What is a resource account?
A resource account is a special type of account created in your Microsoft Office 365 tenant as a disabled object and is used to represent items such as meeting rooms or equipment. This means that the account has limitations and cannot be logged in like a standard user account.
Why is this needed?
In Microsoft Teams, auto attendants need at least 1 assigned resource account to enable the service.
How do I create a resource account?
A resource account can be created directly from the Microsoft Teams admin centre (https://admin.teams.microsoft.com). From the admin centre, click “Org-wide settings” > “Resource accounts” > “Add” to create a new resource account. Give the account a display name, username (ensure you use the correct domain name if your tenant has more than 1 assigned) and select “Auto attendant” as the “Resource account type”.In this tutorial, we have named our account “Reception” and have provisioned the display name as the same.
Assigning the licence
Once confirmed, a “Microsoft 365 Phone System – Virtual User” licence can be assigned to the resource account just created.From the Microsoft 365 admin centre (https://admin.microsoft.com), select “Users” > “Active users” and select the account “Reception” created earlier. Add the new “Microsoft 365 Phone System – Virtual User” licence to the account and click “Save changes”.
Generating auto attendant numbers
You’ll need a number for people to call, if you have an existing company number this can be transferred or “Ported” but for the purposes of this tutorial a new number is requested from the Teams admin centre > “Voice” > “Phone numbers” > “Add”. More information on transferring existing numbers can be found in the Microsoft article “Transfer phone numbers to Microsoft Teams”.
In the screenshot below, we have requested a new “0203” prefixed number based on the location of “London, United Kingdom”. The type of number has been requested as “Auto attendant (Toll)” which means the person calling pays for the call. Should you wish a “Toll Free” or freephone number, you would need to buy what Microsoft refer to as “Communication Credits” so that your company pays for the incoming call.
You’ll also need to provide a name and description for the requested number, make sure this is meaningful to you. For more information on Communication Credits, see the Microsoft Article “Set up Communication Credits for your organization”. After clicking “Next” you’ll be shown the assigned number and will have 10 minutes to complete the order.
The confirmation screen confirms that the order has been placed and you can finish the process or request additional numbers.
This tutorial has been split into the following posts;
Part 1 – Background and licencing
Part 2 – Resource accounts and auto attendant numbers (this post)
Part 3 – Creating and configurating the auto attendant
Disclaimer: Details are correct at time of publishing.