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Posted by on Feb 4, 2019 in Development, Microsoft Teams | 0 comments

Creating a Microsoft Teams IVR Bot – a 5 part series

Creating a Microsoft Teams IVR Bot – a 5 part series

The Microsoft Graph Communications API (sometimes/previously called the Calls and Meetings API) is a new API for Microsoft Teams, announced at Ignite 2018 and currently in Preview. It enables developers to build bots which have audio and video capabilities, unlocking some of the things which haven’t previously been possible.

One of those things is the ability to build  IVRs. Interactive Voice Response bots typically make or receive audio calls, provide information to users via automated voice and let users interact with them, often via DTMF tones (keypad tones). They’re common in customer service industries but are equally useful for information lookup, simple feedback/command scenarios.

With the Graph Communications API it’s now possible to build simple audio IVR bot which users can access in Microsoft Teams. Here’s an example to show you what I mean (watch with sound otherwise it’ll be a very boring video):

Building a bot like this isn’t hugely complicated, thanks to the abstraction that the Communications API provides, and sample code provided by Microsoft.

In 5 blog posts, (well, 4 plus this one) I’m going to show you how you can build your own IVR bot in Microsoft Teams! We’re going to cover:

Part 1 – Registration & Security

Part 2 – The Sample Code

Part 3 – The Teams App

Part 4 – Debugging when things go wrong

Each blog post in the series will have a link back to this page, and the titles above will be updated as the posts go live (I’m still finishing them off!)

 

When we’re done, you’ll have your own IVR bots which your Teams users can call. From there you can alter the sample code to make it useful to your organisation. There are many different applications: order number lookup, approving holiday requests, finding out who is on-call or on holiday. This bot works just as well when called from the Teams mobile client, opening up information locked in legacy applications and other silos to remote and traveling workers.

Bringing and exposing key information in Teams makes users more productive and enables them to do more, every day. Hopefully, you’ll find this information useful in building out your own IVR bots for the users in your organisation.

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