Hello readers, I hope you are well.

I don’t normally write posts that just share what Microsoft has already written. But this one fealt like it needed it.

Advanced Communications

Microsoft wrote a post to accompany the launch of a new license plan called Advanced Communications.

Angela Donohue announced this SKU at Inspire to mixed reviews.

Microsoft Inspire session IDB151

It’s available now in the Microsoft Store in M365 for £9 per user per month in the UK and $12 in the US with an annual commitment.

Advanced Communications enables “Advanced meeting, calling, workflow integration and management tools for IT”. In english, that license enables and will be required for:

  • Teams meeting up to 20,000 participants
  • Interactive meetings for 1,000 participants with the capability to enable up to 20,000 in a ‘view only’ meeting experience
  • Enhanced admin control
  • Branded meeting lobby
  • Compliance recording
  • Contact Centre/Attendant Console
  • more…

You can also trial the Advanced Communications license for 25 users for 60 days. But basically think about Advanced Communications license as a new SKU to enable a bundle of features. Right now the bundle is rather small. And since you can only have Compliance Recording right now, it kind of feels like a recording license.

Additional news worth calling out

3rd party IP (3PIP) phones extended beyond 2023

This is big, but unsurprising news. The 3PIP program has been going for a long time. And there are a lot of devices out there. The cost to replace with still relatively expensive native phones is a barrier for some. We all kind of suspected that they would extend it. Interesting though that they chose to announce it so early ahead of the 2023 deadline. No word if 3PIP phones will get new features beyond what they have now.

SIP phones from Cisco, Yealink, Polycom, and others to get core calling features for Teams

This is a big one. Not exactly sure about the plumbing, but 3PIP phones rely on a gateway hosted by Microsoft to work with Teams. Just a guess that SIP phones could also hang off that. Again, its a guess. Not sure if these are new SIP phones or existing. But these will be basic IP phones not designed for Skype or Teams. But for hanging off virtually any SIP based PBX.

Also begs the question if this also opens the door to dual registration without needing an SBC. Yealink, AudioCodes and Poly also have versions of dual reg. I covered it here for Yealink hybrid mode.

New line of Microsoft Teams phones

There’s a new line of Teams phones coming with physical buttons, high-quality audio, and core calling features at an affordable price designed for common areas and basic information worker scenarios. These won’t be the replacement for the current range of native Teams phones from Poly, Yealink and AudioCodes. But a new range. I’ll drop in details as I find out or can tell you.

Here’s one from AudioCodes

AudioCodes C435HD (Microsoft Teams phone)

New USB peripherals for Teams

New USB phones that have dial pads and a modern Teams user interface for heavy call users. This is big news. Remember the Polycom CX300? Simple USB phone that worked with OCS, Lync and Skype for Business. Dial pad, LCD screen with a couple of lines and a presence indicator. Basically a headset with a screen, some keys and a handset.

Polycom CX300 R2 USB phone

Here’s a new reimagined USB phone from YEalink. Clearly based on the T55A Teams native phone. I think it’s quite nice to look at and it has a Teams button. So think new Teams certified Puck with a dialpad and a handset. And since it won’t need an operating system (Android) I don’t imagine it will cost the earth.

Yealink MP50 USB phone

And that’s it. There’s more stuff in the post, but this is what I though it worth calling out. The bad news is if you want more features, like recording, you’ll soon need a new license. The good news is that the license will enable more things you could want, eventually. And there’s new phones coming.

Would live to hear your thoughts. Leave a comment or ping me on social.