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Telephony function: audio/video/screensharing

Some topics are better discussed in person than via text. For this purpose, Stackfield provides you with the telephony function including audio, video, and screen transmission.

Note: The telephony features may be unavailable or limited due to your booked plan, organization settings, role on organization level and/or technical requirements.

Prerequisites and Basics

Note: You can use the telephony in the browser and in the desktop app, as well as to a limited extent in the mobile app.

What covers telephony?

On Stackfield you can have calls with only one person or with several people. You can choose between different connection types:

  • Audio calls (phone receiver icon): You will only be able to hear other users, not see them.
  • Video calls (camera icon): You can hear and see other users.
  • Screen sharing (screen icon): You can share your screen with other users. This function can only be used by one person at a time.

How to switch between the different connection types during a call is explained here.

Who can use the telephony and where?

Basics:


1:1 telephony (included in all plans):
Telephony between two communication partners is performed via the private chats in the Direct Messages and is available for all plans. Only users with the role Admin / Member / Guest from your organization can use the Direct Messages and thus 1:1 telephony.

=> 1:1 telephony guide


Conferences (Premium / Enterprise*):
"Conferences" refer to telephony via group chats in the Direct Messages, via events in the room and via the sidebar. Here, all people (two or more communication partners), i.e. including users with the role External, people without access to the event of the room / group chat or completely without a Stackfield account can be added via a conference link.

Who can do what?

  • Activating the telephony function (create / delete link): members of the room (be careful with individual right groups) / group chat with the role Admin / Member / Guest
  • Starting a conference: Participants of the event / members of the group chat / admins or members via the sidebar
  • Participating in an already started conference: All people with access to the conference link (Tip: For the role External, share the event)

=> Guide to conferences via group chats / events / sidebar

*You need a premium upgrade (scope of functions) or are interested in telephony extensions? Please contact our support!

(Technical) requirements

Having trouble using the telephony feature?
You can find help under "Telephony function: problems + solutions".

  • There has to exist a device with an internet connection, microphone, and loudspeaker on all sides of the communication partners.
  • In addition, a camera is required for video transmission. The quality of the transmission is largely determined by the available bandwidth of the internet connection, the lighting conditions in the room, and the camera in use.
  • Conference calls between multiple participants are possible for groups of up to 10 people. If a group chat or event contains more than 10 members or (in the case of an event) no participants at all, no conference can be started.
  • All users who should participate or want to participate in the call from Stackfield must be online in the platform (indicated by a green or red dot* next to the respective profile picture). If the status is not directly visible (e.g. in an event), click on the person's profile picture (e.g. in the participant list of the event) to view the status.

Online User
This user is online

*A red dot in the profile shows that a user has paused all notifications. Since the user is still online, they can still receive calls. A gray dot in the profile indicates that the user is currently offline.

Preset for microphone and camera

When using the Stackfield desktop app, we recommend setting a camera and a microphone as default in the user settings. This way you will be able to handle future phone calls as fast and simple as possible.*

Open the settings of your user account and scroll down to the bottom of the Profile tab. In the section "Default media device" you can now select your default microphone and your default camera.

Store standard microphone and camera in user account
Store default devices in your user account

Note: In case Stackfield does not recognize or "find" your device, you can find some help here.

*Even during the call you can change your microphone or camera at any time (see: Further functions).

If Stackfield is used in the browser, a prompt will usually appear asking for permission to use the camera and the microphone.

Starting a call via the Direct Messages

1. Open the chat with the person(s) you want to contact.

2. Start the telephony: In the upper right corner, you will find the telephony icons of the different connection types. Select the desired transmission here. You can also switch between the connection types later.
(Note for 1:1 telephony: The icons are only displayed if the private chat has been started, i.e. if a conversation has already taken place).

Telephony functions in the Direct Messages
Telephony functions in the Direct Messages

If you start a screen sharing, a window opens in which you can select the preferred screen section.

3. Call participants: Once you have selected one of the connection types, a window opens (see: Minimized view) in which the connection setup is displayed. If the person you're calling is already in another call, a note below their name saying "Busy" will appear (only for 1:1 calls) now.

The call recipient cannot be reached
The call recipient cannot be reached at the moment

The connection window will also appear on the screen of your call recipient(s), allowing them to accept or reject the call (icon: red phone receiver). It is possible to connect oneself via audio (symbol: green phone receiver) or video transmission (symbol: camera).

Connection setup window
Incoming call

Note: With 1:1 telephony, the screen locks while the connection is being established. As soon as the call starts, it is unlocked again allowing all parties to continue working as usual, even during the call.

