Tagged: O365

News from Teams and SFB from Ignite 2018

Last week (24. – 28. of September 2018) Microsoft Ignite 2018 took place in Orlando, FL, USA. There were several news and announcements regarding intelligent communication based on Microsoft Teams, Skype for Business (Server) and related technology and services.

You can find a link list of interesting sessions regarding Teams and Skype for Business, here and of course you can watch the recordings of the sessions on demand, if available.

In case you wan a bulk download of the contents, there is a useful PowerShell script you can get from the TechNet Script Gallery.

What’s new in Microsoft Teams for September 2018?

There are a some interesting news regarding Microsoft Teams for this/past month (August/September 2018) which I’d like to sum up and share with you:

  1. Skype for Business Online and Teams feature-parity is reached based on the official roadmap (pretty nice!)
    (Cp. external source: https://techcommunity.microsoft.com/t5/Microsoft-Teams-Blog/Microsoft-Teams-is-now-a-complete-meeting-and-calling-solution/ba-p/236042, roadmap https://skypeandteams.blob.core.windows.net/artefacts/Skype%20for%20Business%20to%20Teams%20Capabilities%20Roadmap.pdf)

    1. Messaging feature-parity (for details see above external links)
    2. Meetings feature-parity (for details see above external links)
    3. Calling feature-parity (for details see above external links)
    4. Replace Skype for Business Online over time with Teams
  2. You can now choose your mic and speaker (headset) before joining a Microsoft Teams Call/Conf
    (Cp. external source: https://www.petri.com/microsoft-fixed-one-annoying-aspects-teams)
  3. Microsoft Teams Launches Canada, Australia and Japan Data Residency
    (Cp. external source: https://techcommunity.microsoft.com/t5/Microsoft-Teams-Blog/Microsoft-Teams-Launches-Australia-and-Japan-Data-Residency/ba-p/237827, https://techcommunity.microsoft.com/t5/Microsoft-Teams-Blog/Microsoft-Teams-Launches-Canada-Data-Residency-Australia-and/ba-p/227178)
  4. I’m also looking forward to Microsoft Ignite 2018 to get some Team news and insights …

Enjoy working with Teams and the extended rich feature set.

Highlights of SFB Server 2019, SFB Online, SFB Hybrid and Teams

Microsoft’s Ignite 2017 in Orlando took place and some very interesting announcements were made. This post sums up some contents and highlights regarding Skype for Business and Teams which were mentioned in one of the sessions (see link/video at the bottom). All contents might be subject to change and only provide a high level overview and summary.

Skype for Business Server (SFBS) 2019

Skype for Business Server (SFBS) 2019 Migrationpaths

  • Server 2013 -> Server 2019
  • Server 2015 -> Server 2019
  • Minimum OS: Windows Server 2016
  • Minimum SQL: SQL Server 2016

Current State –> Migration Proposal towards Teams

  • No onpremise Lync/SFB server –> Go for a TEAMs pilot (IMP, Meetings, Voice)
  • Onpremise SFB server without Enterprise Voice –> Go for TEAMs pilot in coexistence with SFB, migrate to TEAMs over time
  • Onpremise SFB server with Enterprise Voice –> Assess current capabilities incl. third-party integrations, service contracts etc., go for TEAMs pilot in coexistence with SFB, evaluate migration feasability to TEAMs or SFB Server 2019

SFBS 2019, SFB Online and Teams Hybrid

  • Office 365 Tenant required
  • Office 365 Tenant/Cloud (admin) permissions required
  • Hybrid aware Office 365 portal
  • Call Analytics and Retention in one portal for all useres
  • Voicemail Services provided via Cloud Backend for SFB Server 2019
  • Auto Attendant provided via Cloud Backend for SFB Server 2019
  • Call Queues provided via Cloud Backend for SFB Server 2019
  • One experience for all users
  • Modern Auth (in Public Preview for SFB Server) –> AAD

Meeting Migration Service

  • Scheduled Meeting Update Service
  • Replaces Meeting Migration Tool
  • Supports moving user from SFBS to SFBO
  • Supports Exchange Online or Exchange Server 2016 User Mailboxes

CloudPBX

  • Bring your own trunk
  • No CCE

Skype for Business Server (SFBS) 2019 Response Groups News?

