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My Microsoft Inspire 2019 #Microsoft Teams Notes


My Inspire 2019 Observations & Perceptions


Microsoft Teams as an Operating System?

It's no surprise that Microsoft Teams was a focus in the keynotes & at Inspire generally. What I found interesting was to hear Microsoft talk about Teams as an operating system or Windows. As I  remember, Microsoft quotes users in keynote saying something like "Its what I log in in the morning, work all day and log out at night". Another "I think of it as an OS where I get work done" (as I remember). I've heard this before, just not so publicly. Will Microsoft Teams be the next "Windows"? It's conceivable. 

What Does "...Support for Contact Centers..." Announcement Mean?


Microsoft and Microsoft Partners are super eager to be able to move customers entirely to Microsoft Teams. Some of the blockers are voice features that are not yet in Teams like Contact Centers, Call Recording, Attendant Consoles & so on. At Landis Technologies we talk to customers everyday about this need and there is significant pressure related to this need. On one side Microsoft has been slow to get a complete set API's for ISV's (like us) to create native/core products to fill these needs, and on the other side there is intense pressure to get this functionality ASAP. So what Microsoft has announced at Microsoft Inspire: "...Additional new partner integrations include support for contact centers, compliance recording and cloud solution providers." (Source) What does this mean in plain English? Microsoft is going to support 2 levels of contact centers: #1 The basic level is "bolting on" existing SIP contact centers via direct routing and legacy Skype for Business contact centers via federation. A coming Presence API (Source: Five9 engineer at Inspire) will assist SIP contact centers in making the integration less disconnected. #2 Advanced contact centers using the Microsoft Teams Calling API's that give a very "native/core" (like our own Contact Center for Microsoft Teams). This will be the "native" contact center experience that doesn't require the cost & complexity of buy/configuring an SBC & Direct Routing.

Bringing Physical Whiteboards Into Microsoft Teams Meetings

I thought it was interesting to watch the audience response to a demo of the Microsoft Teams coming feature that brings a physical whiteboard into Teams meeting via a webcam while making the presenter "see through" when getting in front of the whiteboard: One of the very enthusiastic applause points in the keynote. This feature and the PowerPoint rehearse were both very well received. So, for what its worth, this features seemed to strike partners quite good.

Vendors are Working to Bring Devices to Microsoft Teams


Jabra is the Jabra Panacast 3 camera 180 degrees very wide angle USB webcam. The rep noted they working on Teams certification, but since it is a standard USB device it work with Teams on my laptop that they nicely let me test. (See my video here) This is Jabra's first foray into video as far as I know.

I was also very impressed with the Poly Studio's ability to do active speaker detection. The Poly Studio is a standard USB, 4K, video bar that does active speaker detection with no additional software on the PC. I was impressed how it detected the active speaker in a huddle room (12 x12 approx.) and did a production-like switch to the active speaker. If the two speakers are far apart it did a cut and if close it did a nice pan. I think this has real promise and look forward to trying it out when the production firmware is released.


Microsoft Announcements

A big announcement at Inspire is around Microsoft Teams having 13Million daily users which surpasses Slack. Source

Microsoft highlights in its Inspire press release that Microsoft Teams now enables contact centers. "...Additional new partner integrations include support for contact centers, compliance recording and cloud solution providers." Source

New Partner Developments

Poly Studio: Source
Jabra Panacast : Source
Landis Technologies Native Microsoft Teams Contact Center Q4 2019 Source
Verba: Working with Microsoft on Teams recording solution Source




Microsoft Teams User Tip #26: How to Access the Microsoft Teams Extended Diagnostics Menu via the Tray Icon


Some of my fellow Landis Technologies team members (Ken & CJ)  just alerted me to a very helpful diagnostics menu on Microsoft Teams that I was not familiar with.

To access it, go to the Teams tray icon:


  • Left click on the Microsoft Teams Windows tray icon 5 times
  • Then right click

Now you should see this menu:


I'd love to hear your feedback on what you most like about the menu.

To see my other Microsoft Teams User Tips: http://windowspbx.blogspot.com/search/label/MicrosoftTeamsUserTip

Microsoft Teams Calling API's "GA Scheduled for June/July"


Kamil Skorski (Microsoft) notes in a post on GitHub that the Microsoft Teams Calling API's are scheduled for GA in the June/July timeframe and "We're working on finalizing the APIs now".

