Location Based Routing (LBR) in Microsoft Teams

This post is about LBR – a planned feature – for calling or telephony with Microsoft Teams which might be released and available in Q4 2019.

Location Based Routing (LBR) allows basically to route and control voice calls depending on the location. In my opinion, this is very useful for deployments with roaming users especially regarding emergency calls or call restrictions.

Source: https://pixabay.com/de/illustrations/netzwerk-erde-blockchain-globus-3537401/

Why LBR?

There are some reasons to use LBR for managing and controlling your voice call flows:

  • Egress calls: Enforce outgoing calls to egress via local PSTN gateway, prevent PSTN toll bypass
  • Ingress calls: Prevent incoming PSTN calls via a NON-local PSTN gateway
  • Undefined location: Prevent PSTN calls to and from users in undefined locations

Let me describe a small (fictive) scenario where LBR could help:
Erik works for a special machinery engineering company.
Still, the company has decentralized PSTN connectivity.
Each location and site has a dedicated PSTN link and SBC.
Erik is a Teams user including calling capabilities.
He’s located and “homed” in Stuttgart, Germany.

Erik travels to another company site.
Erik needs to place an (emergency) call while being in another office in Berlin, Germany.


By default this (emergency) call would be routed via Stuttgart to the local emergency service answering point. However, that would be a very bad routing and in case of an emergency were every second counts this is not acceptable.It would be ok if Erik was really in Stuttgart and not Berlin.

By using LBR this (emergency) call would be routed locally and breakout to PSTN via the SBC in Berlin and land at the emergency service answering point in Berlin instead of Stuttgart. If Erik would have to call for emergency in the company site in Hamburg, Germany the call would be routed locally and breakout to PSTN via the SBC in Hamburg as well.

How does LBR work?

Usually you’ll have to define and save some of your network parameters (IP address ranges per site …) to define sites in the phone system. Afterwards you’ll have to define (LBR) voice routing for each site (e.g. LBR policies, voice route/s, policies …) so that calls are routed according to the location requirements and its configuration.

Conclusion, opinion and summary

This is subject to change or might be implemented different to what’s described above. This is just my personal assumption how it might look like. I’ve just assumed that it might be like that because of the approach which can be found in Skype for Business Server.

Additional resources

Microsoft Teams interop screen sharing with SFB

Microsoft announced the roll out of (interop) screen sharing between a Microsoft Teams and Skype for Business user during a chat or voice call for September 2019.

Source: Microsoft Teams – Screen sharing in Teams/Skype for Business interop [Microsoft 365 roadmap update item 53934]

Conclusion, opinion and summary

I’m looking forward to this update however I’m not sure what this means in detail right now. Why? Because with Microsoft Teams we need to differentiate between “interop” and “federation“!

Teams Interop (in conjunction with SFB) usually means intra-tenant interop, e.g. how can a Microsoft Teams and a Skype for Business users within the same Office 365 tenant communicate and collaborate with each other.

Teams Federation usually means external [to your Office 365 tenant] federated communication and collaboration with other users from other companies with Teams, Skype for Business Online or Skype for Business Server. For example, how can a Microsoft Teams user from company X communicate and collaborate with a Microsoft Teams/Skype for Business user from company Y.

So, if this capability is only intended for “Teams Interop” this would imply that screen sharing between Skype for Business and Team users within the same Office 365 tenant is added. Finally, you’d benefit of this as long as you are during a migration and transition phase within your Office 365 tenant from Skype for Business Online to Microsoft Teams and you will still have users on Skype for Business (Online).

Additional resources

Automate tasks in Microsoft Teams code free

In this post I like to cross reference a video from the Microsoft Mechanics which shows how to start to automate tasks code free in Microsoft Teams in conjunction with Microsoft’s PowerPlatform services Flow and PowerApps.

Source: Microsoft Teams: Code free ways to optimize your experience

Conclusion, opinion and summary

Microsoft Teams as a hub for teamwork let’s you integrate many other apps and services of the Office 365 stack like Flow and PowerApps. This enables you to automate certain (recurring) tasks and focus on more relevant tasks. The most impressiv aspect is that you do not need to be a developer, you can start to automate processes and tasks code free within little time.

For instance, if you get certain data delivered by your project team mates and you might collect and insert it in a Excel sheet or else. You might change this either starting small with sharing the Excel sheet to allow your team mates to added there data directly or you might want to build a PowerApp for the data input, insert it in the Team as tab, ad flow to get notified of new data inputs and maybe visualize the data via PowerBI…

There are infinite use cases and options which you could automate code free to focus on more relevant things at work. By adding Flows and PowerApps to your Teams you don’t even need to switch to another app.

