Launched at Ignite in 2020, Azure Communication Services (ACS) is built on top of Teams’ chat and telephony features. It delivers a set of managed communications APIs much like those offered by Twilio and is a quick way of using familiar REST calls to extend your code into new channels. The initial set of features included voice and video chat, as well as SMS and a text chat service.
Although much of the tool is clearly aimed at customer service, both in-app and on the web, adding one-to-one and one-to-many communications to applications can help bring an expert into the loop in field service tools, or direct users to machine learning–driven chatbots using Azure’s natural language processing services. With Teams’ pandemic-tested infrastructure behind its APIs, even though the service is new and still adding features, it’s proven scalable and capable of supporting large consumer-facing applications as well as internal communications.