Connect Mobile

01:42 — Teams integration

03:35 — See how it works

05:49 — Additional integrations

06:18 — Admin setup and policy setting

08:15 — Wrap up

 

Link References:

Watch our previous Teams Phone and the Operator Connect service episode at https://aka.ms/TeamsPhoneMechanics

 

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Video Transcript:

- Up next, we’ll take a closer look at the new Teams Phone Operator Connect Mobile Service, an industry first that lets you use a single SIM-enabled mobile phone number across your company provided mobile, desk phone, and Microsoft Teams. Now we’re going to demonstrate how this also gives you enterprise-grade security and consistent call quality as you move between mobile voice and data networks. And keep watching to see the quick admin steps to set it all up. And to walk us through all the updates, I’m joined today by Mahendra Sekaran, Engineering VP on the Teams team. Welcome to the show.

 

- Yeah, thanks Jeremy. I’m so happy to be here.

 

- And thanks so much for joining us today. You know, a few months back we actually introduced Teams Phone and the Operator Connect Service. Now, if you missed that episode, check out aka.ms/TeamsPhoneMechanics. So, how does Operator Connect and Mobile fit into this picture?

 

- Yeah, today people can get most of what they need done on their mobile phones. And we wanted to deliver an experience in Teams that’s integrated with the native dialer, so it actually fits very naturally into people’s default usage patterns. You know, Operator Connect Mobile is built on the foundation of Operator Connect, where we can actually configure fixed line telephone numbers for integration with Microsoft Teams, so that when you make a call in Teams it uses our super fast network backbone in Azure to carry the voice traffic, which is then routed through our telco partners who use their network fabric to connect the call to the recipients PSTN phone number. Leveraging the reliable connectivity fabric between our telco partners and the Microsoft cloud, we are now able to deliver the first fixed mobile convergence productivity solution for business. That means instead of two business numbers for your landline and mobile phone, you can optimize for just one SIM-enabled mobile number and calls are routed simultaneously to your mobile phone, desk phone or PC.

 

- So do you have to do anything differently when you make phone calls or receive phone calls? How does that Teams integration work here?

 

- Not at all. That’s the whole point. We wanted people to be able to make and receive phone calls just like they would from their native dialer. And you know, at any point, you can uplift from a phone call to a high fidelity Teams collab experience seamlessly. For example, you can make a call from your mobile, starting in your car, using the provider’s voice network. And during this call, once you arrive at the office you can even uplift it to a Teams call on your laptop and add video or more people. This uplift to the Teams app automatically connects the same call with data and VoIP. On the backend, as you shift between devices and locations, we are able to switch seamlessly from your mobile voice network to your data network ensuring that you can work from anywhere with consistent call quality. The beauty of this solution is that this is network and device agnostic, and it just works all the time.

 

- And this is a lot better than before. You know to do something like this previously, you’d have to have a really good data connection, then you’d have to navigate to the Teams app and use the Teams dial pad, which not everyone is familiar with. And if you’ve done this before using mobile data from a car or on a train, you know just how frequently those calls can drop.

 

- Right, Jeremy, this is a mobile-first approach, which is particularly relevant in the new way of hybrid work. Whether you’re working between your home and the office or you’re a frontline worker, there are fewer reasons these days to be tethered to your desk. And there are privacy, security, and compliance advantages too. All voice and data communications are run over the same Microsoft 365 security and compliance backbone. And as an organization, you can also retire redundant voice services, saving the cost of operating a fixed line and just pay for a mobile number.

 

- And just like what we’re seeing today, I think with a lot of people watching, you know they’re cutting the cords for their home phone in favor of their mobile phone, and now you’re able to do this at work as well. And you can still use, if you need to, that Teams desk phone. But you know, I’d love to see how all this works, so can you show us?

 

- Absolutely, we really focused on the integration so that the calls work, in respect of the endpoint you’re using. Let me show you how a call works. I’ll dial your number from the native dialer on my iPhone and I’m dialing just like I would any other phone number.

 

- Okay, and there it is. I can see that it’s ringing now on my Android phone here. It’s also on my Teams app on my PC, but before I pick up the call, notice that my status here in Teams on my PC is green. And I’m going to go ahead and pick up my mobile phone, and even though you called me on your phone’s native dialer and I picked up the phone just like I would any native voice call, it’s actually a Teams call and to prove it, you can actually see on my screen, on my desktop in Teams that it’s now set to red. It means that I’m busy, I’m in a call. Now because Teams is actually aware, that even though I picked up on the native phone app on my mobile phone, it can see that I’m in a call.

 

- Hey, and by the way, the simultaneous ringing is by design. We recognize that people have multiple endpoints and we want to deliver the call across your mobile device and Teams desk phone as well as your laptop.