Additional resources

How to see all your approval process states in Microsoft Flow?

In Microsoft Flow you can now easily see all your approval process states. Therefore Microsoft introduced the Microsoft Flow Action Center. The Flow Action Center is part of the Microsoft Flow web interface where you [as an user] can access your and shared flows.

Source: https://pixabay.com/de/photos/bipr-vereinbarung-datenschutz-3518253/

The approval overview can be found in the Action Center, on the left navigation bar underneath “Action items”. There you can find navigation item “Approvals” which will display according contents on the right after you’ve clicked on it. You can filter the displayed approvals to distinguish the status a little bit better, the filter allows to differentiate between “sent” and “received” approvals.

Another option to quickly find a specific approval is to search for it by using the search bar on the upper right corner on the “Approvals” page.

Additional resources

How to add guests to business process apps with canvas PowerApps?

In this post I describe what Microsoft provides with canvas apps in PowerApps (in preview, August 2018) to add guests (people not within your company) so that guests can collaborate and work with you on a business process (app) within your Office 365 tenant.

Basically you’ll be able to share canvas PowerApps for guests. What do I have to do?

  1. Create a canvas app in PowerApps
  2. Add guests to your Azure Active Directory
  3. Assign licenses to your newly added guests
  4. Share the (canvas) PowerApps (https://make.powerapps.com)
    Guests will receive a mail notification that they are invited.
  5. Guests can access the shared app via (Browser, iOS, Android)
  6. Collaborate with guests on your business processes apps based on PowerApps
  7. Provide feedback to Microsoft to improve services (see link at the bottom)
Source: https://pixabay.com/illustrations/feedback-confirming-businessmen-2990424/

Conclusion, opinion and summary

The Microsoft PowerPlatform evolves steadily and new capabilities are added to ease collaboration within the Microsoft Cloud as well as with stakeholders external to your cloud tenant. This is a really impressiv journey for all of us.

  • It adds more possibilities to your business, your clients and partners.
  • It enables you, your clients and partners to get things done together within your business processes/es.
  • There are almost infinit opportunities to design your business processes and interactions for business processes by utilizing the PowerPlatform.
  • You can allow collaboration internal as well as external to for your company’s business processes built on (canvas apps) in PowerApps based on the PowerPlatform.
  • You can start with codeless or low-code apps to get things started and also done in little time.

Additional resources

How to enable external users to access PowerApps?

In this post I describe what Microsoft provides with PowerApps Portals (in Preview, August 2018) to enable external users (not within your company) to access your PowerApps-based business apps.

What’s PowerApps at all?

Microsoft PowerApps is basically an app toolbox which you can use to quickly build business apps without being a developer because you can build a business app by clicking it together. It’s part of Office 365 and allows to use what you’ve already got there (Office 365, Dynamics 365 …) or (partially) elsewhere.

What’s PowerApps Portals?

Before the introduction of PowerApps Portals all users need to be within your Office 365 tenant to access your PowerApps-based business apps. PowerApps Portal is a game changer it let’s external users access your business apps via WWW on a public accessible website. You can also control access to the portal, e.g. anonymously, LinkedIn, Microsoft ID, Azure AD account, SAML2, OpenId Connect or else.

Source: https://powerapps.microsoft.com/en-us/blog/introducing-powerapps-portals-powerful-low-code-websites-for-external-users/

Conclusion, opinion and summary

PowerApps Portals is very handy for you if you need to build a business app which is not only accessible for your employees or users which are member of your Office 365 tenant. To enable a wider accessibility to PowerApps can enable more interaction with external users to your company.

Additional resources

Microsoft Flow Online Conference 2019

In this post I like to inform you about the upcoming Microsoft Flow Online Conference 2019. The free (~8-hours) online conference starts at September 10th, 2019 at 9 AM (EST), 15 PM (CEST).

The focus of the online conference is to show how to automate processes and tasks easily (with no or little code) by using Microsoft Flow and related technology from the Office 365 stack and more. And if you might wonder what about Teams integration? Can I automate things in Teams by using Flow? Of course, you can integrate and use Flow in conjunction with Teams. So you can automate processes and integrate it within Teams as your hub of modern teamwork.

Source: https://flow.microsoft.com/en-us/blog/register-for-the-microsoft-flow-online-conference-2019/

Conclusion, opinion and summary

First of all, I already like the format, because it’s an online conference and I do not need to travel far, catch any plane, stuck in any traffic jam or else.

The agenda and list of content looks pretty nice! There’s something for everyone, you can find sessions if you are completely new to Flow but also if you are a bit more advanced and automated some processes and tasks.

Additional resources