Hello Readers, I hope you’re well.
It is always a good day when you can talk about something new and useful in Microsoft Teams. I blogged a short while ago when Microsoft gave the world the ability to assign on-premises telephone numbers from Direct Routing to Resource Accounts that are used for call routing to Auto Attendants and Call Queues. One of my most popular posts from a readership perspective and easily my most active post from an activity and comments perspective. Thank you 😊
I said in the post that the Resource Account needed an E1 and Phone System license in order for you to be able to assign a telephone number. If you tried it with an unlicensed Resource Account, the number assignment would fail with an error similar to assign a license first. Having to buy extra licenses just to have an Auto Attendant or Hunt Group in addition to the users themselves, could be seen as a barrier to some organisations.
A couple of weeks after the post (and the feature going live), Microsoft confirmed that they were working on a zero cost license model for these. And today, they finally delivered.
The new license is called the ‘Phone System – Virtual User’ and it is indeed, free.
You do need to own at least one Phone System license to be able to “purchase” the Phone System Virtual User license.
As per this Microsoft post. https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoftteams/teams-add-on-licensing/virtual-user
“Your organization is allotted Phone System–Virtual User licenses depending on its overall size. Any organization that has at least one license including Phone System or has Phone System added has 25 Virtual User licenses available at no cost. When you add 10 Phone System user licenses in your organization, one more Phone System–Virtual User license becomes available.“
Find it in the Office 365 Admin Portal in Billing -> Purchase Services and under add-ons.
If you don’t see them in your tenant, try switching off new admin centre and you’ll see them.
For the record, I saw them in new admin centre initially. I took screenshots as I “purchased” them so I could write this post. Now I don’t see them at all in New admin centre. Thank you Paul Lange, for the tip.
I “bought” 10 just to have in stock when I need them.
Once you check out, they are immediately available to assign to Resource Accounts.
One thing I noticed is that it will only assign to new Resource Accounts created in Teams. I couldn’t get it to assign to an existing resource account that was created in the Skype legacy admin centre. Basically, if you hit save, nothing happens. But if these worked when they ported over, they should carry on working as they did anyway.
Also, because this is the only license you need to have for Resource Accounts, you can unassign any real licenses (E1, F1 etc) and use them elsewhere.
Once you assign the license, you will be able to assign a phone number to the account in the normal way.
Set-CsOnlineApplicationInstance -Identity firstname.lastname@example.org -OnpremPhoneNumber +442077891234
Hope you find this useful.
That’s all folks!