In this post I like to highlight a long awaited calling feature for Microsoft Teams auto attendants and call queues. Maybe you were wondering how can a user or users control their “Teams hotline” (auto attendants, call queues)? After some online research you probably came to the conclusion that this is not directly possible with native (role-based access control (RBAC)) features. You had to provide certain Teams admin permissions to fulfill the requirement. However, providing a department’s manager or a team lead with this kind of permissions is not a good idea because they could control and change more as they needed to. Teams RBAC options are not granular enough, so far. Another option would be to think about, plan and implement a workaround (e.g. form, script-based approach) based on several components (Forms, Azure Runbooks, …) with some complexity or a third-party solution providing more mature features than Microsoft Teams auto attendants and call queues.
In the past, on Lync or Skype for Business(SFB) Server an admin could define users as response group managers which could control a specific response group (“SFB hotline”) via web interface. On other PBXs such option exist as well. Finally, Microsoft heard, received, adopted and started to apply the Teams voice admin feedback, partially at least.
As mentioned in the Microsoft 365 roadmap feature ID 116739 item some kind of limited “Teams Hotline Manager” is planned. The feature’s preview is scheduled for March 2023 and general availability (GA) for April 2023. The “Teams Hotline Manager” should be able to control a “Teams Hotline” using the Teams app on Windows, partially. Today, partially means that a “Teams Hotline Manager” get the ability to manage greetings and announcements.
Please note these times and contents can be subject to change at any time by Microsoft.
Conclusion, option and summary
I’m glad that we soon get some kind of lightweight “Teams Hotline Manager” role into Teams auto attendants and call queues. Although the feature and capabilities as stated on the recent roadmap item leave (a lot) room for improvement. But let’s start small and hope for more in the (near) future.
In the future, I would like to see and have the following [personal wishlist] for “Teams Hotline Managers”.
- control members (membership: add/remove; if not used in a Team channel)
- control ring behavior
- control opt-in/-out
- control holidays (maybe with predefined option for overflows/forwarding … based on Teams voice admin “configuration sets”)
I was also thinking about more but where to stop? It should be simple. A “Teams Hotline Manager” is usually no IT (voice) admin. The risk of misconfiguration resulting in downtime/not reaching anyone in a “Teams Hotline” should be minimized with this role. With the current approach for changing greetings and/or announcement the risk of downtime/not reaching anyone in a “Teams Hotline” is low in my opinion. It’s a good start to enable people as a “Teams Hotline Manager” and get them the chance to familiarize themselves with the capabilities and provide training where needed.
- Microsoft 365 roadmap feature ID 116739
- Plan for Teams auto attendants and call queues – Microsoft Teams | Microsoft Learn [not yet including the change; March 14, 2023]