Integrating Microsoft Teams with Pexip Infinity
Pexip Infinity provides any-to-any video interoperability with Microsoft Teams.
It enables any video conferencing system to join Microsoft Teams meetings and allows authenticated systems to join as trusted participants without additional user interaction (i.e. lobby by-pass)
- H.323 & SIP room-based videoconferencing systems, including Cisco, Polycom, LifeSize, and others
- Browser-based video (WebRTC / RTMP)
Third-party systems can connect to Teams meetings via the Pexip Distributed Gateway either via a Virtual Reception (IVR) or by dialing the conference directly.
The key features of a Microsoft Teams integration are:
- Native VTC network resiliency
- Bi-directional content sharing between VTCs and Microsoft Teams via Video Based Screen Sharing (VbSS)
- Native scheduling via Outlook and Microsoft Teams client
- No need for Click to Run version (C2R) of Office 2016
- Full lobby and roster list control in the Teams client
Note that Microsoft Teams is inherently a dial-in service i.e. you can only dial from a third-party video system into Teams. You cannot dial out from Teams to a SIP, H.323 device etc — instead, you have to send the relevant joining instructions/invitation to the user of that device.
Pexip Infinity works simultaneously with both Microsoft Teams and Skype for Business. This means that users can be enabled to use both platforms and they can be migrated from one platform to the other at your own pace. Interoperability into either platform is handled by the same single Pexip Infinity installation, and the same Conferencing Nodes.
For example you could provide a dial-in lobby address of:
- firstname.lastname@example.org for interoperability into Skype for Business meetings
- email@example.com for interoperability into Teams meetings
and then in each case the user would be directed to the appropriate Pexip Virtual Reception and would enter the appropriate meeting ID for the relevant Microsoft meeting platform.
Microsoft Teams supports some level of interoperability with Skype for Business. This includes the ability to do a point-to-point voice and video call between Microsoft Teams and Skype for Business (depending on SfB/Teams setup, see https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoftteams/teams-and-skypeforbusiness-coexistence-and-interoperability#native-interop-experiences).
As Pexip supports native Skype for Business federation, it is technically possible to place a call between a Teams client (if the tenant is set up in a supported mode for SfB federation) and Pexip. However due to the limitations of this interoperability, in particular the lack of support for screen sharing / app sharing between Microsoft Teams and Skype for Business, this is not a use case that Pexip recommends or provides support for.
The certified interoperability for Microsoft Teams is for a Teams meeting to be scheduled (by an organization enabled for Pexip interoperability), and non-Teams compatible systems to dial in to the Teams meeting (see user experience below). This type of integration allows dual stream content sharing.
This section explains how you can deploy the Pexip Teams Connector and the Pexip Infinity platform.
The Pexip Teams Connector must be deployed in Microsoft Azure. The Teams Connector handles all Teams communications and meeting requests from the Pexip Infinity platform and passes them on to the Microsoft Teams environment.
The dedicated Pexip application ensures control and ownership for organizations with stringent regulatory compliance requirements.
The Pexip Infinity platform can be deployed in any of its supported environments such as on-premises or in a public or hybrid cloud (which would typically be Microsoft Azure when integrating with Microsoft Teams).
The only requirements are that:
- You have one or more publicly-reachable Conferencing Nodes (either Proxying Edge Nodes or Transcoding Conferencing Nodes).
- Those Conferencing Nodes have certificates installed that have been signed by an external certificate authority (CA).
Pexip Infinity has a close integration with Microsoft Teams and uses Teams APIs and Microsoft SDKs to provide Infinity's interoperability features. Even though Pexip strives to maintain backwards compatibility between older versions of Pexip Infinity and the latest release of Microsoft Teams, to ensure compatibility with the latest updates to Teams we recommend that you aim to keep your Pexip Infinity deployment up-to-date with the latest Pexip Infinity software release. If, for example, you have a large Pexip deployment for non-Teams related services, and you have stringent upgrade procedures meaning that you do not always keep your Infinity software up-to-date with the latest release, you may want to consider deploying a second instance of the Pexip Infinity platform that is dedicated to your Teams interoperability requirements, and which can be managed separately and upgraded more frequently.
See Pexip Infinity installation guidelines for complete information about all of the platforms into which you can deploy the Pexip Infinity platform, and Configuring Pexip Infinity as a Microsoft Teams gateway for specific instructions about how to integrate Pexip Infinity with the Teams Connector.
The Pexip Infinity platform can be deployed on-premises with public-facing Conferencing Nodes used to connect to the Pexip Teams Connector in Azure. In this example deployment, external endpoints and federated systems, as well as on-premises devices can all connect to Teams conferences via the Pexip DMZ nodes.
The Pexip Infinity platform can be deployed in a dedicated public or hybrid cloud. You could use any supported cloud service but you would typically deploy your Conferencing Nodes in Microsoft Azure alongside your Pexip Teams Connector. In this example deployment, external endpoints and federated systems, as well as on-premises devices can all connect to Teams conferences via the cloud-hosted Pexip Infinity nodes.
You run the Pexip platform from within your own cloud subscription, which means you have full control of your dedicated environment and network configuration.
If you have a third-party call control system that you want to retain, that can also be configured to connect your on-premises systems to the cloud-hosted Pexip Infinity platform, as shown below:
All VTC-based participants (SIP and H.323 devices) can either access the Teams conference via a customizable Virtual Reception service which prompts them to enter the Meeting ID of the conference they want to join, or they may also be able to dial an address that takes them directly into a specific conference. Other software-based clients such as Skype for Business or Pexip's own Infinity Connect clients can also join via direct dial or via a Virtual Reception.
Pexip Infinity’s deployment model allows the use of a customer-specific domain such as firstname.lastname@example.org for dialing the Teams Virtual Reception.
Alternative VTC dialing instructions can be provided that are customized to the company network and workflow such as:
Participants using a Teams client join a Teams meeting as usual, and any gatewayed third-party participants can be seen and heard in the same way as any other directly-connected Teams clients in that meeting. Authenticated, trusted VTCs that are located within the organization can join the conference directly, without any additional user interaction, whereas unauthenticated, untrusted external VTCs are admitted via the Teams lobby.
If a Microsoft Teams conference is recorded, audio prompts indicating that recording has been started/stopped are played to callers who are gatewayed via Pexip Infinity into the conference, and a recording indicator is displayed.
You can use Pexip Infinity as an external RTMP encoder for your Teams live events, which means that you can stream video, audio and presentation content from your videoconferencing meeting room systems directly into the event.
See Using Pexip Infinity to stream from VTC systems into Microsoft Teams live events for more information.