Friday, September 25, 2020

Ignite 2020 - DB144 - What’s new in Teams management

Presented by: Ronit Ben-Sheffer and Jamie Stark

The Teams Management Goals are

  • Simplicity
  • Granularity
  • Automation

The Teams Admin Center is always found at
and Teams can also be managed using PowerShell or Graph API.

 New features in the Teams Admin Center

The session contained many demos of the Teams Admin Center and the new features. I was assisting with the chat and answering questions from participants. We received a lot of good questions, and I learnt a lot, here are some of them.

Questions and answers

When assigning a different policy to a user in Teams Admin Center or via PowerShell it would be great to see when the functionality is really assigned to the user to be used - I am aware of the note "can take up to 24 hours" but often it is assigned quicker and then it would be nice to be able to see that somewhere - is this somehow possible?
There are several elements contributing to the overall throughput due to policy versus update frequency versus dependent services. We have plans to improve and reduce the frequency. As of now the user policies applied can be seen in Teams Admin Center. It would be optimal to know not just when the policy assignment occurs (which is usually quite quick) but to actually have a feedback loop for when the updated experience is in place at the client - there are plenty of reasons that a client may not have picked up the new policy (including being offline.)

Is it possible to assign App Policy to an Office 365 Group from the Teams Admin Center?
Yes, the ability to assign policies to groups is now available in Teams admin center and we are rolling out support across different policy types, including App Setup and App Permission policy.

Is there a way to track or audit Anonymous users?
Not really. They are anonymous and not part of your tenant.

When you have an external guest in your Team, is it possible to stop the guest downloading content?
If this is content from the Files area, you can apply policy at SharePoint Online level. This should also be possible using combination of Conditional Access policies.

Is there a connector / way to connect to PSTN reporting data from Power BI?
You can use the Call Records API and get the CDR data streamed to your data store of choice, and from there you can use Power BI to create custom reporting around that.

How far away is call centre functionality from teams?
We are always adding new capability to the Auto Attendant and Call Queue capability of Teams Admin Center, and folks certainly use this for customer contact scenarios. For more sophisticated scenarios we will always point to partners who are building contact center solutions on top of Teams.

PowerApps can now be integrated into Teams. Can PowerApps settings be administered through the Teams Admin Center?
The Teams Admin Center will help you administering Teams capabilities. PowerApps are only surfacing in Teams.

What is Advisor for Teams?
Advisor for Teams is a tool that helps rollout Microsoft Teams to your organization.

Can Call Que managers see the status of the team members and know who is actively answering calls or not?
We are working to deliver real-time reporting for Call Queues.

What is a teams display device?
It is a personal device that serves as companion device, supporting the ability to join meetings, making calls, checking calendars, interact with chats, and of course supporting Cortana for voice interactions. Think about it like a modern, more capable, desk phone replacement.

Are Admins informed of any TOC / EULA change of a 3rd party app?
Not really, Apps do not "run in Teams". Instead we use Teams as a canvas to have an App User Interface. It is a scenario we are looking at across a few different dimensions - including whether the app has updated their compliance with 3rd party standards or privacy policies. We think this is particularly important for regulated industries.

The Alerting for Devices - is that only for devices with Teams installed or also for Intune devices?
These alerts are limited to Teams devices.

Is the data history for Graph API up to one year or more than one year?
It is up to one year.

What about detailed meeting reporting visibility, like who scheduled, how many attendees, attendance report and meeting duration at the tenant level from the admin center?
This will be soon announced in the beginning of next year as part of the meetings and calling usage dashboard.

Can I filter by location to bulk assign users in one location to a Teams app setup policy?
At this time, Teams do not support this capability.

What possibilities do we have for filtering users on group-based assignment?
Group based policy assignment is now available.

Is there a good way/tool to use in a Teams meeting to allow voting? (Scenario: 250-300 participants are key stakeholders who need to vote on proposals.)
With the new meeting extensions that will become available in the near future a lot of applications can be integrated directly into a Teams Meeting. Applications like Forms, Polls, Polly, etc. will be natively available in a Teams Meeting. If the meeting is in a channel, you can use either Polly or Forms for an instant poll/vote.

Is it possible to disable the video recording in Teams live events which gets recorded even though it is disabled at tenant level?
Video recording availability for attendees can be disabled at the moment that you schedule the live event. It is always enabled for producers/presenters.

Can apps be restricted to publish for specific Teams?
Yes, you can set a policy to assign the app to specific group of users.

