COVID-19 & Increased Use of Microsoft Teams: Track Minutes

User Review
0 (0 votes)

If You’re Using Teams to Work Remotely, Don’t Forget About Your Microsoft Teams Minutes


All across the globe, more people are working remotely than ever before. On the one hand, this makes cloud-based CRM solutions like Dynamics 365 CRM more important than ever. At the same time, more companies are turning to remote communication solutions like Microsoft Teams for remote project collaboration and video conferencing.

There’s no question that Teams is a great platform for remote collaboration. But as numerous organizations have begun using Teams more than they typically would, some of them have hit a snag: they’re maxing out their pooled Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) minutes. These same businesses are often unaware that there is a PSTN dial-in/dial-out cap to begin with, and are surprised when they receive an email notification that they’re about to hit their monthly maximum.

What are PSTN minutes, and how can this impact your organization? Does running out of minutes mean you can’t call in to Teams meetings? We’ll answer these questions and more below.

Microsoft Teams and PSTN Audio Conferencing Minutes


When a user in Teams has a dedicated dial-in phone number for conference meetings, they’re assigned an “Audio Conferencing” license and allocated up to 60 minutes per month of “pooled” conferencing minutes. These PSTN minutes are set aside for conference calls, meaning that they’re separate from any other domestic or international plans that you might have. These “Audio Conferencing” licenses can be set up via “Office 365 E5” or “Microsoft 365 E5” bundles, or can be purchased separately as an add-on.

The number of pooled PSTN minutes that your organization has access to per month is a function of the total number of “Audio Conferencing” licenses that you have. For example, an organization comprised of 100 users (each with their own “Audio Conferencing” license) would have access to 100 x 60 = 6,000 pooled PSTN minutes per month. Once you’ve used up these minutes, you’ll no longer have PSTN dial-in or dial-out functionality for your Teams Meetings.

You will still have the ability to participate in Microsoft Teams meetings via the Team web or desktop apps, however. That’s because connecting to Teams meeting audio via the Internet doesn’t use up any of your PSTN minutes. This means it’s a good idea to connect to Teams meeting audio via your desktop or mobile app whenever possible rather than calling in. Not only does this conserve your PSTN minutes, it also typically provides better audio quality.

Check Your Teams PSTN Minutes Usage


It’s easy to see how many PSTN minutes you have left for the month using the Teams portal.

  1. First, log into the new Microsoft Teams portal as either a Global Administrator or Teams Communications Administrator. Next, click the Admin tile.

  1. Under Admin Centers, click Teams.

  1. In the left-hand menu, click Analytics & Reports, select Usage Reports, and then choose “PSTN minutes and SMS (preview) pools” from the Report dropdown menu.

  1. Finally, click Run Report. This will display your total minutes for the month, how many you’ve used so far, and how many PSTN minutes you have remaining.


Microsoft Teams for Remote Collaboration


When it comes to collaborating from a distance, Microsoft Teams is the ideal solution. While cloud-based CRM software like Dynamics 365 CRM can provide you with remote access to important customer data, Teams is essential for keeping in touch with coworkers and sharing important files and data.

As long as you connect to Teams meeting audio via the Internet, you won’t have to worry about using up your monthly PSTN minutes. If you do find yourself running low on minutes, however, you can purchase Communication Credits to get you through the rest of the month. The experts at JourneyTEAM can guide you through this process. To learn more about how JourneyTEAM can help your organization get the most out of Microsoft Teams, click here.

Article by: Dave Bollard – Head of Marketing | 801-436-6636

JourneyTEAM is an award-winning consulting firm with proven technology and measurable results. They take Microsoft products; Dynamics 365, SharePoint intranet, Office 365, Azure, CRM, GP, NAV, SL, AX, and modify them to work for you. The team has expert level, Microsoft Gold certified consultants that dive deep into the dynamics of your organization and solve complex issues. They have solutions for sales, marketing, productivity, collaboration, analytics, accounting, security and more.