Microsoft Teams has been growing in capabilities, and this is allowing many possibilities in terms of more flexible voice communication on campus. Oftentimes, needs arise where you may need to make work-related calls; however, you're not at your desk and you don't want to use your personal cell phone number to make the call. This is where Microsoft Teams can fill that gap.
Teams allows you to make calls from the application or app itself rather than your traditional Cisco desk phone. This means that you can call from your computer, smartphone or tablet and it will appear as your TMU number to the person you are calling. If you would like to take calls with your Teams app, you can make a request to the IT Service Desk.
Here are some pointers on how to use this feature in Microsoft Teams:
Calling from Teams on PC
- Make sure Teams is installed. While most faculty/staff computers on-campus have Microsoft Teams, you can download and install the application from the Microsoft Website.
- Open Teams. If you haven't familiarized yourself with the interface, be sure to do so. You can use this to communicate with other faculty and staff on campus. Be sure to note that communication on Teams is subject to the guidance in the TMU Teams Usage Policy.
- On the left-hand navigation bar, Click Calls. If you don't see this tab, you may need to wait until the next day as these settings sync around 9:00pm PDT. If you still don't see it, contact the IT Service Desk.
- You can use the dial-pad on the left with an option to set speed dial contacts on the main panel. Try calling your cell phone to test it out!
One consideration is that you will need a microphone in order to make calls. If you have a TMU-owned laptop, you have a microphone built in. However, if you are on a desktop computer, you will need to have a microphone to make calls.
Calling from Teams on Mobile
Note: these instructions apply to Android, iPhone and tablets (including iPads)
- Make sure Teams is installed. You can access your phone's app store and search for Microsoft Teams or follow the instructions from the Microsoft Website.
- Open Teams. You will find the experience to be very similar to the desktop experience. Once again, be sure to note that communication on Teams is subject to the guidance in the TMU Teams Usage Policy.
- On the navigation bar on the bottom of the screen, press Calls.
- In the upper right press the new call button:
- Use the dial-pad to dial a number (you don't need a prefix to dial out). Feel free to utilize 4-digit extensions as well.
Since calling through Teams can be integrated with Teams chat, you can accomplish transfers in different ways.
First, you can transfer the more traditional way, by pressing the three dots when in a call and pressing "Transfer Now" which will connect the person on the other end with whoever you choose to transfer them to, not unlike the way it works now (see limitations below).
Second, you can transfer the other person more gracefully by performing a Consultative Transfer by pressing the three dots and and pressing "Consult then transfer." This allows you to either chat or call with the person you are looking to transfer the other party to in order to determine if they are the best destination or are able to take the call, etc.
Instead of transferring a call, you can also park calls. Parking a call allows anyone else with the assigned park code within Teams to pick up the call.
As always, maintaining interoperability and features is an important aspect of introducing something new. The following is a list of limitations that we are either working to resolve or waiting on Microsoft to release:
- No Music-on-Hold (MoH). While you will hear hold music from someone using a Cisco phone or from someone external to TMU, putting someone on hold in Teams will not give the remote party any hold music. There is no workaround to this at the moment. Microsoft has stated that this feature is forthcoming.
- Calling other Teams users does not ring their desk phone. Due to limitations in Microsoft's phone system, when using Teams to call another user directly in the app (by using the call feature in chat, for example), or when you dial their full 10-digit number, the call only rings the recipient's Teams client on their computer or phone. As a workaround, dial the person's 4-digit extension from within Teams. This will ring their desk phone.