Later this month, Microsoft will begin updating their Bookings app. According to Microsoft, this move comes as a response to a large number of customer concerns about a “lack of parity” for the app when accessed across multiple Microsoft 365 entry points (i.e., the Web, Teams, Outlook). Because of this reportedly inconsistent experience, they are evolving the app to provide consistency with the web version. Additionally, they will be looping in the new Virtual Appointments app to provide additional features. With these changes, users can have a unified Bookings app experience across all entry points.
An app within the app
Certain features like Forms, Queuing & scheduler-initiated SMS text reminders for appointments will now only be available within the Virtual Appointments app, which becomes a superset of the Bookings app. Virtual Appointments will include a meeting solution that uses Bookings as its scheduling engine. This will create a seamless end-to-end experience that lets users easily manage customer appointments, integrating schedules, analytics, and management options. It will also include advanced meetings features such as
- a real time meeting state update
- the ability to chat with attendees in the waiting room lobby via Queue view
- rich analytics to shows virtual appointment usage trends (e.g., no-shows)
Rollout of this updated and integrated Bookings and Virtual Appointments experience is expected to begin in late June and be complete by early July.
How this will affect your organization
After the rollout, the Bookings app in Teams will resemble the web version. One note: Users using Queue tab, Forms integration and SMS reminders for scheduler-initiated scheduling from the Teams version of Bookings will need to transition to the Virtual Appointments app to access these features. The Bookings app in Teams will provide a banner that informs users of this change, and guides them over to Virtual Appointments.