  • No news/no new features regarding on premise response group/s

High Availability – Windows Fabric

  • New Fabric
  • EE 1 – 16 Frontends (not 2!)
  • EE 2 does not work –> Quorum problem! Not usable

Future Roadmap Microsoft UC?

More details might be provided on the October 2017 Roadmap of TEAMs.

Source of the above information

 

To stay up to speed do not forget to check out http://skypepreview.com for new (preview) features and functions on SFB/Teams as well as the other links listed in my previous posts here on this blog.

Microsoft Skype for Business becomes Teams

Yesterday on Ignite, Microsoft announced two important milestones regarding UC:

  • First of all, Skype for Business will become Teams over time.
  • Second, Skype for Business Server  vNext is planned for Q4 2018.

It was very nice to see how smooth the migration can be done (SFB2Teams) and especially how the voice features (enterprise voice features from SFB) will be part of Teams.

The migration seems to be primarily “app-based”, i.e. you decide on O365 how to transition / migrate (side by side, side by side with notify, teams-only) and the client app is “switched” including contacts etc. A coexistence of clients seems to be possible, too, but of course not with the “persistence”.  The most impressive and futuristc part regarding teams were options to integrate holo lens / mixed reality into team conversations…

Microsoft Ignite 2017 Reminder

Tomorrow, 2017/25/09 Microsoft’s Ignite 2017 in Orlando (US) will kick off. You will be able to watch the keynotes from 15:00 – 23:00 h (UTC +01:00 Amsterdam, Berlin, …) via live stream. I’m looking forward to pretty awesome news and announcements regarding Office 365, Skype for Business, Teams, Yammer, … As you maybe already know there are rumors about SFB Online and Teams to become one or being merged to one single (cloud) platform (see links below)?! I’m thrilled to hear what’s going to happen with SFB and Teams. 🙂

I’m also very interested in UC-related AI (artificial intelligence) topics especially bots and fancy things we will be able to do with it. Automate things for communication-enabled business process (CEBP) etc. There so many options what can be done with it for all kind of companies, from small to large.

Enjoy and get positively amazed! 😉

 

Microsoft announced the availability of their cloud services in German Data Centers

Maybe you’ve already heard or read about it: Microsoft now announced that their cloud service offering can be provided by data centers located in Germany.

  • For details please visit the official website >>here<<,
  • for background how it works in Germany in regards of compliance, laws etc. you can find some explanation on the Microsoft Politik website >>here<< and
  • for gain some understanding what or where are the differences, please check out one of many Channel 9 Tech Summit 2016 presentation which explains the differences in regards to Azure >>here<<

In my opinion this is a great step forward in the right direction. Especially for Microsoft customers from Germany requiring services within Germany due to privacy protection topics, compliance, laws and etc.  I’m looking forward that more and more customers in Germany will adopt these cloud services to benefit from using them.

What’s new in Cisco Expressway 8.9?

Cisco’s new version of Expressway brings some new features which especially support your video infrastructure in regards of interoperability based on former Acano Edge features.

  • Edge Traversal of Microsoft SIP Traffic for Cisco Meeting Server Supported
  • Meeting Server Web Proxy NOT yet SUPPORTED
  • IM and Presence Service Federation With Skype for Business or Office 365 Organizations Preview
  • Cisco Expressway as H.323 Gatekeeper Supported
  • REST API Expansion Supported
  • Allow Jabber for iPhone and iPad to Use Safari for SSO Over MRA Supported
  • Shared Line / Multiple Line Support for MRA Endpoints Preview
  • Smart Call Home Preview
  • Secure Install Wizard Supported
  • DiffServ Code Point Marking Supported
  • Maintenance Mode For MRA Supported
  • X8.9 Changes and Enhancements Supported

The Cisco Expressway 8.9 release notes are here: http://www.cisco.com/c/dam/en/us/td/docs/voice_ip_comm/expressway/release_note/Cisco-Expressway-Release-Note-X8-9.pdf and the Expressway 8.9 admin guide is there: http://www.cisco.com/c/dam/en/us/td/docs/voice_ip_comm/expressway/admin_guide/Cisco-Expressway-Administrator-Guide-X8-9.pdf.

