Convert User/VoiceApp Numbers on Telstra Operator Connect for Microsoft Teams

By | December 10, 2023

Australian users rejoice. Telstra has recently deployed a new Operator Connect offering for Microsoft Teams, making administration of your numbers and environment considerably easier.
In this article, I will show you how to Convert User/VoiceApp Numbers on Telstra Operator Connect for Microsoft Teams.


For those not aware, previously, Telstra offered a product called “Telstra Calling for Microsoft Office 365“, which I wrote about a few years ago here. It was initially built for Skype for Business Online. This was a semi-custom implementation in partnership with Microsoft that emulated Microsoft Calling but made administration… difficult.

An animated gif of a cartoon pony showing her displeasure for paperwork

(TL;DR, every time you wanted a number changed, you had to get a consultant to work with one of the internal teams, and that could take weeks)

Due to country-specific restrictions, Microsoft got quite sick of all these carriers having their own custom implementations of things. Thus, Operator Connect was born. It’s basically Direct Routing with a bit of backend magic, which means the carrier sets up a trunk directly with Microsoft, and you, as the administrator, don’t need to purchase/manage/configure an SBC in your tenant or setup Voice Routing Policies. Neat.

Okay, I have context. How do we convert numbers?

A heads up. I’ve seen the migration process take up to an hour. During this time your number will appear disconnected to external users. So (Telstra lady will give the “Your call couldn’t be connected, please check the number and try again” RVA)

First off, in the Teams Admin Center, the number needs to be Released. That means it can’t be assigned to a User or Voice App and then “Released” from the portal.

In this example, I’ll convert a User Number to a Voice App. But the process is the same as converting a Voice App to a User Number.

Screenshot of the Teams admin portal highlighting a user number and the "release" button

Ensure the number isn’t assigned to anything. If it is, unassign it.
Then select the number and click on Release.

When you click on that, you will get a very scary warning suggesting that you are about to cause a nuclear meltdown.

A screenshot of the Teams Admin Panel warning the administrator of the concequences of removing a number and asking them to enter a code to confrim

Don’t stress about it too much. Enter the confirmation number and hit Release again.

(I’m looking into PowerShell for multiple number release, I’ll update this article when I have something)

Why the nasty warning?

To explain why the warning is so scary. In the backend, Microsoft is sending the carrier a “we aren’t using this number anymore API call”, and in theory, the carrier can do whatever they want with it, including assigning it to another customer.

I can’t say anything for other carriers. Still, for Telstra Operator Connect, the number will just be removed from Teams and assigned as a “Spare” in your Adaptive Collaboration portal (A Telstra Product) as the number is part of your Telstra Adaptive Colab account.

From there, we can assign it to other Telstra Adaptive Colab products, TIPT, a SIP trunk, or even back into Teams!

What’s next?

First off, take a 15-minute break and go and make yourself a beverage/snack
Re-uploading numbers within 15 minutes into Teams can cause sync issues.

Now the number has been marked as Spare, we need to re-upload it into Teams.

Log into the Telstra Adaptive Collaboration Portal (you should have these details from when you signed up)

A screenshot of the Telstra Adaptive Colab portal login screen, filled in with a username and password

In this case, you will see I have 9 Spare numbers. These are the numbers I released from Teams earlier.

A screenshot of the Telstra Adaptive Colab portal home screen, showing 9 numbers are currently "Spare"

All we need to do is click Upload, and the Adaptive Colab portal will take us through a wizard to select what we want to assign the numbers.

The first window is what numbers we want to assign to Voice Apps.
In this case, I selected them all and hit Next. If you were assigning just User Numbers, you would click Skip.

Notice that nice warning about 15 minutes? Trust me, don’t risk it.

A screenshot of the Telstra Adaptive Colab number assignment wizard, showing 9 numbers selected for assignment as Voice Apps

Now, we select what numbers we want to be User Numbers. I’m not assigning any in this case, so I click Skip.

A screenshot of the Telstra Adaptive Colab number assignment wizard, showing no numbers selected for assignment as Users

On the last page, you will get a notification about your Shared Lines.
This is the number of concurrent calls your service will support. This includes calls on hold, or transferred externally by Auto Attendants/Call Queues.

This is outside the scope of this article, but be aware changing this number will affect your billing.

A screenshot of the Telstra Adaptive Colab number assignment wizard, showing 2 shared lines

Unless you’ve discussed it with your account manager, leave the Shared Lines setting alone and click Finish.
(The 2 lines in the screenshot are because this is a test tenant)

Validating your work

You will see my numbers will now appear in the AC portal as Uploading

A screenshot of the Telstra Adaptive Colab home screen showing 9 numbers uploading

Keep refreshing the page until you see the numbers have uploaded (it doesn’t auto-refresh)

A screenshot of the Telstra Adaptive Colab number assignment wizard, showing all 100 numbers have been uploaded to Teams with 90 of them users and 10 of them voice apps

Head back on over to the Teams Admin Centre and see your newly converted numbers!

A screenshot of the Teams Admin Center with 10 Voice Apps numbers listed

Hope this helps.

2 thoughts on “Convert User/VoiceApp Numbers on Telstra Operator Connect for Microsoft Teams

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