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My First Impression Review of the Lenovo Thinksmart View Microsoft Teams IP Phone



The Thinksmart View is an interesting new form factor IP Phone-like device that is Certified for Microsoft Teams by Lenovo. Lenovo calls it a "...collaborative smart device that works from an individual’s workspace...". I might call it a next gen IP Phone for users who tend to use a bluetooth headset.

My Video Review




Plugs and buttons

  • Power plug
  • Volume up and down
  • web cam privacy shade
  • microphone mute slide button

Lenovo ThinkSmart View Official Page Tidbits


  • Cortana Integration: Based on the Lenovo landing page images there will be Cortana integration.
  • The Lenovo landing page also shows a home screen apart from the Microsoft Teams client, but my unit starts up right into the Teams client like other Teams IP phone. 
  • Hotdesking: "It’s flexible enough for hotdesking..."
  • FUTURE: Chat/FileSharing: Also, this interesting tidbit: "Future updates are planned for the deployment of convenient features such as chat, file-sharing, and more."
  • When you’re not using the device, it will stay locked with a four-digit personal identification number (PIN), and if they’re paired via Bluetooth®, the device will lock in tandem with your PC.

Specs


  • 5MP wide angle (720p)
  • 1.75" 10W full-range speaker
  • Bluetooth® 4.2 (LE)
  • 8" HD (1200 x 800) IPS touchscreen
  • NOTE: This device does not have a battery.

Surprises


  • What might be unexpected for a corporate communication device is that this devices has no Ethernet or USB ports, but it just might not be needed.
  • Landscape AND portrait mode 
  • It might look like a control unit for a Teams Room System, but without a video output it doesn't seem ideally suited for Room video, even for a fairly small room. (Individual video is a different story) 


Some of My initial Usage Notes:

  • Pros
    • 8" screen means Teams client is a nice size for touch
    • Solid build quailty: It feels like "Think" quality
    • Interesting form factor
    • Speaker phone produces solid sound
    • Lenovo mention of "hot desking" sounds interesting

  • Cons
    • Call toast displays sideways in landiscape orientation (same in Lenovo video demonstrations)
    • Dialpad (dialer, not DTMF) is sideways in landiscape orientation







  • Microphone slider button mutes a call (but does not unmute in a Teams call, users will need to use Teams app to unmute the call)
  • Sometimes I noticed my device hangs for a bit on answering a voice or video call
  • Webcam is 720p and I'm used to PC 1080HD cameras, so this seems a step back
  • Shows meeting content, but 8" screen doesn't show a PC desktop monitor very well

Summary


The ThinkSmart View is an interesting form factor. Build quality is excellent. Its not for those who want a traditional IP Phone experience, but it could fill the need for a dedicated device a user can walk up to and start using on the desk. Lenovo is positioning this device as something that can fill a hot desk or common area scenario. Perhaps "hot desk" but it seems a lack of handset makes it a bit unhandy for walk up/ad hoc usage. Likely the best fit is the millennial executive desk communicator device.



Official Lenovo landing page:
https://www.lenovo.com/gb/en/smart-devices/smart-office/thinksmart/Lenovo-CD-18781/p/ZZISZSCCD03

How to configure a Microsoft Teams Compliance Recording BOT Policy Using PowerShell




Some organizations using Microsoft Teams in telephone/voice scenarios need the ability to record every call. Microsoft has opened up the ability to address this scenario by giving Microsoft Teams Administrators the ability to assign a policy to users that adds a Microsoft Teams Calling Bot to every call they take. In short, the PowerShell assigned policy lets you define an App ID that is invited to the calls the target user makes. 3rd Party ISVs can build these bots that are invited to the calls.

Create & Assign Compliance Recording Policy to User(s)


Create Application Instance
  • New-CsOnlineApplicationInstance -UserPrincipalName <upn@contoso.com> -DisplayName <displayName> -ApplicationId <your_botappId>
  • Sync-CsOnlineApplicationInstance -ObjectId <objectId>
Note: <Your_botappId> will be an ID your Compliance Recording vendor will give you, unless you are a developer making your own.

Create a Compliance Recording Policy: Requires the application instance ID created above. Continue your PowerShell session and run the following commands.


  • New-CsTeamsComplianceRecordingPolicy -Tenant <tenantId> -Enabled $true -Description "Test policy created by <yourName>" <policyIdentity>
  • Set-CsTeamsComplianceRecordingPolicy -Tenant <tenantId> -Identity <policyIdentity> -ComplianceRecordingApplications ` @(New-CsTeamsComplianceRecordingApplication -Tenant <tenantId> -Parent <policyIdentity> -Id <objectId>)
After 30-60 seconds, the policy should show up. To verify your policy was created correctly:
  • Get-CsTeamsComplianceRecordingPolicy <policyIdentity>
Assign the Compliance Recording Policy

Requires the policy identity created above. Continue your PowerShell session and run the following commands.