Team up using Microsoft Teams

Microsoft released the preview of new service based on Office 365, called Teams. Take a look around, the web is already stuffed with loads of information about the new collaborative team service. Below I’ve put together some links pointing to contents about Microsoft Teams worth reading plus the official intro videos from Microsoft.

Microsoft Teams Intro

 

Microsoft Teams: Step-by-Step intro and overview

Microsoft Team Link Dossier

What you should read and know about it:

Minor changes to the Skype for Business user interfaces coming soon

The Skype for Business (CTR version, via O365 SFB Online) user interface is about to get some minor changes soon (depending on your deployment (current/deferred) on O365). How it  might look like you can see on the NextHop Blog >>here<<. It might be subject to change. I guess that these updates will follow afterwards for on premise users/client versions by the default update paths (Microsoft Update) which is not yet mentioned on the blog post.

Express Route für Office 365 / Skype for Business Online

Microsoft hat bereits Cloud PBX-Features für Einwahlkonferenzen und Cloud Telefonie angekündigt (vgl. vorherigen Blogbeitrag). Gegenwärtig wird stark daran gearbeitet diese Features weiterzuentwickeln und immer besser zu machen. Eine sehr förderliche Verbesserung für die künftige Qualität von Kommunikation (insbesondere Voice und Video) ist die Verbindung Azure Express Route zu Office 365. Mit der Option dass Express Route für Office 365 eingesetzt werden kann, kann die Qualität der Kommunikation maßgeblich verbessert werden. Wie dies funktioniert möchte ich nachstehend kurz und knapp beschreiben. Details sind in den Links am Ende dieses Blogbeitrags zu finden.

Was ist Express Route?

Microsoft Azure Express Route ist ein Dienst um das eigene Rechenzentrum oder (viele) eigene Rechenzentren mit der Azure Cloud von Microsoft zu verbinden. Die Verbindung erfolgt zwischen MPLS-Provider-Netz und Microsoft Rechenzentren. ISP/MPLS Provider müssen dafür zertifiziert sein. Aktuell gibt es bereits viele ISPs/MPLS-Provider, die für Azure Express Route zertifiziert sind.

Abbildung 1 Microsoft Azure Express Route für Office 365

Was bringt Express Route für Skype for Business Online?

Echtzeitkommunikation ist, wie wir alle wissen, etwas empfindlich gegenüber Paketverlusten, hohen Latenzen, Jitter, … Aktuell besteht eine typische Office 365-Verbindung zwischen dem eigenen Rechenzentrum und dem geographisch nächstgelegenem Rechenzentrum von Microsoft via Internet. Das Internet unterliegt allerdings keinem SLA was die Qualität der Verbindung etc. anbelangt. Das heißt kein Quality of Service (QoS), somit keine Priorisierung von wichtigem Datenverkehr, wie den für Echtzeitkommunikation mit Skype for Business (#SfB).

Mit Express Route für Office 365 kann man neuerdings eine Verbindung zwischen dem Firmen-WAN/MPLS und Microsoft Rechenzentren für Office 365 etablieren. Damit wird der Weg über das Internet quasi umgangen. Stattdessen verwendet man die Verbindung zwischen dem eigenem Rechenzentrum und Office 365, welche mit Service Level Agreements (SLAs) bestimmte Qualitätsmerkmale erfüllen muss (Ausfallsicherheit, …, Quality of Service, …)

Express Route Connectivity für Office 365/Skype for Business Online bedeutet dass die Kommunikation über diesen Verbindungspfad bestimmte Qualitätsmerkmale erfüllen wird, die bisher über die Verbindung über das Internet so nicht möglich sind.

Mit Skype for Business Online und den angekündigten Features (Cloud PBX, PSTN dialin conferencing, …) wird die Kommunikation noch besser und zuverlässiger werden.

Weitere Information zu Express Route