Wednesday, October 16, 2019

European Teams User Group Virtual Summit - Oktoberfest!


Today I joined the Oktoberfest or Teams Virtual Summit arranged by the European Teams User Group. A great community driven event held totally on-line in Microsoft Teams. Take a look at twitter under #teamsfest for some buzz about the event.

The event had three tracks so three sessions where running at the same time all day. For all the recordings of the day look at the YouTube page of the European Teams User Group.

Oktoberfest is all about Teams (and beer)


I managed to catch the following presentations during the day:


Title: Getting the best experience with Microsoft Teams meeting rooms
Presented by: Craig Chiffers (@cchiffers)

Session summary:
Room meeting technology has come a long way since the days of whiteboards, projectors and star phones. Today’s technology allows us to connect in more ways, but has also bombarded us with technological challenges which come at a cost. How do you simplify the meeting experience when current meeting setup times averages 15 minutes and normally involve assistance from IT support? In this session, we’ll delve into how Teams supports the best meeting room experience from the ground up, regardless of whether you’re using a laptop, mobile or purpose-built in-room technology. We’ll cover the life-cycle of a meeting, from initial creation, to joining Teams meetings, finding available meeting rooms on the fly as well as upcoming Teams meeting room technologies we’ll see in the near future. After attending you’ll leave this session with a greater understanding of how Teams meetings work, how to select the best Teams Meeting Room equipment for your environment, how to utilise your existing in room technology investments with Teams and how to drive Teams meetings adoption.

My Notes:
Meetings - a love or hate relationship, whatever we feel we do spend a lot of time in meetings.

  • Since 2000 time spent in meetings has increased 10% each year
  • On average meetings last between 31 and 60 minutes
  • 73% of meetings involve 2-4 people
  • Only 37% of meetings have clear agendas
  • >92% of people multitask in meetings
  • The average meeting setup time is 15 minutes

Issues with meeting rooms: Flipcharts, whiteboards, WiFi connection, connection to projector / TV, etc.

Research have shown that simply enabling video during a meeting increases attentiveness.

A poor device experience = A poor Teams experience, so please use a device made for Microsoft Teams.

A Teams room system is purpose-built devices to work with Teams, designed to be user-friendly, simple and intuitive.

There are (at least) three companies building bridges between Teams meetings and Cisco / Polycom meetings, Pexip, Poly and BjueJeans.

Other nice features of Teams meetings were discussed and demoed.



Title: 5 tips to make you better at Microsoft Teams
Presented by: Amanda Sterner (@amandassterner)

Session summary:
On the 31st of July 2021, it’s happening, Skype for Business is being retired and Microsoft Teams will be left as the hub for teamwork. During this session I will give 5 tips to make you even better at using Microsoft Teams. These tips are both for those of you that are experienced users but also for those of you that are still using Skype for Business a little bit more then you wished for.

My Notes:
Skype for Business being retired (or die) on 31 July 2021, it is replaced by Microsoft Teams - The hub for Teamwork - a simple way to reach all your daily tasks.

  1. Bring the good parts from SfB - Persistent Chat, Contacts, Calling, Meetings, Status Message.
  2. Set your notifications. Do an active choice, use quiet hours in the mobile client.
  3. Set some rules for your team. Use subjects, @mention the team only if needed, learn how to reply.
  4. Working in several tenants. Use several profiles via the browser. Try Franz
  5. Become better at searching, use search operators (AND / OR / * / etc)


Title: Making Teams the Hub for Work: The Graph API in Practice
Presented by: Vesa Nopanen (@vesanopanen)

Session summary:
Join this session to see in demos how Graph API can be used create new teams and manage existing ones. Do you have a company PowerApps or an application that you would like to add to existing teams? How about copying documents to the team? What you can do with messages? How to centrally create Teams that are Hubs for Work in your organization? Graph API has a lot of potential to manage teams, in this demo-rich session I will spark the inspiration and give you ideas how you could start working on your organization’s Teams.