The Consolidated PowerShell still need to have separate connection to Teams and Skype, will this change?
Yes, this was the first step of bringing the two modules together, in the future there will be a single connection to the back-end.

When is the new Teams PowerShell module coming out?
It is available here:

What is the best way to list the client version used in our Tenant?

The Call Quality Dashboard contains this information.

Are there any plans to provide a Teams native mechanism for retrieving peer to peer or channel chat logs (other than eDiscovery) for large groups of users?
Our team is working on APIs that can be used to address this scenario.

Can you clarify how call quality is measured?
There are definitions on when a call/stream is marked as poor or not.

Any good links to how we get devices on the Teams room device list? (seems some of our devices appear there, but others never appear.)
Suggest opening a ticket with support to prosecute this more completely. For reference, the docs are here.
and generally, the docs are linked (Learn more) at the top of the relevant page in Teams admin center.

Can the alerts be sent to email?
At this time, we support alerts via Teams channels and via webhooks.

I don't see any of the new features in my Admin Center? When they will they roll out in EMEA?

You can monitor the roadmap where it is indicated when certain features are rolling out to tenants.

Is there a way to use existing Devices that are used by other solutions?
In order for third party meeting endpoints to join a Teams meeting you can use a certified Cloud Video Interop partner.

Will we be able to forward from Auto Attendant or Call Queue to external number without having to create "dummy" accounts and configure forwarding on those dummy accounts?
Yes, this is supported -

When is assigning Microsoft 365 groups to a Teams app setup policy in the admin center going to be available in all tenants?
Unfortunately, we don't have a timeframe for support for App setup policy at this time, but the work is planned.

Call Admission Control (CAC) - A wonderful feature in SfB, looking forward to it in Teams, is it on the Roadmap?
Yes, on the roadmap. We have had discussions about it internally and the goal is to create something that is easier to configure and deploy than a traditional admission control capability but accomplishing the same thing of keeping an under-provisioned network from being over-run.

What possibilities do we have for filtering users on group-based assignment?
Group based policy assignment is now available.

Bulk policy assignment is not very efficient through the GUI if you have thousands of users to apply it to?
There are optimizations we will make to the user summary table that will make it more efficient to apply policy to large cohorts of users. Alternatively, there is also now the ability to apply policy to group objects - while that is not available for every policy type today, we are actively working to include more policy types in group assignment.

I am curious if Notifications have been tweaked at all? For us we have to have users go in and enable notifications for each and every channel. If users forget this, important messages go under the radar.
Teams communications require a bit different approach to notifications than mail - users who write to channel should use mentions if they want to catch attention of specific person or all channel/team. This way users will get notifications when there is something they should do. When a channel is important to user then users can choose to get all notifications. We rarely see situations in which users want to have all notifications about all channels. It would quickly overflow user with notifications.

Can we filter by location to bulk assign users in one location to a Teams app setup policy?
At this time, Teams do not support this capability.

Will we be able to add direct routing phone numbers and activate Enterprise Voice from the admin panel? Currently we must add the numbers via PowerShell.
Yes, we are aware of this and have the work in the backlog for implementation.

Do the telephony features include recording calls?
If you are referring to compliance call recording (e.g. record all incoming and outgoing calls to a specific group of users) then this is available. For more information please see.

When you duplicate a Teams policy, you cannot change/edit the Policy Name?
Yes, we are aware of this and have a work item in our backlog to pop a dialog when duplicating a policy with a default name pre-populated.

Can we pull the client logs in a centralized way, instead of asking users to click: Shift + Ctrl + Alt + 1 ?
We are looking to make this functionality available.

Is there a release date for Breakout Rooms in Teams?
Teams Breakout rooms are coming very soon. It is in preview at the moment.
Take a look at this on-demand session for more information.

Why can I not get walkie talkie not stay in Teams Mobile, it appears then disappear, meaning the feature shows up in the client at one time but is not there at another time?
This should not be the case please open a ticket with support - if the policy is assigned to the user it should not disappear.

How about carrier hosted direct routing?
It is possible and depends on your carrier offering. There are carriers offering direct routing with Teams today.

When will (near) real-time audio/video calls analytics be available?
This is coming in the beginning of next year.

Can you manage app permissions via PowerShell?
Yes, the App Permission Policies can be managed via PowerShell:

Is there a report to show who approved consent or see what apps have consent and their permissions consented to?
There is no out-of-the-box report available in Teams that will show who approved consent or see what apps have consent. Consent is registered in Azure Active Directory and can be audited there.

