Teams Real Simple with Pictures: Show and tel:// Launching PSTN calls from Lists using JSON – and building a Phone Book for your business

I got back on the circuit this week: aMS Germany and Power Platform French Summit bookending a delivery of Microsoft 365 Fundamentals: so all in all I've had little time to really sit down and think about what to write - but then every once in a while a good turn of fortune occurs, and this week I found out that Lists now supports tel: which is something I have wanted to see ever since I wrote about hyperlinked email addresses. You see, launching a PSTN call from a list makes a lot of sense: namely because people and lists go hand in hand. A list of staff members. A list of potential recruits. A list of vendors. And the thing is, Teams as we know it has never really had a proper communal phone book has it? One that all members of staff can share. You know, I am not talking about some all singing, all dancing, aesthetically mind-blowing app. I am talking about basic no frills does what it says on the tin. I want a list of people, to be able to be searched by a team, and then can call on the spot. One or two clicks then go. Well, now we can all because Lists supports tel://.

Teams Real Simple with Pictures: Flooping 101 – Or using Flows with Loop Components

It's been such a crazy week! But with a slither of room to breathe I took time to look at Vesa Nopanen's blog on loop components this morning and decided I wanted to have a bit of a play. You see, Vesa is one of my best mates in IT and we practically talk every day. We organize Teams Nation together. We speak on the circuit together. We have a lot of the same thoughts and interests in the same kind of areas. So this blog really is a follow up to his. I am not going to retrace his steps in this piece, but I am going to start out from where loop components are stored, which is OneDrive. Now, the fact that it is stored in OneDrive makes sense because the loop components in Teams are only available on private chats. This makes me think that when loop components emerge for channels, the .fluid file will be housed in SharePoint. This would be consistent with Teams Meeting Recordings. Yet the fact that they are housed in OneDrive means that we can start using flows and automation with them. That's right. Let's create some flows with loop components, or to coin a portmanteau, let's go 'flooping'. This is a completely experimental blog and there's probably going to be loads of roadblocks. But let's see a few things we can come up with. Just for fun. I'll bet you by the time I have got to the end of this I would have built a flow right to the very end and it didn't work on the very last action.

Teams Real Simple with Pictures: Opting in to OneDrive Storage for Whiteboard, View Switcher, Teams Meeting Recording Expiry in TAC and more!

Ok! It was back to teaching this week. First up? Microsoft Teams Phone Essentials. I had spent the previous week facelifting the course; aligning it to Microsoft's new branding of Teams Phone for the calling workload. But then Ignite came along. And so I had to facelift it again with all of the awesome news which dropped: native contact centre, SIP gateway, workspace management and the device dashboard. It really is awesome. True - after all these years it still hasn't got 100% of the old Skype for Business features and yes, still no sign of native compliant call recording and smaller SKU's. But the news last week, together with the news that comms credits will run through an Azure subscription, is all pointing in the direction we are looking. For those who worked with OCS, Lync and SfB these are the kinds of things we always wanted to see. Now, setup for the labs for courses are always opportunities to spot features in preview or GA and this week I spotted a few which were ripe to send to the blog. First, we now have the ability to now opt in to using OneDrive to store Whiteboard. Microsoft Whiteboard is being rebuilt on top of OneDrive for Business and this will become the default starting in January 2022. We can opt the whole tenant in. However, there is an important caveat to know. We are now also seeing the View Switcher in meetings, the ability to switch seamlessly between modes such as between the gallery and together mode and focus mode. This is ideal insofar that we don't have to drill down through the control bar where we may, for example, accidently stop recording or turn off live captions if we are in a rush. Needless to say; the introduction and release of functionality for Teams remain relentless. Announcements and roadmap is all very exciting - but so is getting hands on with the functionality when it drops.

Teams Real Simple with Pictures: The Q&A app is here. Can we make Meetings like Live Events?

It was back at the fall edition of Ignite 2020 when I remember watching this particular breakout session on large meetings. And in that session it was hinted that Microsoft Teams Meetings and Live Events were going to merge at some point in the future. In fact, I was so excited about this that at the time I actually screenshotted it and threw it up on Twitter. Doing an advanced search this evening it's right here and honestly I was kinda surprised that I didn't hear more about it. The session was DB138: Scale and Customize Virtual Meetings and Events with Microsoft Teams. Now, I am of the personal opinion that even though today they are separate it makes a ton of sense to merge them at some point. Why? Because having one type of event which you can skin exactly how you want it to be is far simpler than two with two different ways of setting them up, two different sets of functionality and having to repeatedly explain the difference in terms of the event experience to users. Whether its many to many, one to many, few to many, big or small, a single event based upon a combination of event options, functionalities and apps would make life simpler. Let's think about the the recent webinar functionality - webinars are simply a registration form over a standard meeting where the registration data is held in the Lists app and meeting options are configured in such a way to facilitate the format of the event. Hard mute is auto applied. The presenters set in the webinar setup define the presenter and attendee roles. But under the hood it's still just a Teams Meeting right? Could we reach that point with a Teams Meeting and Live Event? As mentioned, hard mute dropped late in 2020 and we now have hard mute for video in addition to audio. We also have the ability to turn off chat and reactions in the meeting options both of which came out this year. Therefore, today the audience cannot should we wish interact with the presenters. What's the other defining feature of a Live Event? That's right. Q&A. When I think about it, Q&A has really been the backbone of the Live Event: questions raised and answers given by a moderator as the speaker is doing their talk

Teams Real Simple with Pictures: Let’s saddle up and apply Adaptive Scopes to Retention and Label Policies

course updates. I am also back on the circuit courtesy of aMS Germany and Power Platform France. As always, thank you to the organisers for having me. Yet, despite all this good stuff I am also acutely aware that I haven't done any technical writing on the blog since the day before I got Covid - and as my good friend Vesku Nopanen released one today on the new Whiteboarding features in Teams, the situation demands I write. So where to start? Having effectively had two months off I can certainly say I am not in short supply of subject matter - but one that I thought I would start on since I am really interested in it is adaptive scopes for retention and label policies.