4. Status of the call: The call starts as soon as one of the call recipients accepts it. If none of the called users is available / online or no one answers the call, the connection attempt is automatically aborted for all other users after 60 seconds maximum. The recipient(s) can also reject the call.

For 1:1 telephony, the call is thereby terminated; for conferences, the connection setup continues to be displayed on the initiator's screen (users can also join later!) until they terminate the call themselves. The status of the users during a conference can be viewed at any time, see: Who is attending the conference and who is not?

Tips:

  • Users without access to a group chat or event can be added via a link.
  • Use the global search to open a chat via quick access.
  • 1:1 telephony can also be initiated directly by clicking the profile picture of the corresponding user and then selecting the phone receiver icon (for example, in the communication module of a room).

Call user via communication module
Start a call via the user profile

Scheduling and starting a call via an event

1. Open the event you want to hold a conference call in or create a new event with all the participants who should attend the call.

2. Unlock telephony: Click the button "Create a conference link" to show a link.

Create link for video conference
Create a link

Note: The button for creating a link may be hidden due to your plan or replaced by a phone receiver icon due to your organization's settings. Point 3 cannot be performed in this case. Instead, create the link during the conference and share it with all the people involved (procedure).

Phone receiver icon in an event
Phone receiver icon in an event

3. Make the link available in advance (e.g. to people outside your company): Optionally, you can now share the link with users without access to the event or Stackfield even before the conference starts. You have the option of sending it either automatically using the email subscriber function or manually.

Email participants: Email participants will then receive an email including an invitation to the event, a conference link, and a file that will automatically add the event to their calendar (click here to see what the email can look like).

Manually: To copy the link to your clipboard, click on the icon to the right of the link. Now, you can paste the link at the desired location by pressing Ctrl or Cmd + V or by right-clicking.

Copy link to clipboard via icon
Copy link to clipboard

Note: For conferences created from events, email invitations for externals without access to Stackfield only show the event name and agenda (depending on the organization's settings) as well as the participants, the date, and the time. The comment area and attached files of the event in Stackfield itself remain hidden.

4. Start conference: Start the call by clicking the button "Start Conference".

5. Status of the conference: The connection setup is displayed in a small window on the initiator's screen (see: Minimized view) and will only be interrupted if the conference is terminated. Joining the conference is possible via the event itself or the link, the participants are not "rung" (i.e. no connection window appears and no "call tone" is heard). As soon as another user joins, the call starts. The status of the users can be viewed at any time, see: Who is attending the conference and who is not?

Ad-hoc conferences: Starting a call without a chat / an event

Creating / starting ad-hoc conferences is possible for all users with the role Admin / Member.

To start a call independently from the Direct Messages and Rooms, use the Ad-hoc Conferences feature. Ad-hoc conferences can be created at any time from the sidebar and any users from the organization can be added. Simply click the plus icon at the top of the sidebar next to your organization's name and select the option "Start Conference".

Ad-hoc conferences are created via the sidebar

Now, you can enter a title for the conference and add participants directly or via a link*. You can use the switch to decide whether participants added to the conference should be "rung" (and a call window appears) or not. Once you have made all necessary settings, start the call via "Start Conference". The conference can be joined at any time afterward via My Week.

Define the general conditions of the conference

*To copy the link to your clipboard, click on the icon to the right of the link. Now, you can paste the link at the desired location by pressing Ctrl or Cmd + V or by right-clicking.

Joining an ongoing conference (retrospectively)

Joining with access to the chat / event / ad-hoc conference

Only users who are included in the corresponding chat or room (+ event participants) of the organization have access to the chat / event (and thus the conference). If you don't have access or want to participate from your cell phone, get the conference link.

You will be informed about an ongoing conference here (and you can join afterward):

Via My Week: Above the notifications in My Week, the note "A conference is currently running in group chat / event 'XYZ'" informs you that a conference is taking place at this moment. With a click on the name of the group chat / event / ad-hoc conference you will be forwarded directly to the corresponding chat / event / conference.

Notification about ongoing call in My Week
Notification about ongoing call in My Week

Via the entry: In the opened event / group chat you can join the conference by clicking the button "Join now".

Notification about ongoing call in a room
Notification about ongoing call in an entry

Joining without access to the chat / event

Members of the organization who are not included in the group chat or room as well as email participants in events and people without a Stackfield account do not have access to the chat / event.

You can join a conference (afterward) via a link in your browser. A conference link will be sent to you (e.g. by email) for this purpose.

If you receive an automated invitation, you can accept or cancel the event directly via this email and thus let the other participants know whether you have time. In addition to the conference link, the email contains the day and time of the event as well as, depending on the security settings of the inviting company, the name, and the agenda.

