Enabling a meeting room within your organisation for Microsoft Teams is remarkably easy! In fact, the hardest decision you’ll need to make is which device you want to use within the room. Luckily, even this is made simple by using Microsoft’s official Microsoft Teams Certified Devices List.
Alright, so you’ve chosen your in-room device, it’s been delivered, you’ve ripped the box open, thrown the plastic and packaging aside and connected the device to your PoE switch. Now what?
Office 365 and Room accounts
After carefully pulling the screen cover off your shiny new Microsoft Teams device, the next thing you’re going to need is a Room account.
If you’re not already familiar, room accounts are a kind of resource account in Exchange that appear in the Outlook room booking system, as well as appearing in Microsoft Teams as a bookable resource.
Why don’t we just use a generic user account?
You certainly can use a generic user account for room devices, but the account won't appear in Outlook or Teams as a bookable resource, and you also won’t get the additional benefits such as auto-accept for room bookings, and information about the room itself such as location, and occupancy size.
Creating the Room account
The easiest way of creating a new room account is via the Office 365 admin centre:
Choose Rooms & equipment under Resources
Next, Click Add on the toolbar, and fill out the form, ensuring your select Room under Type.
When done, click Save.
Now that we have our room account, we’re going to need to license it. There are a number of options available:
If you already have E3 with phone system and conferencing or E5, although overkill, you can assign a license to the room account.
Meeting room licensing
If you don’t have spare E3/E5 licensing or want to apply a more suitable license you can purchase a meeting room license.
Meeting room licenses give you:
Skype for Business Online (plan 2)
Whichever license you choose, you’ll still need to assign a calling plan to your room account if you’d like to be able to make outbound PSTN calls.
Assigning a Phone Number
Ok, you have your Room account, it’s licensed and now you’d like to assign it a phone number.
Just as you do with users in Microsoft Teams, phone numbers must be assigned via the Skype legacy portal in the Teams admin centre.
Choose Phone Numbers within the Voice section, select the phone number and click Assign
If you don’t have enough spare numbers remaining, request a new number by clicking the + sign.
Search for your meeting room name, and click Assign.
A few final steps
Before we go signing in as our new Teams meeting room account, there are a few things we need to do to improve the user experience.
Right now, your room account doesn't have a password. We’ll need to give it one so the device can sign in.
To do this, jump over to the Users > Active Users area of the Office 365 Admin Centre.
Find the Room account in the list, click it and then click Reset Password
Either choose to generate a password, or type your own and click Save.
Having passwords to room accounts expire is a pain. Let’s turn password expiry off for our Room account.
Connect to Office 365 Powershell using an Admin account. If you’ve never done this before, Microsoft has an awesome article here about connecting to Office 365 in a single Powershell window.
Once connected, run the following to turn off password expiry for our Room account:
Set-MsolUser -UserPrincipalName firstname.lastname@example.org -PasswordNeverExpires $true
Whilst we’re here, let’s add a tooltip to the Room too that informs users of our cool new tech:
Set-Mailbox -Identity email@example.com -MailTip “This room is Microsoft Teams enabled, please book a Microsoft Teams meeting to take advantage of the enhanced meeting experience”
Signing in for the first time
Alright, our Room account is good to go! Let’s sign in to our room device using our newly created room account username and password.
Users will now be able to book the room either via Outlook or via the Microsoft Teams app. Once booked, they’ll simply walk in and tap their meeting on the device’s screen to join! No more help desk calls or bad meeting join experiences!