What is “Busy on Busy” feature in Microsoft Teams?

Busy on Busy, also sometime referred to as “Busy Options” is a setting in Teams calling policies that lets you configure how incoming calls are handled when a user is already in a call or conference or has a call placed on hold. This feature has been in Teams since May of 2019 but with only two option, Enabled or Disabled. Setting Busy on Busy to Disabled would allow a second call to ring a user even if that user is already in a call or meeting. Setting it to Enabled would play a busy dial tone to the caller if the callee is in a call.

What’s new?

What’s new is the “Unanswered” option, if Busy on Busy is set to “Unanswered” when a caller calls a user that is on another call the user’s unanswered settings will take effect, such as routing to voicemail or forwarding to another user.

Example of a user’s “Unanswered” settings

The Cost-effective Phone for Microsoft Teams

Yealink T55A Microsoft Teams Edition – Front

As a Microsoft UC consultant recently I have been busy talking to customers about moving to Microsoft Teams, however one of the major blockers in making the move from a legacy PBX solution to Teams has been the lack of cost effective and future proof desk phones with modern Teams functionality.

But now all that has changed, behold the Yealink T55A Teams Edition desk phone for only $219 “MSRP”. That’s $70 cheaper than any other Microsoft Teams certified desk phone on the market at the time of writing.

So now we know the price is good, but is the phone any good?

First thing you will notice is the sleek clean lines and easily identifiable buttons, yes actual physical tactile buttons, not some buttons on a screen that you need to look at to know if they are still there. No, these buttons will always be there just waiting for you to blindly reach over and push them without even having to think about what you’re pushing or even needing to look at the phone. Now don’t take me wrong, I am a huge proponent of modern technology and UC soft clients, but if a customer is asking for a desk phone they probably want physical buttons and not just another screen. So yes, it looks good and it has buttons, we are off to a good start!

The second thing you will notice is the 4.3 inch touch screen. The user interface on the screen is quite response and gives you access to call history, searching for contacts, visual voicemail, and all the normal calling features you would expect from a Teams edition desk phone. But the screen itself has a resolution of only 480 x 272 which means it isn’t the sharpest but it is still easy to read and gets plenty bright. I would consider it adequate and about what I would expect in this price range, just don’t expect it to blow you away in the crispness department.

The handset is of the standard Yealink HD variety so no complaints here, good volume and a quality microphone. The phones built in HD speakerphone is great as well.

On the back of the phone we have all the standard ports you would expect, A gigabit ethernet port in, and another out, a plug for the handset as well as for a traditional headset, power “for those that don’t have POE switches”, and a regular USB Type A port. And I really do love that USB port, plug in any Teams Certified Headset and it just works, answer and hang up buttons, volume control and everything, amazing! I tested this with a handful of different headsets some wired and some wireless including my Plantronics Voyager Focus UC, Plantronics Blackwire, and just because it was laying on my desk at the time, a Sennheiser SP20 Speakerphone “completely unnecessary due to the phones built in speakerphone, but hey I was curious :)” This is so much better than the headset connectivity of yesteryear “remember handset lifters?”

So what’s the catch?

I think the hardware is great and I don’t see any deal breakers here. However on the software side there is a few issues, none that I would consider deal breakers but I think you should be aware of them. Providing some user training in these areas should prevent too many complaints. Here is a list of the problems I noticed and I will try to keep the list up to date as the phone continues to receive firmware updates.

  • When the phone is sitting idle and you start pushing the number buttons to dial a number without waiting for the dialing screen to load it can skip the first about 2 or 3 digits till the dialing screen loads. – Solution: Train users to pick up handset first “this loads the dialing screen” then key in the phone number. – Fixed
  • When making an outbound PSTN call there is no ring-back, but on internal calls there is, this can be confusing to new users. -Fixed

“From GoDaddy Manged Exchange Online”

Recently I had a customer with Exchange online that was purchased through GoDaddy “I never recommend this”. GoDaddy offers a very limited set of licensing and features and the customer now wanted to deploy Teams as well as some of the other services not available through GoDaddy such as Azure AD Connect. I managed to do this migration with only about 20 minutes of email service downtime “I thought this was pretty good considering the situation”

Preliminary Setup

  1. Create a new Office 365 Tenant.
  2. Export users from old tenant, modify the UPN to match the new tenants “CompanyName.onMicrosoft.com” domain and import the users into the new Tenant.
  3. Start adding the organization’s domain name to the new tenant, and add the TXT DNS record awhile. “Note: it will not actually verify in Office 365 until the domain is removed from the old tenant” but at least it will be propagated ahead of time.
  4. Set TTL “Time to Live” as short as possible on all DNS records relating to Exchange Online “MX, autodiscover, SPF”.

