Extension calling

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Occasional Contributor

Hello everyone

 

I saw that Microsoft has already implemented extension dialing in Microsoft Teams.

But I was wondering if it could be possible for me to let multiple users use one phone number ( maybe a service number) to make calls. Because In my current system from 3CX I have one Sip trunk configured with a phonenumber that all my users can call with. This is because internal routing is done by assigning extensions to my users. This way they are unique within my company, but when they call to the outside world, they call through that single phonenumber. I was wondering if this will be available in Microsoft Teams and if so how I can implement this?

 

Kind regards

 

Brecht

20 Replies
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Did you ever get a response on this or a way to do it?
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Hi Brecht

 

You are looking for "Microsoft Teams Call Queues". It's targeted for Q2 in the Office 365 Roadmap but currently not launched: https://products.office.com/en-US/business/office-365-roadmap?filters=%26freeformsearch=Call%20Queue...

 

For more information: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/skypeforbusiness/what-is-phone-system-in-office-365/create-a-phone-...

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@Andreas Exner I might have missed it in your links, but It doesn't seem like "Microsoft Teams Call Queues" gives the INCOMING caller the option to input an internal extension?

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The attendant feature gives the ability to dial by name...

 

You can also create a new CsCallingLineIdentity via PowerShell and then grant users access to that identity.  Basically the number that shows up via caller id.

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@Damon Betlow Thanks yes well aware that one can dial by name and also change the caller ID.  There does not seem to be an solution for incoming pstn callers to dial an extension though.  Yes I also know you can make a dial plan so internal users can dial an extension, which works well bytw.

 

It would be great if Microsoft would enable the Auto Attendant to search a custom attribute that I could enable on my users in AD called "PSTN Extension", and when one uses the auto attendant be allowed to dial or say the extension just like you can with the name and searching that attribute.  This would satisfy the needs of many company's and be very simple to manage on the admin side,

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Bradley,

 

Every voice enabled users in SfB / Teams has his own DID. I cannot see a benefit to dial the DID of the auto attendant if the caller knows the DID (extension) of the specific user. The auto attendant helps the caller finding a person or team (call queue) by name or skill (call queue). 

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@Andreas Exner Some benefits listed below:

 

  1. Not every company publishes there DID's to there customers.
  2. Not every customer want to have there employees name searchable in an auto attendant
  3. There are customers who have business processes where the workflow involves an extension.
  4. Many company's have business cards, pamphlets, commercials and other marketing material that have extensions printed on them
  5. From a shared phone that has no computer or visual screen connected to it to see Skype or Teams contacts on it to actually click on a person to dial.  It is far simpler to remember a 3,4 or 5 digit extension than a full DID, especially if its a "workflow" thats been in a company for a long time

For the most part enabling extensions from the auto attendant and internally for that matter is a way to assist in the transition or modernizing existing PSTN setups for many companies, but time is required to change processes and marketing material.

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Let's try not to mix too many things.

 

From an internal client or phone, you can use extensions for dialing: https://blogs.technet.microsoft.com/cloudready/2017/08/01/skype-for-business-online-extension-dialin...

 

You can adopt your existing numbering plans and extension to the cloud PBX by using number porting or on premise call handling, to protect your investments in existing stuff.

 

Internal users with a softphone will use the name or buddy list for dialing. Or simply the contact and presence information from all supported documents, apps, etc. That's a change you will see with any UC solution because it's one of the major benefits. 

The external caller won't know the extension if you are not like to publish your DID. Maybe in legacy PBX it was common that not every users had a DID, but an internal extension. With SfB/Teams we have a DID for every voice enabled user and every external caller is able to call the user if he knows the DID. That's a part of the changes. If you like to "hide" users from the  directory (auto attendant) and keep the DID in privat, you are right. That's a challenge. Do you see a blocker here? Is there no way to replace that with call queues, for example?

