Teams Real Simple with Pictures: Block Call Me within Teams Meetings

Ok, so this one came about after someone on Tech Community asked me if there was a way to remove the call me functionality within Microsoft Teams Meetings. Most people I talk to about it typically don't know about it or use it, and even less on the reasons as to why to turn it off in the first instance. So lets do this. As defined by docs.com, the call me feature gives users a way to join the audio portion of a meeting by a landline or mobile. Why? Think of a scenario such as needing to get up and walk around whilst the meeting is in progress or simply because the user considers audio in that location to be better over the PSTN. They may just like the tangible feel of a device. All legitimate reasons. However, in making the Meeting call the user on a landline or mobile begins using the audio conferencing minutes pool - 60 minutes per user per month and then start using communication credits if they have burned through the pool allowance, so if the admin doesn't know this then it could end up both rinsing their pools and credits causing them a significantly higher bill than they were anticipating - particularly if several users started to do it regularly. Therefore, the admin at least needs to know how to block and mitigate that behaviour by making users call into the meeting or stick to using VOIP audio where they could work with them to resolve any quality issues, or potentially invest in an IP phone

Teams Real Simple with Pictures: Get Ready for Teams Public Preview

Preview features. When I was starting out in my IT career - in what is now rapidly becoming a long time ago - I wanted all the access and all the features you could imagine. Now, I am not going to lie to you this was all largely driven from a need to know first. I wanted to know first and wanted to get stuck in in order to a.) make my life easier and b.) get ahead of the curve to show customers that I knew what I was talking about. Whilst this isn't quite the case anymore since I believe in security principles such as RBAC, that things are more polished when they hit GA, and having been a frequent flyer to the wild west without an SLA, I still can't quite resist the lure of something new. So its been with interest that I have monitored the development of the new public preview feature for Microsoft Teams which has now surfaced in the Teams Admin Centre prior to work beginning on the Teams client to consume it. So here's the million dollar question - why has Microsoft introduced a public preview specifically for Teams when you could already set targeted release in the Microsoft 365 Admin Centre?

Teams Real Simple with Pictures: Using List Controls to disable personal lists and List Templates

A quick one today. I was looking over the SharePoint Roadmap pitstop for October and saw that there are now two List controls available: these are the ability to disable personal lists and the ability to disable List templates. Since I am giving talks on Lists next week at no less than three events either side of the Atlantic then I thought it would be good to cover this and get ahead of the curve. The first is the ability to disable personal lists. Personal lists are your own lists, they are stored in OneDrive and when creating a List you would select 'My Lists' from the dropdown within the Web App. They are not available in Teams since Lists in Teams are a different type of Lists called Teams Lists. These are housed in SharePoint and are meant to be shared with other members of the Team. The ability to disable personal Lists can simplify, or hone, the purpose of Lists insofar that by disabling personal, you are keeping them within SharePoint, within a Team context and away from individuals. Imagine that a really important List was located in someone's OneDrive and then that user left the organisation? Secondly, moving onto the ability to disable List templates this one makes complete sense: whilst they could be found helpful, they could also be - depending the organisations perspective - a hinderance since people could be confused by them. Imagine it from an end users perspective: Are these the Lists meant to be used? Did my organisation create these templates? Administrators may wish to turn them off which could, in a sense, make it easier for those who are creating Lists to simply start from scratch, import or clone. A nice pair of adds. I look forward to more in the future!

European Teams User Group becomes Teams Nation Monthly Meetup

Last week, we announced that TeamsFest has become Teams Nation. We also announced that we will be going ahead on Wednesday 26th May 2021 for the next event. Thank you so much for all the support you have given us as we take the next steps on our journey. We already have a few ideas, and are already in pre-planning discussions about the day itself

Teams Real Simple with Pictures: Hard Mute

Hard mute has been a feature which I have wanted to see for a long time. I've voted on uservoice, asked in AMA's, said in feedback to the engineering team. To be fair I've been pretty vocal about it on social over the last year given what I do and standing to gain significantly from the add. As an MCT I teach regularly in Teams. I do sessions on the speaker circuit. I organise conferences. As part of my day job I do a lot of webinars and meetings. So the ability to prevent attendees unmuting is a real pragmatic add - one which will be warmly received by the tech community as a huge gap which has now been sewn up. Teachers, presenters, instructors, sellers, marketers - all stand to benefit from it. Yet it is also fair to say that if most peoples experience of Teams meetings mirrors my own then the realities were nowhere near as bad as the noise and anxieties surrounding the lack of such a control. Personally, I've always found most people in meetings or in lessons to be very conscious, considerate, professional and take real care of using mute and to be honest, I can't think of a time where the noise was so persistent as to pull me off track apart from the odd instance of echo. In my time using Teams I've personally had more instances of demo failure. However, the feature is important not just in terms of what it actually does, but from the perspective that it gives the speaker absolute assurance that they aren't going to be interrupted - and that kind of peace of mind is invaluable particularly for the inexperienced speaker. Q&A will be better managed. Presenters won't be walking in a situation where discussion is ongoing and difficult to control. It's a shame this wasn't released to more fanfare, vis-à-vis custom backgrounds or together mode. Whilst I understand it probably opens up a seam of criticism as to why this wasn't always around earlier, we now have a tool in the toolkit for meeting management which we'll use all the time and it'll become fundamental to the Teams meeting experience