In This Article

Overview

This article covers the process to convert a Teams enabled phone into a Common Area Phone (CAP).  A Teams enabled common area phone is typically placed in an area like a lobby, kitchen, break room, or conference room, and can also be used for hoteling (hot desking). 

Common area phones are associated with a user account that's assigned a Microsoft Common Area Phone license.  The Common Area Phone subscription license includes a license for Microsoft Teams and a Teams Phone Standard add-on license.  By itself, the CAP license does not include the ability to dial out to the PSTN.  For that you need a direct routing provider like Evolve IP, or you need to purchase a Microsoft Calling Plan to use Microsoft's gateway to the PSTN.

IMPORTANT

Teams enabled common area phones cannot be used as a dial-in bridge.  If you have a common area phone in a conference room, the phone can only be used to dial into the meeting organizer's dial in bridge.

Teams Meeting Room devices should not be used as a common area phone in a conference room, and they should not be assigned a Common Area Phone subscription license.

New Features for Teams Common Area Phones

As of July 2022, Microsoft has enhanced the Common Area Phone offering to serve a wider variety of scenarios for customers without increasing the price.  These enhancements apply to all customers with Common Area Phone subscription licenses, and includes security, endpoint management, and cloud-based voicemail features made available via the following service plans added to the Common Area Phone license:

  • Azure Active Directory Premium Plan 1
  • Microsoft Intune
  • Exchange Online Plan 2

In addition, the following calling features are available for Teams Phone devices enabled with a Common Area Phone license and the latest Teams app update (minimum version - 1449/1.0.94.2022061702):

  • Call park and retrieve
  • Cloud-based voicemail through Exchange Online Plan 2
  • Call queues
  • Auto attendants
  • Group call pick-up
  • Forwarding rules

To use the calling features on the supported Teams Phone models you need to enable the Advanced Calling settings (see below screenshot) in Teams admin center or on the Teams Phone device, and sign-in through the Common Area Phone account.


To enroll Teams phone Android-based devices into the Intune service, check the requirements at Configure Intune to enroll Teams Android-based devices.

If you have auto-enrollment set up in the Microsoft Endpoint Manager admin center, and you do not want to auto-enroll your Teams device, you need to unassign the Intune license when this change rolls out or set-up a grouping structure that omits these devices from auto-enrollment.


Planning for Common Area Phones

Some important things to know and understand when deploying common area phones. 

User Accounts & Licensing

  • The Common Area Phone license can be purchased directly from Microsoft in the M365 Admin Center, from a Microsoft volume license reseller, or from a Microsoft Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) partner like Evolve IP.
  • The Common Area Phone license includes:
    • Microsoft Teams
    • Microsoft 365 Phone System
    • Microsoft Intune
    • Azure Active Directory Premium P1
    • Exchange Online (Plan 2)
  • Teams enabled common area phones are associated with a user account, which is assigned the Common Area Phone license.  It is not a device license.
    • The user account should not be disabled or blocked from signing in.
    • The user account should have a complex password, and should not be assigned any admin roles.
    • With the included Azure AD Premium P1 license you can apply conditional access policies to restrict the phone's sign in conditions.

NOTE

The Exchange Online (Plan 2) license is only to support cloud voicemail.  Email is not supported.  If you don't want your common area phone to have voicemail, you can deselect the Exchange Online (Plan 2) license, or disable the user account's voicemail using the following Teams PowerShell command:


Set-CsOnlineVoicemailUserSettings
-Identity user1@contoso.com -VoicemailEnabled $false


Common Area Phone Limitations

  • Teams enabled common area phones cannot be used as a dial in bridge.  When you use a common area phone in a conference room, the phone is used to dial into the meeting organizer's dial in bridge.
  • If you do not configure the user account with Teams direct routing or assign the user account a Microsoft Calling Plan, you cannot dial out to the PSTN, which means it cannot be used to dial emergency services (911, 999, 112, etc.).
  • To properly configure a common area phone, you need to use PowerShell.  You can set up a common area phone in the Teams admin Center (TAC), but the TAC doesn't allow you to configure some important settings.

Common Area Phone User Experience

Some notes about the end-user experience with common area phones:

  • If the phone's home screen is disabled, which is recommended, the main screen of the phone only displays the dial pad.
  • Except for voicemail (when enabled), there are no other options such as calendar or call history.
  • If your configuration allows it, a user can use the phone to search the directory for other Teams users.
  • After signing into the phone it will stay signed in even after a reboot or power cycle.  The user account associated with the phone should not be blocked from signing in.
  • To sign the phone out you will need the phone's admin password, which is entered in the Admin Only menu of the phone.  The admin password can be set using a configuration policy in the Teams admin center.


Teams IP Phone Policy

Teams IP Phone policies manage features related to Teams enabled phones including common area phones. 

There is a Global Teams IP Phone Policy, which applies to all Teams enabled phones including regular end-user Teams phones.  Therefore, instead of changing the global policy to configure a common area phone, you should create a new policy and assign it to the common area phone's user account.  Unfortunately, none of this can be done in the Teams admin center – it has to be done using PowerShell.

