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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

Assign a PSTN Numbers to Microsoft Teams Bots & Calling API Apps "Potentially by Q3 [2019]”


Those organizations who want to fully move to Microsoft Teams, but are dependent on 3rd party voice add on apps have been asking us regularly when PSTN Numbers can be assigned to Microsoft Teams Bots.

According VinodRavichandran, the answer is: "PSTN Calling is planned for this year, potentially Q3."

This should allow PSTN callers to dial into voice apps built using the Teams Calling API like IVR's and other custom voice apps.

Source:
https://github.com/microsoftgraph/microsoft-graph-comms-samples/issues/29#issuecomment-465684066

Using Microsoft Teams for Audio Streaming a Live Event With PSTN Access to the Stream

In this article we will look at using Microsoft Teams to provide the audio of an in person meeting to those not present.

It’s not uncommon for churches (and I suspect other events), even quite small ones, to want to provide the ability for individuals to listen in using the web or a phone call. The church service is mostly attended in person with a few individuals dialing in to hear the audio. Since the people needing to listen in are often not tech savvy, being able call in via phone is imperative.
In some cases the audio is supplied to the stream by a phone call and other will have an internet connection.

For this scenario to work smoothly a few things are necessary:
  1. Ability to dial a phone number only to get directly into the “conference”. (without requiring PINs) Not Possible
  2. Ability to access the live audio via PSTN or web streaming: Possible with Meeting
  3. All callers except the one providing the audio must start & remain muted. Not Possible
    1. In essence, all users must be muted when they join the meeting
    2. Except the organizer providing the audio stream
    3. Ideally all listening users cannot unmute themselves.
  4. Auto record: Possible with Live Event
  5. Nice to have: Place the recording at a publicly accessible location
  6. No setup for each meeting
How does Microsoft Teams Meetins and Live Events cover these requirements?

Meeting w/Audio ConfLive Event
Join Audio via PSTNYesNo
PSTN w/o PINNoNo
Join Audio via WebYesYes
Auto Mute NoYes
Auto Organizer UnmutedYesYes
Manual Mute AllYesYes (N/A)
Auto RecordYesYes
Recording Immediately Available?Yes
Auto Recurring MeetingYesNo
Auto Move RecordingNoNo
Live TranscriptionYesYes
Live Translation?Yes

One of the reasons Microsoft Teams Live Events are not ideal:
  • A live event needs to be setup for each event
  • Need a fairly tech savvy person at each meeting
  • No PSTN/Call In capability to access the Live Event audio stream
For this reason we’ll focus on using Microsoft Teams Meeting with Audio Conferencing/Conference Bridge. Here are the steps.

Initial Configuration

  • Setup Office 365 and Teams Audio conferencing  service
  • Setup Conference Bridges | Bridge Settings
    • Meeting entry and exit notification = Off (or as desired) 
    • Ask callers to record their name before joining a meeting = Off
  • Setup a Teams Meetings | Meeting Policy (or modify “Global”)
    • Allow Transcription  = On
    • Allow Cloud Recording = On
    • Automatically admit user = Everyone
  • Setup Meetings | Meeting Settings
    • Anonymous user can join a meeting = On
  • Create a recurring meeting
    • (May add some more details)
  • Determine the way you will get your audio into the conference
    • If you will supply the audio to the meeting via PSTN, you can use something like the Rolls PI9 to supply the audio to the meeting.
    • Otherwise you supply the audio via a Microsoft Teams client and USB as the microphone source.


Organizer Meeting Preparation

  • If using PSTN to supply the audio:
    • The organizer will dial into the conference using the meeting telephone number, meeting ID and organizer PIN.
  • If using an internet connection, Microsoft Teams client & USB audio source
    • Start of Teams client and join the meeting
    • If you want a recording, click” Start Recording”
    • Since users will join unmuted, this method allows organizer to more easily mute those listening. Do NOT use “Mute All” as this will mute the


Joining the audio “Stream”

  • If joining via the web using a PC, just click on the Teams meeting link
    • Users must be instructed to not unmute themselves
  • If joining via PSTN, dial the meeting phone number, meeting ID


Summary

At the moment this solution works, but a few things could greatly improve the experience for this scenario:
  • A telephone number could be assigned directly to a meeting (with no meeting ids required)
  • A recurring meeting could be set to mute participants on join
  • Either start the recording automatically when organizer joins, or allow

Other references:
https://www.rolls.com/productImage.php?pid=PI9