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Microsoft Readies Update to Teams and Skype for Business Portal

An update to Microsoft's management portal for Teams and Skype for Business will deliver new capabilities related to call analytics and IT management.

The new capabilities, which Microsoft announced on Tuesday, will roll out over the next few weeks. IT pros will see a notification in the Office 365 Admin Center portal when they become available.

In April, Microsoft had explained that it was steering organizations toward using the Teams and Skype for Business Admin Center portal, rather than continue to use the Office 365 Admin Center portal for managing Teams or Skype for Business. The switch to the new Teams and Skype for Business Admin Center portal, though, is a work in progress, as IT pros will still need to access the Office 365 Admin Center portal to carry out certain tasks.

Teams and Skype Portal Additions
One new addition to the Teams and Skype for Business Admin Center portal will be the addition of the Call Analytics Dashboard. It shows the quality of phone calls and online meetings in a graphical display. The Call Analytics Dashboard can be used by IT pros to troubleshoot connection problems. It shows jitter, packet loss and round-trip time stats, for instance.

The portal is also getting the ability to set "granular user level policies" for Teams. These more nuanced policy settings, also available via PowerShell, can be set for individual users for messages, meetings or calls. The policies also can be set for the whole organization. Here's what will be coming, per Microsoft's announcement:

  • User-Level Policies: TeamsMessagingPolicy, TeamsMeetingPolicy and TeamsCallingPolicy
  • Tenant/Organization-Level Settings: TeamsMeetingConfiguration, TeamsGuestMessagingConfiguration, TeamsGuestMeetingConfiguration and TeamsGuestCallingConfiguration

Teams July Improvements
Microsoft described further Teams improvements it recently had completed in a July roundup announcement. The highlights included the commercial availability of Direct Routing support for Teams, which provides a means for organizations to use a local telecom service provider for public switched telephone network (PSTN) phone calls via the Teams client.

Microsoft also added an e-discovery option for Teams for Office 365 Enterprise users, which Microsoft conceives as an easier bridge for organizations that are considering making a move to Exchange Online.

Microsoft also plans to bring Teams to the U.S. Government Community Cloud. Early rollouts will begin on July 17, with full availability expected by the end of August.

Also, the Teams client preview for Surface Hub conference room devices, announced last month, is now available, according to Microsoft's July roundup announcement. It's available for testing by Windows Insider Program participants.

Partner-built Skype Room Systems made by Crestron, HP, Lenovo, Logitech and Polycom are all now expected to support meetings using Teams clients, according Microsoft's announcement.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group.

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