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NHSmail Teams Phone System Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)  

This article is intended to support NHSmail Teams Phone System Administrators to manage this service for their organisation/s.

It will detail frequently asked questions relating to the following categories:


My organisation is interested in onboarding to NHSmail Teams Phone System. How can we do this?

Local Administrators should submit a request to be onboarded to NHSmail Teams Phone System via Helpdesk Self Service (HSS). There are prerequisites to onboarding. These prerequisites are dependent on the PSTN connection strategy you will be using (either Calling Plans or Direct Routing).

For more information on the end-to-end onboarding process and the required prerequisites, please see these articles:

What connection strategies are supported for external calling on NHSmail Teams Phone System?

Currently, the NHSmail Teams Phone System capability supports both Microsoft Calling Plans and Direct Routing for external calling. Operator Connect is not supported. For more information, please see this article.

Can we choose when our organisation onboards?

The onboarding of organisations to NHSmail Teams Phone System will be done on a first-come first-served basis as there are a limited number of slots for onboarding each month.

Does NHSmail Teams Phone System support the onboarding and management of multi-organisations?

Yes. The Phone System Power App has been designed to support the completion of administrative actions for multiple ODS codes (without needing to log in with a different account).

Do we need to submit a separate onboarding request form for each organisation we wish to onboard?

No. One onboarding request is required to be submitted per ODS mapping. For example, if you will be managing Phone System for 3 organisations, you will only need to submit 1 onboarding request form within which you will need to confirm the ODS codes of the different organisations.

What is a Phone System Admin, and who can become one at my organisation?

Phone System Admins will have access to manage the service for your organisation. They will be provided with access to the Phone System Power App and will be able to complete all administrative and management tasks associated with the service (managing users, numbers, creating and assigning policies etc.)

There are two types of Phone System Administrator, Primary Phone System Administrators and Local Phone System Administrators. Anyone from your organisation can become a Phone System Administrator. For more information on the role of Phone System Administrator and the difference in permissions between Primary and Local Phone System Administrators, please see this article.

How many Phone System Administrators can our organisation have?

NHSmail Teams Phone System can be managed and administered by a maximum of 5 Phone System Admins per ODS code. These 5 can be a mixture of both Primary Phone System Administrators and Local Phone System Administrators.

How do I gain access to the Phone System Power App?

Once your organisation has been onboarded, the individuals who you have chosen to the be the designated Phone System Admins will be sent an email confirming their new role and providing a link to access the Phone System Power App for the first time. They should follow the steps outlined in the email to gain access to the Phone System Power App.

What are the licencing requirements for NHSmail Teams Phone System?

Any organisation using NHSmail Teams Phone System will need licences in place and assigned to individual users. The licences required vary depending on your PSTN connectivity option. Please review this article for full details on all required licences.

Organisation Responsibilities

What are our responsibilities when using NHSmail Teams Phone System?

Once onboarded, organisation have a range of responsibilities related to the correct use and management of the Phone System service for their organisation. Some of these responsibilities differ depending on the PSTN connectivity strategy you are using.

For a full list of organisation’s responsibilities please see this article.

Organisation mergers

My organisation will soon be merging with another organisation and will therefore have a new ODS code. How will this affect our use of Phone system and are there any actions we need to complete to ensure there is no disruption to our service?

If an NHSmail organisation onboarded to Phone system plans to go through a merger and/or acquisition process (for example, becoming part of an ICB), they will be required to recreate all existing policies and objects under their new ODS Code as per requirements and then assign these to users ahead of the merger completing.

To do this, a Local Administrator with permissions under the new ODS Code will need to assign Phone System Admin Roles under the new ODS Code to the intended Phone System Admins(either the same as under their previous ODS Code or different individuals).

Direct Routing Prerequisites

We already have a SIP provider and intend to use NHSmail Teams Phone System with Direct Routing. Which articles can support us to set up our network and SBCs?

If you need support with completing the prerequisite activities required to use Direct Routing, please see the following articles (in order):

NHSmail Teams Phone System Terms of Reference

Connectivity and Optimisation

SBC Configuration

Is there a list of Microsoft certified SBCs?

Yes. You can view the current list of certified Microsoft SBCs here: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoftteams/direct-routing-border-controllers.

Completing actions / processes via the NHSmail Teams Phone System Power App

If you are a Phone System Administrator, you may find the following FAQs and troubleshooting suggestions helpful.

Where can I find guidance to help me to complete Phone System administrative and management actions using the Power App?

There is a guidance article for each of the actions and/or processes which Teams Phone System Admins may need to complete using the Power App.

To access all these articles please go to this section of the Support Site.

The Reporting dashboards are not visible to me – what should I do?

If you have access to the Power App but upon selecting ‘View Dashboards’ the screen doesn’t load and/or is blank, you will need to contact a Local Administrator at your organisation and ask them to ensure that you have been assigned a Power BI licence.

Why can I no longer see my owning organisation's data within the Power App?

