Thursday, October 11, 2018

Ignite 2018 - BRK3124 - How Skype for Business on-premises customers can take advantage of Microsoft Teams meetings

Presented by Francois Doremieux and Heidi Gloudemans

This session (and the functionality) is for organizations using Lync or Skype for Business on-premises.

Office 365 Media Relays enable media (A/V/sharing) ingress to the closest to your users. They backhaul traffic over the Azure network and are available in 16 countries, 28 cities. Audio Conferencing or the possibility to call out/in to/from a "regular" telephone is available in 72 countries with Dial-in numbers for 90 countries, 400 cities and Dial-out support for 190+ countries.

"Meetings first" is a configuration that allows organizations to use Skype for business for instant messaging and calling and Microsoft Teams for meetings. The user will run both clients, but with no overlap in functionality. The chat and calling tabs will be removed in Teams and even the "Teams and channels" tab can be removed as well. Users will then have all their meetings in Teams with all the benefits of the global infrastructure, recording, transcription, etc. The on-premises versions supported are Lync Server 2013, Skype for business 2015 or 2019.

Meetings in Skype for business can be migrated to Teams (by an IT admin), the user will get a notification in Skype for business and the Outlook meetings plugin will be upgraded to schedule Teams meetings. Also, users can be allowed to migrate meetings for themselves in Outlook. As the user is in a Teams meeting the presence in both Teams and Skype for Business will reflect this.

A Technical Adoption Program (TAP) is currently ongoing to further test and develop the Meetings first functionality. Sprint is participating with a couple of thousands users homed in an on-premises Lync Server 2013, and more customers are currently encouraged to join the program.

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Ignite 2018 - BRK2118 - Adaptive Cards in Teams, Windows, Outlook and your own applications

Presented by Matt Hidinger and Andrew Leader
(+ for the presentation style with the "devil's advocate" approach and the different roles played by the presenters.)

Adaptive Cards are a new way for developers to exchange card content in a common and consistent way.

“Cards” are used to display your content inside a host experience, they came from social media. The content they contain could be Articles, Reservations, Weather, Reminders, Videos, Boarding passes, Restaurants, Receipts.

A boarding pass fits as an adaptive card.

A demo with a scuba travel booking using an adaptive card on a webpage, and confirming the booking inside Microsoft Teams, or Outlook. The cards can also been seen in the windows timeline. Using the bot framework, the booking can also be done by talking to Cortana who will show the cards as well, there is a "speak" tag in adaptive cards.

For developers of adaptive cards there a lot of documentation and cards to be used as inspiration at (It is almost as a developer studio where cards can be built and tested in various platforms.) An adaptive cards designer will also be released on this page.


Adaptive Cards
Outlook Actionable Messages
Bot framework
Developer tools

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Ignite 2018 - BRK3169 - Understanding calling usage and diagnosing call failures in Microsoft Teams

Presented by Siunie Sutjahjo and Sharanya Vemu

The proactive and reactive call quality monitoring toolset in Office 365 can help to improve calling and meetings experiences. This session will also go through Call usage data and the new tools and the new data model in the Call Quality Dashboard.

Call usage data

The Call usage data report is a a part of the "Activity Reports in the Office 365 admin center". This report can be augmented with the "Office 365 Adoption content pack" which is a Power BI template or report which is a part of the "Microsoft 365 usage analytics"

Call data is organized by call components

Call Analytics is integrated as part of the call history tab in user profile in the Microsoft Teams and Skype for business admin center. Some 30 days of calls and meetings are stored, and new data is accessible within 15 minutes. Audio streams are classified based on the same metrics as used in CQD - Good, Poor or Unknown. (Unknown means that the client crashed, or that the network connection was lost.)

The Call Quality Dashboard now includes Quality of Experience data.

With near-real-time data we can see call data per minute.

A forthcoming PowerBI connector will offer additional customization of reports

Ignite 2018 - BRK4013 - Quality in meetings and calling in Microsoft Teams deep dive

Presented by Siunie Sutjahjo and Korneel Bullens.

Learning objectives - Do bandwidth planning before you deploy Microsoft Teams and test each network segment to verify if it meets the Media Networking Requirements. After the deployment, continuously monitor with the Call Quality Dashboard (CQD)

Just because Teams works, does not mean it works right. Teams is built to overcome network issues by using TCP for media or relays for example, but this is not the optimal way to use the product.

