Category: Skype for Business

Microsoft Teams devices

So maybe you’ve read my article on Microsoft Teams Rooms? These solutions are just a part of Teams devices which offer smarter ways to connect and work together in the ever-changing workplace.

First of all, the Teams devices are certified to work with Teams and Skype for Business for that matter. Then they offer the best-in-class performance and crisp sound and picture that the certification requires.

Room Systems – check this article out.

Room phones – These are for smaller rooms which don’t need a complete Room System. These devices actually run Android and have the Teams client installed so essentially, the device and room is actually logged into a room. This way you can quickly book a room and join the meeting from the room phone. You don’t have to login with your personal credentials but it can also be a shared room which is always logged on. Here’s a sneak peek how it looks:

Personal devices – these devices are your personal ones. For example the Jabra 710 which has a Teams button/LED which will flash if you have a missed call and when you press it, it will get you to the missed calls list in the Teams client.

Desk phones are still used by many. For example the left one below is Plantronics Elara 60 which is a mobile dock. Just put your mobile phone in the dock for wireless charging and it will pair itself with the dock. You will get hard puttons for calling and also a Teams button which will flash if you have missed calls in Teams and will bring you to the missed calls list on your mobile phone and remind you when you have meetings.

The right is a Yealink phone which has a large touchscreen which is running Android and the Teams app. This means you can easily perform and receive Teams calls directly on the phone. You can have it as a companion to your computer where you have your daily meeting schedule open on the device at all times. For the IT-pro, this also means you will be able to manage these phones from the Teams admin center since the device itself is actually enrolled into Azure AD as Azure AD registered.

And of course, the headsets which comes in various models and sizes. At Xenit, we use Jabra which have a large portfolio of different models.

But seriously, what’s wrong with any-high-quality Bluetooth headset out there, won’t it work? Well, to be honest – it might. My personal experience is that you can definitely pair your headset to your phone and Windows 10 client. You might miss out on some special functionality like busy-light on, call control functionality but you might not get the crisp sound quality you otherwise get because to be honest, the built-in Bluetooth in some laptop devices are simply not manufactured with sound quality in mind. But when I tried to use a high-quality Jabra Bluetooth headset with the built-in Bluetooth in my laptop did not work well. It worked 9 out of 10 times but I experience some unplanned disconnections during some meetings which I didn’t with the Jabra dongle.. that’s sad since the USB dongle really annoys me.

So before you go shopping, make sure you check out the list of certified devices at http://office.com/teamsdevices.



Microsoft Teams Rooms for modern meetings

How easy is it at your company to start a Teams or Skype meeting online in your conference room without technical difficulties? Maybe you have a very large (and expensive) video conference system in your board room but you wish you also could equip the smaller huddle rooms with such systems? Then you should look into Microsoft Teams Rooms which is the new name for Skype Room Systems.

You cant  argue the trend of moving to a more modern and mobile workplace. In a few years, more and more employees will probably not be stationed at a certain office or desk. This requires better tools and services and a big part of this is the digital meetings. We have during the last 3 years seen a massive growth, installing more video conference rooms than the last 30 years and we have seen a switch moving from proprietary (and expensive) solutions to standardized and more affordable systems so even the smallest huddle room can get one…

In it’s simplest form, you book the room in Outlook as you have done for years and you choose if it should be a Teams or a Skype meeting:

When you enter the conference room, the control unit on the table lights up and show you the upcoming meetings:

All you have to do is to click Join on your meeting and within a few seconds the meetings is started, all participants are joined, no matter if it’s via the Teams/Skype client, the web client, app on their phone or have dialed in to the number in the invitation. You see the participants on the control unit and on the bigscreen in front of the room and of course their video if they share it. From the control unit you can mute/unmute and and instantly add participants to the meeting from the directory or call them.

Want to share your screen? Simple, just plug in the HDMI cable to your laptop and it will output to the bigscreen but also share it in the meeting with remote participants. Of course, remote participants can also share their screen in the meeting.

It’s the simplicity – one-click-join and the meeting is started. You no longer need to be a technician to get a meeting started, choosing the correct input on the bigscreen, choose the right speaker and mic.

Microsoft Team Rooms comes from different partners (Logitech, HP, Lenovo, Creston, Polycom, Yealink) which have certified systems in different sizes – from the smallest 4-people huddle room to the largest boardroom. A few examples:

Xenit has used Skype Room Systems for a long time and are extremely happy how it works.