IMPORTANT

You must be assigned the Teams Administrator role to manage Teams IP Phone policies.  The Teams Device Administrator or Teams Communications Administrator roles are not enough.


Teams IP Phone Policy Settings

Below are the Teams IP Phone Policy settings, and here are the PowerShell commands used to configure custom IP Phone Policies:


Setting NameValuesDescription
Allow Better Together
  • Enabled (Default)
  • Disabled
Better Together phones can lock and unlock in an integrated fashion when connected to a Windows PC running a 64-bit Teams desktop client.
Allow Home Screen
  • Enabled
  • Enable User Override (Default)
  • Disabled
Determines whether the Home Screen feature of the Teams IP Phones is enabled.
Allow Hot Desking
  • True (Default)
  • False
Determines whether hot desking mode is enabled.
Description
  • Text
Free form text that can be used by administrators as desired.
Hot Desking Idle Timeout In Minutes
  • Number (Default is 120)
Determines the idle timeout value in minutes for the signed in user account. When the timeout is reached, the account is logged out.
Search On Common Area Phone Mode
  • Enabled (Default)
  • Disabled
Determines whether a user can search the Global Address List in Common Area Phone Mode.
Sign In Mode
  • User Sign In (Default)
  • Common Area Phone Sign In
  • Meeting Sign In

Determines the sign in mode and UI experience for the device when signing into Teams. Possible Values:

  • User Sign In - Enables the individual user's Teams experience on the phone.
  • Common Area Phone Sign In - Enables a Common Area Phone experience on the phone.
  • Meeting Sign In - Enables the meeting area experience on the phone.


Scenarios & Settings for Teams IP Phone Policies

This section covers the scenarios and the Teams IP Phone policy configuration settings for each scenario:

  • Common area phones for general purpose areas (reception, kitchens, break rooms, etc.)
  • Common Area phones for meeting areas (small meeting rooms and meetup areas)
  • Phones for hot desking (shared desk or cube spaces).  Does not require a Common Area Phone license.

Common Area Phones - General Purpose

Setting NameValueNotes
Allow Better Together

Disabled

Should be disabled when configuring a policy for general common area phones.
Allow Home Screen

Disabled

This should be disabled. Only the dial pad will be shown on the phones.
Allow Hot Desking

False

This should be False when configuring general area common area phones.
Description

Text

A description of the policy for your common area phones.
Hot Desking Idle Timeout In Minutes

120

Hot desking is disabled, so this setting is ignored.
Search On Common Area Phone Mode

Disabled

This should be enabled if you want to allow end-users to search your directory.
Sign In Mode

CommonAreaPhoneSignIn

Required to put the phone in the common area phone mode.

Common Area Phones - Meeting Rooms

Setting NameValueNotes
Allow Better Together

Disabled

Should be disabled when configuring a policy for common area phones in meeting areas.
Allow Home Screen

Disabled

This should be disabled. Only the dial pad will be shown on the phones.
Allow Hot Desking

False

This should be False when configuring common area phones for meeting areas.
Description

Text

A description of the policy for your common area phones.
Hot Desking Idle Timeout In Minutes

120

Hot desking is disabled, so this setting is ignored.
Search On Common Area Phone Mode

Enabled

This should be disabled if you don't want end-users to search your directory.
Sign In Mode

MeetingSignIn

Required to put the phone in the common area phone mode for meeting areas.

Common Area Phones - Hot Desking

NOTE

This configuration scenario is for normal Teams users, and does not require a Common Area Phone license.  Additionally, the Teams IP Phone "Global" policy has hot desking enabled for all users by default.  You would only need to create custom policies for hot desking if you need different timeout settings.

Setting NameValueNotes
Allow Better Together

Enabled

Should be enabled when configuring a policy for hot desking, but not required.
Allow Home Screen

EnabledUserOverride

This should remain enabled, but it's not required. If disabled, only the dial pad will be shown on the phones.
Allow Hot Desking

True

This should be True when configuring phones for hot desking.
Description

Text

A description of the policy for your hot desking phones.
Hot Desking Idle Timeout In Minutes

120

Determines the idle timeout value in minutes for the signed in user account.
Search On Common Area Phone Mode

Enabled

Common area phone mode is not enabled, so this setting is ignored.
Sign In Mode

UserSignIn

Required to put the phone in the user sign in mode.


Create a New Teams IP Phone Policy

Make sure you have the latest version of the Microsoft Teams PowerShell module installed, and sign into your Microsoft Teams services.  PowerShell requirements and sign in details can be found in the Teams Direct Routing Planning and Prerequisites article.