Often smaller organizations (<250 users) will not deploy QoS, but for larger campuses this is essential. QoS will not help if the bandwidth is oversubscribed, so please do Bandwidth Planning with the FastTrack tool. In the future additional Bandwidth controls and QoS controls will be added to the Teams Admin GUI.

Get Office 365 traffic to Office 365 ASAP

The Microsoft Azure Network is fast and have enough bandwidth, just get on that network as soon as possible. Due to this a centralized internet egress is not a good idea for Teams, your connection is not faster than the Azure Network. Do not put obstacles in the real time media streams, like proxies or SSL inspection. 

There are six ports that must be open in the firewall, TCP 80 and 443 and UDP 3478 to 3481, this is not optional. It is also possible to open for specific Office 365 URLs and IP ranges. Some firewalls even have a "open for Office 365" option which will be automatically updated as Microsoft is changing the IPs for Office 365.

The "Network Testing Companion" is a PowerShell GUI built for the "Network Assessment Tool".

The Call Quality Dashboard works with Measures, Dimensions and Filters in a SQL cube so that you could "query" the data in the follwoing way: "Give me the number of Poor Calls (measure) by building (dimension) for the past month (filter)"

The Call Quality Dashboard is a single page dashboard that provides an at a glance view monthly, and daily trends for call quality. CQD integrates tenant subnets and building data to provide location-based insights. Some 354 dimensions and 229 measures of call quality and reliability for audio, video and application sharing is currently available in CQD. The service is hosted in the Azure region where your tenant is homed, that is NOAM, EMEA or APAC. CQD is accessible by Skype for Business Tenant Admins or Report Reader roles, Global Admin is not required. As of Aug 2018, CQD includes Quality of Experience reports.

What is in the CQD Roadmap?
  • Faster data availability and up to 12 months of historic data.
  • Personally Identifiable Information (PII) will be in CQD so that user names, IP addresses, MAC addresses and BSSIDs will be found in the reports.
  • Getting data to/from the cloud, Skype for business on-prem data can be uploaded via a connector, and Call Quality data can be downloaded using the coming PowerBI connector.

Check out the Ignite 2018 Session BRK3169 for further details on the new things.


Thursday, September 27, 2018

Ignite 2018 - BRK3229 - Everything you need to know about Skype for Business Server 2019

Presented by Vibhor Agarwal and Rahul Gupta

Skype for Business Server 2019 will be released in Q4 2018, and it will run on Windows Server 2019 or Windows Server 2016.

New features
Cloud Voice Mail (Exchange Unified Messaging is deprecated in Exhchange 2019.)
Cloud Org Auto Attendant
Cloud Call Data Connector (push on-prem data to cloud)
Streamlined Teams Migration

Cloud Voice Mail requires a hybrid configuration and will work with SfB 2015 as well as SfB 2019

Cloud Org Auto Attendant

To start with the Cloud Call Data Connector will only show data in Call Analytics, data in Call Quality Dashboard will be added later on.

A demo with the new commands Set-CsHostedVoicemailPolicy and Set-CsCloudCallDataConnectorConfiguration followed.

Move selected users to Teams...

Skype for Business 2015 Cumulative Update number 8 will be released around the same time as SfB 2019. This version will also have the "move to Teams" option in the Control Panel and users can then be moved back and forth between Teams and on-prem Skype for business. When a user is "moved to Teams" the Control Panel will show "homed in Teams" versus "SfBO" - this will fixed in a future Cumulative Update for Skype for business 2019. If a user starts the Skype for business client after the user is moved to Teams, a message will say "Your organization is now using Microsoft Teams!" and there will be a button to launch Teams instead. This client experience will be the same for Windows and Mac clients.

Skype for business 2019 front-end servers will require 64GB of memory and this is done for "Future proofing" reasons, there is no architectural change that really require this change. There is also 40% less CPU load compared with Skype for business 2015. A 2019 front-end pool can contain up to 16 front-ends and support 106,000 users.

