Microsoft recently announced that they would offer a free Microsoft 365 Audio Conferencing package for up to 1 year to eligible customers in this blog post published in September 2020. This offer is applicable for both customers on an Enterprise Agreement, web direct, and Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) licensing. This offer went live on the 1st of October for CSP customers. In this blog post, I am going to show you how to claim the free licenses.
You might be wondering what the Audio Conferencing add-on does? This blog post covers what it is but, in short, it allows you to add a dial-in conference number to Microsoft Teams meetings. Useful for people who don’t have access to a device with Teams installed or an internet connection not capable of supporting VoIP.
Purchase the license
First, log into the Office 365 admin portal https://admin.microsoft.com and follow the instructions below. Billing, Purchase Services, Add-Ons
Then look for Microsoft 365 Audio Conferencing Adoption Promo and click on details.
Then click on Get now on the following screen.
This will take you to another portal to walk through the purchase process.
You can choose the number of licenses you require and choose to pay monthly or yearly. The cost will remain at 0. Click on check out now.
Step through the purchase process. Enter the address details.
Verify how many licenses you require.
This is the bit to be aware of. You do need to assign a credit card for the purchase even though it is free. I suspect after the year is up that it will then charge for the functionality. Mark your calendar to check this in a year’s time! Click on place order when all info has been entered.
You will receive a confirmation message stating that the order has been successful.
Assign the license
Back in the Office 365 admin portal, browse to the user’s list and find the user you wish to assign the license to. Follow the steps below to add the audio conferencing license.
Once the license is complete, the user should receive an e-mail similar to the one below. This will provide the user with their conference number details.
Changing the default conference number
If you would like to add a toll-free number or a geo-location specific conference number. You will need to create a new conference bridge from within the Teams admin portal. There are some instructions here from Microsoft, but I also run through this below. A conference bridge is the telephone number everyone dials to join a new conference. If you have used any kind of conferencing software in the past, you will no doubt have used a number to dial and a PIN to enter into a conference call. The conference bridge allows us to facilitate the conference call.
First, we need to log into the Teams admins portal, which is available from the side menu in the O365 admin portal.
Browse to Voice, Phone Numbers and then click Add.
Give the order a Name, Description, and then chose the region that makes sense to you.
Microsoft will then offer up a phone number for use with a conference bridge.
If you are happy with the number, place the order.
Now we need to assign the new phone number to a conference bridge.
Choose the option for a conference bridge.
Now we need to change the default conference bridge number that is added to a meeting for the user. Find the users in the Teams portal and click on their name.
On the following screen, click on Edit next to Audio Conferencing.
And then switch to the new conference bridge number.
When you create a new Teams meeting in Outlook, the conference number details will be added. Please note it can take some time for this change to take effect. It took 6 hours for me.