On August 22nd, Microsoft announced that their Azure Communication Services CPaaS platform interoperability with Microsoft Teams is generally available. This means it is out of preview and fully supported for production use.
ACS interop with Teams allows application developers to build applications and experiences that interact with Microsoft Teams users over voice, video, chat, and screen sharing. Further, by using ACS alongside the Graph API, developers can add and manage chats, channels, Teams Meetings, and control server and client-side calling bots.
Example use cases include:
- Meetings between people outside the Organisation/Business/Enterprise and Teams native users, for example, a hospital app where patients use a branded website or app (using WebRTC) talking to doctors using native Teams.
- Contact Center / Auto Attendant scenarios with Teams Teams This is how Landis Attendant Console, Luware digital banking and Microsoft Dynamics Digital Contact Center platform work. This could go beyond voice to include Omni-channel in the future.
- Interop between Teams and specialist devices like RealWear augmented reality headsets. Using ACS to add video calling capability to connect to matter experts use Teams clients.
The “external” user or application can have a completely custom experience:
- Integrate into a customer app, for example, an online banking app
- Support for mobile and desktop web browsers
- No additional Teams licenses are required for the external users
- Teams Tenant policies and configurations can apply to the scenarios in your app without extra work
For the Teams user or “business user” the benefits are:
- Use the usual Teams desktop or mobile app
- Teams users don’t lose context by switching between apps for customer engagement and their internal communications
- Teams is a single source for chat messages and call history within the organization
- Teams policies control communication across applications
Azure Communication Services can connect/interoperate with Microsoft Teams calls and meetings
Using the Teams identity authentication model, an Azure Communication Services application allows Teams users to join calls with other Teams users who are both using the Teams clients
Communication Services applications can join Teams meetings as External users using the bring your own identity authentication model or as Teams users using the Teams identity authentication model
Azure Communication Services interoperability with Microsoft Teams Costs and Pricing
Usage of Azure Communication Service APIs and SDKs incurs consumption usage costs via Azure Communication Service billing meters. Interactions with Microsoft Teams, such as joining a meeting or initiating a phone call using a Teams allocated number, will incur these costs. There is no additional fee for the Teams interoperability capability itself.
- If your Azure application has a user/bot spend 10 minutes in a meeting with a user of Microsoft Teams
- The 10 minutes of the custom application and using Azure APIs and SDKs will be billed to your resource.
- The 10 minutes consumed by the native Teams user is covered by the user’s Teams license and is not metered by Azure.
It will be interesting to see if ISVs choose to absorb these costs into their services or pass on consumption charges to customers.
Supported use cases
The following table show supported use cases for Teams users with Azure Communication Services and Graph API. Source link
It will be really interesting to see the applications and use cases for bringing new scenarios into Microsoft Teams. As I see more use cases and talk to more ISVs, I will continue to update the blog. Be sure to subscribe for the latest updates.
ACS docs: Azure Communication Services Calling SDK