Audio Conferencing in Office 365

Audio Conferencing in Office 365 lets users call in to meetings from their phones. Audio Conferencing allows up to 250 phone attendees, but it can grow bigger easily using Skype Meeting Broadcast to host webinars, and other one-to-many presentations with up to 10,000 attendees internal or external to your organization.

What is Audio Conferencing?

Calling in (dialling in) to meetings is very useful for users who are on the road and can't attend a meeting using the Skype for Business or Microsoft Teams app on their laptops or mobile devices. But there are other scenarios in which using a phone to attend a Skype for Business or Microsoft Teams meeting can be a better option than using an app on a computer:

Internet connectivity is limited 

A meeting is audio only

The person tried to join a Skype for Business meeting and it failed

The call quality is better when dialling 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.
After attendees have joined the meeting, they can also dial out and invite other callers into a Skype for Business or Microsoft Teams meeting.

Meeting attendees who dial in don't need any licenses assigned to them or other setup.

Where is it available?

With Audio Conferencing, your users can use toll and toll-free phone numbers to dial into meetings. Toll (service) numbers are automatically assigned as shared audio-conferencing numbers to organizations when they're enabled for Audio Conferencing. Dedicated toll and toll-free numbers can be assigned to your organization from additional cities. archive e-mails that contain the domain for your organization but does not belong to an active user. This catch all feature prevents loss of mail assuring compliance. Toll-free phone numbers (service numbers) are available, but only in some countries/regions.

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After you have decided you want Audio Conferencing for your organization, you need to buy one Audio Conferencing license for each person in your organization who is going to schedule/host an audio meeting.

How do conferencing bridges work?

When you are setting up Audio Conferencing for Skype for Business or Microsoft Teams, you will get an audio-conferencing bridge. A conferencing bridge can contain one or more phone numbers. The phone number you set will be included on the meeting invites for Skype for Business and Microsoft Teams apps. You can change the phone numbers on your conferencing bridge, and you can also change other audio-conferencing bridge settings.

The audio-conferencing bridge answers a call for people who are dialling in to a meeting using a phone. It answers the caller with voice prompts from an auto attendant, and then, depending on your settings, can play notifications and ask callers to record their name. Microsoft bridge settings allow you to change the settings for meeting notifications and the meeting join experience and set the length of the PINs that are used by meeting organizers in Microsoft Teams or in Skype for Business Online. Meeting organizers use PINs to start meetings if they can't join the meeting using the Skype for Business or Microsoft Teams app.

Dial-in phone numbers set on an audio-conferencing bridge

There are two types of audio conferencing phone numbers that can be assigned to your conferencing bridge: Shared and Dedicated. Both types of numbers can be used by any caller to join audio meetings that are being held in your organization.

Dedicated phone numbers are those phone numbers that are only available to users within your organization. You can change the languages that are used when someone calls into one of these numbers. You will need to get a service phone number for these.

Shared phone numbers are those phone numbers that can be shared with other Office 365 organizations. You can’t change the languages that are used when someone calls into one of these numbers.

While the default audio conferencing number that is assigned to an organizer is only included in the meeting invite, a caller can use any of the phone numbers that are assigned to your conferencing bridge to join a meeting. The list of phone numbers that can be used to join a meeting is available using the Find a local number link that is included on every meeting invite.

Automatically assigned audio conferencing phone numbers

Shared audio-conferencing phone numbers are automatically assigned to organizations when they're enabled for audio conferencing. When the phone numbers are assigned, a phone number is assigned as the default phone number of the conferencing bridge. The phone number assigned as the default number of the bridge will be one from the country/region of the organization.

Caution

Due to limited availability of toll phone numbers in Venezuela, Indonesia, and United Arab Emirates (UAE), organizations from these countries/regions won't have an Audio Conferencing toll number automatically assigned to them. Toll-free numbers from these locations are available depending on available inventory.

How do you get dedicated phone numbers?

Dedicated audio-conferencing phone numbers are service numbers that you can get and then assign to your organization. You can get dedicated toll and toll-free phone numbers for your conferencing bridges in one of three ways:

Use the Skype for Business admin center. For some countries/regions, you can get numbers for your conference bridges using the Skype for Business admin center. See Getting service phone number.

Port your existing numbers. You can port or transfer existing numbers from your current service provider or phone carrier to Office 365. See Transfer phone numbers to Office 365 or Manage phone numbers for your organization for more information to help you do this.

Use a request form for new numbers. Sometimes (depending on your country/region) you won’t be able to get your new phone numbers using the Skype for Business admin center, or you will need specific phone numbers or area codes. If so, you will need to download a form and send it back to us. See Manage phone numbers for your organization for more information.

If you want to know more about Audio Conferencing in Office 365 solution, please click the button to access the video tutorial page or contact us.