You can now do more with Microsoft Bookings
Published Dec 17 2018 09:00 AM 114K Views
Microsoft

It’s been over 2 years since we launched Bookings and it has been an incredible journey with millions of bookings made across businesses of all types and sizes. During this time, we listened to your feedback (thanks for using UserVoice!) and learned a lot about your needs. These insights have been critical in helping us prioritize our work and our new feature investments.

 

Based on what you told us, we are improving Bookings in 4 areas – enterprise grade controls, customization, integrations, and the Bookings mobile app. Let’s take a look at what each one entails.

 

  1. Enterprise grade controls
    • Booking page for internal use only – We are adding the ability to publish booking pages that are only for an org’s internal use. With this option, which can be set on the Booking page node in Bookings Web app, users will need to authenticate with their Office 365 work or school account before they are able to access and use a booking page. This is ideal for “internal-use only” booking scenarios. Check out Customize your booking page for more details.

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      Check the box labeled “Require an Office 365 account from my organization to book” to require users authenticate before they can access a booking page.

       

    • Email notifications when employees are added as staff members – Now when a booking page owner adds an employee in your org as a staff member (as a guest, admin, or viewer) that employee will receive an email notification letting them know that their availability may be shared and that they may have been made bookable through a booking page. See Turn Microsoft Bookings On or Off for your Organization for more details.

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      When the booking page owner adds a staff member they’ll see a callout that added staff will be notified


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      Added staff member will receive an email to accept/decline being added

    • Employee opt-in requirement – Office 365 admins now have the ability to require that employees in their organization opt-in before their availability information is shared through Bookings and before they can be bookable through a booking page. When an admin chooses to make this a requirement, by clicking the appropriate toggle in the Office 365 Admin Center, employees added as staff in booking calendars will find an Approve/Reject link in the email notification they receive (which is described above). From the Admin portal go to Settings/Services & add-ins/Bookings.  See Create your staff list for more details.

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      Office 365 Admin Center controls that require an employee “opt in” to be schedulable through Bookings

    • Social sharing toggle – More control over how booking pages are shared. Admins can now control whether, or not, their users can see social sharing options inside Bookings. From the Admin portal go to Settings/Services & add-ins/Bookings. See Turn Microsoft Bookings On or Off for your Organization for more details.

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      Office 365 Admin Center controls to prevent social sharing of a booking page

    • Reporting – From the Bookings Home page, you can now download up to 120 days of Bookings data into a TSV (“tab separated value” – we chose this because most bookings will include address information which typically includes commas) file that you can open with Excel. This feature lets you use the power of Microsoft Excel to analyze your bookings from 60 days prior to the time you download the TSV to 60 days in to the future. You can learn more about it here.

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      Export your booking data from the Home page

  2. Customization
    • Email confirmation customization – You told us you wanted to be able to share specific details or instructions in the booking confirmation emails your customers receive, and now you can. You can add custom, service specific text and URLs to the email confirmation sent to anyone that books a given service through your booking page.

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      Add details to your confirmation emails

    • More control of your availability – Not all businesses are a 9-5, 5 days a week gig. Even if you are, you may only want to be bookable, for a given service, at a specific set of times. Say, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday morning from 9am to 11am for “Initial consultations” or from 9-5 but only for the first two weeks of January. So, we are adding greater control, at the service level, so you can more precisely control when your customers can book you through a booking page.

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      Create as many rules as you need

    • Custom colors for booking page – Many customers have asked for the ability to apply their specific brand colors to the booking page. This feature will let you precisely specify the primary and secondary colors applied to your page. When you check the box labelled, “Set custom color scheme for your booking page” on the Booking page node in the Bookings Web app, you’ll be able to enter specific highlight and header color values to better align your Bookings experience with your needs. Check out Customize your booking page for more details.

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      Enter three- or six-digit color codes to specify the highlight and header colors of your booking page

  3. Integrations
    • Online meeting support – Do you use Skype for Business for online meetings and want to use Skype for your bookings? We are adding Skype for Business support to Bookings and will follow that up with support for Teams meetings, early next year. This will let you easily turn your bookings into online meetings.

  4.  Bookings mobile app
    • ”View only” mode – Now, anyone added to a booking calendar as viewer who has a Bookings license can download and use the Bookings mobile app (App store and Google Play) to see theirs and their colleagues’ schedules, the bookings’ details, and business information. This access does not provide the ability to change or edit anything, or access to the customer list. Check out Bookings mobile app for more info.

    •  Support for iPad – We now support iPad and landscape view, so if you use your iPad as your point-of-sale system OR mainly use it in landscape view, Bookings rotates, as expected, and gives you a much better user experience.

 

We hope these features help you better manage your bookings. We are rolling them out in various stages over the next few months for Targeted Release customers and will GA shortly after that. If you are a Business Premium customer, a Microsoft 365 Business customer, or have an education (EDU) paid license (A3 or A5), Bookings is on-by-default for your organization and users can start creating booking pages. If you are an enterprise customer with an E3, E5, or Microsoft 365 Enterprise, Bookings must be enabled by the organization’s admin and assign licenses per user. You can learn how to do this in the Get access to Microsoft Bookings support article here.

 

Please, keep giving us feedback in our UserVoice channel because this helps prioritize our work with what you need in Bookings. 

 

Thanks!

 

Gabriel on behalf of the Bookings team

 

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