 

- Right, and neither of us, just to point that out, have actually launched the mobile app on our phones for Microsoft Teams. So now, even though we’re both on a voice-only call, I can still do things like add video to that and to do that I can basically uplift this call to be a Teams call. So I’m going to go ahead and open up Teams. So now that I’m on a Teams call on the phone, I can go ahead and do things like add video, and I’ll go ahead and do that. And I can also, if I want to, add more people to the call, but for our case because it’s a one-to-one demo, we won’t add more people. And I can also do things like share content, so I can share the phone’s screen or also a PowerPoint. So I’m going to go ahead and share a PowerPoint Live document so I can get your review.

 

- Awesome. You know, now that you actually uplifted the call to like a higher fidelity experience from a voice call, let me transfer the call to my laptop and show you how this works. From the Teams app, I’ll transfer the call to my laptop. I’m on the meeting pre-join screen now and I’ll go ahead and join. Yeah, and again, the connection went from mobile voice only in that case to a wifi connection on this PC without dropping the call. And you probably didn’t even notice a glitch. And I can see your PowerPoint now. It looks good to me. So let’s end this call and I’ll show you a few more integrations. First, in the Teams desktop app, in the call history, most of these calls are made and received using the native dialer on my mobile, and they show up here just like Teams originated calls. You can also see voicemail and any missed calls. Again, this is from the mobile, SIM-enabled service showing up in Teams. And if I move back over to my iPhone, you will see that in the phone’s native contact app, all of my business contacts and coworkers on Teams are available and synchronized with my phone as well.

 

- Great. So now we’ve seen the integrated experience. But why don’t we switch gears to setup for all the admins who are watching? So, can you show us what Teams admins would have to do to get all this set up?

 

- Absolutely, Jeremy. It’s very similar to the experience that you have actually demonstrated earlier for Operator Connect, but let’s go walk through the experience. You can choose from a growing list of Teams Operator Connect Mobile partners. And once you acquire a SIM-enabled mobile phone number you can assign it to any of your employees. This works whether you’re assigning preexisting company mobile phone numbers to current staff on their existing devices, or as part of onboarding new devices for new hires. In this case, I will provision a number for a new hire. Choose this one. Now I’ll assign it. I will search for a newly hired field technician, Lynne Robbins. There she is. Then I just need to define her location for emergency calling. And I see this default location, San Diego, I’m going to keep that and that’s it. Now we can send Lynne her company mobile phone with matching SIM and she’s ready to start making and receiving work calls. And once she receives a company phone, it’ll walk her through a custom first-run experience. She’ll need to confirm the phone number. It then explains the integration and once she acknowledges that, everything is configured automatically.

 

- Okay, so now we’ve seen the integrated experience. We’ve also seen what it takes to set it up. But you mentioned also enterprise-grade security before. So, what are some of the policies there I can enforce?

 

- Yeah. You know, this is one of the things that we really focused on. You know, for highly-regulated industries that require calls to be recorded that can be a default experience through a policy setting. Based on your admin policies, you can also set a policy for all voicemail as well as unanswered calls to be archived. Then to help with privacy, caller ID policies can also be set to display the company advertised number and name, instead of the employees name and company mobile number.

 

- And it’s really great to see all the integration and even the policies that are there that ensure that even native mobile calls have the same level of governance as a call made from Teams. So, where do you see all this going then?

 

- Yeah, this is just the beginning in the area of fixed mobile convergence. In the future, we’ll be integrating SMS messaging with Teams Chat, and you’ll also be able to bring your own mobile phone number and device for use with Teams. That way you have one device to rule them all and won’t have to carry around two mobile phones for business and personal use, while still having a distinct separation between work and personal calls. Then the foundation of this service opens up additional opportunities in the future with Azure for operators to leverage 5G capabilities and deliver new experiences for our customers.

 

- So everything that you’ve shown today, by the way, I think is really going to help all the hybrid work that we’re all feeling and experiencing today. And it’s more secure and it’s also consistent communication, really, across all of our devices. So, to try to this out, if I’m an organization watching this right now, what can I do?

 

- Yeah, absolutely. You know, Operator Connect Mobile will be in preview soon, and we have an expanding list of mobile operators that we are working with, and you can find all the partners operating in your area right from the Teams admin center.

 

- Thanks so much, Mahendra, for joining us today and sharing all the updates for Teams Phone now on mobile.

 

- My pleasure.

 

- And of course, keep checking back to Microsoft Mechanics for all the latest tech updates. And don’t forget to subscribe to our channel if you haven’t already, and as always, thank you for watching.

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