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@Andreas Exner I don't find I am mixing too many things at all, on the contrary in fact. My point is the features that Teams/SfB are great and they work well. However the reality is people generally don't transition well to change. Overlaying simple extensions at the AD level for users would be relatively simple to manage for admins, and I would think would be straight forward to add to the auto attendant workflow. Adding this t o the existing features of the CLOUD PBX infrastructure can simplify certain aspects of a move to Teams or SfB for organizations that rely on it. So yes I know you introduce extensions with a dial plan, infact I am using that approach today as I mentioned previously. All that is missing is those same extensions (dial plans) need to be accessible from the auto attendant too, this would aid companies with there transitions and faster adoption
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Bradley, I agree with your view on this. Adding a capability for tradional PBX numbered extensions (ie 3 and 4 digit extensions) would be a huge feature that would greatly assist in wider adoption. Having call queuing, dial by name and DIDs is not going to be sufficient in the SMB market space especially for those interfacing via PSTN to consumers / general public. I would like to see the same capability where we can have an attribute that can be used to identify a user via a numerical digit that is completely independent of DID. Also the ability to hide the DID from the user utilizing Teams in conjunction with setting the Caller ID to a general shared inbound number would allow us to mimic the typical phone system in place today.
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Hi there, any update on this topic ?

Moreover is the Teams Extension calling working like Skyper for Business (as described in the "Skype for Business Unleashed" book ?

 

I done several tests but it seems not

 

Thx

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I’ve been looking for this feature as well. I don’t believe that it’s going to come anytime soon. Your only hope right now is to try and get a block of numbers and using normalization rules, make the last four digits of the did your extension. Otherwise you’ll require some SBC with a SIP provider
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@Gore_JP we worked out applying custom number remap on the SBCs...

 

thx

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@emiliaus When you implemented your fix in your SBC, how did you deal with the Line URI in Teams? I'm assuming you didn't use the same Line URI (e.g. +12334567890;ext=101 , +12334567890;ext=102 , etc...) because I can't get that to work. Did you assign a made-up number range in Teams and just do translation in the SBC or did you just assign extensions in Teams (e.g. tel:102;phone-context=siteA)? Really curious to know how you solved this. I'm struggling with it. 

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Hi there,

 

I would also like to know how you went about this solution.

 

Thank you in advance.

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@Riegs we've solved our problem assigning to Teams users just the internal 4 digit extension (i.e.: Set-CsUser -Identity xxxx@yyyy.zzz -EnterpriseVoiceEnabled $true -OnPremLineURI tel:1234). Then we linked our internal PBX to the SBC via a Sip trunk and we configured it to route all calls from the PBX to those extensions to Microsoft Teams.

In this way the Teams user is identified by the "fake" DID (1234) and it can be reached by the SIP INVITE message coming from the PBX.

Please note that the Teams users that instead require also a valid DID, the extension dialing doesn't work: the extension is not used by Teams, so we had to add a map on the SBC.

So, for example if I have userA with "-OnPremLineURI +12334567890;ext=1234" and userB with "-OnPremLineURI ext=1235", on the SBC I have to map number 1234 to +12334567890. In this way internal phones (of my PBX) can reach both Teams users just dialing their extensions 1234 or 1235.

I hope this can help you guys.

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@emiliaus Thanks. I figured it was something like that. It's very similar to how I solved my problem too only no PBX - just the SBC translating internal extensions (and mapping some to live DIDs where necessary).

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Any particular reason you don't just use a dial plan to allow your Teams users to call by extension?

E.g. A user with a number of 9491111234 and extension of 1234 could be enabled for 4 digit dialing from other users via a dial plan entry that maps calls to 1234 to the full number.

Also, seperately, Cloud Auto Attendants support (or will support soon) Dial By Extension. You can search for cloud auto attendant and see it in the docs.
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@Phillip Lyle  I can confirm that this works now with the cloud Auto attendant. However I have implemented it only for our inbound callers. Internal numbering is based on numbers we got from MS so, no way to do it by using dial plans, plus I am trying to introduce a different paradigm to internal users for communicating inside the company and using antiquated extension calling is not the way to go. I have to say though that MS has really dropped the ball on device firmware for Teams and there's no way for adding favorite contacts on said devices now but, I've seen somewhere that that may change.

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Speed dial and boss admin are Teams phone features advertised as being available in early 2020. I need boss admin myself. Microsoft is about 3 months behind on everything it seems.