Friday, January 30, 2015

Introduction to Skype for Business

Today Microsoft Sweden invited us to the office in Kista to get an introduction to Skype for business and to have lunch. Niklas Dahlgren, Arifur Rahman, Emelie Ekblad and Andreas Svanberg from Microsoft were presenting. Martin Lidholm was talking about how to successfully roll out a collaboration platform, and Mats Lillenberg from Länsstyrelserna was talking about their Lync 2010 installation. Thanks Guys!

Why is Lync becoming Skype for business?
More people are familiar with the "Skype" brand rather than Lync, which is one rationale behind the name change. It is easier for people to explain what Skype is, rather than what Lync is. Skype for business will use Skype's colors and logo.

This is the third name change of the product.
LCS 2003 - LCS 2005 - OCS 2007 - Lync 2010 - Lync 2013 - Skype for business

In Swedish the product will be known as "Skype för företag" since "for business" is a translatable term.

Why do people like Skype so much?
  • Skype calls are free!
  • Lync 2013 (S4B) and Skype video calling is already available
  • Realtime translation of text and voice is available in Skype (beta) today

What is "Skype for Business" to be released in the "first half of 2015"?
  • A new client (for Windows supporting the SILK codec, no new client for Mac)
  • A new server
  • Updates to Office 365

All functionality of Lync 2013 will still be present in Skype for business.

Support for SQL Server Always On

Better performance and stability using Windows Fabric 3.x

One new server role will be included in this release, the VIS, Video Interoperability Server role. No content sharing between Cisco VTC and S4B will be available (S4B uses RDP for sharing - Cisco uses a video stream)

Call via work will still be there, but will it ever be used in Sweden?

Broadcast meetings / Large Meeting support / auditorium style meetings.
Will be a cloud solution using Microsoft Azure, even if all connected users are internal.
It will support more than 250 users, but not defined now exactly how many users that will be supported. Probably will more functionality be introduced in this way.

Support for federation with "consumer Skype" users who have a SkypeID or an MSA, with a directory search. However there will be no search from Skype into Skype for business.
Skype / Lync 2013 video is already available.

Consistent Conversation history across devices (Exchange and S4B are integrated tighter.)

Some type of web RTC, voice and video via a webpage, will be supported.

"Native" PSTN connectivity will be available in Lync Online later in 2015, but in the US of A, not in Sweden :-(

Certified devices have always been important in Lync, this will continue in S4B. S4B will not adopt the laissez faire Skype consumer approach. The consumer version of Skype has a test tool that will verify if the connected device is good enough. Certified or qualified? Qualified or optimized? There is a difference but this is mainly American legal mumbo-jumbo and should not even be discussed in Sweden (in my opinion). SIP Trunks and PBXs are certified, headsets are qualified. There are significant quality differences even between different qualified headsets (you get what you pay for.) The qualified program is only for Windows devices and not for devices connected to iOS or Mac.

How good is the new in-place upgrade process?
It "should" work, but of course it depends on the existing system. A side-by-side migration can be performed in case you do not really trust the in place upgrade.

A question on usability from an organization with 35% of users on Windows and 65% Mac users was asked. The current Lync client for Mac is not to great, when will a new better Mac client be released? Mac users will unfortunately still have to use the existing Mac Lync client with the S4B Server. Skype to S4B video calling will not work on Mac.

Not much is new in administration, same tools as for Lync 2013 will remain.
Some new improved reporting will come later on.

When will S4B be released? "Soon", "in the first half of 2015".
In the Office Summit tour more information will be presented further on.

(Hope to see you guys in Amsterdam on February 11-12!)

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Lync course questions, answers and links

I have enjoyed training people on Lync 2013 for about one and a half years by now, and Lync 2010 before that. I would like to thank all my students for their participation in the courses, all the questions, comments and ideas have really got me thinking and working. So far I have met some 150 students in Sweden and around 50 international English speaking students. I will probably run a couple of more Lync 2013 classes, but currently I am really focusing on the forthcoming Skype for business software (aka Lync 2015). (Anyone need a Skype for Business trainer?)

Hence I would like to post a concluding Lync 2013 information article. Basically it is some of the questions I received from students, many of them asked more than once, and also a lot of links pointing to solid Lync 2013 information. Enjoy!