My Notes:
Graph API exposes APIs and libraries to access services & data and can been seen as an endpoint to Teams.

We got a demo (or a code review) of how to create a Team complete with tabs and apps using Graph API. Also, how to add files and messages to an existing Team, tasks to planner, a OneNote in a tab, a PowerApp in a tab, Yammer tabs, a welcome message to a channel, a GIF to a channel.

It is also possible to add hidden messages to a conversation in Teams - at least for now - is it a bug or a feature?

It is not possible to move a message from one channel / team to another. It is possible to read it and pipe it out in another channel, but not with the original user as the sender. A better way to accomplish this would be to grab all messages in the conversation and put it in a OneNote, then dump the one note in the "new" channel.

Use Graph explorer to figure out what is possible with Graph API.




Title: Is Teams ready to be the one stop shop for all your telephony and video needs?
Presented by: Mårten Hellebro (@martenhellebro)

Session summary:
Microsoft Teams is replacing Skype, that’s a fact. But is Teams ready to be the one-stop-shop for all your telephony and video needs? Spoiler alert; Yes, it is. In this session, we will take a close look into the telephony and video interoperability capabilities of Microsoft Teams. How the PBX can be replaced, and all video conferencing needs can be met, all in Teams.

My Notes:
Is Teams Voice ready for your organization? Yes.

  • How can we dial out of Teams?
    With Direct Routing or Calling Plans (available in 11 countries).
  • Can we dial in to meetings?
    Yes, via audio conferencing.
  • Can we monitor the call quality in Teams?
    Yes, with the Call Quality Dashboard.
  • Are there any PBX-like call features in Teams?
    Yes, Auto Attendant, Call Queues, Group Call Pickup, Delegation, Call forwarding, Simultaneous ring, Call groups, Hold, Music on Hold and Voicemail.
  • How can we configure our voice mail settings?
    Go to, http://aka.ms/vmsettings
  • Can we use a switchboard operator in Teams?
    Yes, products using beta APIs are already available.
  • Are there desk phones available for Teams?
    Yes, available at http://aka.ms/teamsdevices

Is Teams Video ready for your organization? Yes, Teams Room system, devices, gateways to other VTC systems are available.



Title: Managing and Reporting on Teams with Graph API
Presented by: Lee Ford (@lee_ford)

Session summary:
An overview session on how Graph API can be used to manage (create, change, delete) and report on Teams. These methods can then be used as part of scripts, Flows or applications.

My Notes:
Graph API is a RESTful API for Microsoft 365 and Azure AD which makes it possible to interact with Exchange, OneDrive, SharePoint, Teams, Users, Groups, EMS. Graph API needs to authenticate to Office 365 and can do this via a user or by using application authentication.

We got a demo and a code review of how to authenticate with Graph API and create a Team, create a channel, upload a file, downloading files, deleting a Team and listing the size of the site collections used by the Teams.

We also got a demo of Lee's nice Teams backup tool.

Saturday, October 12, 2019

A Microsoft Teams telephone booth

A telephone booth, telephone kiosk, telephone call box, telephone box or public call box is a small structure furnished with a payphone and designed for a telephone user's convenience. Such an installation is currently present in the lobby of Microsoft's Swedish subsidiary office in Akalla outside of Stockholm. In the 1980s Sweden had 44,000 of these booths scattered all over the country, but then the mobile phone became affordable for common people and the number of telephone booths started to decline. The first booth was installed in Stockholm in 1890, but by the year 2015 the last telephone booths in Sweden had been decommissioned.

All these booths were originally put in place and maintained by the Royal Swedish Televerket, who also had one of the coolest company logos of all time.

Televerket's logo aka "The Crab"

Nowadays the Swedish state have sold Televerket and it has transformed into the public Telia company.

So, what about the anachronistic installation at the Microsoft office?