Email notification including link
As an email subscriber, the link will be sent to you automatically by email

By clicking the link, you can open an overview with all information on the conference (title, date, and time incl. time zone) and activate the microphone and camera. If you have not already done so, you may have to permit a release.

Overview Information Conference Start
After selecting the link, an overview opens with all relevant information

Next, enter your display name and have the audio and microphone tested to ensure the conference will run as smoothly as possible. If the conference has not yet started, a note will appear at this point. Otherwise, you will be added directly to the call.

Adding people to an ongoing conference: creating / deleting the link

Creating a link during the conference:

If the person has not yet received an invitation to the conference and therefore cannot join on their own, you have the option to create a link during the conference and forward it to them. This is possible for conferences in group chats and events.

To access the link during the ongoing call, click the More button (icon: three dots) in the upper right corner and select the option "Show public link". Now, you can share the link in your preferred way, e.g. via a direct message in Stackfield or via email.

Accessing the conference link during an ongoing call
You can access the conference link at any time

Note: For conferences, a new link (not the same one per group chat / event) is created with each click. Be sure to send the correct link.

Creating a link before the conference:

If you want to send a link before the conference, use an event: Scheduling and starting a call via an event

Deactivating / Deleting a link:

If you no longer need a link or do not want it to be used any longer, you can delete or deactivate it as long as you have the necessary rights. It will then no longer be accessible via the event. Simply open the event and click on the "x" button next to the link.

Remove link from the event
Delete the link in the event map

Display options (full-screen mode, background image,...)

Switch between connection types

During the call, you can switch between the different connection types at any time using the corresponding icons:

  • Microphone icon: Mute / Unmute
  • Camera icon: Turn video on or off
  • Screen icon: Share screen with the other participants
Symbols of the different connection types in the call
The different icons can be used to change the connection type at any time

Note: You can also switch your microphone / camera / speaker at any time during the call (see: Switch).

Screen sharing

When sharing your screen, you have the option to share different screen sizes: Your entire screen, a window, or (if you use multiple computer screens) one of your screens. The window for selecting the section opens immediately after starting the screen sharing.

Select type of screen division
Selection of the desired screen section

Minimized view, compressed full-screen and full-screen mode

Video and screen sharing are initially always displayed in a minimized view in the connection window. The window can be moved freely on Stackfield via drag & drop.

GIF move compressed version of video call
The minimized view of a call can be moved freely

Click on the video to enlarge it and switch to the compressed full-screen mode. Use the "Minimize" button in the upper right corner to switch back to the minimized view.

Compressed full-screen mode and Minimize button
The compressed full-screen offers space for different views

To switch from compressed full-screen mode to maximized full-screen mode, double-click on the video.

GIF Switch compressed full-screen to maximized full-screen
Switch between compressed and maximized full-screen

With another double click you can resize it and switch back to the compressed full-screen. Alternatively, you can also click the shrink icon ("x") in the upper right corner or press the ESC key.

Layout in video calls: How are participants displayed?

In the compressed full-screen version there are different possibilities to display several participants. The corresponding button for changing the display mode can be found in the upper right corner. This way, each conference participant can determine whether all participants should be displayed in the same size... ("Gallery view")

Video call - all participants are shown in the same size
Even distribution of all users during the video conference

...or whether one participant should be the center of attention, e.g. the speaker or moderator ("Speaker view"). You can define who should be highlighted by double-clicking on the respective participant.

Video call - one participant is shown larger
Highlighted view of a user during the video conference

Virtual backgrounds

To protect your privacy even during home office, Stackfield provides you with various virtual backgrounds. You can blur your background, for example, or replace it entirely with an image.

Virtual background activated
Blur your background by applying the "Blur" effect

To apply a virtual background during the call, click on the More button (symbol: three dots) in the upper right corner and select the option "Background effects". Now, all available backgrounds appear and you can choose the one you want to use.

Background effects
Choose from different background effects

Further functions: participants (+ status), switch microphone / camera, emoji reactions and chat

Who is attending the conference and who is not?

Provided that a conference call has been started, all the conferees who have already joined the call are listed in the upper part of the window (in the minimized view). Those who have not joined yet appear at the bottom in the section "Not in this call".

Conference call connection window
The connection window shows who is participating in the call

You can see here: Lina and Elsa are online (green dot = available / red dot = busy) and participate in the conference. Bobby, on the other hand, is offline (gray dot) and is not attending the conference.

