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Enabling PSTN Calling for an Office 365 E3 User in 5 Easy Steps

I frequently encounter the situation where a company (or individual) has an Office 365 tenant with all E3 licenses but they want to enable some users for Skype for Business Online PSTN Calling (the ability to dial-out and receive calls to phone numbers in a geo-region where Skype for Business Online (SfBO) PSTN calling is currently available).

This article discusses the most basic direct way to accomplish this so that people can understand the basic process and requirements.

One of the first questions people have is whether they can purchase a handful of E5 licenses in an “E3 tenant” (an O365 tenant that currently has nothing but E3 licensed users). . . . → Read More: Enabling PSTN Calling for an Office 365 E3 User in 5 Easy Steps

Set Custom Policies in Skype for Business Online

For those who have worked with Skype for Business Online (SfBO) policies, you know that the policies which govern user behavior and features are pre-configured with a set of default policies for the Office 365 SfBO tenant.

This was somewhat painful for a couple of reasons:

Policies which had a large number of settings (e.g. Conferencing), had to have a huge number of default policies to cover all the combination of features enabled/disabled Organizations could not set a custom specific set of features to create policies which matched their business needs.

Skype for Business Server 2015 On-premises of course allows the creation of custom policies. Recently Microsoft brought this custom . . . → Read More: Set Custom Policies in Skype for Business Online

Generating a List of Available Skype for Business Online PowerShell Cmdlets with Documentation

The Skype for Business Online (SfBO) PowerShell Module is the primary command line management tool for Administrators.

New users of this module are often surprised to learn that the cmdlets exposed by this module are not defined in the Skype for Business Online PowerShell module itself. Instead, the SfBO PowerShell Module creates an implicit remote PowerShell session and imports the cmdlet definitions from the Online SfBO tenant. The cmdlet’s made available in this module therefore could vary by tenant (i.e. based on the type of licensed Office 365 tenant), and be changed online in the tenant (i.e. by Microsoft) without releasing a new PowerShell module (which is installed locally).

. . . → Read More: Generating a List of Available Skype for Business Online PowerShell Cmdlets with Documentation

Getting the Distribution of Skype for Business Online Registrar Pools used in an Office 365 Tenant

Much like Skype for Business on-premises users, each Skype for Business Online (SfBO) user has a home pool. This home pool consists of multiple SfB servers running in Office 365 data centers. On sign-in, the each SfBO user establishes a Skype for Business session with one of the SfB servers in that home pool.  It is also the users’ home pool for any conferences they host (organize), which determines where the media (audio, video, screen sharing) is broadcast from. These servers reside in different Office 365 data centers, and knowing which online SfB registrar pools are being used, and by which users, can help troubleshoot sign-in issues, configure firewalls, and . . . → Read More: Getting the Distribution of Skype for Business Online Registrar Pools used in an Office 365 Tenant

Behind the Scenes look at the Skype for Business Online PowerShell Module

As Skype for Business Online (SfBO) adoption on Office 365 continues to grow, more organizations are turning to PowerShell to manage the SfBO tenant and users.

The Skype for Business PowerShell Module used to the connect to the tenant is interesting.  Knowing a little but about how this module works behind the scene’s can go a long way to understanding any issues that come up.

There are 3 things you need to do to connect to your Skype for Business Online tenant with PowerShell using the SfBO PowerShell Module:

Action PowerShell to Accomplish It Notes Import the SkypeOnlineConnector Import-Module -Name SkypeOnlineConnector   Establish a New Remote SfBO PowerShell Session $SFBOSession . . . → Read More: Behind the Scenes look at the Skype for Business Online PowerShell Module

5 Tips & Reminders for End Users During a SIP Address Change

SIP address changes inside organizations are usually challenging – for the IT team making the change and the end users experiencing the change. For those unfamiliar with the SIP address change, it involves a change to either:

The format of the left-hand side (e.g. user-id@domain.com changing to firstname.lastname@domain.com) The domain name on the right-hand side of the @ sign (e.g. user@domain.com changes to user@new_domain.com)

This blog entry contains key reminders to end users going through the SIP address change process.

The impact to end users will depend somewhat on the Lync or Skype for Business (SfB) deployment and the clients used.

In most environments however, end users need to take . . . → Read More: 5 Tips & Reminders for End Users During a SIP Address Change

DNS Records in a Skype for Business Hybrid Deployment

The DNS records for a Skype for Business (SfB) on-premises deployment can be somewhat complex, but are well documented (see Microsoft TechNet – DNS requirements for Skype for Business).  While working on a recent hybrid Skype for Business (SfB) deployment, I realized there is a lot of confusion. This was a classic hybrid deployment – some SfB servers and users on-premises, and some in SfB Online sharing one DNS namespace. This article aims to clear up some of this confusion.

The unique question that comes up in hybrid is where should I point my DNS records for clients to logon?  On-premises or online?

The general golden rule in a SfB . . . → Read More: DNS Records in a Skype for Business Hybrid Deployment

Key Skype for Business Online Policy Settings

As I work more with enterprises adopting Skype for Business (SfB) Online in Office 365, many questions arise about setting user policies which govern which features which compliance, security, and resource usage.

There are many policies (about 12 that applicable to individual SfB Online users), and each type of policy can have many settings (52 for the Conferencing Policy for example), and it is difficult to know what settings are available, what the individual setting enables/disables, and which ones matter the most.

In my experience the 4 most commonly used SfB Online policies are:

Conferencing External Access Client Voice

The importance of each policy type will depend on what features . . . → Read More: Key Skype for Business Online Policy Settings

Managing Skype for Business Online Administrator Rights

With an Office 365  Skype for Business Online (SfB Online) tenant that has several SfB Administrators, I frequently need to review who has Administrator access – that is – who has the ability to see, and change, SfB settings. This includes everything from SfB service settings, user settings, to permission changes. This blog entry explains the basics for Skype for Business Online administrator permissions and how to easily review them.

The Basics

SfB Online Administrator permissions leverage the default Office 365 Admin Roles and their associated Permissions in Office 365. Office 365 has predefined administrator roles, and each role has a set of permissions which allow the Office 365 user . . . → Read More: Managing Skype for Business Online Administrator Rights