Once you’ve rolled out Teams with chat, teams, channels, and apps across your organization, you’re ready to add the meetings workload, including audio conferencing, video, and sharing.
Teams offers two kinds of meetings: channel meetings and private meetings.
If a team has a dedicated channel in Microsoft Teams, they can schedule a channel meeting. Channel meetings have multiple benefits:
- All members can see and join a meeting.
- Any meeting-related discussions before, during, or after the meeting are part of the channel discussion.
- Non-private meetings and discussions are visible to anyone who is a member of the team.
- Meetings can also be started ad-hoc from the existing channel conversation.
For instances where meetings involve non-team members, users can schedule a private meeting. Private meetings have these benefits:
- They are visible to invited people only.
- They can be started ad-hoc from existing chat conversations.
- They can be scheduled from the Teams client or Outlook add-in.
- Meeting-related discussions before, during, or after the meeting are accessible via chat.
Access meetings from multiple clients
Teams meetings are accessible from multiple clients, including desktop and mobile clients and Microsoft Teams rooms. In addition, by using audio conferencing, participants can attend meetings from regular phones.
Plan for meeting and conferencing deployment
Teams provides a great out-of-the-box meeting and conferencing experience, and most organizations find that the default meeting settings work well for them. But depending on your organization’s needs, you may decide to change some or all the default settings.
Meetings and conferencing prerequisites
To get the best Teams experience, you must have deployed Exchange Online and SharePoint Online and have a verified domain for Microsoft 365 such as your-organization.com.
You’ll also need to make sure that the following common ports are open to the internet from your user’s locations:
- TCP ports 80 and 443 outgoing from clients that will use Teams
- UDP ports 3478 through 3481 outgoing from clients that will use Teams
Core deployment decisions
The settings most organizations want to change (if the Teams default settings don’t work for them) are detailed in this table.
Additional deployment decisions
You may want to consider the following additional deployment decisions, based on your organization’s needs and configuration.
Use activity reports
Use activity reports to see how users in your organization are using Teams so you can prioritize training and communication efforts. You should carefully monitor both the usage and quality of meetings:
- Low usage means that users aren’t using the product. Reasons can range from the perception that meetings are falling short of user requirements, to a lack of awareness or training, to quality problems.
- Low quality means that there are issues with connectivity between users and Microsoft 365. Low quality can lead to bad user experience and lower usage.
Manage meeting policies
Meeting policies control the features available to meeting participants. The meeting policy called Global is the org-wide default. All users in your organization are automatically assigned this policy. You can make changes or create custom policies and assign them to users. You manage meeting policies in the Microsoft Teams admin center or by using PowerShell.
Configure meeting policies
You can configure policies for the following categories:
- Audio and video
- Content sharing
- Participants and guests
Meeting policies affect the meeting experience for users before, during, or after a meeting and can be assigned to the organizer, users, or both.
- Per-organizer. When you implement a per-organizer policy, all meeting participants inherit the policy of the organizer.
Example: Automatically admit people is a per-organizer policy and controls whether users join the meeting directly or wait in the lobby for meetings scheduled by the user who is assigned the policy.
- Per-user. When you implement a per-user policy, the policy restricts certain features for the organizer and/or meeting participants.
Example: Allow Meet now is a per-user policy.
- Per-organizer and per-user. When you implement a combination of a per-organizer and per-user policy, certain features are restricted for meeting participants based on both their and the organizer’s policies.
Example: Allow cloud recording is a per-organizer and per-user policy. Turn on this setting to allow the meeting organizer and participants to start and stop a recording.
Change or create meeting policies
You can configure policies for the following categories. As an example, if you wanted to limit the amount of bandwidth available to a meeting, you could create a new custom policy named Limited bandwidth. You could then disable cloud recording and IP video under Audio & video and assign that policy to users.
When you select an existing policy on the Meeting policies page or select New policy to add a new policy, you can configure settings for the following.
