6 new countries added to Microsoft Cloud Calling Plans

Microsoft made a big announcement today as it announced an additional 6 countries that it is adding to its coverage of Microsoft provided calling plans which will be available from the 1st October 2020.

This is big news seeing Microsoft has not added a country since May 2018 so adding 6 countries is a big deal!

What countries are being added?

  • Austria
  • Denmark
  • Italy
  • Portugal
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland

The addition of these 6 countries in to the already available list of countries that support the Calling Plans Microsoft increases the total number of counties to 16, with the total list now being

  • Austria
  • Australia (via local telco)
  • Belgium
  • Canada
  • Denmark
  • France
  • Germany
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Japan (via local telco)
  • Netherlands
  • Portugal
  • Puerto Rico
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • United Kingdom
  • United States

Microsoft is adding the following countries to its list of countries in which customers can consume callimg plans directly from Microsoft or their license/CSP partners.

Direct Routing is also an option for customers wishing to keep their own SBCs, their own SIP provider/carriers or where callings plans are not available is specific counties.

Official notice on the Microsoft 365 Public roadmap

It seems Microsoft’s plans to include Calling minutes in E5 have now been cancelled.

A few weeks ago we hear that Microsoft were going to include 120mins calling minutes within many of their ‘E5’ subscriptions (see previous post).

Thanks to Will for spotting and letting me know on my blog the official post by Microsoft has now been updated, which states that “The Enterprise Voice and E5 and A5 with Calling Minutes launch has been canceled.”

Hold on… What?

Yep you heard right, and if you check out the updated version of the Microsoft release you’ll see that they go on to say:
We will not be launching Enterprise Voice Plan 1 and 2 and the accompanying inclusion of domestic calling minutes in the E5 and A5 plans, as was previously planned for August 1, 2020. The launch has been placed on hold indefinitely.”

I personally think this is a really wierd move.. I’m sure there more that we haven’t been told yet, but so many of our customers were excited by this announcement and had started to make plans to accelerate their move to Microsoft Cloud Calling now that minutes were going to be included..

As soon as I hear any more I’ll update you all. In the mean time what’s your thoughts on this…? Were you looking at advancing your Microsoft Cloud Calling due to this announcement.?

Microsoft’s new Teams tv advert showcases how to do “modern meetings”

Microsoft has unveiled its first official TV advert for #MicrosoftTeams which aired this weekend. The slick 30-second ad aired during Sunday’s NFL playoff in the US, and will also be shown here in the UK as well as France, and Germany next month.

Called “The Power of Teams,” the advert opens with old skool boring business meetings, flip charts, aging spider speaker phones, and slidedecks printed on paper. The advert then quickly progresses to show how modern meeting experiences within Teams can transform the workplace.

Microsoft defines Teams as “the hub for Teamwork and #Microsoft365“ and claims to define the way forward for the Modern Workplace and to support the needs of today’s modern and agile workforce which now spans across 5 generations.

Watch the future of modern meetings

New Scheduling Experience coming to Microsoft Teams

Microsoft are about to roll out (early Feb 2020) changes that replace the existing scheduling form with a new form that retains all existing scheduling functionality but makes it more aligned to the Outlook experience. The core changes include:

  • Improved view of available time
  • Allows changing event information from the scheduling assistant tab
  • Includes an option for required and optional attendees.
  • Includes search within the location picker field.

New Teams scheduling form can be seen below.

New MicrosoftTeams Scheduling Form

As well as the changes above, there’s a number of additional features including:

  • All day events option – a new toggle like in outlook that converts meetings to an all-day event.Availability status – provides simple people and location search which provides a visual (red) indicator to indicate non-availability on people or resources.
  • Cancellation with message – provides ability to provide and edit a message when cancelling an event if desired (again similar to what Outlook offers today).
  • Tabs in edit/view mode – these tabs provide easy access to things like chat, meeting notes, files, scheduling assistant, and of course the meeting whiteboard.
  • Time zone picker – which now finally allows meeting organisers to select the time zone they wish to use for the meeting.

That’s it… The new update is rolling out in the next few weeks so look out for it.