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Microsoft Teams Unveils New Capabilities

December 20, 2017

Microsoft’s (News - Alert) Office 365 Teams is enhancing its collaboration service by adding additional Skype for Business capabilities. In September, Microsoft revealed that Skype for Business would be folding into Teams in a seamless transition. Furthermore, the SFB Online service would still be offered and a new SFB Server product would be available in late 2018. 

Teams is being billed as the main arena for chat, calling, and videoconferencing over Skype for Business. This week, Microsoft revealed the new calling capabilities that Teams clients will be privy to. Included are call history, hold and resume, speed dial/transfer/forwarding/caller ID masking, extension dialing, multiple-call handling, simultaneous ringing, voicemail, and text telephone support. All of the capabilities can be found under the “Calls” tab in the Teams client application.

There are specific requirements that users will need to have in order to take full advantage of what Teams has to offer, starting with an Office 365 subscription and a Phone System feature. This Phone System, formerly Cloud PBX, can be purchased as an add-on or part of the 365 E5 plan. The Calling Plans feature is also necessary.

These calling plans and features allow making and receiving calls and works across PCs and mobile devices through VoIP services, as well as traditional landlines. An Audio Conferencing feature allows users to call into conferences, as well. Unfortunately, Teams no longer supports Hybrid voice or “federated calling.”

Additional features for Skype for Business include “Timeout in Seconds,” allowing IT pros to exact the max call hold times. Serial Routing will allow the head agent to route calls one by one and ensure each call is answered. Finally, Agents in Office 365 Groups can be utilized with Call Queues to add Agents, if need be.

Updates are coming monthly regarding Skype for Business, Teams, Office 365, so undoubtedly even more capabilities are underway. 

Edited by Erik Linask

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