- Allow Meet now in channels
- Allow the Outlook add-in
- Allow channel meeting scheduling
- Allow scheduling private meetings
Audio & video
- Allow transcription
- Allow cloud recording
- Allow IP video
- Media bit rate (KBs)
- Screen sharing mode
- Allow a participant to give or request control
- Allow an external participant to give or request control
- Allow PowerPoint sharing
- Allow whiteboard
- Allow shared notes
Participants and guests
- Automatically admit people
- Allow anonymous people to start a meeting
- Allow dial-in users to bypass the lobby
- Allow organizers to override lobby settings
Manage meeting settings
Teams meeting settings apply to all Teams meetings. You manage these settings from the Microsoft Teams admin center.
You use meeting settings to:
- Control whether anonymous users can join Teams meetings.
- Customize meeting invitations.
- Customize settings to handle real-time media traffic.
- Set port ranges for real-time media traffic.
Manage meeting recordings
In Microsoft Teams, users can record their Teams meetings and group calls to capture audio, video, and screen sharing activity. There is also an option for automatic transcription for recordings, so that users can play back meeting recordings with closed captions and search for important discussion items in the transcript. The recording happens in the cloud and is saved to Microsoft Stream, so users can share it securely across their organization.
For a Teams user’s meetings to be recorded, Microsoft Stream must be enabled. In addition, there are several licensing, permissions, and other setting prerequisites that are required for both the meeting organizer and the person who is initiating the recording:
- User has an appropriate license.
- User needs to be licensed for Microsoft Stream.
- User has Microsoft Stream upload video permissions.
- User has consented to the company guidelines, if set up by the administrator.
- User has sufficient storage in Microsoft Stream for recordings to be saved.
- User has Allow cloud recording setting set to On.
- User is not an anonymous, guest, or federated user in the meeting.
Meeting recordings are considered tenant-owned content. If the owner of the recording leaves the company, the administrator can access and delete the recording, update any recording metadata, or change permissions for the recording video.
Use Audio Conferencing
Audio Conferencing is the ability to join a Teams meeting from a regular phone and call out from a meeting to a phone number, allowing users to call in to meetings when they can’t use a Teams client. Up to 250 attendees can attend a Teams audio conference.
Calling in (also known as dialing in) to meetings is very useful for users who are on the road and can’t attend a meeting using the Microsoft Teams app on their laptops or mobile devices. There are additional scenarios in which using a phone to attend a Microsoft Teams meeting can be a better option than using an app on a computer:
- When internet connectivity is limited
- When a meeting is audio only
- When there’s an inability to join from Teams
The advantages are:
- The call quality is better when calling in.
- People can join a meeting hands free using Bluetooth devices.
- People find it’s easier and more convenient for their situation.
You only need to set up Audio Conferencing for people who plan to schedule or lead meetings. One Audio Conferencing license is required for each person who is going to schedule/host an audio meeting. Meeting attendees who call in don’t need any licenses assigned to them or any other setup.
After attendees have joined the meeting, they can also call out and invite other callers into a Microsoft Teams meeting.
Audio Conferencing prerequisites
Before you can set up Audio Conferencing for Teams, consider the following questions:
- Is Audio Conferencing available for my country/region?
To see if your area is covered, see the link below under Learn more.
- Do my users have the proper licensing for Teams Audio Conferencing?
Audio Conferencing licenses are available as part of an Office 365 E5 subscription or as an add-on service for a Microsoft 365 Business Standard, Office 365 E1, or Office 365 E3 subscription.
- Do I need to purchase Communications Credits for the users who are assigned Audio Conferencing licenses?
Communications Credits are a convenient way to pay for Audio Conferencing and calling plan minutes.
Core deployment decisions for Audio Conferencing
The settings most organizations want to change (if the Teams default settings don’t meet their needs) are shown in this table.
Additional deployment decisions
In addition to the core deployment decisions, it’s important to also consider the following when deploying Audio Conferencing.
Plan for live events
With Teams live events, users in your organization can broadcast video and meeting content to large online audiences. You can create live events wherever your audience, team, or community resides, using Microsoft Stream, Teams, or Yammer.
Live events are available in most areas. See the link below under Learn more for details on areas covered.
What are live events?
