How Microsoft Teams Calls App for Slack Works

Slack and Microsoft Teams have surprised industry watchers by adding a "Microsoft Teams Calls" Slack app. A question is: How does this work? Let's install and see.


First you will need a Slack and Teams account. Sign into Slack and go to: Click "Add to Slack"

Now you will get a Slack permission. Next Teams/Microsoft permissions.

Create & Join Meetings

In essence you will now have a "/teams-calls" bot in Slack that you can create a meeting in any Slack channel. Using the Join button others in the Slack channel can join the meeting.

From my test the time "Meeting started xx ago." is when the meeting was created. The only user that shows for me is the user that created the meeting. If more people join the meeting, the do not show up in the bot post in the channel.

The below example was created 10 minutes ago. I joined the meeting 5 minutes ago. And another user joined after that, but does not show in the channel link to the meeting.


Slack has a call button at the top of the screen. It looks you can set this call button to use Microsoft Teams. I suspect this will use the protocol handler to dial a call using Microsoft Teams (similar to how Outlook and web pages dial from Teams) but I could not find where to configure this feature.

Jump Into Scheduled Meetings

This looks like Slack reminders will surface Outlook Teams Meeting Join info.


From what I can see, this Slack app allows meetings and calling to be initiated from Slack if a user has a Teams account.

COVID19 Progress Tracking

The above chart track the raw number of confirmed cases based on John Hopkins report.

The above chart tracks the percent of country population of confirmed cases.

To see the up to date spreadsheet: Click Here

Microsoft Changes Microsoft Teams Compliance Recording API Name to "Policy Recording"

Its interesting to note that Microsoft has changed the name of the Microsoft Teams "Compliance Recording" API to "Policy Recording" to more accurately describe what it does. This name change was noticed on Github as shown below.

I find this an interesting and good move as Landis Technologies has developed a Microsoft Teams Call Recording solution using the "Policy Recording" API's (formerly Compliance Recording) for convenience and customer service scenarios. (We are not focusing on compliance recording scenarios at this time.) You can see a demo of the Landis Call Recording for Microsoft Teams here.

A few nice things that the Policy Recording api's allow in Landis Call Recording for Microsoft Teams:

  • Any peer to peer call can be recorded (PSTN, p2p or Meetings) for a user with the policy enabled
  • The recording happens no matter what client the Teams users is using
  • There is a notification banner in the Teams client that call recording is happening
  • Using our agent the user can pause recording or stop recording if Landis Call Recording policy allows that.

I think this name change is a good move as it more accurately reflects the breadth of what the "Policy Recording" apis/ hooks can do.


Landis Call Recording for Microsoft Teams on Appsource:

Demonstration of Landis Call Recording:

Where is Microsoft & Microsoft Teams in the OnPrem to CPaas Journey?

In a recent Microsoft Community article Marissa Salazar noted that:

"The last piece of the puzzle is here! The last API to enable partners to develop contact solutions is now available."

Translated into plain English for the rest of us this is saying: "You can now connect existing contact centers to Teams via a SIP tie trunk" and there is an initial Graph presence API to see presence of Teams users from a client/user perspective. (See more of my technical details on the API here.). Or in other words, "The last piece to integrating existing contact centers to Teams is now in place"

Vendors that are producing Contact Centers using only the Microsoft Teams Communication API do not have all the API's they need to produce a complete Contact Center. In Microsoft parlance this is a "Power" contact center. (most people in the industry I hear calling this "native" Microsoft Teams Contact Center.)

For those integrating to an existing SBC SIP tie trunk connected Contact Center (Microsoft parlance is "Connect" contact center) the ability to do Direct Routing plus a Presence API opens up connections to existing Contact Centers. A UC solution really should be able to facilitate an SBC connected contact center, so this is really good progress! This might be better explained as the last piece of the first half of getting parity with Skype for Business Server: Microsoft now can "integrate" contact centers to Teams, and now Microsoft needs to complete an API to create Contact Centers that only use Teams and are based completely on Office 365 Phone System components.)

So where is Microsoft and Microsoft Teams in the OnPrem to CPaaS journey? This is my "back of the envelope, quick scribble on the naptkin" version of where I would estimate we are at:

  1. OnPrem: Skype for Business Server
  2. Hosted: Skype for Business Server 
  3. UCaaS: Skype for Business Online & MicrosoftTeams
  4. CPaaS: Microsoft Teams + MicrosoftGraph + Communication API
  5. What's next?

A bit more detail on 3 and 4:

No, "the last piece of the puzzle" is *not* quite here yet. Maybe a more accurate announcement to avoid confusing customers would be "We now have the last piece of the first half of the puzzle." ;-)

But its coming along. And right now I would not be switching away from Microsoft Teams and would not recommend anyone else to do so either. The new Microsoft Teams features are raining down so fast its hard to keep up. Its the best time to be a Microsoft Teams focused Microsoft Partner, ISV and user.

PS-Landis Technologies is creating a Contact Center and Attendant Console that is entirely built on Microsoft Teams & Phone System. (Native). We get the question multiple times a day: We want a Contact Center and Attendant Console solution built entirely on Microsoft Teams like Landis is doing and Microsoft people are telling us "We have the last piece of the puzzle for API's!". What is the real state? Landis Contact Center for Microsoft Teams, which has many of the most requested contact center features already, is in Preview due to some key features being dependent on Calling API's which are still BETA. There are additional contact center features we would like to add, like outbound calling & more, that are not BETA/Preview yet from Microsoft. And a client based Teams Attendant Console is depending on the lack of any Teams Client Call Control API at all. In the mean time some customers can use our existing Attendant Pro in interop mode.)

My details on what is released on Teams Communication API:

"Last Piece of Puzzle" article:

Luca Vitali: Skype for Business and Teams features comparison table

Landis Contact Center for Microsoft Teams:

Landis Attendant Console for Microsoft Teams

UserVoice Teams Client API for Call Control

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.


  • 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.


  • 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 quality: It feels like "Think" quality
    • Interesting form factor
    • Speaker phone produces solid sound
    • Lenovo mention of "hot desking" sounds interesting
    • Hardware video and audio mute is execellent

  • Cons
    • The lack of USB might feel limiting for some applications
    • Webcam is 720p and I'm used to PC 1080HD cameras, so this seems a step back
    • Shows meeting content, but an 8" screen doesn't show a PC desktop monitor very well


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: