Syntex Forms Processing & Power Automate



I’ve jut started to look at Viva so I can help Microsoft Partners build practices and solutions. As you are probably area Syntex is one of the underlying components. I put together this demonstration to run through the Form Processing model creation process. I also triggered a Power Automate flow to perform additional processing using some of the outputs from my model.

To keep things real I used my own quote form I built using a standard Microsoft Word template. It has a straight forward format but as I was building my first model I decided not to over complicate things. I also triggered a Power Automate flow after the AI analysis had completed to prove I could do something useful with the results.

Check out this video to see what I built.

Note: you can find more information on Syntex in the Microsoft Documentation.

Channel Enabled Microsoft Teams Call Queues



The ability to surface a Call Queue as a tab within a Channel adds new value to one of the main cornerstones of the Microsoft Teams Hub. For example, a Support Team can add their voice queue directly into a Channel within their Microsoft Team to provide a more collaborative agent experience.

I created this short video to provide an overview of this functionality. As you’ll see it’s really easy to configure from an admin perspective and the resulting “Call” tab automatically appears in the assigned Teams Channel.

Note: At the time of posting this functionality is very new, so be sure to refer to the Microsoft documentation to check for any changes in the agent experience and for new features that may be been added over time.

The Microsoft Call Queue feature article can be found here.

Microsoft Teams Room Admin Portal Tour



This video does exactly what it says on the tin! I created this snapshot of the tools available in the Microsoft Teams Admin Console to share with anyone who was new to this topic.

Without access to Microsoft Teams Room (MTR) kit it’s sometimes difficult to visualise what you can do from the admin portal, so sit back and enjoy a 5 minute tour.

If you want to learn more about managing Microsoft Teams Rooms, check out the Microsoft Documentation.

Note: The video above provides an an overview of what’s available with Standard Teams Room licensing. There is also a Premium SKU that signs a MTR up to Microsoft’s own comprehensive monitoring service. The details of which can be found here.

PowerShell for Microsoft Teams Owners?



Warning: Your organisation may have locked down this capability but if you work on Microsoft Teams it is still worth knowing that it’s technically possible. If you are an admin and you have not put controls in place, then you may decide to take action.

One of my colleagues recently asked if there was an easy way to move hundreds of users between Teams? He owned both Teams but was not a Microsoft Tenant Admin.

To be totally honest it took me a while to “remember” but it dawned on me that good old PowerShell might be the answer. One of the nice things about the Teams Module is that is does allow Owners to perform actions on their Microsoft Teams. For anyone who is a Microsoft IT Pro what comes next is probably trivial but there are loads of technically minded people out there who are not familiar with PowerShell and who are Microsoft Team owners. This post is aimed at these folks.

I’ve created the short video below that provides the answer to the “moving users” question.

If you are new to the Teams PowerShell module you can get started by reading the documentation.

In case it helps the commands I used in the video are provided below:

Get-TeamUser -GroupId 2a34a55f-7adc-4e6c-9355-a6500f61e44b

Get-TeamUser -GroupId 2a34a55f-7adc-4e6c-9355-a6500f61e44b | Export-CSV -path C:\temp\AppTest.csv

$FilePath = “C:\temp\AppTest.csv”

Import-CSV $FilePath | Add-TeamUser -GroupId 138cc514-2800-4eb3-8725-1f449c896b72

Note: You will need to replace the Team’s GroupIds (ObjectIDs) with your own. If your tenant admin has not switched off access you can to do this by logging onto your Azure Portal (https://portal.azure.com) using your Microsoft 365 credentials and navigating to Groups, which live under Azure AD. The Export-CSV command will create the AppTest.csv file for you.

Hopefully, this has provided some food for thought?

Microsoft Teams Meeting Recordings and OneDrive



As you may already be aware the shift from “classic” Stream to “new” Stream, which uses OneDrive for Private Teams Meetings (Channel Meetings use SharePoint) has been in the pipeline since last year. If you are unfamiliar with this change, go to this document to learn more about the architectural impact and roll out schedule. Even if you opted out of the initial roll out to OneDrive it currently looks like you will be migrated from July 2021.

Why make the change?

Once a recording is stored in OneDrive (or SharePoint) a large number of benefits are unlocked and these are listed on the web page I’ve highlighted above. To give you a taster I’ve put together the 2 minute video below, which shows how to add a retention label to a recording and how to share it with an external user. The nice thing about having recordings in OneDrive and SharePoint is that these files are managed by the same Microsoft 365 tools that you are already using for other content such as Office documents.