Muting

To keep the audio transmission as clear as possible during conferences, we recommend only keeping the microphone of the current speaker active. Participants who are not speaking can mute their microphone briefly via the microphone icon to avoid an echo and/or disturbing background noise. Each user can only mute himself/herself. For others, all muted participants are marked with a crossed-out microphone icon.

Muted participants
Lina is muted in this conference

Switch microphone / camera / speaker

You can switch your camera, microphone, and/or speaker at any time during a call. Simply click on the More button (symbol: three dots) during the call and select "Camera" / "Microphone" / "Speaker" as desired. Now, you can select the appropriate solution.

Switch microphone
You can switch your microphone via the More button

Tip: Before using the telephony in the desktop app, store default devices in your settings.

Emoji reactions and chat

Via the emoji button ("Add Reaction") in the upper right corner, you can react to the conversation with different emojis or "raise your hand".

GIF Emoji reactions in conferences
Respond to the conversation with emojis

The "Raise Hand" feature is especially useful when you want to add something to the conference but don't want to interrupt anyone. When raising your hand, a hand emoji appears next to your name, letting all participants know that you have something to say. The hand remains displayed until you click on the button again, now "Lower Hand".

 GIF User raises their hand
You can raise your hand during the call

A hand emoji at the very top shows all participants that someone is contacting you at the moment. By clicking the icon, the name(s) of the corresponding person(s) can be displayed.

User raises their hand
Who raises their hand at the moment?

Through the chat function, the conference participants can chat with each other even during the call. The chat is displayed via the speech bubble icon in the top right corner.* You can only use the chat during the call. It cannot be viewed afterward.

Comment section conference
Via the chat you can communicate during the call

*The chat feature will be available from the Premium plan (see: scope of functions). For users of the Business Plan, the button will remain hidden. For an upgrade, please contact our support.

Rejecting / ending / leaving calls

Rejecting a call

If you get a call in Stackfield that you can't answer at the moment, you can simply decline the call. Just click on the red handset icon in the call window.

History

All calls (accepted, rejected, and missed) are listed after termination with date, time, call duration, if applicable, and the name of the caller in the corresponding chat or comment area of the event. There is no further tracking of the calls, see: Security measures. Call listing in the event

Call history in the group chat

Ending / leaving a call

During a call, participants can end the call by clicking on the red handset icon (no participant left in the current conference) or leave a conference call (other participants are present in the conference).

If the initiator (= has started the call) of a conference wants to leave it, a query appears. They can now decide whether the conference should be ended for all participants ("End conference") or only for themselves ("Leave conference").

End conference as initiator
The initiator of the conference receives a message when ending the conference

Using telephony features via the mobile app

To make sure you're always reachable wherever you are, you can also use the telephony in the Stackfield mobile app.

You can create a conference link directly from the event, just like in the desktop app / browser. Simply click on "Create a link for Conference" and the link will be displayed.

Creating a link in the mobile app
Create a conference link

Via the link you can start a mobile conference or join an ongoing conference.

Link in the Mobile App
The conference link can be accessed via the app

Once you click on the link, you will be redirected to an external website in your browser. Here you can perform audio and video tests and set your display name. You will then be added to the conference.

Joining a meeting via the Mobile App
Click on the link to open the video call in the browser

Can I add users without a Stackfield account to a call?

Yes, even users without a Stackfield account can be invited to a call on Stackfield via a conference link. The link can be opened directly in the browser, neither a registration in Stackfield nor a download is necessary.

-> Instructions for creating a conference link before or during a call

-> Instructions for joining a conference as an external participant

Options for admins

(De-) Activating the telephony functions for the entire organization

You can disable the telephony functions for the entire organization in the organization's settings if desired. Simply switch to the tab Modules in the "Organization Settings" and deactivate the checkbox next to "Telephony" (activated: green, deactivated: gray). Then click on "Save Changes". The telephony function will now no longer be available to the users. To reactivate the telephony, click on the button again.

Deactivate telephony in organization settings
Disable entire telephony

Deactivating data sharing

Admins of the organization can disable the sharing of data to external services and through email notifications in the "Organization Settings" in the tab Settings.

Disable data sharing
Disable data sharing

After the deactivation, the button for creating links for video conferences in events disappears and a handset icon appears in the upper right corner of the event instead. Clicking the phone receiver icon opens a drop-down menu and you can select the desired transmission type.

The conference link can now no longer be shared with third parties in advance, but only during the call (see: Adding external users).

Restrictions on editing events / conference links

Principally, the activation of telephony (creation / deletion of the conference link) in events is possible for all members of the room with access to the event. Individual right groups can be an exception: If a restriction exists in the right group under the "Update" option for the calendar module, all users with this right group will be denied the right to edit events.

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