Thursday, October 25, 2018

Techdays 2018 - Call Quality from headset to cloud

Presented by Mattias Kressmark (that's me! :-) )


The presentation started with defining Call Quality and why it is a good thing to monitor and work with call quality - it benefits many applications running on the network really. All clients, new as old, Lync, Skype for business and Teams sends a VQR - voice quality report - at the end of a call. The Call quality dashboard will then categorize the audio streams as good, bad or unknown based on the definition found in the article: Stream Classification in Call Quality Dashboard.



A stream is determined to be unknown when CQD is unable to classify the stream. This could be due to a network outage, a client exiting abruptly or the stream were to short / contained to few packets to be classified.


The Call Quality Dashboard (or Samtalskvalitetsinstrumentbr√§dan as we say in Swedish)  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.

The Call Quality Dashboard works with Measures, Dimensions and Filters in a SQL cube so that you could "query" the data in the following way: "Give me the number of Poor streams (measure) by building (dimension) for the past month (filter)" The Call Quality Dashboard works with streams, not calls and have a system for naming participants as "first" or "second".

The presentation continued with 5 demos on the Call Quality Dashboard

The Skype for Business Network Assessment Tool can be used to test networks before allowing media for either Skype for Business or Microsoft Teams. The tool can also be used to determine if UDP is allowed to / from Office 365 and it can be made to make calls over a long time period like 7 days.

The Network Testing Companion is a neat GUI to the Skype for Business Network Assessment Tool.
With the ”On-premise Health Report Pack” it has been possible to extract data from on-premises Skype for business systems and load this data into a PowerBI template. This functionality will become available for CQD online with the CQD Power BI Connector.


Other coming features in the CQD roadmap are:
  • Near-Real-Time (NRT) data which will give faster data availability (15-30 mins)
  • Up to 12 months of historic data.
  • Personally Identifiable Information (PII) user names, IP addresses, MAC addresses and BSSIDs will be in CQD reports.
Skype for business 2019 which now is released! Contains the "Cloud Call Data Connector" which will allow for upload of on-premises call data to be uploaded into CQD online.

Skype for Business 2019 is here!

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 http://adaptivecards.io (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.


Links

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.

Links