How To Configure Shared Calling For The First Time 

How To Configure Shared Calling For The First Time 

If you’re new to Shared Calling and want to get started, follow these instructions for a step-by-step guide to configure Shared Calling for the first time. 

First up, there are two types of Shared Calling you can choose from: 

  1. Shared Calling direct from Microsoft 
  2. Shared Calling via Callroute (that’s us!) 

How to configure Shared Calling direct from Microsoft 

Prerequisites for Shared Calling in Teams  

Below is a list of prerequisite raw materials to add to your shopping cart for Shared Calling:  

  1. 1 x Teams Phone Resource Account License  
  2. 1 x Calling Plan (120, 1200, 3000 Domestic, or 600 minute international, or PAYG)  
  3. Funds added to your communication credits license if out-of-plan calls are to be permitted  
  4. 1 x Teams Resource Account created  
  5. 1 x Auto-Attendant created   
  6. 1 x Service number acquired from Microsoft in the geography you require  

1 – How to configure Shared Calling direct from Microsoft 

Now you have purchased your prerequisites, you’re ready to set up Shared Calling. First, you will need to create a resource account for your auto attendant. You can do this from the Teams Admin Center.  

Setting up Shared Calling for the first time

Now that your resource account has been created, go to Entra ID and license that account with the Teams Phone Resource license and a calling plan.  

Configuring Shared Calling in the Microsoft Teams Admin Center

Once licensed, go back to Teams Admin Center and attach the service phone number you want to use as your Shared Calling number to the resource account.  

Adding a phone number to Shared Calling

Now create the Shared Calling auto attendant and attach the resource account to the attendant application.   

Creating a Shared Calling auto attendant

You may wish to enable search by voice for incoming callers to find the person they want to speak with. How you configure your attendant is up to you. You can create different menu options, automatically play a recorded message, route to a call queue, or a person. Or you can simply have the attendant do nothing.   

Whatever you decide, an attendant must be created. This is mandatory.  

Make sure to add your resource account to the attendant before you save it.   

Once the auto attendant is created, you need to assign a location for emergency calling. While this may not be used in the UK, this is required in many other countries where the location of the caller is passed to the emergency call center. Therefore, it is a mandatory step.  

To do this you need to use the Teams PowerShell module. Assuming you’ve successfully connected to your tenant, type the following command and copy the LocationID of the address you want to assign to your Shared Calling account.  

LocationID of the address you want to assign to your Shared Calling account

Now, use PowerShell again to set this location against the Shared Calling number you assigned to your auto attendant resource account using this command:  

Adding the location to Shared Calling via Teams PowerShell

Important: Check your Global Online Voice Routing Policy in your tenant. Make sure that it isn’t using any PSTN Usages. If it is, then you need to create a new Online Voice Routing Policy that doesn’t have any PSTN Usages assigned. Then, assign this new policy to your Shared Calling users.   

If your Global policy does not have any PSTN Usages assigned, you can use this.  

Now you must configure your emergency call back solution. When users make a call to the emergency services without configuration, the caller identity displayed to the emergency operative will be the number assigned to the Shared Calling auto attendant.  

In some countries, it is a legal requirement for phone providers to supply a method for the emergency operative to call back the caller in cases where they are cut off. Regardless of legal status, it is best practice to implement this wherever you are.   

Without configuration, the operative won’t be able to reach the user who made the call, instead will be connected to the Shared Calling auto attendant.  

You may configure an operator on the auto attendant, but this will waste valuable time as the operator, if they do answer, may not know about the emergency or who made the call. In a life and death scenario, this could be pivotal to the outcome.  

To mitigate this, you should add emergency call back numbers to your Shared Calling Policy. These numbers must exist and not be used by another user or service or shared policy in your tenant and be of the same provider i.e. Microsoft numbers.  

When an emergency call is made, Teams will select a number from the list of assigned call back numbers within the Shared Calling policy and present that number instead of the Shared Calling auto attendant number to the emergency call center operative.  