So what about the tech and for IT?

Compared to other proprietary systems, Microsoft Teams Rooms run on Windows 10 with an Windows app. This means you can use your current tools for deploying and managing it as you would do for any other Windows client except that you need to make sure not all policies apply to the system. On-premise AD join, Azure AD join and Workgroup are all supported. The app itself, which only installs on certified devices so you can’t do this DIY, is automatically updated through the Windows Store. So for us at Xenit, it has been almost no support for this system since it was first setup – except for some occasional hardware issues where someone was “smart” to disconnect the HDMI cabling to connect it directly to their laptop.

Of course, Microsoft has done some work to cloud enable these devices if you want.

For example you can use Azure OMS (Operations Management Suite) to monitor these devices since they log a lot of information to the event log. For example you can get information regarding:

  • Active / Inactive Devices
  • Devices which experienced hardware / applications issues (disconnected cables anyone?)
  • Application versions installed
  • Devices where the application had to be restarted

All this can be alerted upon so you hopefully can solve problems before someone calls it in as a problem.

In a few months, the Microsoft Teams Rooms will light up in the Teams Admin Center for additional functionality. For example, if you enroll many of these devices, the admin center will enable you to more quickly enroll them with a profile with settings you want. It will also make it easier for inventory management, updates, monitoring and reporting.

Here’s a short demo:

Let us know if you want to discuss or even get a personal demo at our office.



Teams is replacing Skype for Business – how does it (really) work for the user?

Most of us know Teams is replacing Skype for Business in Office 365. There is no official end date but we see indications. Microsoft is no longer adding Skype for Business for new tenants with less than 500 users and they say Teams is now complete. Yesterday we also saw the first indication that Microsoft is starting to switch active tenants to Teams – so you better be ready!

Looking at the official Microsoft documentation, all is green and good. Just switch and you will experience all the goodness of Teams. But how does it really work and look for the end user? I assume you already know how Teams works and looks and the way to migrate – this blog post is just how it works for the end-user when it comes to interoperability with Skype for Business.

NOTE: Might change on short notice. Here is the Microsoft official documentation on interoperability.

Assume you’re in a SfB-only environment and consider using Teams. If you are in Coexistance mode: Islands, it means users can use both Skype for Business and Teams simultaneously:

You decide to switch one of your users (let’s call him Ben) to TeamsOnly mode and the rest of the users are still in SfB. Remember, there is nothing stopping all the other users to start using Teams, they just have to go to https://teams.microsoft.com and they can use SfB and Teams simultaneously.

Internal communication within tenant

If the user you switched to TeamsOnly, Ben, tries to start the SfB client, he will get:

But we shouldn’t uninstall the SfB client – keep on reading…

  • If both users are in Teams (in case some other users have found out they can use Teams) you will get the full experience so I will not go into details there.
  • Ben will be able to receive and reply to messages received from Sfb users within the Teams client.
  • Screen sharing and file transfer is not supported between Teams and Skype for Business – you need to create a meeting for that.

There is one caveat here, if the other user has ever started Teams weeks/months ago, they are considered to be “activated in Teams” which means Ben no longer can initiate a new SfB conversation with that user. Ben can only initiate a new conversation with the other user in Teams and if that user is no longer using Teams (for example if they decided they didn’t like it), they will not receive it. However, if the other users initiates chat from SfB to Ben, Ben will be able to reply to SfB.

The absolutely best feature is that you have persistent chat experience over all devices so you can initiate a chat session in a web browser on your laptop, continue in the fat client on your desktop and keep the whole thread in your mobile device.

So in short, we recommend to keep interoperability period as short as possible because some of the confusion it creates…

External communication

So imagine all your users are in Teams. But you will see that many other organizations are still using SfB in Office 365 or on-premises – how do you communicate with them?