Performing the Migration

  1. I Then started the migration using BitTitan to do a “Pre-Stage” migration to copy all mail older than 60 Days to the new tenant “You may want to do 30 days if you have a lot of mail so the full Migration later goes faster”.
    NOTE: The next series of step should be done in rapid succession.
  2. Change your primary MX record from the old tenant to a domain that is not reachable, i.e. “unreachable.example.com”. Most mail servers attempting to deliver new mail will queue the mail and attempt redelivery for 24 hours.
  3. As soon as the MX record changes propagate across the internet start the Full Migration using BitTitan.
  4. Once the BitTitan Mail sync is completed call GoDaddy and have them delete the old tenant. “Recommend having them on the phone ahead of time”
  5. Soon after the old tenant is deleted by GoDaddy you can verify the domain in the new tenant.
  6. Change all the users UPN’s from the .onmicrosoft.com domain to the organization’s domain name you just added to the tenant.
  7. Configure the DNS / MX records to point to the new tenant.
  8. Now that mail is flowing again “whew” sit back, relax, and reconnect all the users mail clients while they pace anxiously around the office wondering what they are missing out on. Note: This can be done using multiple different types of tools, I would recommend checking out BitTitan’s option for Outlook.

Teams edition phones have been available for a few weeks now so lets take a look and see what they are all about. At the time of writing Yealink has the only two Teams edition phones that are generally available, however Audio Codes and Crestron have announced devices that should be available in the near future and I hope to review those soon.

Lets start with the 7 inch touch screen featured on both models, at 1024×600 resolution it is crisp, the text is easy to read, and it has plenty of brightness for a well lit office environment, however the glossy screen is a little more reflective than I would prefer it to be.

One of the advantages of the T58a is that the display is tilt adjustable unlike the T56a. The adjustable display is a big help in mitigating reflections by allowing you to tilt it to a position that doesn’t reflect the light. Here you can see how far you can tilt the display on the T58a in comparison to the T56a.

One of the things I really like about these phones is the USB port on the back that supports a USB headset. This isn’t something I have seen on many other desk phones and I think it’s a really nice feature to have. I tested it with a Plantronics Blackwire headset and I even plugged in the BT600 Bluetooth dongle for my Plantronics Focus UC headset and everything worked including all the call controls, answer / hangup, volume, mute, etc. I also tested the Bluetooth support by pairing my Focus uc directly to the phones built in Bluetooth and once again everything worked as expected.

The USB port on the back with a USB dongle plugged in.

There aren’t a lot of differences, so here is a quick list of features the T58a has that the T56a is missing.

  • Adjustable Display
  • 2 USB ports vs 1
  • WiFi
  • USB Camera support*

*to be enabled with future firmware updates.

Don’t forget to subscribe to see my upcoming Microsoft Teams Admin Center Device management overview.

After spending six months with the Plantronics 8200 uc then switching to a Sennheiser MB 660 uc MS and using that for the last four months I thought I would share my thoughts on both. Lets start with the Plantronics.

Plantronics 8200 uc

Out of the box the 8200 UC feels solid, built to hold up to the day to day use and abuse of someone who travels, stuffs it into their backpack, and takes it everywhere. During my time with this headset I did just that, I took it on 4 international flights, used them for phone calls in the office, at home to listen to music, and even for a little gaming. During the flights the noise cancelling worked really well to block the noise of the jet and give me a private cocoon of quietness while providing excellent sound quality for both music and movies, and even after wearing them for a long 17 hour flight I didn’t find them uncomfortable at all. The Battery life surprised me by lasting 20+ hours with noise cancelling on high and cranking out audio at a good volume the entire time. I honestly didn’t have anything to complain about after using the 8200 uc, even the button layout was intuitive and I had no trouble learning where everything was without taking them off of my head.

Sennheiser MB 660 uc MS

The Sennheiser unit immediately stood out as looking more suit and tie than business casual like the Plantronics. The clean lines and the black leather with aluminum accents gives it a sharp look while being unassuming and sleek, overall I like the looks better but that’s subjective. The build quality feels just as good as the Plantronics and as far as durability from my perspective I would guess they would be quite similar. I didn’t get to take the Sennheiser on a flight but I did use the noise cancelling in the back of a car to compare and in that environment the Sennheiser is slightly better at blocking noise. On the Sound quality front I would pick the Sennheiser again, I’m no audiophile but the Sennheiser seems to have a wider range from the lows to the highs while also being a little more crisp. The battery life was good with no complaints, however that can’t be said about the controls. There is a touch pad on the right ear that controls nearly everything, swiping up and down for volume and right and left to skip tracks worked great, but the other gestures such as muting the microphone were hard to get right consistently and added a few frustrations while using them. The Sennheiser has noticeably deeper ear cups which some people may find better but it also has a tighter squeeze on the head which I tended to find uncomfortable after just a few hours of wearing them. However the real Stand out feature for me is the microphones, they are hands down the best microphones Built into a headset I have ever used, and I have a collection of great headsets. Even with someone talking loudly just 3 feet away from me the person on the other end of the call could hear me loud and clear while not even catching a trace of what the person next to me was saying or even hearing them at all.

In conclusion I can hardly pick a winner because both are great, if audio and microphone quality is top of your list pick the Sennheiser, if comfort and ease of use are more important pick the Plantronics, I dont think you will be disappointed with either option. If you have experience with either of these I would love to hear your thoughts, or if you want me to compare them to something else please leave a comment.