  • Grant-CsTeamsComplianceRecordingPolicy -Identity <userUnderCompliance@contoso.com> -PolicyName <policyIdentity> -Tenant <tenantId>

Compliance Recording Policy Settings

Priority
RequiredBeforeMeetingJoin
RequiredBeforeCallEstablishment
RequiredDuringMeeting
RequiredDuringCall
ConcurrentInvitationCount

Some Other Notes & Discoveries

Here are a few other interesting facts about the Compliance Recording Bot functionality:

  • This ability to add a bot to every call is not limited to "call recording" functionality and it could be used for other functionality an organization wants to apply to call calls of a set of users.
  • The bot that is invited into the call does not show up on the roster of the user in the Teams client. If a call is recording the ISV will utilize API functionality to display a banner message in the Teams conversation window "Recording Started".
  • Is there a notification for PSTN callers? As far as I can tell there is no audible notification to PSTN callers that a compliance recording bot is in a call. This would presumably be the responsibility of the organization via an auto attendant or 3rd party IVR.
  • Another note: bots more generally do not currently show up in reports in the Teams Admin Panel. (You can ask Microsoft to mark your tenant so they do, but by default they do not)
  • Since its server-side, the bot works with all clients: Desktop/Web, Mobile, Teams IP Phones & Teams Rooms.
  • Only available for Office 365 Phone System users (via E5 or E3 addon)
  • When is a compliance recording bot invited to a conversation?
    • It seems like when there is a media call: audio call, PSTN Call, joining a meeting or a chat with desk share going.

Landis Contact Center for Microsoft Teams Call Recording


We are glad that Microsoft is providing this mechanism to hook into calls as we are utilizing the compliance recording bot in our native Microsoft Teams contact center to do customer service  callrecordings and sentiment analysis. Below is a demonstration of how sentiment analysis looks on a live call in the Landis Contact Center for Microsoft Teams.




If there is anything more you know about Compliance Recording bots, I'd be glad to hear it, so comment.

Source:

Github
https://github.com/microsoftgraph/microsoft-graph-comms-samples/tree/master/Samples/BetaSamples/LocalMediaSamples/ComplianceRecordingBot

Microsoft Ignite 2019 VCE40
https://myignite.techcommunity.microsoft.com/sessions/83184?source=sessions

Lenovo to Enter Microsoft Teams IP Phone Market with SmartThink View



Lenovo provides these specs:

The ThinkSmart View is a new form factor that provides the following

Standalone productivity device with integrated audio and video camera

  • Always on, always connected, with an 8” HD IPS touchscreen
  • Start or join Teams video calls and meetings
  • Headset connectivity is via Bluetooth only
  • WiFi connectivity only (no physical Ethernet connection)
  • Price $349
  • When? Later this month
Lenovo had marketed  as similar device called Smart Display before this "repurpose" as a Microsoft Teams IP phone / endpoint.



Source:

Microsoft Teams User Tip #27: Hover Over Back to Get 1 Click Access to Previous Locations




Am I the last to notice this feature? You can now hover over the Back button on Microsoft Teams PC client and get a 1 Click quick access to recent places you visited in Teams.

Nice!

Merry Christmas!

A Subset of the Microsoft Teams BETA Calling API, Now Known as "Communications API" in Microsoft Graph Are Now v1




A subset of the Microsoft Teams BETA/Preview Calling & Meeting API, now apparently known as "Communications API" in Microsoft Graph Are Now version 1.

The question for many has been, "When will the Teams Calling API's be GA?", but a more complete question would be "When will the features (or, all the features needed for a particular application) of the Preview/BETA Calling API's be GA?" as the roll out of the Communications API is not a single "BETA/Preview" to "GA" but more of a process to release, first all the features in the current Preview/BETA, and then additionally all the typical features needed for voice communication solutions.

What are some of the key features in Preview/BETA not released to version 1? Very significantly the ability to escalate a call to a multiparty call. This is a key component for vendors creating native Microsoft Teams Contact Center functionality like our own Landis Contact Center for Microsoft Teams.

What are some key features not yet in the Preview/BETA that are very typically needed for voice solutions? The ability to:

  • cancel inviting a participant to a multiparty call
  • eject a participant from a multiparty call
  • outbound dialing
  • more

As I noticed and called out on Dec 6, it appears that Microsoft will be referring to these APIs as the "Communications API", based on the documentation on the Microsoft Graph website as shown on the screenshote below.


Do this mean "ISVs have the calling APIs, so they can do everything they need?" No.


There is considerable confusion about what the Teams "communications API" can now do among users, Microsoft Partners and Microsoft employees.

A good way to think about Microsoft Teams related calling APIs based on current Graph API naming conventions:

  • communications API = Server/Application perspective
    • Skype for Business = UCMA
    • Formerly known as/Also known as: Calling & Meeting API
  • me = Client/User Perspective
    • In Skype for Business world = UCWA/Skype for Business Client SDK
    • Also known as/referred to as: Embedded API/ Client API

Note that Microsoft has made no announcements about the Me/Client/User perspective Calling API at this time. There is no ETA from Microsoft on call control from a client/user perspective.

Conclusion


The release of some of the communication API is a great start and will enable some applications such as IVR-like services & transfer to another solution via Direct Routing.

All the features for properly creating native call queuing inside the Microsoft Teams service has not been released to version 1 yet.

It is not a client calling API, so it does not unblock the ability to create a specialized Microsoft Teams calling client like an Attendant Console.

The communication API team at Microsoft has been working hard on this so congratulations on releasing version 1 of the communication API!

Read More Here:
https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/graph/api/resources/communications-api-overview?view=graph-rest-1.0