PowerShell Command Reference


View Existing Teams IP Phone Policies

Get-CsTeamsIpPhonePolicy


Create a New Teams IP Phone Policy

###
### This example will create a policy for general areas and allow directory search.
###

$PolicyProperties = @{

    Identity                    = "EvolveIP-Common-Areas"
    SignInMode                  = "CommonAreaPhoneSignIn"
    AllowBetterTogether         = "Disabled"
    AllowHomeScreen             = "Disabled"
    AllowHotDesking             = $False
    SearchOnCommonAreaPhoneMode = "Enabled"
    Description                 = "General common area phones"
}

New-CsTeamsIpPhonePolicy @PolicyProperties

###
### This example will create a policy for meeting areas and allow directory search.
###

$PolicyProperties = @{

    Identity                    = "EvolveIP-Meeting-Areas"
    SignInMode                  = "MeetingSignIn"
    AllowBetterTogether         = "Disabled"
    AllowHomeScreen             = "Disabled"
    AllowHotDesking             = $False
    SearchOnCommonAreaPhoneMode = "Enabled"
    Description                 = "Meeting area phones"
}

New-CsTeamsIpPhonePolicy @PolicyProperties

###
### This example will create a new policy for hot desking with a 6 hr timeout.
###

$PolicyProperties = @{

    Identity                       = "EvolveIP-HD-Sales"
    SignInMode                     = "UserSignIn"
    AllowBetterTogether            = "Enabled"
    AllowHomeScreen                = "EnabledUserOverride"
    AllowHotDesking                = $True
    HotDeskingIdleTimeoutInMinutes = 360
    SearchOnCommonAreaPhoneMode    = "Disabled"
    Description                    = "Hot desking users in sales dept."
}

New-CsTeamsIpPhonePolicy @PolicyProperties


Delete a Teams IP Phone Policy

Remove-CsTeamsIpPhonePolicy "EvolveIP-Common-Areas"


Assign a Teams IP Phone Policy to a User Account

Grant-CsTeamsIpPhonePolicy "cap-kitchen@contoso.com" -PolicyName "EvolveIP-Common-Areas"


Remove a Teams IP Phone Policy from a User Account

Grant-CsTeamsIpPhonePolicy "cap-kitchen@contoso.com" -PolicyName $null



Configure for Teams Direct Routing

In this section we will configure the user account assigned the Common Area Phone license for Teams Direct Routing and assign the Teams IP Phone Policy.

IMPORTANT  

Make sure the user account has been assigned a Common Area Phone license before running these commands.

TIP

If you are switching a CAP from a Microsoft calling plan to Teams direct routing, remove the phone number from the user account, and then remove the calling plan license.  Make sure you keep the Common Area Phone license assigned.


PowerShell Command Reference


Get the name of the Evolve Voice Routing Policy, which will be entered into the below block of PowerShell code.

Get-CsOnlineVoiceRoutingPolicy | Where { $_.Identity -like "*Evolve*" }


Get the name of the Evolve Tenant Dial Plan, which will be entered in the below block of PowerShell code.

Get-CsTenantDialPlan | Where { $_.Identity -like "*Evolve*" }


Get the name of the Evolve Teams IP Phone Policy, which will be entered in the below block of PowerShell code.

Get-CsTeamsIpPhonePolicy | Where { $_.Identity -like "*Evolve*" }


Provision the CAP for Direct Routing

NOTE

Microsoft requires that all phone numbers be in the E.164 format.  This means the following:

  • Include a "+" before the country code
  • No special characters or spaces between the numbers
  • Here's an example:  +16105551234

IMPORTANT

In the below PowerShell code, be sure to change the relevant data on lines 2, 5, 8, 11 & 14 to match your configuration and specific user account.

# Enter the name of the Evolve voice routing policy
$VrPolicyName = "EvolveIP-USEast"

# Enter the name of the Evolve tenant dial plan
$TdpPolicyName = "EvolveIP-TenantDialPlan"

# Enter the name of the Evolve Teams IP phone policy
$TipPolicyName = "EvolveIP-Common-Areas"

# Enter the CAP's user principal name
$UPN = "user@domain.com"

# Enter the CAP's telephone number (no spaces, dashes, or parentheses)
$Phone = "+16105551234"


### Begin User Provisioning ###

# This will check if the CAP's account coexistence mode is set to TeamsOnly for Direct
# Routing. If it is not set to TeamsOnly, it will be set.
 
If ((Get-CsOnlineUser $UPN).TeamsUpgradeEffectiveMode -ne "TeamsOnly") {
  Grant-CsTeamsUpgradePolicy -Identity $UPN -PolicyName UpgradeToTeams
}

# The following will configure the CAP's account for direct routing and add the account
# to the voice routing policy, the tenant dial plan, and the Teams IP phone policy.  

Set-CsPhoneNumberAssignment -Identity $UPN -PhoneNumber $Phone -PhoneNumberType DirectRouting 
Grant-CsOnlineVoiceRoutingPolicy -Identity $UPN -PolicyName $VrPolicyName
Grant-CsTenantDialPlan -Identity $UPN -PolicyName $TdpPolicyName
Grant-CsTeamsIpPhonePolicy -Identity $UPN -PolicyName $TipPolicyName

### End User Provisioning ###








  • No labels