Persistent Chat is removed in Skype for business 2019. However, users homed in Skype for business 2019 can talk to Persistent Chat in a Skype for business 2015 pool. Survivable Branch Appliances are not in Skype for business 2019, but Skype for business 2015 SBAs can still be used. The XMPP gateway is discontinued, and SQL Mirroring have been replaced with SQL Always on.

Future Plans for features coming in Cumulative Update packages
  • A HTML5-based Modern Control Panel (goodbye Sliverlight!)
  • PowerShell based SEFA Util
    (Set-CsUserTeamMembers, Set-CsUserDelegates, Set-CsUserForwardingSettings)
  • Response Groups included in the backup service
  • Meetings in the cloud
  • Cloud Call Queues

Ignite 2018 - BRK3232 - Collaborative calling and business voice in Microsoft Teams

Presented by
Paul Cannon, Sr. Product Marketing Manager, Voice 
Anna Cao, Sr. Product Marketing Manager, Microsoft Teams
both from Microsoft.

135 million people are using some functionality of Office 365, every month. Office 365 "Phone system" is a PBX in the cloud that connects to the PSTN via Calling Plans or Direct Routing.

Calling plans are available in 10 locations.

However, no new countries for calling plans are currently in the works, Microsoft is not being allowed as an operator in many countries - the monopolies are still going strong it seems. For such countries Direct Routing can still be used. (I believe that was your question MÃ¥rten?)

Direct Routing - a.k.a. Bring your own trunk.
The new Device Certification Program were mentioned.

The calling icon/tab will be available in ALL tenants, to make users aware of it.

A demo on how to use the /call "command" in Teams, use only "/" to see all available commands. "Priority Access" (found under Settings / Privacy) is a feature that allows people to break through your Do not disturb mode. Demos on delegation, consultative transfer, auto attendant, call queues followed in the session.

Some of the future coming features within Teams - Voice.
  • Group Call Pickup
  • Call ParkLocation Based Routing
  • Shared Line Appearance
  • Forward to Group
  • Delegation Enhancements (coming to mobile app as well, and admin control)

Some future features being investigated.
  • Instant talk always on - like a "push to talk" feature of two way radios.
  • Collaborative Calls
  • Delegate Calls
  • Team-based Calls
  • Role-based Calls
  • Attendant Calls
  • Outbound customer Calls

Direct Routing for Skype for business Online? Microsoft is still looking at it.
Will Dynamic E911? Still looking at that as well.
Will VIP delegate management be available? Will probably come at a later stage.
When I join a team as a Guest I lose capabilities I have in my "home tenant", work is ongoing to improve the guest experience.

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Ignite 2018 - THR1131 - How to achieve 90% Microsoft Teams adoption in three months

A good fast session about how to make a rollout of Teams successful.

Presented by
Dux Raymond Sy (@meetdux) from AvePoint with about 1,500 potential Teams users
Kimberley Morrison (@kmorry19) from Arriva with about 60,000 potential Teams users

Studies show that only about 34% of users are willing to adopt new technology rollouts within the enterprise. The tool is not the hardest thing - change is.

When email first came, some people printed the email made annotations and faxed back the email to the sender.

Diffusion of innovations is a theory that seeks to explain how, why, and at what rate new ideas and technology spread.

  • No new value delivered by the new technology
  • The organization is not ready to handle all the technology in Microsoft 365
  • Lack of digital dexterity around mobile first programs
  • Training alone does not work (Technology focused, lack of buy-in, unclear expectations, non-contextual)
A habit takes 21 days to stick, but IT projects are often much longer.

What works?
  • Drive Excitement
  • Facilitate Change
  • Empower and Assist

  • Step 1: Make it easy to do the right thing (focus on business scenarios.)
  • Step 2: Ensure quick wins (like the mobile app, or translation.)
  • Step 3: Facilitate leadership buy-in (say "experiment" rather than "project".)

A 90-day Roadmap for rolling out Teams

At you can sign up to get a detailed Excel sheet outlining a 90-day Microsoft Teams project.

Monday, September 24, 2018

Microsoft Teams News from Ignite 2018

This week Microsoft Ignite is happening in Orlando. Five days packed with sessions, news, networking and more - and I am not there :-( but I am following the event online of course. In order for as many as possible to catch most of the news from Ignite, Microsoft created an "Ignite Book of News" to summarize many of the new things, please download it for more info. To home in on the news in Microsoft Teams please review this Tech community post: What's new in Teams - Ignite Edition

A lot of people are into Teams by now...

