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!