Like I mentioned in my previous article, Microsoft Ignite 2020 has been and gone and it was a massive whirlwind of information. Tons of new features and announcements that even I’m still catching up on.
As before, if you’re interested in grabbing all of the Ignite content and don’t want to spend a week having your computer transcode it all. You can find my Torrent of the Ignite sessions here.
In this part 2, we will be diving into my specialties, Calling and Meetings. So sit back, strap in and get comfy!
Links to relevant announcements or sessions are under each heading with the relevant timestamps to help out.
Teams Phone System Updates
Survivable Branch Appliance – Preview End of Q3 2020
Today, this will allow users to make and receive direct PSTN calls when their connection to Microsoft 365 is down. However, unlike with Skype SBA’s internal calling isn’t supported yet but I expect that to come in the future.
For these units to work you will need to be using Direct Routing, have the relevant numbers routed to the SBC using some method that isn’t the corporate WAN/Internet, and have the Virtual Machine card installed in the SBC
Announced: Session DB149 @11:50
More info: Ask the Expert – DB149 @6:20 & @15:40
I’ve been waiting for this one for a while. Imagine if you will that a Call Queue we know and love today gets tied to a Team.
So now agents can see what calls have come in, who’s signed in, what their doing, sign themselves in and out all from the new “Calls” tab in the Team
Announced: Session DB149 @10:04
In Depth: Session OD265 @ 5:00
End User Call Recording, Captions and Transcriptions
I’ll start off with a big caveat here, this is NOT compliance recording. This is the extension of features we have in Meetings today into 1:1 Teams calls. So similar to a meeting a user can start the recording just like with meetings today.
Announced: Session DB149 @11:16
Skype for Business 3PIP Support extended to 2023
I run into this one a lot, a customer has tons of Poly VVX, Audiocodes HD or other Skype certified phones deployed as part of their Skype for Business/Lync rollout and are now looking to roll onto Teams.
One of the first questions they ask is if they can keep their existing phones. At which point I pull out my headset and ask why they want to keep their phones.
Regardless there are plenty of situations where a traditional phone is still required and it makes perfect sense to keep them. So this is nice to see.
Announced: Session DB147 @15:40
Teams Support for SIP phones in 1H 2021
This was previously posted in the June 2020 article over on the Tech Community website but was re-affirmed in the Teams Devices session.
Officially, this will allow IT Pro’s to register SIP phones from Audiocodes, Cisco, Yealink, Poly “and others” for “Core Calling Features” straight to Teams.
This might not seem like much to some, but it potentially means we will be able to use things like SIP Cordless Phones, Door Phones, Gate controls, Paging Amplifiers, Elevators, Emergency Help points, External Ringers and the like directly with Teams. All with no need for an SBC.
I won’t go into much detail here, but I will link to Tom’s article on the subject where he speculates on what exactly that might mean.
Announced: Session DB147 @16:00
Teams Phone Sidecars!
Available from Yealink and Audiocodes
Touch or Physical Buttons
The Yealink sidecar supports 20 contacts over 3 pages for a total of 60 contacts with physical buttons
Update: My Yealink contact confirms GA in October for the T56A/58A and MP56!
The Audiocodes unit is considerably slimmer, but with a touch-only interface no official word on limits, but it looks like it supports multiple pages.
In Depth: Session PR108 @10:00
New Teams “Basic” handsets – Early 2021
I’m not gonna lie, I wasn’t exactly a fan of the “All Teams phones must have a Touch screen” requirement when they were first launched a few years ago. For a few reasons.
However the recent announcement of these new “Low Cost” devices appears to solve most of these issues offering dedicated number buttons and no need to use the touch interface.
Announced: Session DB147 @16:20
Teams Personal Devices
New Teams USB handsets – Late 2020
For those that don’t want to stress about managing phones or worrying that the next big thing wont work with Teams phones. Microsoft is now harking back to the old CX300 phone and offering USB Teams phones. These will work with both PC and Mac and have real buttons. No words on features or pricing yet, but we are expecting to see the first handset from Yealink in late 2020.
Announced: Session DB147 @16:30
In Depth: Session PR108 @8:32
Microsoft Blog Post: Take your communications to the next level
Teams Displays – “Available Soon”
As far as I’m aware, these aren’t entirely new, and in fact, have been in the wild for a while now. (I can actually pick one up from my local JB-Hifi, even if they can’t spell Micrsoft)
I won’t go too far into these, but to surmise, imagine a Google Hub Max, Cortana and a Teams Phone all had a baby. This is what you would get.
Another MVP reviewed one of these recently, but I can’t find that article right now. I’ll update this article when I find it.
Announced: Session DB147 @17:00
Microsoft Blog Post: Introducing Microsoft Teams displays
New Partners Announced
As part of the Teams devices session, it was quickly mentioned that the Huddly IQ Lite camera has been certified for Microsoft Teams as well as Bose now offering the Teams Certified Bose 700 UC headset with 11 different levels of noise cancelling. Colour me intrigued.
More info: Session DB147 @14:30
New Codec – Satin – “This Fall” (End of 2020)
This was actually Demo’ed at Ignite 2019 but is now closer to rollout across teams clients.
In a demo, Microsoft simulated 300ms burst packet loss every 600ms and placed a call using Silk (Opus based) and Satin (New codec), the new call was almost flawless.
Shortly after Microsoft demo’ed a high quality call using only 7kbps!
SEVEN KiloBITS! less than 1KB/s!
I am a little disappointed they didn’t use my favorite Harvard phrase “Oak is strong but also give shade, cats and dogs each hate the other, the pipe began to rust while new”
Demo: Session DB151 @9:50
We go into all the announcements for Teams Meetings, Meeting Rooms and Devices in Part 3