Teams Gets Secondary Ringer for Calls

Users Baffled Because They Didn’t Know They Needed a Secondary Ringer

Microsoft’s announcement in Office 365 notification MC189659 that Teams is rolling out the ability for users to define a secondary ringer possibly came as a surprise, even to those of us who peruse the Office 365 Roadmap (in this case, item 51089).

What, you might ask, is a secondary ringer? It’s a voice calling feature that allows an application to signal the arrival of an inbound call on multiple devices. For instance, as the UserVoice item on the topic explains, you might want to have calls signaled on both your PC and headphones. Skype for Business Online supports the feature, so given that Teams is very much the future for voice communications inside Office 365, Teams needs to support the assignment of a secondary ringer. You can think of this as just another preparatory step along the way to the retirement of Skype for Business Online in July 2021.

Setting a Secondary Ringer

To set a secondary ringer, go to the Devices section of Teams settings and select a device from the drop-down list of available choices (Figure 1). Obviously if you aren’t connected to more than one suitable device, you can’t set a secondary ringer. If a device isn’t online (like a Bluetooth headset that’s powered off), it can’t be used either.

Selecting a Secondary Ringer for Teams Voice Calls
Figure 1: Selecting a Secondary Ringer for Teams Voice Calls

If you remove your PC from a situation where the secondary ringer is unavailable (for example, unplug a laptop and move out of the range of the headset’s Bluetooth connection), Teams removes the secondary ringer and you’ll have to reconfigure it after you reconnect.

Availability

According to the notification, the new feature will roll out in mid-September and be complete worldwide by mid-October. It will be available for both Windows and Mac clients.


Need more information about Teams voice capabilities and the transition from Skype for Business Online? We have just the thing in a complete chapter in the Office 365 for IT Pros eBook.

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