In June 2022, Zoom introduced the Direct guest Join (DGJ) into Microsoft Teams. This allows you to join a Microsoft Teams meeting straight from the Zoom Room on an Android appliance. This does not need any other licenses or cables. Just forward the meeting to the room account and then click Join Meeting.
The method of connecting into the meeting is different from the regular Zoom meeting, as it results in different (less) functionality. The most visible differences are:
- You can’t share content into the meeting via HDMI cable. Only the video participants are sent.
- Dual screen is not supported. If you have a dual or triple screen endpoint, then you will see 2 or 3 times the same view.
As stated, joining the meeting can be done by simply pressing the ‘Join now’ button on the screen or controller. This method though heavily depends on the correct meeting information in the invite.
As this meeting information for a Microsoft Teams meeting is stored in the invisible part of the invite (message header), it is easy for this to get lost or altered during the forwarding of the invitation, or when the invite is transferred from one calendaring system to the other. Users may also have mail filtering rules in the background inspecting URLs in meeting invites.
How to check if the Direct Guest Join is working?
The basic test for DGJ is to schedule a Microsoft Teams Meeting in the Microsoft Teams client and send the invitation to the meeting room email address. Important here is that the user sending the invitation, and the invited room email address are in the same Microsoft Tenant.
If this results in a Join button, and the meeting is working, then you are sure the Zoom DGJ to Microsoft Teams is working.
What about invites from outside my company?
The next step is to have an invitation sent from a Microsoft Teams client of a user from outside your company, and let them send the invitation directly (without forwarding it) to the email address of the meeting room.
This might need some mailbox settings to change in Microsoft Exchange/Exchange Online, such as:
- Auto accept external invitations
- When the resource of the mailbox is in Microsoft, then ‘ProcessExternalMeetingMessages’ is an important one to set. Best to set this one to ’$true’. More info can be found here: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoftteams/rooms/third-party-join#step-1-allow-calendar-invite-processing-for-third-party-meetings
Once the external meeting invites work this way, you are sure the external meetings can be processed and are working.
What if my users forward a calendar invitation to the room calendar?
Forwarding meeting invitations is a potential point of failure, as the body of the email might be altered and the crucial information for the Microsoft Teams Meeting is lost.
Make sure that the calendar system of the user is not deleting the body of the calendar invite or an email URL redirector, and is changing the join link. In the Microsoft Exchange settings, make sure attribute DeleteComments is set to $false for the resource mailbox.
Last trick to allow for back-to-back meetings
When the mailbox checks for availability before accepting a meeting, it will add some time around the meeting invite, this will cause back-to-back meetings to fail. You might want to allow for duplicate meetings to exist. If this property is set to ‘on’, then back-to-back meetings are possible. To enable this in the Microsoft Exchange settings, set the attribute AllowConflicts to $true for the resource mailbox.
For more information, visit this Zoom webpage.