The growth of organizations using Microsoft Teams is truly remarkable
  • 0 organizations on March 13, 2017
  • 125,000 organizations in September 2017
  • 200,000 organizations in March 2018
  • 329,000 organizations in September 2018

87 of the Fortune 100 organizations are using Microsoft Teams, some 54 customers have more than 10,000 users, and one organization (Accenture) have more than 100,000 users in Teams. Microsoft Teams is available in 44 languages, and a free version for up to 300 people is available.

Some of the news mentioned in the article and discussed at Ignite
  • Background blur
  • Meeting recording (with transcription and search)
  • Cloud video interoperability (Polycom, Blue Jeans and Pexip)
  • Industry-specific and role-based workflows
  • Teams Device Certification Program
  • Teams on Surface Hub 2 is coming 
  • SharePoint & Teams Integration
  • Yammer tab
  • Data Loss Prevention in Teams
  • Deeper integration with the Microsoft Graph
  • Adaptive Cards
  • Team Templates
  • Teams Administrator Role 
  • Screen sharing in private chat
  • Image annotation
  • Priority notifications
  • Drive Mode

Background Blur can save you when unexpected things happen in the backdrop
(or you did not clean up your room)

Blur on!

Priority notification alerts the recipient and automatically re-alerts the recipient every two minutes for up to twenty minutes.

Manage all Teams in your tenant from the Admin center.

 Rotating the Surface Hub 2 looks fun!

Access Yammer without leaving Teams.  

 Screen sharing in a private chat without an audio or video session.

 Drive Mode - an all American feature that might not be legal everywhere in the world.
(Friends don't let friends drive and dial...)

Some of the new stuff is already here, and others will come soon.

Microsoft Teams now is the primary client for meetings and calling in Office 365, so from October 1, 2018, Skype for Business online will no longer be included in Office 365 for new customers with fewer than 500 seats.


Thursday, September 20, 2018


Today I was fighting with Federation for Skype for Business in Office 365. This post is mainly to remind myself about the commands used next time I will have to do this.

To start with I had to login to Office 365. For that I started Powershell as administrator and used the following commands.

Import-Module SkypeOnlineConnector
$UserCredential = Get-Credential
$sfbSession = New-CsOnlineSession -Credential $UserCredential
Import-PSSession $sfbSession

Next I verified that the "Allowed domains" list were empty, just like I could also see in the GUI.

PS C:\WINDOWS\system32> Get-CsTenantFederationConfiguration

Identity                            : Global
AllowedDomains                      : AllowAllKnownDomains
BlockedDomains                      : {}
AllowFederatedUsers                 : True
AllowPublicUsers                    : True
TreatDiscoveredPartnersAsUnverified : False
SharedSipAddressSpace               : False

An empty "Allowed Domains" list.

Then I started to have some issues since the documentation around the following commands is not entierly correct. To add an allowed domain the command Set-CsTenantFederationConfiguration should be used. However, the AllowedDomains parameter is not listed in the examples on how to use the command, and the handy AllowedDomainsAsAList parameter is not documented at all. Set-CsTenantFederationConfiguration should be used in conjuction with New-CsEdgeDomainPattern so the working syntax for these two commands are as follows:

$x = New-CsEdgeDomainPattern -Domain ""
Set-CsTenantFederationConfiguration -AllowedDomainsAsAList @{Add=$x}

using these commands we can build a "list" or script with powershell commands.

$x = New-CsEdgeDomainPattern -Domain ""
Set-CsTenantFederationConfiguration -AllowedDomainsAsAList @{Add=$x}
$x = New-CsEdgeDomainPattern -Domain ""
Set-CsTenantFederationConfiguration -AllowedDomainsAsAList @{Add=$x}

And now Powershell, as well as the GUI is showing what I want.

PS C:\WINDOWS\system32> Get-CsTenantFederationConfiguration

Identity                            : Global
AllowedDomains                      :,,
BlockedDomains                      : {}
AllowFederatedUsers                 : True
AllowPublicUsers                    : True
TreatDiscoveredPartnersAsUnverified : False
SharedSipAddressSpace               : False

Don't hate - Federate!