This may be because the Phone System Admin Role permissions for your organisation have changed or been updated. To resolve this issue, please remove and reassign any Phone System Admin permissions via the NHSmail Portal. It is best to do this in separate actions as completing role permission changes in a single action will cause the issue to persist.

A member of staff has left my organisation. Will they still have access to use the NHSmail Teams Phone System capability for external calling?

The NHSmail platform operates a standardised Joiner, Mover and Leaver (JML) process which is detailed on the NHSmail support site here and driven through the NHSmail portal. The NHSmail Teams Phone System service will align with these standard processes.

I have assigned a number to a user but is not assigning correctly – what is the likely problem?

It can take up to 24 hours after licence assignment for users to be assigned a number. It is recommended that organisations assign licenses to users at least 24 hours ahead of needing to assign phone numbers.

If the number assignment is failed for a Direct Routing user, you should check the user is not assigned with a Calling Plan number. A user configured with a Calling Plan number cannot be assigned with a Direct Routing number.

How do I upload numbers in the PowerApp? How do I populate the template?

You can edit the template in a text editor such as notepad, or in excel. If you have many numbers to upload you may find it easier to edit the template in excel. The format of the file must be CSV so that the upload is processed correctly.

Please ensure the numbers provided in the template are:

  • Written in E164 format (for example, +442075551099)
  • Have no spaces
  • Have no decimal or exponent format
  • Are not duplicate entries

In excel, you will need to change the format of any cells that contain a phone number. You can do this by clicking each cell the number(s) are in and then clicking ‘Format Cells…’

In the number tab, click the custom category and type ‘+############ ‘ into the ‘Type:’ box and click ‘OK’.

Your number(s) will then appear in the E164 format. Please ensure you save this file and don’t make any further changes before uploading it.

I am unable to edit a Call Queue and/or Auto Attendant policy – what is the likely cause of this?

When setting the Operator of an Auto Attendant, if the Operator type is “User”, then the user needs to be Enterprise Voice Enabled (Phone System licence + Calling Plan + phone number assigned or Phone System and Voice Routing policy for Direct Routing). If after setting the Operator, the settings of the user change and the user is no longer Enterprise Voice enabled, the Call Queue/Auto Attendant will become corrupted, and Admins will be unable to edit or update it.

To fix this, the user must become Enterprise Voice enabled again.

Same as above applies to:

  • Auto Attendants – Default Call Flow, Play Menu Options, when redirecting the call to a user
  • Auto Attendants – After Hours Call Flow, Play Menu Options, when redirecting the call to a user
  • Call Queues – Redirect to User when call times out
  • Call Queues – Redirect to User when the maximum number of calls is reached

Emergency Calling

Is Emergency Calling supported on the NHSmail Teams Phone System platform?

Emergency calling is not supported and should not be used on the NHSmail Teams Phone System platform. This is regardless of the PSTN connection option selected by the organisation (Calling Plans or Direct Routing). Organisations should have dedicated line(s) for emergency calling purposes.

Requesting support

I am a Phone System Admin and I’ve reviewed all the guidance, but I still need additional support with a problem – how do I request further support?

If you need additional support to resolve an issue you are experiencing either with the Phone System functionality or the Power App, you should in the first instance contact a Local Administrator at your organisation / your local helpdesk and seek their assistance. If required, they can raise a Phone System incident ticket for the problem via Helpdesk Self-Service.

Alternatively, you can send an email to the NHSmail Helpdesk.

Can I request Audit Logs of actions completed via the NHSmail Teams Phone System Power App?

Yes, onboarded organisations can request this information. Please go to Helpdesk Self-Service, select ‘Raise a Request’ and then choose the ‘Forensic Discovery’ option. You’ll need to select ‘Teams Phone System App Audit Logs’ from the Categorisation drop-down list and then complete and submit the form to request the logs.


Word or phrase Acronym used Definition
Session Border Controllers SBCs A dedicated hardware device or software application that governs the way phone calls are initiated, conducted, and terminated on a voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) network
Public Switched Telephone Network PSTN A telecommunications network which allows subscribers at different sites to communicate by voice
Domain Name System DNS Translates human readable domain names to machine readable IP addresses
Fully Qualified Domain Name FQDN A complete address for a website, computer, server, or similar entity that exists on the internet
Certificate Signing Request CSR A CSR is an encoded message submitted by an applicant to a Certificate Authority to get an SSL certificate
Session Initiation Protocol Provider SIP Any telecommunications company which provides SIP trunking to customers
Private Branch Exchange PBX A telephone system within an enterprise that switches calls between users on local lines, while enabling all users to share a certain number of external phone lines
Direct Routing DR A way to provide a PSTN (Public switched telephone network) connection to Microsoft Teams users so that they can make and receive external phone calls on any device using Teams
ODS code ODS A unique code created by the Organisation Data Service. This code is used to identify organisations across health and social care
Canonical Name CNAME A type of DNS record that maps an alias name to a true or canonical domain name
Last Reviewed Date 28/09/2023
Updated on 29/09/2023

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