Microsoft Announcement on Extending Audio Conferencing Capabilities
…today, we are announcing that we will add unlimited dial-in capabilities for Microsoft Teams meetings across our enterprise, business, frontline, and government suites over the next few months. Even as cloud connectivity increases, we know that people join Teams meetings while they are on the go or struggling with a bad internet connection. Currently included with Microsoft 365 E5 and Office 365 E5, we have come to see dial-in as an important part of the complete Teams experience. Available with subscription in over 70 countries and with interactive support in 44 languages and dialects, unlimited dial-in provides peace of mind that users will be able to join their Microsoft Teams meeting from virtually any device regardless of location.
(Source: Microsoft’s Aug 2021 Announcement)
With the offer, anyone who is assigned the license can use unlimited dial-in minutes. There is also 60 minutes of dial-out minutes included per license, which is pooled at the tenant level and can be used by everyone with a license. If you have some end users that require a lot of dial-out licenses, an additional subscription can be added for that user.
How to Take Action and Turn On Free Audio Conferencing
If you already have Microsoft 365 Audio Conferencing licensed and configured, making the switch is quite simple:
- Work with your CSP to request their assistance.Or, if you’re a OneNeck customer, send a service request to firstname.lastname@example.org for the quantity needed. The quantity should be the number of office licenses you have or less.
- Assign a license to one user, and remove the old Microsoft 365 Audio Conferencing license from that user.
- Finally, test the functionality. While we have not had issues with the new offer, we still recommend testing in your environment.
- Roll out to other users as you are comfortable with the process.
- Send a request/ticket to your CSP (OneNeck if applicable) to turn off auto-renew on the old M365 Audio Conferencing subscription.
If you do not have Audio Conferencing, in addition to adding the new subscription and assigning it to users, you will need to configure Audio Conferencing. Information on the configuration can be found on Microsoft’s site.
We’re Here to Help
If you are an existing Microsoft client and would like to enable Audio Conferencing in your environment, we can help with our Audio Conferencing Quick Start. Let one of our experienced Microsoft architects help you choose a right-fit subscription, configure the solution and then educate your team to manage your Audio Conferencing. Add-on hours can be scheduled for additional configuration if your Teams’ policies need to be addressed.
Common Questions We Get on Microsoft Teams Audio Conferencing
What is Microsoft Teams Audio Conferencing?
Audio Conferencing in Microsoft 365 and Office 365 enables users to call in to meetings from their phones. Audio Conferencing allows up to 1000 phone attendees.
What online services/office packages now qualify for MS Teams Audio Conferencing select dial-out?
Office 365 E5 and Microsoft 365 E5 already include Audio Conferencing and you don’t need to change or add anything for those licenses. Office 365 E1, E3, and F3, Microsoft 365 E3, F1, and F3 and Microsoft 365 Business Basic, Standard and Premium now qualify for free audio conferencing.
What is “Unlimited dial-in?”
Unlimited dial-in is the ability to assign a phone number to a Teams meeting so that roaming users can dial-in instead of using the Internet.
What is “Select dial-out?” Microsoft includes 60 minutes/month/license of dial-out capability. This feature can be used when on a Teams call. For example: Jim and Mike are on a call and they decide they need Doug to answer a question. Jim and Mike can add a participant using Doug’s cell # and dial-out to get him into the call. Dial-out can also be used when you lose connection during a Teams meeting. If enabled, Teams will ask if you want a call back if you lose your meeting connection.
What if I need more dial-out minutes? You can add the Extended Dial-out Minutes to USA/CAN ($4/user/month) license to a meeting organizer and they can schedule meetings with unlimited dial-out.
What is Operator Conferencing? With Operator Connect Conferencing capabilities, organizations can use phone numbers from a third-party operator to join Microsoft Teams meetings. If your current operator is part of the Microsoft Operator Connect program, you can add phone numbers from your operator to your Audio Conferencing bridge and use them to join meetings. Without Operator Connect Conferencing capabilities, organizations can only use phone numbers provided by Microsoft for their audio conferencing bridge. To see if your operator participates in the Microsoft Operator Connect program, see the Microsoft 365 Operator Connect directory.
In conclusion, if you’re unsure of what to do next, remember OneNeck’s Microsoft experts are here to help!