It is actually a booth retrofitted by Telia and equipped with Microsoft Teams telephony that is currently available from Telia. The top part of the booth is green = available in the photo above, and when someone gets on the Microsoft Teams phone in the booth the top part will shift to red = busy. Also, the glass windows will be changed to frosted for greater privacy when in a call. The booth is built to get people to test telephony through Microsoft Teams and it also illustrates the connection between old style communications and modern solutions.

If you want to test the booth IRL (AFK) there is an opportunity at the Swedish TechDays which will be held in Kista on October 22-24.

An article in Swedish about the booth is found here: Gammal telefonkiosk ska demonstrera modern telefoni

Monday, October 7, 2019

PowerShell for Teams Management

I am primarily writing this article for myself as a cheat-sheet on how to get connected with PowerShell in order to manage Microsoft Teams.



Open PowerShell with "Run as Administrator" and type (or copy) the following commands.

$adminUPN="admin@M365x086920.onmicrosoft.com"

$userCredential = Get-Credential -UserName $adminUPN -Message "Type the password."


Now a prompt / window will pop-up and you can enter the password for the admin user specified above. Change this username to the Admin account you are using in Office 365 of course. Next run the commands

Install-Module MicrosoftTeams

Connect-MicrosoftTeams -AccountId $adminUPN


At this stage you are connected to the Teams PowerShell part of Office 365, you can now use commands such as

Get-Command -Module MicrosoftTeams

Get-Team


However, if you now try to use a command containing *cs* such as

Get-CsTeamsMeetingPolicy

You will get the message "The term 'get-csTeamsmeetingpolicy' is not recognized as the name of a cmdlet, function, script file, or operable program." because all *cs* commands are part of the legacy Skype for Business Online PowerShell interface. To connect to SfB Online PowerShell use the following commands

$sfbSession = New-CsOnlineSession -Credential $userCredential

Import-PSSession $sfbSession


If you again get the message "The term 'New-CsOnlineSession' is not recognized as the name of a cmdlet, function, script file, or operable program." you need to download and install the Skype for Business Online, Windows PowerShell Module and also close the current PowerShell window, open a new one and continue from there. Now

Get-CsTeamsMeetingPolicy

will work. Next, connect to SharePoint Online using the command

Connect-SPOService -Url https://M365x086920-admin.sharepoint.com -Credential $userCredential

Again, if you get the message "The term 'Connect-SPOService' is not recognized as the name of a cmdlet, function, script file, or operable program." you need to download and install the SharePoint Online Management Shell and also close the current PowerShell window, open a new one and continue from there. Now commands such as

Get-Command -Module Microsoft.Online.SharePoint.PowerShell

Get-SPOSite


will work as well. At this point you can even use Ståle Hansens great oneliner if you are moving users from Skype for business to Microsoft Teams.

Get-CsOnlineUser admin@M365x086920.onmicrosoft.com | Format-List UserPrincipalName, DisplayName, SipAddress, Enabled, TeamsUpgradeEffectiveMode, EnterpriseVoiceEnabled, HostedVoiceMail, City, UsageLocation, DialPlan, TenantDialPlan, OnlineVoiceRoutingPolicy, LineURI, OnPremLineURI, OnlineDialinConferencingPolicy, TeamsVideoInteropServicePolicy, TeamsCallingPolicy, HostingProvider, InterpretedUserType, VoicePolicy


For more information, please take a look at:

Friday, October 4, 2019

SUCK - Svenska UC Klubben - meeting 2019-10-03

Post in Swedish about a meeting in our local UC user group in Sweden.


Vi träffades hos Altitude 365 på Norrlandsgatan och i ett Teams möte i molnet förstås. Ca 25 personer var närvarande på plats och 10 st var med i molnet. Kvällens sponsor var Audiocodes.

De 4 personer som driver klubben (Linus Cansby, Mårten Hellebro, Tommy Clarke, Martin Lidholm) började med att hälsa välkomna och berätta om aktiviteter under Techdays i höst. Klubben kommer ha ett bord / bås på Techdays som är på Kistamässan den 22-24 Oktober 2019, iden är att skaffa fler medlemmar och berätta om klubben.

