Viva Connections Dashboard Introduction



The Viva Connections Dashboard feature, which at the time of writing has just gone into public preview, allows you to present adaptive cards to groups of end users within SharePoint and Microsoft Teams.

The video below provides a quick introduction to the new Dashboard and highlights some of the “out of the box” cards an admin can easily create. Fully customised cards can be coded using SharePoint Framework 1.13, which supports ACE (Adaptive Card Extensions).

Note: ACE is not covered in the video.

Note: For a deeper dive in to Viva Connections Adaptive cards check out this excellent video presented by Microsoft engineering.

Microsoft Teams 1:1 PSTN Recording



Microsoft Teams 1:1 PSTN (Public Switched Telephone Network) recording does what it says on the tin!

At the time of testing the recordings are placed in the user’s OneDrive “Recordings” folder as a MP4 file. As I mention in the video below this allows the recording to be easily shared, marked for retention or even be linked to a Power Automate flow.

This feature is is intended to support user initiated On Demand use cases, for Compliance recording Teams provides robust Policy Based Recording functionality.

Check out this 90 second video that shows 1:1 PSTN recording in action:

Note: 1:1 PSTN Recording is not on by default and has to be enabled via the Microsoft Teams PowerShell module. The command I used to enable recording for my demo tenant’s Global calling policy was:

Set-CsTeamsCallingPolicy -Identity Global -AllowCloudRecordingForCalls $True

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!