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Room Scheduling and Microsoft Power Automate

GrahamWalsh

Whilst I was out at Microsoft Ignite and working on the Crestron booth, of course, seeing the Room Scheduling panels and how simple they are to connect directly to Microsoft Exchange and have a simple way of reserving a meeting room there and then. It then got me thinking, wouldn’t it be great that once you are in the meeting room, the Microsoft Teams Room (MRT) system has a Join button when you get to the console. So I remembered I did some testing a while back with Microsoft Flow, which got a new identity at Microsoft Ignite 2019 and is now known as Microsoft Power Automate.

I also previously used a Microsoft Exchange Transport Rules to modify email messages, that could be another possible way too. I’ll research that another time.

Whilst I was in the boarding queue at the airport, I headed into https://flow.microsoft.com and realised the Skype for Business feature was there still. Bingo!! Fast forward 12 hours and I’m home now and had to test out my experiment.

Creating the Power Automate

So first off, log into Flow and search for “schedule meeting” as you can see below

Creating a Flow
Confirm the Flow features

Now just populate a few details in the form. Whenever a user books an ad-hoc meeting from the Room Panel, it will have the name of “Walk up meeting”, so you can use that to ensure the works with these meetings. If I user decided to call the subject of their meeting the same thing, then it would create them a Skype Meeting.

Setting the Flow variables

You can check your flow to ensure there are no errors and we can now test it out.

Booking the Meeting with the Room Scheduling Panel

When the Room Panel is idle, it looks like this. Panels can be customised, so the background and logo could different, etc.

Idle screen of room booking panel

Now we touch the screen to wake it up and then press the + icon in the middle. You would see other meetings in the day if the room was busy. My home office is quite quiet today.

Room Booking view

We can now reserve a meeting. Depending on the policy defined, you might have set blocks of 30 minutes or up to every 30 minutes, etc. The panel is quite configurable.

Reserving the room

The Room Panel is now scheduling the meeting into the Exchange Room Resource mailbox.

Room booking in progress

This is what happens on the Exchange Calendar side. A simple entry, blocking the room out.

Calendar view of the booking in Outlook

Now the Room Panel shows that the room has been booked out until the top of the hour. All is good from here.

Room Reserved

Microsoft Teams Room Console and Meeting

Once you are in the room, you have a few options. You can create a Meet Now in your Teams or Skype client and then bring the room into the meeting with say Proximity Join or by searching for the room and adding it in. However, that’s no fun!!! Below is what the MTR console shows when the Walk up meeting is sent to the panel. There is the meeting Title and who booked it (the Resource Account). When we press the … we can see that it is not a Teams or Skype Meeting.

MTR with a Room Booking
Meeting Invite sent to MTR Console
No online meeting for booking

I now introduce you to Power Automate. It will then look to see that a meeting was created and update the meeting invite. If we look in Outlook for the room calendar, we can see the invite now look like this.

Outlook invite updated with a Skype Meeting based on Flow settings

On the MTR console, we now see a Join button

MTR Console now has a Join Button

I simply just press the Join button and I’m in the meeting.

MTR in the Skype for Business Lobby

And that is it. A nice and simple way to automate a meeting and make it a Skype meeting. I just need to work out the same with a Teams Meeting.

Feel free to ask any questions below.

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