In the previous blog, we described how the call to the telephone network from Microsoft Teams worked. This means that a number can be dialed directly from Teams.  This article will expand on the extra features added as telephony to Teams from the service side of Office 365.

Auto Attendant

Almost all PBX, HPBX, and other central systems have an Auto Attendant, which enables connections directly with an annex, or with a person, if the last name is known. Auto Attendant calls start with a greeting which is then followed by a menu selection with options such as “Dial 0 for the operator, 1 for sales and 2 for support.’

The corresponding number is then forwarded.If a voicemail feature isn’t available, the option to leave a written message is also available. This message will be recorded by the auto-attendant and sent to the receiver in their native language (English, Spanish, French, Chinese, etc.)  All the central commands can be given directly via keyboard (DTMF) or by voice.

The following are some of the many features of auto attendant: 

  • Convey greetings, both corporate and informative
  • Provide menus: These menus can be customized to have more than one level
  • Call directories
  • Voice mail: This voice message can be transformed into an email and sent to the receptor of the call
  • Multi-Language
  • Text-to-voice and voice recognition.
  • Specify holidays and company working hours.
  • The option of call transfers to the operator, other users, call queues and other automatic operators.
  • The option of shared voicemail: Callers can leave a message for the more than one person or a team              

 

It is necessary to note that to have the functionality of automatic operators you must:

1.)     Create a Resource Account in the Teams administrator or “PowerShell” (with the New-CsOnlineApplicationInstance command).

2.)     Assign a virtual user license to the resource account (located in the Office 365 administrator). This license is free, but a request must be sent to Microsoft or the Office 365 provider.

3.)     Give a DID, phone number, to that Resource account using the PowerShell command Set-CsOnlineVoiceApplicationInstance.

In the graphical interface of the Teams administrator, we find the auto-attendant under the Voice menu:

When an automatic operator is created or modified, an operator user can be assigned, and will divert calls if necessary. In addition, the time zone and language are configured.

The menu flow, and the welcome message is configured in the call flow:

This flow shows the available options and whether or not you can search the company directory.
The advanced options configure the hours of attention, which people and groups can be searched (for example, the search can be specified to a Teams group with those who have the Teams + Voice license), and the account associated with this automatic operator.

CLOUD CALL QUEUES

Another functionality that is usually found in a PBX is the call queue. This allows different people to be called with a single number. There are three strategies to implement this functionality, all supported by Teams:

  • Routing the operator- all agents receive the call at the same time.
  • Serial routing- the call is ringing on each agent one after the other.
  • Shift operation- incoming calls are balanced among all, so each agent receives a similar number of calls from the queue.

Cloud Call Queues provide:

  • A welcome message
  • Music on-hold
  • Agents who receive calls can be users or groups of users in mailing lists or security groups
  • You can change different parameters, such as maximum queue size, timeout and call management options
  • If the call is not answered by any operator, it goes to a shared voicemail so callers can leave a message for the entire organization.

It is necessary to note that to have Call Queues functionality you must:

1.)   Create a Resource Account in the Teams administrator or “PowerShell” (with the New-CsOnlineApplicationInstance command).                                

2.)   Assign a virtual user license to the resource account (located in the Office 365 administrator). This license is free, but a request must be sent to Microsoft or the Office 365 provider.

3.)   Give a DID, phone number, to that Resource account using the PowerShell command Set-CsOnlineVoiceApplicationInstance.

 

When a call queue is created or modified, a user must be assigned to the resource account. The greeting, waiting music, people or groups that are in the queue, the routing way to the agents and the number, are configured maximum calls that can be received.

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