Microsoft Teams Adds an Emergency Call Alert

The feature rolled out in April, and should now be available worldwide on both desktop and Mac platforms.
Adam Rowe

Microsoft has added yet another feature to its Teams web conferencing platform: Admins are now able to create custom banners to let their team members know if an emergency call is incoming.

It can be easy to miss notifications when knee-deep in a project, and many workers actively try to avoid disruptions.

But any emergency case must be dealt with immediately, and that requires a notification that can cut through the noise. Here's what to expect from Microsoft Teams' new function.

Emergency Banners

With the new update, issued this month and currently available, Teams admins can create “disclaimer banners,” which they can customize to match the emergency call in question.

The banners will appear in the Calls app, and users will be able to acknowledge that they've seen the message by clicking the banner itself.

The feature rolled out across April, and should now be available worldwide on both desktop and Mac platforms. So, if you don't spot it, update your Teams software now.

The update joins a long list of new features and functions that Microsoft Teams has been steadily delivering for years — most recently, Teams users received the ability to cast their device to Microsoft Teams Room devices for faster responses to impromptu meetings, an ability that can come in handy for those emergency calls they'll now be able to receive.

Other new tools include connecting personal and work accounts, Firefox compatibility, and the ability to view the local time on any given Teams user's profile.

Is Microsoft Teams for You?

Our Tech.co testers have checked and doublechecked all the top web conferencing and team collaboration softwares on the market, from Google Meet to the well-known Zoom.

In 2022, conferencing and collaboration are more important services than ever, as hybrid workforces need to stay connected in order to deliver the best possible work.

Microsoft Teams has plenty of features, good security, and seamless connection with the Microsoft suite of business software, making it the best fit for businesses that love Microsoft. The platform's ease of use isn't quite as great, though.

Web Conferencing Options

If you're keeping your options open, other platforms might be for you as well — we've ranked the top solutions over here.

Google Meet‘s accessibility features help it stand out, although Microsoft Teams just added the live captioning function that once set Google Meet apart. Plus, Zoom has a feature-heavy free plan for the budget conscious.

You can check out all the pros and cons to consider with the table below.

0 out of 0
Price from
The lowest starting price for a paid plan. The lowest price available for your business will depend on your needs.
Best for
Free plan
Audio-Conferencing
Pros
Cons

Zoho Meeting

GoToMeeting

Zoom

RingCentral

Webex

Google Meet

Microsoft Teams

Lifesize

BlueJeans

$14.99/month

$14.99/month

$8/month

$4/month

$12.95/month

$12-$16/month

Zoho users

Overall conference calling

Beginners

Longer meetings

Larger businesses

Google users

Microsoft users

Users that need hardware

Users that need customer support

Yes (paid plan) – VoIP, Phone & Toll-Free

Yes – VoIP, Phone & Toll-Free

Yes – Add-on audio plan allows you to add Call Out, global Toll-free & local dial-in for premium countries

Yes – Companies get a single audio conferencing bridge dial-in phone number for easy universal access.

Yes – Audio-only calls can be created when a host generates an Audio pin

Yes – Just call the number listed on the meeting invite, or join via the link and turn off your camera

Yes – but only in selected countries, and each user dialing into meetings will need an audio-conferencing license.

Yes – in a meeting contact card, users can tap the phone number under Details to call using their default phone or voice app

Yes – Easy access to audio conferencing is provided via a traditional PSTN number

  • No time limit on free plan
  •  Browser functionality
  •  SSL/128-bit AES encryption
  • High quality audio and video
  • Very reliable and secure
  • Lower cost than competitors
  • Easy to use
  • Feature-rich free version available
  • Intuitive interface
  • Lots of customizability
  • Can also be used for Glip
  • Feature-rich software
  • High quality audio and video
  • Easy setup
  • Google Calendar compatibility
  • Saves chat logs
  • Easy integration with Google apps
  • Completely free
  • 300 participants
  • Integrates with Microsoft 365
  • 1080p video and HD audio,
  • Integrates with third-party apps
  • Good value
  • Amazing sound quality
  • Lots of features
  • Many software integrations
  • Recording costs extra
  • Weak free plan
  • Poor audio quality
  • 24-hour meeting limit expires in July 2021
  • Occasional bandwidth issues
  • Spotty connectivity
  • No gallery view for guests
  • Steep learning curve
  • Unsophisticated chat function
  • Connectivity issues without update
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Adam is a writer at Tech.co and has worked as a tech writer, blogger and copy editor for more than a decade. He's also a Forbes Contributor on the publishing industry, for which he was named a Digital Book World 2018 award finalist. His work has appeared in publications including Popular Mechanics and IDG Connect, and he has an art history book on 1970s sci-fi coming out from Abrams Books in 2022. In the meantime, he's hunting own the latest news on VPNs, POS systems, and the future of tech.

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