Need API that grants us the ability to change an individual's display name before joining a Teams meeting using the Teams app

Christina Call 0 Reputation points
2023-10-13T17:54:18.1733333+00:00

Background Information: Our plug-in app in Microsoft Teams allows our video relay service (VRS) consumers and video remote interpreting (VRI) customers to invite an ASL interpreter to their Teams meeting on-demand.

The Blocker: Our company utilizes Microsoft Teams as our workplace communication platform. Consequently, all our call agents (interpreters) have their real names stored in the system. The call agent's name is disclosed to the customer or consumer when they receive a VRS or VRI call through our platform initiated by the Teams plug-in app. The call agent facilitates the conversation for the consumer or customer using American Sign Language, complemented by spoken English or Spanish. This practice constitutes a violation of their right to privacy.

Here is what we need: We need the capability to modify/edit the names of our call agents (ASL interpreters) before they join the Teams meeting they were invited to (initiated by a customer using the plug-in app) through the Teams app. Consequently, when they accept a Teams call through our special interpreter platform, they would join as 'John Doe' instead of 'ASL Interpreter 12345'. For that, we are unable to launch our solution for the VRS community to use. Other video conferencing solution providers allow for an API that enables our engineering team to pre-name the interpreters' display name whenever they join a meeting that was requested by our customers through their plug-in/our web app.

Here is what we've tried:

We attempted to have our call agents answer VRI or VRS calls through the browser version of the Teams app. This approach was the only way for call agents to rename themselves before joining the call. However, this method involves more than 11 steps, and there's a high likelihood of them making mistakes that would lead them to use the Teams app instead. Additionally, the browser version lacks critical accessibility features that interpreters require for success with their customers/consumers, such as the pop-out functionality, pinning Deaf/Hard of Hearing users while still being able to clearly view shared content, default video view for nine participants instead of four, and more. We need to allow our interpreters to utilize the Teams app to answer their VRS/VRI calls so they can benefit from all the accessibility features the Teams app has to offer. This will allow for an optimal experience for both the customer and the interpreter.

We had hoped that Microsoft’s new anonymous-related features would resolve the issue. However, we found that we couldn't use this upcoming feature because the name change can only be done after joining the meeting, which defeats the purpose of protecting the call agent (interpreter)'s privacy. Furthermore, being anonymous would prevent our call agent from joining the meeting altogether.

We attempted to have our interpreters use the PWA Teams app for their work meetings while instructing them to log out of their Teams app whenever they accept VRI/VRS calls from customers. However, when they answer an interpreter request for a Teams meeting this way, the Teams app behaves similarly to the PWA. Because of this, interpreters cannot access the accessibility features required to ensure the success of the call. Juggling between two apps was incredibly challenging for them as well.

We even considered the option of providing our interpreters with two separate Microsoft Teams accounts. One account would be designated for their work meetings/chats by utilizing the PWA. The second account would be used with their display name 'ASL Interpreter #3111' via the Teams app. However, this solution proved to be excessively costly, given the large number of interpreters (thousands) we have. Moreover, it didn't work out because, during their work meetings, joining defaulted to the Teams app, displaying them as 'ASL Interpreter #3111' instead of their actual names when they needed their actual name to show.

We really need to be able to modify our interpreter's display name whenever they accept an interpreter request placed by customers through the plug-in while having the interpreters use the Teams app for a full accessibility experience.

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  1. SaiPratap-MSFT 0 Reputation points Microsoft Vendor
    2023-10-17T04:59:13.81+00:00

    @Christina Call - Currently modifying a user's display name programmatically before user join a meeting is not feasible using existing APIs or SDKs.

    Thanks, 

    Sai Pratap Dannana

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