With Teams live events, users in your organization can broadcast video and meeting content to large online audiences. Live events are intended for one-to-many communications with a host leading the interactions. Attendees can watch the live or recorded event in Yammer, Teams, and/or Stream, and can interact with the presenters using moderated Q & A or a Yammer conversation.
Live events can be scaled up to 10,000 participants and can include all-hands meetings and public webcasts.
Who can create and schedule live events?
Teams provides the ability for organizers to create an event with the appropriate attendee permissions, designate event team members, select a production method, and invite attendees.
To do this, the organizer chooses who to add as a Presenter and sets the appropriate permissions. The Presenter then joins the inner Teams meeting that makes up the live event (similar to presenting in a regular Teams meeting).
If the live event was created from within a Yammer group, the live event attendees will be able to use Yammer conversation for interacting with people in the event.
To schedule a live event, users must have:
- An Exchange Online mailbox.
- An Office 365 Enterprise E1, E3, or E5 license or a Microsoft 365 A3 or A5 license.
- A Microsoft Teams license.
- A Microsoft Stream license.
A license is required to participate in a live event as an authenticated user, but this requirement depends on the production method used:
- For events produced in Teams, the user must be assigned a Teams license.
- For events produced with an external app or device, the user must be assigned a Stream license.
There are specific policy settings that need to be turned on before a user can create or schedule a live event. These settings are detailed in the Learn more links below.
Who can attend live events?
Depending on whether the event is public or private, attendees in live events may include:
- Specific groups of people.
- All employees of a company.
- Public anonymous users.
Monitor call quality
Users might experience issues with call quality that are related to network bandwidth, devices, and so on. This is often referred to as Quality of Service (QoS). Microsoft Teams gives you two tools to monitor and troubleshoot call-quality problems: Call Analytics and Call Quality Dashboard (CQD).
Call Analytics and CQD run in parallel and can be used independently or together. For example, if a communications support specialist determines that they need more help troubleshooting a call problem, they can pass the call to a communications support engineer, who has access to more information in Call Analytics. In turn, the communications support engineer can alert a network engineer to an issue. The network engineer might check CQD to see if an overall site-related issue could be a contributing cause of call problems.
What is Call Analytics?
Call Analytics is available in the Microsoft Teams admin center. Call Analytics shows detailed information about the devices, networks, and connectivity related to the specific calls and meetings for each user. Why did a user have a poor call this afternoon? Using Call Analytics, an administrator or trained help desk agent can investigate the device, network, connectivity, and other factors related to the call to troubleshoot call quality and connection problems.
You can get additional information about a given call session including detailed media and networking statistics. You can also have employees who are not administrators, such as help desk agents from an external vendor, use Call Analytics by assigning them permissions, but they can’t access the rest of the Microsoft Teams admin center.
Use the Call Quality Dashboard to optimize network bandwidth
Call Analytics is designed to help admins and helpdesk agents troubleshoot call quality problems with specific calls. Call Quality Dashboard (CQD) is designed to help Teams admins, Skype for Business admins, and network engineers optimize a network. CQD shifts focus from specific users and instead looks at aggregate information for an entire Teams or Skype for Business organization. For more information, see Features of the Call Quality Dashboard for Teams and Skype for Business Online.
Suppose a user’s poor call quality is due to a network issue that also affects many other users. The individual call experience isn’t visible in CQD, but the overall quality of calls made using Microsoft Teams or Skype for Business is captured. With CQD, overall patterns may become apparent, so network engineers can make informed assessments of call quality. CQD provides reports of call quality metrics that give you insight into overall call quality, server-client streams, client-client streams, and voice quality SLA.
With the help of CQD’s Location-Enhanced Reports, aggregate call quality and reliability within the user’s building can be assessed to determine if the problem is isolated to a single user or affects a larger segment of users.
Like Call Analytics, employees who are not administrators, such as help desk agents, can use CQD by assigning those users the Teams Communications Support Engineer, Teams Communications Support Specialist, or Reports Reader role. Users with the following roles can access Call Quality Dashboard:
- Global Administrator
- Global Reader
- Skype for Business Administrator
- Teams Service Administrator
- Teams Communications Administrator
- Teams Communications Support Engineer
- Teams Communications Support Specialist
- Reports Reader