What’s Happening to InsideSkype.com?

This past year, I’ve largely focused my efforts on other community efforts such as Office 365 Podcast O365Eh! with fellow MVP’s Habib Mankal, Dino Caputo, and Michael LaMontagne.  This left little time for blogging.

To celebrate the 10th anniversary of my Office 365 MVP Award (see below for the cool 10th year MVP ring!), this blog is coming out of dormancy and being re-branded to “Inside Office 365” to better reflect my expertise and the move to Office 365 applications and services, with an emphasis on Microsoft Teams.

You can expect some great tips, tricks, and resource for Microsoft Teams, Skype for Business, OneDrive, and all the . . . → Read More: What’s Happening to InsideSkype.com?

Current Surface Hub Options for Skype for Business Online & Teams

The Microsoft Surface Hub has been a popular choice for a next generation collaboration device for Skype for Business & Teams with it’s immersive and feature rich meeting experiences. As organizations migrate to the cloud and look to upgrade their collaboration devices, this quick post addresses a common question – does the shipping version of Surface Hub support Microsoft Teams, and is it worth waiting for the newly announced Surface Hub 2.0?

If you are not familiar with the Microsoft Surface Hub collaboration experience, there are some quick videos here which illustrate the power of this device within a meeting room setting.

Surface Hub 2 Not Widely . . . → Read More: Current Surface Hub Options for Skype for Business Online & Teams

5 Things to Know about the new Skype for Business Online & Teams Admin Center

April 5th, 2018 Update: Microsoft has made an official announcement of the new Teams & Skype for Business Admin Center here: Announcing the new Microsoft Teams & Skype for Business Admin Center.

At Ignite 2017 we first learned of Microsoft’s plan to deliver a new Office 365 Admin Center that unifies the management experience for both Teams and Skype for Business Online (SfBO). Since then, many ITPro’s have had questions such as what features will be included, what is the fate of the existing SfBO Admin Center, and when will it be available?

Microsoft recently released more public details on the new Admin Center, including features, roadmap, and a time . . . → Read More: 5 Things to Know about the new Skype for Business Online & Teams Admin Center

Yammer Integration with Skype for Business Online

Skype for Business Online integration directly within the Yammer web client rolled-out in the latter half of 2017. As more organizations adopt Skype for Business Online, Yammer users are leveraging this integration.

This post summarizes the features available, and more importantly, two common issues and how to resolve them.

Feature Recap

At a high level, the SfB integration enables Yammer users:

Use basic Skype for Business features in a thin web client embedded directly in the Yammer web client See the SfB presence of other Yammer users and initiate communication with them Receive IM conversations directly within Yammer

Key Limitations:

The Yammer user must have a Skype for Business Online . . . → Read More: Yammer Integration with Skype for Business Online

Office 365 Usage Location and Skype for Business Online

Questions often arise in Skype for Business Online (SfBO) administration regarding the a user’s registered “location”. In the SfBO admin center we see it as the location field in the user listing as shown here:

This subtle setting is important for the voice Phone System calling plan (PSTN) service configuration in SfBO because it restricts what phone numbers can be assigned to a user, and their associated emergency location. Specifically, only registered emergency locations (addresses) that belong to the same country as a users’ location can specified for that user. In addition, when assigning phone numbers to a user, only acquired numbers in the same country are available for . . . → Read More: Office 365 Usage Location and Skype for Business Online

Tips for Transitioning from Skype for Business Hybrid to Pure Online

As Office 365 adoption grows, more Skype for Business (SfB) hybrid deployments are being transitioned to pure online after all of the users have been migrated to online. While some steps in this final transition process are well documented, such as the decommissioning of the SfB on-premises servers, other steps are poorly documented.

This post provides some details on one step of the transition to pure online that isn’t well documented: removing the SfB user attributes (e.g. msRTC*) in on-premises AD from users after hybrid mode has been changed to pure online. This post assumes that the hybrid environment has AD directory synchronization configured (e.g. on-prem AD was synchronized to . . . → Read More: Tips for Transitioning from Skype for Business Hybrid to Pure Online

5 Tips for Skype for Business Modern Authentication Scenarios

The world is adopting multi-factor authentication, and Microsoft is rapidly adding support in their server, services, and clients to support it. Microsoft’s name for multi-factor support is Modern Authentication (MA) and support has been added for Skype for Business Server (SfB), Exchange Server, and more recently, the equivalent online cloud services (Exchange Online and Skype for Business Online).

In practice, with potentially a decade of legacy client versions, and a now matrix of possible SfB and Exchange hybrid topologies, supporting MA for all the users in an enterprise requires some planning.

There is plenty of good documentation about how to enable MA both on-premises and online. This article highlights 5 . . . → Read More: 5 Tips for Skype for Business Modern Authentication Scenarios

Tip - How to Mute the Audio in a Skype for Business Call

I have talked to several people lately who have had the need to mute the audio coming from a Skype for Business meeting or web conference.  Not mute their microphone, but the speaker/headset audio stream from the conference.  They they are needing to listen to something else  – take another call, listen to music while they just watch the conference, or even trying to participate in two conference calls at the same time.

They have struggled in the Skype for Business 2016 client on how to control this, so I wanted to pass along a couple of tips.

The simplest option to just mute the incoming audio stream is . . . → Read More: Tip–Muting the Audio in a Skype for Business Call

Use Skype for Business Online Audio Conferencing in Teams

A quick blog post to let folks know about an audio conferencing capability in Skype for Business Online (SfBO) that can be leveraged in Microsoft Teams – the ability to use (re-use) your Audio Conferencing configuration.

For example, I am configured for SfBO Audio Conferencing with a bridge number, etc.. in the SfBO Admin Center via an E3 license and Audio Conferencing Add-On. In Outlook, when I schedule an SfBO meeting, my Audio Conferencing information is included as shown here:

I can also schedule and organize a Teams meeting with the same SfBO Audio Conferencing configuration & bridge as shown here:

The only difference is the Conference ID.

. . . → Read More: Use Skype for Business Online Audio Conferencing in Teams

Skype for Business Online Coexistence with Exchange On-Premises

As Skype for Business Online gains adoption, there are more questions regarding feature support with Exchange On-Premises and pure Skype for Business Online (not hybrid). Specifically, what integrated features are supported and what limitations exist? This article provides a summary of what to expect in this scenario.

For starters, Exchange Server 2016/2013/2010 on-premises and a pure Skype for Business Online is supported with the right configuration. This Microsoft Support article is not well advertised but is a good reference on how to support this scenario: How to integrate Exchange Server 2013 with Lync Server 2013, Skype for Business Online, or a Lync Server 2013 hybrid deployment.

More details on co-existence . . . → Read More: Skype for Business Online Coexistence with Exchange On-Premises