Viva Engage is a great way for leaders to keep in touch with their employees and for communities to come together to share news and knowledge. One important way to ensure staff are kept informed is to have regular virtual/hybrid Town Hall meetings. Live Events can be easily accessed from the Engage App to ensure all staff have the opportunity to either watch live or catch up on the recording.
The video the shows how M365 licensed users can access Live Event meetings from their Viva Engage mobile experience. In the demonstration, my user is licenced with a Front Line Worker SKU.
This is a brief overview of the options for the Home page experience for Viva Connections. It shows how to switch between the SharePoint Home Site and the new Home page, which has a similar “look and feel” to that of the Microsoft Teams mobile client’s Connections App.
This now provides different deployment options for customers who can’t or don’t want to surface the SharePoint Home site as their Viva Connections landing page. This new experience can be used standalone, or as you’ll see in the video, still linked to a SharePoint Home site. Or you can still surface the SharePoint Home page as the landing page.
At the time of creation the new Viva Home page was in targeted release, with GA planned for CY23.
Note: Editing the banner wasn’t available in my demo tenant when I created the video. According to the documentation it should be available so expect to see this feature at GA or before.
At the time of writing (February 2023), SIP Gateway support for Analogue Telephony Adapters (ATAs) is in public preview. After the feature is launched you should check the documentation for any updates or changes. The video posted below is a short overview of the main steps needed to register an analogue phone to Microsoft Teams via an ATA. It is currently anticipated that AudioCodes, Cisco and Poly ATAs will be compatible with Sip Gateway.
Microsoft engineering is investigating how to support bulk installations. Look out for additional details when ATA support goes to GA.
Since I posted the video, replacing the caller ID with a Service Number has been superseded by assignment of a Resource Account. See the screenshot below. Service Number support for CLID policies will be depreciated.
Viva Goals is a key module within Microsoft’s Employee Experience platform. It is a goal setting tool that allows the organisation, teams and individuals to use Objective and Key Results (OKRs) to deliver business results aligned to their company mission and strategy.
Viva Goals provides an administrative web portal and can also be surfaced within the flow of work via the Microsoft Teams Viva Goals app.
In a production environment one best practice is to link Viva Goals to existing business tools and automatically update any progress with Key Results and/or Projects. Details of the currently shipping integrations are provided in the Microsoft documentation.
In the video below I highlight a couple of integrations, Azure Dev Ops and Excel Online, to show how these can be used to track progress with a couple of Key Results.
By default Viva uses AI to add content and associate people to Topics it discovers for an organisation. Often, this is good enough and end users save time and effort by accessing these automatically generated Topics within the flow of their everyday jobs.
However, there might be times when a subject matter expert will want to ensure specific information about a Topic stands out. They might even want to create the Topic themselves and ensure their page is engaging. To do this Topic administrators will use standard SharePoint Web Parts and the AI can then add additional suggested content to help improve upon and maintain the subject covered.
If you are not familiar with Web Parts they are easy to use building blocks you can use to customise a SharePoint page.
The following video provides a short overview of how easy it is to customise Topics pages to highlight important documents, links, videos and tools.
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:
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?
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:
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”.
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!
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.