Will it be possible to get data from the reports via an API?
Yes. We have Graph API's to fetch reports.
Microsoft Teams user activity reports - Microsoft Graph v1.0

There are different options available to pull the reporting. Usage Reporting etc. is available in the Teams Admin Center for IT Admins. You have the PowerBI CQD reporting for your data analysts, and finally we have the Graph Call Records API to pull the raw data to build your own reporting.

How do we get the “new meeting experience” activated in our tenant?
The following blogpost on our official Teams Blog will point you in the right direction.
New Meeting and Calling Experience in Microsoft Teams!
Also make sure the Teams Clients are up to date with the latest updates.

Will application permissions be model in a app based approach, rather than user based policies - meaning policies per app, rather than assigning policies per user?
At this time, we support app support policies and app permission policies to be set at a user level. We plan to allow the application of these policies to Groups.

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Microsoft Ignite 2020 - Keynote

 Today Microsoft Ignite started with the keynote by Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella.

Tech Intensity = (Tech adoption x Tech capability) ^ trust

He started by acknowledging that IT folks have helped the world through this pandemic, thank you all!

Next Satya discussed,

Flight simulator through the years. Flight simulator is more than a game - it is a digital twin of the world. Companies can now build digital twins of factories or even the entire company to simulate and learn.

How Microsoft are reducing carbon emissions.


Advancements in Artificial Intelligence

Azure orbital - control and communicate with your satellite from Azure. (A lot of space related stuff was shown in the keynote.)

Azure mixed reality.

A new surface hub is coming early 2021, 85 inches with fingerprint reader to login and Cortana.

The Microsoft "Full Stack" 

Demos and videos of Teams followed showing :

  • Dynamic view
  • Live reactions
  • Live captions with speaker attribution
    (even in MTR rooms with several people)
  • Raise hand
  • Breakout rooms
  • New layouts for together mode i meetings.
  • Realwear hands free voice enabled Teams experience
  • Walkie-Talkie for Andriod

A new learning app is coming in Teams, assign and track learning within your organization.

More of the Ignite 2020 news for Teams:

Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Teams Walkie-Talkie button on Samsung XCover Pro

Since a while back the Walkie Talkie app in Teams is in Public Preview on Android. With an Andriod phone it is possible to start the Walkie Talkie app, connect to a channel (only one channel at the time) and then push the big button on the screen to talk to all other users connected to that same channel.

In order to set this up an admin needs to go to the Teams Admin portal, "Teams apps" and "Setup Policies" to add and pin the Walkie-Talkie app named "Walkie Talkie". This is all described in the article "Walkie Talkie app in Microsoft Teams".

If you have a Samsung Galaxy Xcover Pro it features a nice hardware button located on the side of the phone that can be mapped to the Walkie-Talkie function in Teams. When activated and logged in to a Walkie-Talkie channel you do not need start the screen and log in with a pin if this button is activated. You can simply press it, hold it and talk just as you would have done with a regular Walkie-Talkie device. To map this button to the function in Teams you have to use a Mobile Device Management (MDM) system like InTune or Samsung Knox.

For InTune please refer to the following article from Samsung: "Microsoft Intune - Key mapping for Teams"

If you do not have InTune configured for your mobile Office 365 users it is possible to use Samsung Knox which is found at the URL 

In Samsung Knox you have to create a login, add a (trial)license and add your device as a device to be managed by Knox. First, create a "dynamic" profile for the phone and select the Knox version to be "3.4 or above".

After going through a number of screens with setup information and choices you come to the "Device settings" page. Select "Add Configuration" under "Remap hardware keys (XCover Pro and Tab Active Pro only)" and set the "Key mapping template" to Microsoft Teams.

Finish the creation of the profile and assign the profile to the Xcover Pro phone using its "Device ID" which is the IMEI number of slot 1 as found in Settings / About Phone on the phone.

On the Xcover Pro phone itself go to Settings / About Phone / Software Information / Knox Configure and click "Apply latest profile". The phone will then connect to Knox and download the profile where you have configured the button.

Every time someone is pressing the Walkie-talkie button, either on a screen or as a hardware button on the Xcover Pro a sound is played to alert people about this. This sound can be turned off or replaced with a vibration instead, go to Settings / Walkie-Talkie in the mobile Teams client to configure this.