Sedan väcktes frågan om klubben bör byta namn? Förkortningen SUCK betyder ju någonting på både svenska och engelska och fastän det är humoristiskt kanske det inte har den seriositet som vi vill förmedla med klubben. Vi ser också att vi nu diskuterar mer verksamhetsnära frågor och inte bara teknik. SUCK har alltid haft en Microsoft inriktning, men vi pratar ju gärna om andra lösningar också så namnet kanske bör reflektera tekniken eller arbetssättet snarare än en specifik produkt. Vad tycker du? Diskutera gärna detta vidare i LinkedIn gruppen och kom med bra förslag på nya namn för vår sammanslutning.

En annan ide som väcktes var att vi skulle kunna köra ett Team som alla kan vara gäster i för att diskutera och dela filer etc.


Tommy Clarke har just vart på en Microsoft Teams Airlift som gick i Seattle förra veckan. Det är ett event med föredrag och utbildning där ca 250 MVP'er och partners var inbjudna, ett ytterligare Airlift event hålls i Amsterdam snart. Mycket av det som avhandlades var förstås under NDA, men några allmänna iakttagelser kunde Tommy i alla fall dela med sig av.

Yammer har tydlig plats i Microsoft strategi framåt. En hel del felsökning i Teams och nätverken diskuterades, så väl som onboarding i Teams och PowerApps. För den som är intresserad av just PowerApps så går "PowerApps Saturday Stockholm" av stapeln på Microsofts kontor i Akalla imorgon den 5:e Oktober.

I kunddialoger kring Teams blir det lätt att man bara pratar teknik eller att man bara pratar om user adoption. Dessa två delar är lika viktiga och alla skulle tjäna på att kunna blanda dessa två ämnen på ett naturligt sätt. Det är också tydligt att Teams är mer än en produkt - det är en plattform med klienter på många operativsystem. Teams har 50% mindre dåliga samtal än SfB Online enligt den (subjektiva) betygsättning som användaren kan göra efter ett samtal gjorts.


Sedan pratade kvällens värd - AudioCodes - representerade av Mattias Österberg och Noah Brown. (Tack för öl och tilltugg!)

Audiocodes är ett företag med 700 personer varav 350 arbetar med R&D. De har många produkter i sin portfölj men de pratar hellre lösningar än produkter. Ikväll följde en överblick över de lösningar (och produkter) de har för Microsoft Teams.
  • User Management Pack - ett GUI som översätter till PowerShell för konfigurering av användare och telefonnummer med SBC koppling.
  • One Voice Operations Center (OVOC) - Övervakning och felsöknings plattform
  • One Voice Live - en SBC "prenumeration" som betalas månatligen precis som Office 365.


Linus Cansby pratade om "Vägen från Skype till Teams"

Mycket handlar om de olika "lägen" man kan använda när man flyttar från SfB till Teams och de finns dokumenterade här https://aka.ms/modes.

Det initiala standardläget är "Island Mode", det fungerar relativt väl, men tillåter inte alla typer av kommunikation mellan SfB och Teams och organisationen blir delad i två läger. Frågan som kommer komma är då "Ska vi boka ett möte i Teams eller Skype?" Av detta skäl är det bättre att välja något av de andra lägena, samt att försöka komma till "Teams only" så fort som möjligt så att samtliga i organisationen får del av alla fördelar med Teams. Själva flytten från Island mode till t.ex. "SfB with Teams collaboration" kan ta lite tid så gör den med fördel på en fredag.

Få använder mellanlägena "SfB with Teams collaboration" och "SfB with Teams collaboration and meetings"- de flesta ligger i Island mode, trots rekommendationen att flytta till Teams only läge så fort som möjligt.

Går det att dela skärm med externa SfB användare?
Ja, då startas ett Teams möte dit SfB användaren kan gå med. Linus har beskrivit detta på sin blogg.


Ville Gullstrand fortsatte med "Hur får man med sig användarna?"

I all förändring gäller...