  • Again, if both users are in Teams you will get the full experience so I will not go into details there.
  • Ben will be able to both initiate, receive and reply to SfB chat sessions.
  • Ben can still join SfB meetings, that’s what the SfB client is used for and needs to be running in the background. So we don’t see that going away very soon. Or, of course, he could use the SfB Web App if the SfB application is not installed.
  • Ben can’t initiate screen sharing nor file transfers to SfB users – a meeting is required for that.
  • If the other user (still on SfB) initiates a screen sharing or file transfer to Ben, it is not supported and the official answer is that the user should receive the following message and a meeting is required.
  • However, we have found that if Ben has his SfB client started, logged in and active in the background he will receive the following message and by clicking this link he will be able to see the screen sharing session and receive the file. YMMV.

Ben will also realize that the New Skype Meeting choice will be removed in Office 365 ProPlus and New Teams Meeting will be the only choice.

Same goes with the Outlook Mobile client on iOS/Android which depends on your tenant settings.

This is just one part of the story, the big difference is the way that Teams can be more than what SfB was when it comes to collaboration. You need to develop a plan for how to communicate this to your users… You might also have other dependencies with SfB like conference room equipment like Skype Room Systems and integration with PBX.

Interoperability between SfB and Teams might not be the best in the world, but we also see Microsoft is pushing Teams and from Ignite sessions, we see that the user experience during interoperability will not change much – what we see is what we get and we better adapt and inform our users so this is clear.



Skype for Business will be upgraded to Microsoft Teams

Last night, a couple of Office 365 users received the following popup in the portal that Skype for Business is now Microsoft Teams and they should start using Teams:

In the Office 365 Admin Portal, MC118018 was published by Microsoft and later removed, stating that they are starting to upgrading Skype for Business to Microsoft Teams.

The notice stated that for now, this is an opt-in experience, so it’ls not an immediately change by Microsoft, but as an action is required by 2018-09-07 it sure looks like you will be forced to upgrade.

There have not been an official announcement from Microsoft, yet but as Microsoft Ignite is less than a month a way we might see a few new announcements there and one of them might be that Skype for Business will be upgraded to Microsoft Teams.

Source



Uppdatering till Skype for Business on Mac, version 16.3.0.240

Microsoft släppte nu i veckan en uppdatering till Skype for Business on Mac, version 16.3.0.240.

Den senaste versionen innehåller en del rättningar på kända fel och buggar, bland de som ska vara åtgärdade finns:

  • Multiple prompts to leave meeting when pressing the hang-up button on a UC USB device.
    This is a known issue due to signaling with some USB devices.
  • Hold or resume the current call
    The hardware hold button works for the following devices for Lync for Mac while it doesn’t work on Skype for Business on Mac.

    • Polycom CX300 Desk phone
    • Jabra Bis 2400 II CC, headphone
    • Jabra Evolve 65 (Bluetooth dongle)
    • Jabra Evolve 65 (USB cable)
  • Skype for Business hangs after clicking on a meeting in the calendar
  • If the meeting invitation contains a specific text pattern like <someone@somewhere.com<mailto:someone@somewhere.com>>, it might cause Skype for Business on Mac to hang.
  • Menu to add/rename/delete contact group are disabled right after adding a new group
  • Expand/Collapse Group Chevron icon is out of sync with the list of contacts after minimize/maximize Skype for Business
  • When user tries to restart a video from the chat list, the user cannot see the remote user’s video

En fullständig lista över kända fel och buggar har Microsoft dokumenterat här:
Known issues – Skype for Business on Mac

För att hämta hem den senaste versionen, bege dig till nedanstående länk:
https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=54108

För att Outlook-integration med Skype for Business on Mac ska fungera optimalt, säkerställ att du har senaste versionen av Outlook 2016 for Mac. Minimum kravet 16.3.0.240 är Outlook Mac build 15.27 (161010).

 



Skype Room Systems v2 – enklare Skypemöten

Äntligen finns det användarvänliga videkonferenslösningar för Skype for Business som funkar till en rimlig kostnad – Skype Room Systems v2 med hårdvara från Logitech (tidigare kallat Project Rigel).

Kom in i konferensrummet och starta mötet på en gång med ett enda klick och koppla upp alla via video, ljud eller telefon på bara ett par sekund. Behöver du dela din skärm kopplar du in den och den delas i mötet och på skärm i konferensrummet automatiskt. Lättare kan det inte bli!