More Info:

Thursday, July 9, 2020

Commsverse 2020 - BRK307 - Analogue to Cloud. The Challenge of Enterprise Migration to Microsoft Teams

Presented by: John Stewart-Murray

Session summary:
As enterprises rapidly adopt Microsoft Teams for voice and collaboration, they often underestimate the challenge of connecting Teams to everything in their business. From connecting elevator phones, control systems, DECT phones and other analog devices to Teams, to innovative ways to connect emerging Voice Bots, at this session you’ll learn how to avoid the migration pitfalls and connect your legacy world to new.

My notes:

  • Introduction to Audiocodes
  • Analog integration with Teams Direct Routing
  • Migrating PBX to Teams Direct Routing
  • Enhancing Teams with AI
  • Branch Survivability

People who knows old-school PBX telephony are fading away, but Audiocodes have a lot of old people employed. So, they know this stuff :-) Audiocodes sell SBCs in all sizes, software, telephones and room solutions for Teams.

Analog lines are needed for lift phones, security phones, rugged phones, DECT phones, fax machines, modems and extensions that may not require full Teams licenses, but analog lines are often forgotten until the last moment in a migration.

Analog Terminal Adapters or SBCs are used to connect analog lines to Teams. 

It is possible to create objects in AD to allow name dialling for other Teams users to an analog line. SIP and DECT phones can be connected straight to the SBC which can act as a "mini-PBX" with a connection to Teams. Microsoft is looking into analog line presence in Teams, and message waiting indication.

Univonix migration suite can be used to migrate PBX configuration to Teams. PBX Assessment is a tool to create a PBX Assessment report looking at feature parity.

One-voice resiliency is a licensed feature in Audiocodes SBCs which works about as an SBA worked in Skype for business. Endpoint registration can happen in Teams or in the local SBC, and the SBC can failover to SIP Trunk/ISDN if connection to the cloud is lost. This is only supported by Audiocodes 3PIP phones.

Microsoft is working on a HTTP Proxy which is a piece of code that will be delivered to Audiocodes and other technology partners to be integrated in SBCs. This will allow for even more functionality if connection to the cloud is lost. The feature is going into TAP testing now. The proxy will download a site dial plan and configuration from Office 365 and it will be possible to route calls via a 4G backup to the cloud, or via a SIP trunk to PSTN. This can be implemented as an OSN module in the SBC or as a gateway with a configuration GUI or as a VM instance for software-based SBCs.

All Audiocodes SBCs have a REST API interface that can be used to query the SBC about calls and even manipulate the routing as the call is happening. An example of one such implementation can be found in the whitepaper "Connecting AudioCodes Session Border Controllers to Microsoft Flow". In the example Microsoft Flow is used to send an email to site security as soon as any user dialled an emergency number 999 (112). Another example would be to send an SMS in case the SBC reaches 90% capacity.

The Voice AI Gateway makes it possible to call into bots in Azure

How should we handle fax?

Ideally Fax would be handled completely offnet from Teams. The SIP carrier can send the Fax call to the SBC and then the SBC/Gateway will forward it to the appropriate FXS port. One comment about fax is that it is quite reliable over SIP to Fax Server/ATA when the number of pages is low, larger documents might run into reliability problems

For large enterprises would you recommend a separate SBC for Analog/normal sip endpoints, for management purposes and when doing maintenance on numbers you do not mess up the central routing?

For 20-30 lines you could consider adding an extra SBC (the cost is <1000 GBP).

How can we get local site Direct Routing voice survivability?

With OVR (One-voice resiliency) which is a license on the SBC and Audiocodes phones in 3PIP mode, this also works with redundant SBCs.

What kind of dump/export is analyzed by the Univonix tool?

It will read a datadump / data file from the PBX, and in some cases the tool can connect to the PBX to retrieve the information.

ATAs would connect to a central SBC - Can you provide some tips to simplify routing every time a new ATA gets added?

Use the dial plan feature in the SBC. There is also a tool called routing manager for bigger installations.

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Commsverse 2020 - BRK352 - What we learned from benchmarking 5,300 Microsoft Teams

Presented by: Luke Sinclair, Coco Molina

Session summary:
SWOOP Analytics has conducted the world's first benchmarking of Microsoft Teams, analysing more than 5,300 teams from 15 organisations worldwide and more than a million Teams interactions to get a broad overview of how Teams operates. We'll share with you worst practices in Teams, how to avoid them and what you can do better, show you what a high performing team looks like and share real-life best practices from customers.

My notes:

The Swoop software is like an organizational fitness tracker.

The Swoop for Teams dashboard

In early 2020 Swoop studied around 5300 teams with 47000 members from 15 organizations. The full report can be downloaded here.

