Commentary | June 13, 2021

New! DoD365 Teams now has phone conference lines available!

Great news – Phone bridge is now available in DoD365 Teams! 

"Thanks to the steadfast efforts from the C5I Service Center and Unified Capabilities Product Line, I am pleased to report that the integrated phone bridge capability is ready to go live in DoD365 Teams far sooner than anticipated!,” said Rear Adm. David Dermanelian, Assistant Commandant for C4IT (CG-6).  

Employees have been bracing themselves for June 15, when CVR is decommissioned. Before today’s announcement, external stakeholders would have been excluded from DoD365 meetings for at least a few weeks. Phone Bridge was originally anticipated to roll out later this summer, with video and online collaboration sometime in the future. 

The sped-up timeline will make it easier for everyone to transition D365 Teams, since external participants will now be able to participate – at least by phone. Phone bridge will also make it easier to join Teams meetings if you aren’t at your desktop. (A mobile version of DoD365 Teams won’t be available for some time.) 

The phone capability will work almost identically to phone bridge in CVR Teams, but there are some changes you’ll need to know about. 

How to get started

  • You will automatically get phone bridge capabilities in the next day or two. (In CVR, you had to request access.) 
  • Once enabled, your phone bridge information will appear in all your new Teams meeting invites. (For already-scheduled meetings, you’ll need to update them. The most effective way to do this is to delete and re-send new invites if you want to include the phone number.) 
  • To create/reset a Leader PIN, visit https://cglink.uscg.mil/365-PIN. Your PIN will let you initiate meetings by phone if you aren’t at your desk. (Save your PIN for future reference, since it won't be emailed to you.) 

Need video too? Here are a few workarounds

DoD and Microsoft are working on engineering solutions to allow external stakeholders to more fully participate in DoD365 teams – including video conferencing and virtual collaboration. 

For now, here’s a potential workaround: USCG members should be able to join a Teams meeting hosted by external stakeholders with an enterprise account, e.g. non-personal, and the stakeholder's polices allow it.  You should be able to access their Teams link via web browser on the CGOne network. 

Please note this solution may not give you the full “Teams” experience as some collaboration features may be limited. But this workaround provides a temporary solution until DoD adds video/collaboration capabilities for external stakeholders. 

More tools coming soon!

“Although this is exciting news and takes the sting out of the CVR Band-Aid being pulled off on June 15, I recognize it does not completely fill the CVR void,” Dermanelian said. “Future implementation of enhanced collaboration features, such as external VTC, within the DoD365 Teams environment remains my priority.” 

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