Microsoft extends a deadline and makes some surprising news around phone support. Let’s dive into it!

Direct from Microsoft

Through November 2020, Microsoft will be hosting a weekly webcast on Enabling Remote Work with Microsoft Teams. These weekly webcasts will cover topics such as using Teams in education, security, virtual events, resources for admins, and guest access.

The Microsoft 365 also published an article titled Take your communications to the next level with new offerings in Microsoft Teams. This post has some good announcements covering the new Advanced Communications license to scale meetings to 20,000 participants along with a branded lobby, compliance recording, and customer engagement workflows.

This post also has some interesting device news like Skype for Business will have extended supportability past the original 2023 deadline. Device partners will also introduce new phones at more affordable prices. And probably the biggest news (I think) is the support for standard SIP phones coming in 2021. This means you can use existing phones from Cisco or Polycom to connect to Teams. These won’t be as full-featured as Teams phones but will allow you to continue using your existing hardware investments.

Community News and Contributions

Matt Wade at the AvePoint blog has a nice overview of different task tracking options in his post Which Tool When: Microsoft Lists, Planner, Task in Teams, or To Do?.

MVP James Cussen has an in-depth overview of the Skype for Business Online PowerShell module in a post titled Avoiding Connection Issues with Skype for Business Online PowerShell.

Join MVP Vlad Catrinescu and Sebastien Levert for a webinar on August 20, 2020 to learn how to Build your first Microsoft Teams App…Without a single line of code!.

MVP Lee Ford released a PowerShell script that download PSTN usage records using Graph API. This is using the beta version of the Graph API, and exporting these records programmatically is long overdue. I tried this script myself and works fantastic. Check it out on his GitHub page and try it today.

Road Map and Admin Center News

Private Channels in Office 365 Government Tenants
Private channels are making their way to government tenants scheduled for December 2020.

VDI Support for VMWare Horizon
Optimized audio, video, and screen sharing media experience for Microsoft Teams is coming to VMWare Horizon. This includes on-premises, cloud, and Azure-hosted Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) environments. This optimization is already available in other VDI solutions from Citrix and Windows Virtual Desktop. Expected release is August 2020.

Using Teams background images in non-optimized Virtual Desktop Infrastructure environments
Support for background images will be releasing for Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) environments. This is rolling out now for August 2020.

Service Reminder: Skype for Business Online is Retiring in 12 Months
As Microsoft Teams has become the core communications client for Microsoft 365, this is a reminder the Skype for Business Online service will retire July 31, 2021.At that point, access to the service will end. Note that this does not affect Skype Consumer or Skype for Business Server on-premises deployments.

Tip of the Week

Microsoft Teams (@MicrosoftTeams) on Twitter this last week has been pretty good. This tweet offers some funny but practical advice on using shortcut keys to mute yourself quickly. Follow the link to get more essential shortcuts.