Three main areas that team members come in to
  • Chat and calls
  • Meetings
  • Teaming (channels, content)

About 40% of the teams were active, out of these
  • 7% Single leader (one dominant player calling the shots)
  • 13% Self Directed (no leader, people working together anyway, best type!)
  • 11% Forum (like a single leader team, but more communications)
  • 8% Community (a core group is doing the leadership)

Team types

Key findings
  • Large gap between best and average performers
  • On average staff are members of 3 teams but are mostly active in one
  • Teams is used as hub - 70% are using tabs with excel being the most popular
  • Teams is used within business units, Yammer connect between them

The best use cases for Teams
  • Around the clock/globe surveillance (large teams)
  • On-shore/Off-shore Teams
  • Global Change Programs
  • Internal/External Project Teams

Worst Practices
  • Over-formalize and over-structure the Teams roll out
  • Allow the IT-department to dictate how to use Teams
  • Replicate the status quo (business processes) in Teams (create new ones!)
  • Relying on senior executives to lead the change (support rather than lead)
  • Use Teams as an alternative to Yammer, SharePoint and OneNote

Commsverse 2020 - BRK313 - MTR Case Study – UK’s largest deployment - DWP

Presented by: Alex Mcknight

Session summary:
Case study of the UK Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to provide insight into the delivery & user adoption of the UK’s largest MTR deployment. What does success look like and what are the key lessons learned?

My notes:

DWP (Department for Work and Pensions) deployed 350 MTR rooms spread across the UK. This was a massive logistic challenge of course.
They created "templates" for small, medium and large rooms. Logitec meetup were used for small and medium rooms, and the Logitec Rally kit for the large rooms. Remote controls were removed from the room, and display settings were locked down.
A custom build of Win 10 + the MTR software were used due to security reasons.
The MTR interface is the same no matter the size of the room. In room content sharing was solved by joining the meeting using WiFi, or by using an HDMI cable. A Poly round table camera were used in a round room, making the participants sit "on a row" for the remote viewers. In general, 3 rooms per day were deployed.

DWP handled
  • Communications
  • Change Management
  • Stakeholder management

The partner Symity helped with
  • End to end solution design
  • Teams network assessment & troubleshooting
  • Room blueprints
  • Built the image for MTR
  • Teams & Exchange configuration
  • Adoption & Training
  • Automated Azure MTR monitoring
  • Early life support and end to end troubleshooting

and an AV vendor provided the hardware and installation of the rooms.

Statistics of how much the rooms are utilized and how many people are in the rooms are followed up and changes made as needed. Don't underestimate cable management in the rooms, do it well and make sure people are not moving things around in the rooms. Plan training well in advance so that users get training right in time as the room is deployed.

MTR deployments all over the UK

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Commsverse 2020 - BRK207 - Mythbusting Teams Style - Get From SfB to Teams

Presented by: Tom Arbuthnot, Aaron Steele

Session summary:
Busting Myths, wherein we will bust the top 5 myths for SFB on-premises to Teams migration. We will talk about Voice, Meetings, Integration, User Readiness and Migration.

My notes:

10 Myths busted...

Teams is too complicated
- Start small, you do not need to use all of Teams from day 1.

We have regulations that keep us on-premises
- Is that really for all users? forever?
- Many financial and governmental organizations are already using Teams

We have features we need in SfB that are not in Teams
- Document and define these features and their impact
- Do all users need this, can it be done in another way?
- Are there 3rd party add-ons that could fix it?

The cloud moves too fast (this is a good thing for users)
- IT organizations have issues keeping up
- Use a test tenant
- Keep up to date with the message center and the roadmap

We have Room Systems / Need Room Systems
- MTR and Collaboration bars offer modern meeting room experiences
- Cloud Video Interop is there

We have business processes depending on SfB
- Incident management with a static PSTN bridge?
- Modernize the process
- Use chat and Teams and you will have a record as well

Teams is missing compliance features- Information Barriers
- eDiscovery and Content search
- Legal hold
- Microsoft 365 Audit Log
- Session Recording API

We need physical IP Phones
- Do all users?
- Alternatives from Poly, Yealink, Lenovo, Audiocodes

The Internet will kill the call quality
- Your ISP is most likely peered to Microsoft
- Users work from home anyway
- Great reporting CQD / PowerBI
- Great codecs - Silk and Satin

We are not ready to move our telephony
- Could start with other workloads
- Try Direct Routing ASAP