1. Inspirera
2. Instruera

... och gör det i rätt ordning. En inspirerad användare kan lättare ta till sig instruktioner.

"Allt är lätt när man vet hur."

Du kanske själv har upplevt "problemet" i Teams att man ibland startar en ny tråd när man egentligen ville svara i en tråd som redan finns. Tipset är då at klicka på tråden och sedan trycka på "R" på tangentbordet, så dyker fältet för att svara upp. Så enkelt och användbart när man vet om det, dvs. allt är lätt när man vet hur.


Mårten Hellebro avslutade med "Lessons learned" i SfB till Teams projekt

Håll koll på:

Vi tackade även våra 2 excellenta producenter av mötet - Mattias Huber och Martin Malm. De höll koll på mötet som egentligen var ett Microsoft Teams live events.

Vid pennan SUCK klubbens ständige sekreterare Mattias Kressmark.

Håll koll på hemsidan, Linkedin gruppen eller Twitter (@SUCK_klubben) för info om kommande träffar.

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

What I learned about Microsoft Teams at Ignite the tour in Stockholm

Today I spent the day at home in Stockholm at Ignite the tour and listened in to some great sessions.

  • TMK10 - What's new in Microsoft Teams - the hub for teamwork
  • TMK20 - Manage Microsoft Teams effectively while staying secure and compliant - an overview
  • TMK30 - Skype for business to Microsoft Teams: guidance for a successful upgrade
  • TMK40 - Protect and collaborate on files in the cloud with OneDrive, SharePoint, and Microsoft Teams
  • BRK3768 - Skypexit, the inevitable journey from Skype to Teams

Some 500,000 organizations, from small ones with a few users to really big ones with over 100,000 users, are currently using Microsoft Teams. That is quite impressive considering Teams initial release was in March of 2017.

It might not come as surprise though since Microsoft Teams delivers clear value in increased collaboration, something that a recent "Total Economic Impact study" of Microsoft Teams showed in economic terms. The four main benefits of Teams are:

  • Teams reduces the total number of meetings and their duration.
  • Information workers save 4 hours per week from improved collaboration and information sharing.
  • Information workers save more than 1 hour per week by not having to switch between applications. 
  • Having resources available online in Teams reduces downtime by 14.6%. 

So, I decided to learn something new about Microsoft Teams.

To start with, I got to know that you can now share your location straight in a Microsoft Teams chat.

Location of Ignite the tour - shared by Teams


The activity feed in the desktop version of Microsoft Teams can be sorted according to "Trending" posts. Trending posts are based on Microsoft Graph and will surface popular posts that might be of interest to you.


In settings / notifications you can control how trending messages will be notified to you.

If you do not see settings for Trending and Suggested messages in this GUI it could be that Graph has not enough data to display such messages. Keep using Teams for a while and they will show up eventually.

I knew the Immersive Reader can read text to you, but I did not know it can even show the words as pictures. In Immersive Reader, click on reading preferences and switch on the picture dictionary.

Picture Dictionary - on.


Now when you find a word you do not understand you can simply click it to get a picture.

I don't know many animal names in English...


Customized backgrounds is something coming soon in Teams, it looks cool and I think people can have a lot of fun with it as well as it being useful depending on where you are when having your meeting.

You almost believe she is in the forest.

We also got to see a lot of the administrative features of Teams such as the underlying architecture, deep dives in One Drive and SharePoint and Data Loss Prevention features. With the Office 365 Groups naming policy it is possible to control naming conventions in Teams.

Two of the speakers also reminded us all regarding the migration from Skype for business to Teams - do not get stuck in Islands mode!

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Microsoft Teams Mobile - Dark Theme

If you are a cool kid you have an iPhone X, or at least an iPhone, and if you are trying to be really cool of course you play Pokemon GO like I do. When doing so battery life is a problem. Unlike my good old Nokia 8210 which could go on for days on one charge you will find yourself constantly changing and always carrying a large extra battery pack.

