M365 Changelog: (Updated) Updating the Bookings app to the Virtual Appointments app

MC560731 – Updated July 12, 2023: Microsoft has updated the content below with additional information. Thank you for your patience.

Bookings is supported across multiple entry points spanning Web, Teams and Outlook, however there is lack of parity in the feature set across these entry points leading to an inconsistent user experience. This fragmented experience has resulted in high DSAT for customers that has provided feedback to Microsoft to unify and provide feature parity in Bookings across all entry points.  

The Bookings experience in Teams will soon be updated to match the web version on https://book.ms, ensuring consistent features across all endpoints. However, certain features like Forms, Queuing & scheduler-initiated SMS reminders for appointments will be available only on the new Virtual Appointments app on Teams.

With the Virtual Appointments app, Microsoft is introducing an end-to-end B2C meetings solution that leverages Bookings as the scheduling engine and includes advanced meetings features such as real time meeting state update, chat with attendees in waiting room lobby via Queue view, rich analytics to shows virtual appointment usage trends to drive business outcomes such as no-shows. 

With this change, the updated Bookings Teams app will have feature parity and consistent user experience as Bookings web app. Virtual Appointments app will be a superset of the current Bookings Teams app experience embedded within the new app and will include advanced virtual appointments features. 

This feature is associated with Microsoft Roadmap ID 120420

When this will happen:

Rollout will begin in mid-July (previously late June) and is expected to be complete by late July (previously early July). 

How this will affect your organization:

Users using Queue tab, Forms integration and SMS reminders for scheduler-initiated scheduling from Bookings Teams app will no longer be available in the new and updated Bookings app in Teams. Microsoft recommends transitioning these users to Virtual appointments app which will be a superset of the current Bookings Teams app experience.

Users will also see a banner on the Bookings Teams app to inform and guide them to Virtual appointments app.

Users of Bookings app in Teams will see an updated user experience that will match the Bookings web version:

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What you need to do to prepare: 

  1. Inform current Bookings Team app users of the upcoming update in user experience. Users can leverage Bookings documentation found here: Microsoft Bookings | Microsoft Learn
  2. Prepare users using Queue, Scheduler initiated SMS notifications & Forms integration feature to transition to Virtual Appointments App(VA App), the current experience in Bookings Teams app is available, embedded within the VA app.
  3. Booking calendars & Appointments created in Bookings Teams app will continue to be available in VA app.
  4. Add VA App to your Teams rail to help users find the app with ease.
  5. Communicate to users how to utilize the full benefits of the VA App: Use the Virtual Appointments app in Microsoft Teams – Microsoft 365 for frontline workers | Microsoft Learn
  6. Users after transitioning to VA app will be ble to leverage existing Bookings Teams app functionality in Schedule and Queue tabs (no additional training needed) .
  7. Home page for quick links to key functions: users can create new calendars, quick-view summary of appointments for the day, go to management settings, quick-view of analytics
  8. Deep analytics views for business insights and value: users can select reports to analyze trends to draw business insights and investments areas. 

Additional information