Lync 2013 Links – in order of importance

Lync downloads and updates
Lync Open Interoperability Program
Qualified Lync applications
IP Phones
Remote Connectivity Analyzer
Client Comparison Tables
Mobile Client Comparison Tables
Client Interoperability in Lync 2013
Lync Client Software Support
Lync Web App Supported Platforms
Determine DNS Requirements (Login process)
Database Software Support (Mirroring AND Clustering)
SQL mirroring
Lync 2013 Prerequisites on Windows Server 2012
Software pre-requisites

Microsoft Lync Server and Skype Connectivity Provisioning
Svenska Lyncfederationslistan
Reverse Proxy
Lync Edge Port Tester Tool

Migration from Lync Server 2010 to Lync Server 2013
Migration 2010 till 2013
Step by Step Migration from Lync Server 2010 to Lync Server 2013

Overview of the Centralized Logging Service
Using the Centralized Logging Service
Lync 2013 Centralised Logging Deep Dive

Lync 2010 Adoption and Training kit
Cumulative update version information for Lync client and Lync server
Improvements in Lync 2013 (Preview)
Lync 2013 Cumulative Update 2
Busy in Lync
How to hide users from the Lync Address Book
Simple URLs

Issue with OAuth Certificate & Installing Multiple Lync 2013 Servers at the Same Time
Citrix Support (XenDesktop 7.x, XenApp 6.x/7.x and Citrix Receiver 4.x)
Lync Mobile update–Gallery View on iPad
Lync 2013: Videoconferencing
How Persistent Chat Server Works
Using multiple SIP domains
Lync 2013 Licensing 1/2
Lync 2013 Licensing 2/2
Unified Contact Store
Supported pool pairing options
Lync Contact Migrator
Deploy Office Web Apps Server


Questions in Radom order

Is it possible to use the Lync 2013 client with a Lync 2010 server?
Client interoperability in Lync 2013

Is it possible to use the Lync 2013 RT client with a Lync 2010 server?
Yes, as long as the Lync 2010 server have at least CU5 installed (or better)

Can we migrate OCS 2007 R2 straight to Lync 2013
(without going to Lync 2010 first)?

Migration from Office Communications Server 2007 R2 to Lync Server 2013

How do Lync show free/busy information and meeting details from Outlook?

How do the privacy relationship change what information others can see about me?
Control access to your presence information in Lync

What rights are needed to publish a topology from the Topology builder or the Management shell?
The user must be a member of the RTCUniversalServerAdmins and Domain Admins groups.
Publish the topology in Lync Server 2013

It is also possible to delegate rights to the Enable-CsTopology command to members of the RTCUniversalServerAdmins group using the Grant-CsSetupPermission command.
Delegate setup permissions in Lync Server 2013

What is the difference between RTC groups and CS groups?
Planning for Role-Based Access Control

The RTC groups control the access rights for users locally; remote powershell is using the localmachine account which in turn is member of certain RTC groups.

Can we use nested groups (groups in groups) with RBAC?

Is there an easy way to Lync enable multiple users at once?
Yes, with the following powershell command:
Get-CsAdUser -OU "OU=Test,DC=Adatum,DC=com" | Enable-CsUser -RegistrarPool -SipAddressType emailaddress

Can Citrix use the Lync 2013 VDI plug-in?

Can we participate in Lync meetings via BlackBerry?
No, presence and IM only.

Is the Lync 2013 Web App available in multiple languages?
Yes, Lync 2013 Web App is available in 44 languages, Swedish is one of them.

Are there solutions to minimize SPIM (Spam IM) in Lync?
Yes, there are settings in the Lync client to block IM from federated users that has not yet been added to the contact list.

There are also 3rd party solutions available.

How is Lync 2013 integrated with OWA from Exchange 2013?
Integrating Exchange 2013 OWA and Lync Server 2013

How is Lync 2013 using EWS (Exchange Web Services)?
Lync 2013 compatibility

Can we integrate Lync Online (Office 365) with an on premise Exchange server?
How to integrate Exchange Server 2013 with Lync Online

What is new with the address book service in Lync 2013?
Address Book changes for Lync 2013

What is the Office Web Apps Server (aka WAC – Web Application Companion)?
Office Web Apps Server overview

How do external users connect to Office Web Apps Server to see Lync meeting content?
Through a Reverse Proxy.
Publishing Office Web Apps Server in Lync Server 2013 using a reverse proxy server

Is it possible to use a wildcard cert for the Office Web Apps Server?
Security planning for Office Web Apps Server

Is the Office Web Apps Server caching PowerPoint presentations?
Yes, by default for 30 days.
Manage the Office Web Apps cache

Why is a domain name ( present as a SAN in the external Lync Edge certificate?
It is used by the XMPP proxy software.

What is Exchucutil and ocsumutil actually doing?

Is it possible to dial out from a Response Group?
Yes, an anonymous group.

Can we access a persistent chat room over Lync 2013 edge?

Can we invite federated users to persistent chat rooms?

How can we know who is talking when looking at a Lync meeting in gallery view?
There is a blue ”bar” underlining the video feed of the person that is talking.
Lync 2013: Videoconferencing with Gallery View

What license is needed to host a Lync meeting where a participant is calling in via dial-in conferencing?
Audio conferences hosted by the user require either the Enterprise CAL or the Plus CAL–this means if a user has either of these two CALs, the user is licensed to create Audio conferences. (See the Licensing guide)