I stumbled upon a new feature which is under development for Microsoft Teams. Belief it or not but on the official Microsoft 365 (M365) roadmap “Microsoft Teams: Busy on Busy” (short, abbr. BoB) appeared in the list. It’s planned for May 2019.

Microsoft Teams: Busy on Busy (Source: https://www.microsoft.com/de-de/microsoft-365/roadmap?filters=&searchterms=49990)

What’s “Busy on Busy”?

Well, this feature gives a caller a busy ton or sound in case the callee is busy with another call/meeting. So, you as a caller then now “Ah, well the person I’m calling is busy, right now. I’ll try it later, send an IM or mail …”

Do you need this?

It depends. It’s a frequently and common feature in Germany. Most people are used to it. In US and other countries it is not so widely used as far as I’m aware of. There is a little different “telephony mindset”, e.g. “If I cannot get a call because I’m busy the caller can leave a voicemail… or it is forwarded to my delegates/assistant …” or “The caller can try another communication option…” That’s why it depends if you need it or not. In general to have it is a good idea so you can decide if you enable it for all or a few users (depending on how the feature can be configured after it’s development).

Update May 16, 2019 – Enable BoB

You can now enable/disable BoB via Calling Policies within the Teams Admin Center\VoiP\Calling Policies or via PowerShell. For details, please see the linkt below “Microsoft Teams Calling Policies (PowerShell Cmdlet Reference)”.

Either within the global or an user policy.

Screenshot – Custom Calling policy for Busy on Busy (BoB)
Screenshot – Assignment of the Custom Calling policy to a user

Update June 2021 – Busy options

In this update I like to note that an update was made regarding busy options. I.e. there is now not just the option to enable or disable the busy tone feature instead you can now also configure it to “unanswered”. It’s possible to configure this using the GUI and PowerShell as well.

Screenshot – Teams Admin Center – Custom Calling Policy Busy options

If you want to modify this you can use PowerShell as well.

Set-CsTeamsCallingPolicy -Identity <PolicyName> -BusyOnBusyEnabledType <Enabled | Unanswered | Disabled>

What busy options are there in Microsoft Teams?

  • Enabled | Busy tone and call gets rejected
  • Disabled | No busy options enabled, several calls can go to the user
  • Unanswered | the user’s unanswered settings take effect, e.g. the call goes to voicemail

Please note that there is no user override available at the time of writing this update. A user cannot decide which option he wants its deployed by policy set by an Teams Admin.

Conclusion, opinion and summary

I remember, in the past, that the announcement of Busy-on-Busy for Skype for Business Server was a big deal. Many customers in Germany were waiting for this nativ feature for SFB. It was released as part of a SFB Server 2015 cumulative update. The busy-on-busy implementation was not 100% as some customers expected it to be. Compared to their known and legacy busy-on-buy feature by their legacy PBX. However it was adopted partially. And third party app and tools for this previously SFB Server 2015 feature gap vanished. Finally, I’m sure Microsoft Teams Busy on Busy will be adopted by some Team users instead of or even supplementary to voicemail, call forwarding or else depending on the configuration and assignment options for BoB.

Please note that this post and its contents might be subject to change. Especially, because it was added and last modified on April 1, 2019 June 29, 2021.

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