Part 1 – Creating an auto attendant in Microsoft Teams


Microsoft Teams can be used to create a virtual reception or as it’s known in Teams, an “Auto attendant”, to route incoming calls to people within your business. A good example of this is when calling automated systems such as your bank when you’re asked to “Press 1 for loans, 2 for Mortgages or 3 to speak to someone.” Etc. Using the built-in tools and with the correct licences, Microsoft Teams can be configured in the same way. Over the next few posts, I’m going to show you a simple call flow, what’s needed to setup something similar and then how to configure the reception number and flow for your business. Creating an auto attendant with options is not as simple as it looks and requires some back and forth between the different options. We’re going to setup an example auto attendant covering the following steps over the next few posts;


To complete this setup, the following has been assumed;

  • The user completing the steps has the necessary administration access
  • Microsoft Teams is already in use and deployed in the organization

Virtual User licences

If they don’t already exist in the tenant, you’ll need at least 1 “Microsoft 365 Phone System – Virtual User” licence assigned. These are free licences and will be assigned to the resource account created in part 2.

Obtaining Virtual User licences

From the Microsoft 365 admin centre ( select “Billing” > “Purchase services”. The licence required is considered an add-on and can be found by scrolling to the bottom of the “Purchase services” page and clicking “Add-ons”.

There is no charge for these licences so multiple can be purchased by increasing the number of users (up to 25). We strongly recommend making sure the option of “Automatically assign to all users with no licences” is not ticked before clicking “Check out now”.

The next couple of screens will ask you to confirm the business address and location and present a summary of licences and costs (£0.00). Even though there is no cost, a valid credit card is still required to be registered in the tenant to complete the checkout. Global Administrators of the tenant will be notified by email when the licences are available for assignment. For users to receive calls, they must have an appropriate licence assigned to their account. Some options depending on business size are;

  • Microsoft 365 Phone System (approx. £6.00. user/month)
  • Microsoft 365 Domestic Calling Plan – 120 minutes (approx. £4.50 user/month)
  • Microsoft 365 Domestic Calling Plan – Unlimited minutes (approx. £9.00 user/month)

International calling plans are also available, and these can be purchased and assigned in the same way as the “Microsoft 365 Phone System – Virtual User” product.

This tutorial has been split into the following posts;

Part 1 – Background and licencing (this post)
Part 2 – Resource accounts and auto attendant numbers
Part 3 – Creating and configurating the auto attendant

Disclaimer: Details are correct at time of publishing.


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