Note: At the time of this post there are some gaps, check out the roadmap. One thing you should be aware of is that it’s not currently possible to block the download of video files if they have been shared. A reference is provided here. If this is a problem you will probably need to review your meetings polices and SharePoint/OneDrive sharing permissions.

The following links provide a good source of additional information about “new” Stream:

Classic Stream functionality compared to new Stream, including roadmap

Add your ideas and vote for features on this Stream ideas section of the forum

Permissions or role based access to videos with new Stream

March 2021 Blog – The Next Phase For the New Version of Stream

Using Cortana to schedule Microsoft Teams Meetings



Who likes scheduling meetings? Does it burn time? Would you like someone to do it for you?

If the answer is yes to the above questions, then maybe it’s time to revisit Cortana. This has been around for a while but in case you aren’t aware Cortana provides an AI scheduling service. If you’ve not used it before it’s worth taking a look as it works! All you need to do is to register and configure your profile settings. You should be up and running in minutes and the link you need is:

Scheduler – Easy meeting scheduling (calendar.help)

I’ve also provided a 2 minute overview below that should help you get started.

Tip: Using the service is really intuitive but the one small piece of education needed for some attendees is to ensure they know to reply to Cortana and not directly back to you during the scheduling experience. I’ve previously used something like the example below in the email body:

“I’m going to ask Cortana to schedule our meeting, be sure to reply back to her (and not me) during the scheduling process”.

Microsoft Teams Business Voice with Calling Plan: Direct Routing Tip



As you are likely aware Microsoft Teams Business Voice comes in two versions in the UK, with Calling Plan and without. At the time of writing Microsoft Partners who have the Small and Midmarket Cloud Solution competency have Business Voice included as part of their Internal Use Rights (IURs). The UK IUR licensing comes with Microsoft Calling Plan. I mention this as the scenario discussed below applies to both standard and IUR Business Voice licensing.

Even though they have Microsoft Calling Plan use rights some customers/partners may still want to assign an on-premises phone number to one or more of their users. An example scenario might be a Microsoft UK Partner with Business Voice IURs who wants to use their own Direct Routing service for PSTN calls.

This is perfectly legal but even if Direct Routing is set up correctly and the user is assigned their on-premises number I’ve seen this configuration fail. Why? The short video below contains the answer.



The resolution may seem trivial with hindsight but it’s an easy step to overlook!

Tagging in Microsoft Teams Status Messages



Sometimes it’s the simplest things that turn out to be most useful. For example, I think it’s common knowledge that you can set a personalised status message in Teams, which then can be used to compliment your presence status. However, did you know that you can also use the @Tag feature in your status message to provide alternate contacts? In fact you can provide more than one!

This feature is especially useful in a Front Line worker or Operational environment when staff have to take breaks or are not on their shift. Using Tags they can let colleagues know who is covering for them.

Check out the short demonstration below:

In the video I also show that it’s possible to mark a message as Important or Urgent. Again in some situations the ability to repeatedly keep notifying the recipient is extremely helpful.

Microsoft Teams Channel Calendars



Microsoft Teams Channel Calendars provide a simple way to track meetings for a specific channel community. Entries are also integrated into personal calendars so individuals always have a single source of truth for their daily schedules.

If Teams have external Guests assigned to them, they won’t unfortunately be able to access the Channel Calendar tab. Although they will receive an invite for any meeting scheduled and it will appear in their personal Teams and Outlook calendars.

Check out this short overview demonstration to get yourself started:

Note: As is the case with meetings created directly within the channel, when you schedule using your Channel Calendar you can also invite people inside and outside of your organisation who are not part of the Team.

On-network Conferencing for Microsoft Teams Audio Conferencing



On-network conferencing for Microsoft Teams is simply the ability to make calls to Audio Conferencing Service numbers across an organisation’s Direct Routing deployment. For example, this might be handy during a migration project if you want PBX end users to be able to dial into Teams Meeting from existing 3rd party IP, Digital or Analogue handsets.

As shown in the video below the On-net conferencing feature supports both dial-in and dial-out from Teams Meetings. The dial-out function is enabled by creating an Audio Conferencing routing Policy (New-CsOnlineAudioConferencingRoutingPolicy) and assigning it to end users. For more information please refer to the documentation.

Note: At the time of writing this capability is currently in Public Preview.