För bästa upplevelse, kontakta oss för ett demo i vårt Showroom och konferensrum i Göteborg, men för ett snabbt intro vad man kan göra, se följande video:

Även teknikern kommer uppskatta systemet då det bygger på en vanlig Windows 10 Enterprise med en speciellt utformat applikation av Microsoft.



bounSky – perfekt för dig som sköter Skype for Business / Lync miljöer

Om du arbetar som admin eller utvecklare för flera Skype for Business / Lync miljöer så känner du säkert igen att logga in och ut ur olika miljöer och tiden det tar att logga ut/in och skriva in lösenord hela tiden.

Här kan bounSky hjälpa dig. Det är ett litet verktyg som gör det snabbt och enkelt för dig att switcha mellan olika klientprofiler i Skype for Business / Lync klienten. Förutom med GUI så kan du styra klienten programmatiskt eller via shortcuts vilket gör att du kan switcha profiler väldigt snabbt.

bounsky-main2



Skype for Business och Lync Centralised Event Viewer Tool

Alla som administrerat en större Skype for Business / Lync miljö vet hur komplicerat det är att få en bra vy över event loggarna på alla servrarna. Ofta får man helt enkelt logga in på respektive server och titta på dem manuellt. På sin höjd har man en anpassad MMC för att titta i loggarna men det fungerar sådär. Ett par andra alternativ är att använda LogParser (kanske med LogParser Studio) eller Microsofts molntjänst OMS (Operations Management Suite) och dess del Log Analytics.

Det är dock inte alltid möjligt. Då finnns Skype for Business and Lync Centralised Event Viewer Tool, ett verktyg som tillåter dig att samla in event loggar från samtliga Skype for Business / Lync servrar i organisationen till en central plats. Det gör det betydligt enklare att få en översikt och filtrera ut det som är viktigt.

EventLogTool1.00_sm



Office Online Server Preview

Microsoft har släppt Office Online Server, uppföljande till Office Web App Server, som Technical Preview. I tidigare versionen, Office Web App Server har man enbart kunnat förhandsgranska Word, Excel, PowerPoint och OneNote-dokument i webbläsaren men i nya Office Online Server erbjuder man även nu möjligheten att redigera dokumenten direkt i webbläsaren utan att behöva ha Office lokalt installerat på sin klient.

Nedan följer exempel på hur det ser ut i webbmailen i en Exchange Server 2016-miljö

Utan Office Web Apps Server / Office Online Server

Exchange 2016 utan Office Web Apps Server och Office Online Server

Office Web Apps Server

Exchange 2016 med Office Web Apps Server

Office Online Server (Preview)

Exchange 2016 med Office Online Server - 2

Office Online Server Preview finns att ladda ner här:
http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=49028



Skype for Business hårdvara – Använd rätt headset

Använder du Skype for Business med ett enkelt headset eller kanske till och med din laptops inbyggda högtalare och mic? Då är det dags att titta på alternativen. Vi lovar du får en mycket bättre upplevelse!

Certified_Skype_for_Business_Blue

Det är viktigt att headset:et bär stämpeln Certified for Skype for Business eller Optimized for Lync. Microsoft certifierar hårdvara som garanterar bra audio och/eller video kvalitet och supporterar extrafunktionerna som nämns. Mer information och lista på certifierade enheter hittar du här.

Personligen använder jag ett trådlöst headet, Jabra Evolve 65 MS.

Jabra_Evolve_65_MS

Jag använder det dagligen på att lyssna på musik/video från datorn och då kan jag fälla upp mic:en så den inte är ivägen. Jag kan höja och sänka ljudet på sidan av ena hörluren. Trycker jag in Vol+ och Vol- samtidigt så tänds en röd lampa på headsetet för att visa jag är upptagen.

Jag har det kopplat både till min mobiltelefon och till datorn så oberoende om det ringer på telefonen eller i Skype for Business så mute:as musiken och ringer i headsetet och jag kan svara med knappen på headsetet.

Och sitter du i landskap eller arbetar i högljudda nivåer så är det headset perfekt – jag kan stå ett rack fullt med servrar och personen i andra änden hör knappt oljudet. Headset:et pratar med mig också, när batteriet börjar ta slut så säger en röst “Battery low…”, betydligt behagligare än pip.

Vill du verkligen stänga ute ljudet runtomkring dig kan du titta på Jabra Evolve 80 MS.

Jabra_Evolve_80_MS

Kontakta oss för att få ett demo hur du kan samarbeta över Skype for Business på ett effektivare sätt!