Unanswered Call handling in Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams is the teamwork hub with several communication modalities. You can initiate Peer-2-Peer Audio or Video calls, invite to online meetings. If you already deployed Microsoft Phone System or have installed Microsoft Teams Direct Routing, initiate or get PSTN calls.

But what is the call handling if you are away or you are logged off from Microsoft Teams?

Microsoft Teams and the importance of presence status

Normally your colleagues and external guest can use your actual presence status in Microsoft Teams to decide to start the communication the right way.

Presence status in Microsoft Teams

When your presence is green that means you are online and available.
A red presence status indicates you are online but busy. A colleague should send you a chat message before giving you a call. If you like to have some focus time, you can switch your presence to Do not Disturb, symboled by “Do-not-Pass” icon. No chat messages or calls will arrive to your desk. When you leave the desk for a while, the status will automatically switch to away. Meaning you are logged but you won’t answer new calls or chat messages directly.

And finally, the logged out status presented by a grey presence icon. In that situation, inbound calls will not work.

Microsoft Teams USer is offline.

Inbound call during absence or DND

An inbound call arrives and you can’t answer the call. What happens? As usual in IT: it depends.

If your account is enabled for Azure Voicemail or Exchange Unified Messaging (UM), the unanswered call is forwarded after some seconds (usually 20 seconds) to it. This feature is available only to users with PSTN calling feature enabled.

If your account isn’t enabled for Azure Voicemail or Exchange UM, the call will be dropped and the caller can to call you once more later. You will be informed about a missed call in your Microsoft Teams activity feed.

Missed call in Microsoft Teams activity feed

PSTN Caller don’t know your presence – call handling for PSTN calls

If your account is enabled for PSTN call feature, then it will come that you get an inbound call via PSTN even you are logged off or you’re away and can’t answer the call. So, what about inbound PSTN calls?

Remember: if your account is enabled for PSTN it is hopefully also enabled for Exchange UM or Azure Voicemail.

Then the caller is forwarded to the voicemail system. She or he can leave a message and you will get it directly in your inbox as an MP3 audio file. Azure Voicemail uses a speech-to-text engine to analyse the voice message and will give a short summary of the message in the body of your mail. In case of the caller hangs off without leaving a message, you get a “missed call notification” in your mailbox. You will be notified in the Microsft Teams activity feed, too.

Prerequisite for this behaviour in Microsoft Teams is that your administrator implemented Exchange UM or Azure Voicemail and your account is enabled for this service. If so, the Microsoft Teams client will detect the feature during logon phase with the support of Exchange Autodiscover and EWS. The user hasn’t to configure anything. The voicemail is automatically used as destination for unanswered calls.

Voicemail is a nice feature – but I won’t use it

Some users doesn’t like Voicemail functions and won’t use it. What now? You have two options: first option is to disable the hosted Voicemail feature for the user account:

Set-CsUser -Identity "Max Mustermann" -HostedVoiceMail $False

After this short command in the Skype for Business Online management PowerShell, the voicemail is disabled for this specific user account. If you like to do it on your own, then you can change your settings for unanswered calls directly in Microsoft Teams:

Go to settings, calls and change the option for unanswered calls to “Do nothing”.

PSTN call settings in Microsoft Teams

Then an incoming call will be dropped if you are logged out. If you are logged in but away or allready in a call, you will get a noticifacation in you activity feed about a missed call.


3 Replies to “Unanswered Call handling in Microsoft Teams”

  1. In my org’s case, we’re using Direct Routing–which is great and all–but if the presence is Offline or Away, it will skip the ringing. The problem with that is our on-prem PBX won’t ring because MS has already told the caller that the user is unavailable and sends them to voicemail. There’s really no way around it.

    We have shared lines where users aren’t logged into teams but need to take calls on the handset, but that “feature” disallows that.

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