Now, there are some tricks to get more battery life out of your iPhone, such as not using it, killing background activity and notifications, etc., but a so called "dark mode" can be a major power saver: How to squeeze more battery life out of iPhone X

Therefore it is really exciting that Microsoft Teams on iOS now supports a Dark Theme, since version 1.0.66.

Version 1.0.66 where the darkness begins...
 
So, how do you turn it on?

1. Click the three bars in the top left of the application to expose your profile and click Settings.


2. Click General.


3. Flip the switch to turn on "Dark Theme" and close the application.


4. Next time you start your Teams client it will look much cooler (and preserve battery life)


If you want to use the dark theme even on your desktop you find a nice guide here.

I would also like to point out that this is an idea coming from users of the Microsoft Teams mobile app through Uservoice. Please continue to send in new ideas and vote on Uservoice to make Microsoft Teams even better in the future.

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Ignite 2018 - BRK3000 - Strategies for building effective, optimal and future proof connectivity to Office 365 that will delight your users


Presented by Konstantin Ryvkin

A very good session explaining Office 365 networking in depth at an understandable level. Please watch it and send this presentation to your network and security team!
 
This session and slide deck can be downloaded here.

Office 365 is a big cloud, and some customers have issues with connectivity and performance while others do not - what is the difference?

There are 3 major types of clouds

  • IaaS - Infrastructure as a Service (Azure virtual machines / virtual network)
  • PaaS - Platform as a Service (Azure SQL or blob storage)
  • SaaS - Software as a Service (Office 365)

The preferred connectivity method to these different clouds differ. (Azure is regional, Office 365 is global)

SaaS disrupts traditional connectivity models

For decades Enterprises have been evolving their networks to protect themselves from the Internet, this means that they now have a lot of security measures in place that might interfere with Office 365 connectivity. The connectivity was not made to be simple, it was made to protect the users from the Internet.

Often a user will get better connectivity "from home"
(if not forced to VPN back to the Enterprise network and go through all the security)

Some of the trends or changes that SaaS networking is binging are that security controls move from the local network into cloud applications, and the Internet path to the Cloud becomes shorter.

Latency becomes a problem - do not backhaul distances and check the ISP and its peering with the Microsoft Global Network.

To measure the latency from an Outlook user to Office 365 PsPing can be used:

psping -n 5 outlook.office365.com:443

(We are using psping to avoid using ICMP, but rather test https transactions.)

The picture above is showing network latency for customers in Australia and shows that customers in the same metro area, same geographical region and with the same Office 365 service, can have very different experiences. Most importantly - it is possible to get great Office 365 latency experience (even from Australia.)

Office 365 comes closer and closer to end users

The Microsoft Global Network (AS8075) with its global reach
and the Distributed Service Front Door infrastructure, makes it close to users anywhere.

On https://aka.ms/o365ip you will find the full list of all Office 365 endpoints. An endpoint is an IP:port combination that clients are connecting to (40.97.143.130:443) The comments received on this list is that it is long, it changes and security guys will not like it. That is why Microsoft have shortened the list from thousands of entries to hundreds and categorized the endpoints into Optimize, Allow and Default endpoints.

The list of "optimize" endpoints will change less than once a year, so it is quite stable. On https://aka.ms/ipurlws there is a REST API available for customers and partners to automate the updating of network devices according to this list.

A hub-and-spoke model have traditionally been used to backhaul traffic into a central location, this works well when users are connecting to services located at the hub, i.e. it does not work as well for Office 365 traffic. Try to evolve away from hub-and-spoke and go for a full mesh when it comes to Office 365 traffic. Consider this for external DNS requests as well.

Office 365 will overtime move some of the data closer to the location where you enter the Microsoft network, e.g. your mailbox, to further decrease latency of getting data. Such moves will only happen within your compliance boundary.

Man-in-the-middle SSL inspection, aka break and inspect, works well for simple web browsing. However, Office 365 traffic is not web traffic, what would the "inspector" do with encrypted audio or video?

Follow these simple principles to delight your users!

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