There are no more public clarifications. Does this mean the currently available API's will merely get the designation of "GA"? Or something more to come?

A key component that is missing for many uses of the Calling API is the ability for users to dial into a Microsoft Teams app from PSTN.

The Microsoft Teams Calling API Previewed at Microsoft Ignite 2018.

Source:
https://github.com/microsoftgraph/microsoft-graph-comms-samples/issues/62#issuecomment-492318404

Jabra Handset 450: USB DECT Wireless Handset that Works with Microsoft Teams & Skype for Business

If you have been looking for a simple way to get a DECT portable phone functionality for your retail, warehouse or other scenario, you search might be over.

NOTE: This device is not Microsoft Teams or Skype for Business Certified! Jabra's website says: "Works with most softphones like Skype for Business (Lync) and is certified for Cisco Jabber". In my quick testing it seems to work with Microsoft Teams & Skype for Business in the same way other Jabra devices work with these products. But it is NOT CERTIFIED.

Here is my hands on video review of the Jabra Handset 450 working with Microsoft Teams in Teams Native Mode.


How to Setup

Just plug it in and it should work.

How to Get  VolumeUp + Mute to Pickup/Hangup

Update firmware. Install Jabra Direct, go to Updates and click Update.


It takes several minutes to update the firmware. Just wait. Likely slower becuase its doing it over DECT wireless.

Range

In my testing it goes about exactly as for as the Jabra website says, that is, about 66ft in either direction from the charging cradle. We have a concrete 2nd floor and it seemed to work unless you were at the edges of the 2nd floor, then it started to cut out.

Buttons on the Device that work with Teams/Skype for Business


  • Mute
  • Volume Up & Down
  • Volume Up + Mute = Pickup / HangUp with appropriate firmware loaded.

Indicator LED

Bellow are LED meanings:


Source: https://www.jabra.com/supportpages/jabra-handset-450#/#990-011-05

Summary

Cons
  • No dial pad
  • Slightly unhandy to press Up+Mute to Pickup/Hangup
  • Limited range
  • No audible ringer (blinking red LED indicates call ringing)


Pro
  • A DECT handset that works (if not certified) with Teams/Skype4B
  • Installs in minutes and does require expensive hardware
  • Gives Teams users a very traditional "just pickup to answer" Teams/Skype4B experience

This device is clearly not for every user, but if you need it, you need it, and you know who you are.
And remember, its not certified.


Official Site:
https://www.jabra.com/business/office-headsets/jabra-handset-450

"Busylights" Can Now Work Native with Microsoft Teams: Kuando Busylight Now Works Natively with Microsoft Teams



Those using Microsoft Teams have been waiting for busylights to work native and it looks like Kuando is the first vendor to achieve this.

Just change the presence in the Microsoft Teams PC client manually, or let it do so automatically, and the Kuando Busylight, after a little pause, while show the correct presence!


To get this to work you will need to install the Kuando for Microsoft Teams tray app:


For the Kuando BusyLight to work, you must install the Microsoft Teams specific software, so if you have Skype for Business working with Kuando, this will mean installing the Teams specific software. Also the Microsoft Teams client must be running as the dll's interface with the Teams PC client, not using Microsoft Graph directly. If you exit Teams, the presence will stop functioning.

Another thing I noticed is that unlike the Skype for Business integration, the presence change is not immediate. This is exactly as presence works in Microsoft Outlook, so I would expect this to be a limitation of the interface to Teams, not the Kuando app. In my experience it takes about 3 seconds to change. (not big issue for normal presence, more of an issue in calling scenarios) So when you change your presence in the Teams client it takes about 1 second until the change displays in Teams client and 3 seconds till it shows up in Outlook & Busylight.

And another nice touch is that it works with your existing Kuando lights. I had one on hand and it worked just fine.

A few vendors are now providing busylights: Kuando, Embrava and most recently Poly has announced intentions to do so. It appears at the time of writing other major vendors, such as Embrava, do not seem to have this functionality yet.

To get the new Software that works native with Kuando's existing busylights:
https://www.plenom.com/downloads/download-software/

Kuando's Office News Article:
https://www.plenom.com/news/microsoft-teams/

Embrava:
https://embrava.com/pages/software