Tom Talks Microsoft Teams and Skype for Business thoughts and news

Skype for Business Online IP Phones will work with Microsoft Teams, with some Considerations

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We heard at Ignite that Microsoft Intent to make all existing SfB Online compatible devices work with Microsoft Teams, and today we got a good detailed FAQ blog post from Thomas Binder that helped clarify the plan for SfBO/Cloud PBX/Cloud Phone System certified IP Phones (thanks Thomas).

I’ve reproduced some of Thomas’s FAQ and added by own thoughts/opinion commentary here.

Will Skype for Business Online IP Phone continue to work when I switch to Microsoft Teams?

Yes, we plan to support all Skype for Business Online Certified phones: Certified Skype for Business Phones (3PIP) and Lync Phone Edition* (LPE) with Microsoft Teams. * LPE phones mainstream support ends April 2018, so support for any changes will limited after that time.

TA: Good news, *all* both the older Lync Phone Edition (the older phones where Microsoft produces the software and partners produce the hardware, mainly Polycom) and the newer “3PiP” (“3rd Party IP Phone”) produced by Polycom, AudioCodes and Yealink will be supported on Microsoft Teams. It’s odd LPE  are called out as supported then it’s pointed out they are end of mainstream support in April 2018, but many customers may have extended support and/or continue to run these phones.

The user experience (user interface) on 3PIP and LPE phones will not change when a user moves to Microsoft Teams. No tenant-admin or users action or configuration is required when users are switched to Microsoft Teams.

This will not affect SfB Server or IP Phones working with SfB Server.

Which SfBO/Cloud PBX /Cloud Phone System features will be “supported” with these IP Phones when connected to Microsoft Teams?

  • All Cloud Phone System features in Skype for Business Online today (such as Call Queues and Auto Attendant) will continue to work on 3PIP IP Phones after switching to Microsoft Teams.
  • Authentication: All Skype for business authentication (Sign-in) capabilities will remain unchanged
  • Calling: Users will be able to make/receive calls on their phones post switching to Microsoft Teams with no change in experience. That includes Peer to peer calling as well as PSTN calling.
  • Presence and Picture information: Presence information will remain to work as is on the IP Phones
  • Corporate & Local Directory: Users will still have access to corporate directory and local directory on the IP Phones
  • Joining Skype for Business scheduled meetings (Online or Server): All existing Skype for Business meeting capabilities will continue to work.

It’s interesting that “advanced” features like call transfer/consult transfer, Better Together/BToE are not listed. That’s a core feature requirement for a lot of phone users. Hoping it’s an oversight. BToE? The need to create a list of features that work definitely suggests there will be features that won’t work.

Features supported when an existing IP Phone Joins a MSTeams meeting:

  • Receive a notification on the phone about an upcoming meeting
  • Calendar access, and meeting details
  • Join a prescheduled meeting using the 1-Click-Join procedure
  • Add a participant to an on-going meeting
  • IP Phone can be added to an on-going meeting using the Add Participant meeting feature
  • Mute/Unmute a conference
  • Display Meeting Info on the phone
  • Show the list of meeting participants
  • Display the active speaker notification
  • Hold/Resume a conference

Features not determined if  supported when an existing IP Phone Joins a MSTeams meeting:

  • Escalate P2P call to meeting
  • BToE support for meetings
  • Admit a participant from Lobby
  • Hide details for private meetings
  • Remove a Participant
  • Lock the meeting
  • Enable/Disable annunciator
  • Show Acceptance status per participant
  • End meeting
  • Promote to presenter
  • Other new Microsoft Teams meeting capabilities

Most of these are advanced meeting controls and I would say are not going to heavily impact most users, but being unable to go from a person to person call to a conference will be an issue for some users.

Key Point form the article: We will be working with our phone partners to deliver a new phone experience for advanced Phone System / PBX features on our future roadmap for Microsoft Teams.

It’s not clear if a “new Phone experience” is new software for existing phones, or new phones. I would guess both.

About the author

Tom Arbuthnot

Tom Arbuthnot is Principal Solutions Architect at Unified Communications specialist Modality Systems. He is a Microsoft Certified Master and MVP, blogger, has a regular podcast with UCToday at tomtalks.show and is a regular speaker at events including Microsoft TechEd and Ignite. He co-runs The Microsoft UC User Group London.

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Tom Talks Microsoft Teams and Skype for Business thoughts and news