This number is then reserved for 60 minutes and mapped directly to the Teams user who is making the call.  

Should the Teams user be disconnected from the call prematurely, the emergency operative can call back the Teams user directly using the call back number associated with that call. Essentially, it is like assigning a temporary DDI to the Teams user.  

This is vital to ensure connectivity during such a critical time. Failure to configure this could constitute negligence on your part that may lead to prosecution in the future.  

To configure emergency call back numbers, first either using Teams Admin Center or PowerShell, find and copy at least two free numbers you have acquired from Microsoft in the same country and area code as your Shared Calling main number.   

Be mindful that these numbers will still show as unassigned in the Teams Admin Center and PowerShell subsequently to their use in this policy. You will need to ensure that your support team are fully briefed NOT to assign these number to another account.  

Now you have these numbers, you need to go back to PowerShell.   

Load each emergency call back number into its own variable, like so.  

Emergency callback for Shared Calling

Next, you need to load the resource account attached to your Shared Calling auto attendant into a variable object, using this command:  

Loading the resource account to Shared Calling

Now you can create the Shared Calling policy and attach it directly to the Shared Calling resource account using this command  

Creating the Shared Calling policy and attaching it to the resource account

Full commandlet reference below:  

$ecbn1 = “+441270610369”  

$ecbn2 = “+441270610370”  

$scaa = Get-CsOnlineUser -Identity [email protected]  

New-CsTeamsSharedCallingRoutingPolicy -Identity London -ResourceAccount $scaa.Identity -EmergencyNumbers @{add=$ecbn1,$ecbn2}  

Now that this has been created and configured, the last step for you to do is to assign this Shared Calling Routing Policy to your users.   

To do this, you need to use PowerShell.  

Assigning Shared Calling policy to users

2 – How to configure Shared Calling via Callroute 

You can get Shared Calling for free using Callroute. 

The main difference between getting Shared Calling direct from Microsoft versus via Callroute is that the resource account needs a Microsoft Calling Plan and communication credits. 

That leads to some major advantages: 

  • No upfront credit deposit for calls and no credit card required 
  • No annual commitment on calling plan licenses 
  • No unused minutes, pay for only the calls you make 
  • 50% cheaper call charges to UK landline and mobile destinations 
  • UK support 

For initial setup, it’s the same method as consuming Shared Calling via Microsoft directly. 

Once complete, you can deploy Callroute using our automated deployment tool.  

You can automatically assign Shared Calling policies to users using our persona management tool as part of our Orto for Teams user management solution.  

Create your user persona that contains the Shared Calling policy you want to assign, then create an automation to apply this persona to users who match a given criteria.  

Creating a user persona for Shared Calling

If you use Callroute for Teams Direct Routing, we offer similar capabilities for Shared Calling, but without the complicated setup.   

Unlike Microsoft, where calling plans are issued per user, Callroute calling plans are issued per company.  

This means, by default, you benefit from Shared Calling capabilities out of the box without the need for setting up anything complicated in Teams to handle this.  

All you need to do is assign your Teams users a phone number and they can benefit from the calling plan you purchase from Callroute.   

We offer domestic and international plans from as little as 300 minutes to bundles of 5,000 minutes and more. Or if you prefer a more flexible approach, we also offer PAYG calling on 30-day rolling contracts.  

Get started with Microsoft Teams Shared Calling today 

Now you know how to configure Shared Calling, all that’s needed is to get signed up. 

So, the question left to answer is: 

  • Do I choose Shared Calling direct from Microsoft or get it free from Callroute? 

Other than being free, we thought it best to re-emphasize why you should choose the Callroute option… 

  • No upfront credit deposit for calls and no credit card required 
  • No annual commitment on calling plan licenses 
  • No unused minutes, pay for only the calls you make 
  • 50% cheaper call charges to UK landline and mobile destinations 
  • UK support 

Sounds pretty good, right? 

👉  Sign up for free Shared Calling here

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