Tagged: Skype for Business

SFB Online external access settings move to Teams Admin Center

I received a change notification via the Microsoft 365 Admin Center. It says that the Skype for Business Online external access settings are retired.

In other words external access will vanish in the SFBO Admin Center. So, the external access settings can only be managed within the Teams Admin Center or via PowerShell.

In the Teams Admin Center you find the external access settings as follows: Org-wide settings\External access”

Source: Microsoft Teams Admin Center

Conclusion, opinion and summary

I welcome this change because if you modify external access settings in SFBO or Teams Admin Center it’s reflected, so there’s no need to have two settings pages in different Admin Centers plus PowerShell.

Additional resources

Microsoft Teams interop screen sharing with SFB

Microsoft announced the roll out of (interop) screen sharing between a Microsoft Teams and Skype for Business user during a chat or voice call for September 2019.

Source: Microsoft Teams – Screen sharing in Teams/Skype for Business interop [Microsoft 365 roadmap update item 53934]

Conclusion, opinion and summary

I’m looking forward to this update however I’m not sure what this means in detail right now. Why? Because with Microsoft Teams we need to differentiate between “interop” and “federation“!

Teams Interop (in conjunction with SFB) usually means intra-tenant interop, e.g. how can a Microsoft Teams and a Skype for Business users within the same Office 365 tenant communicate and collaborate with each other.

Teams Federation usually means external [to your Office 365 tenant] federated communication and collaboration with other users from other companies with Teams, Skype for Business Online or Skype for Business Server. For example, how can a Microsoft Teams user from company X communicate and collaborate with a Microsoft Teams/Skype for Business user from company Y.

So, if this capability is only intended for “Teams Interop” this would imply that screen sharing between Skype for Business and Team users within the same Office 365 tenant is added. Finally, you’d benefit of this as long as you are during a migration and transition phase within your Office 365 tenant from Skype for Business Online to Microsoft Teams and you will still have users on Skype for Business (Online).

Additional resources

Skype for Business Online End of Service 2021

In this post I like to highlight a very special date, the 31st of July 2021. The date marks the end of an era of the communication and collaboration with Skype for Business Online.

Microsoft officially announced the retirement of Skype for Business Online by 31st of July 2021.

Source: https://cdn.pixabay.com/photo/2016/07/28/23/39/cottage-1550083_960_720.jpg

Conclusion, opinion and summary

We had a great time Skype for Business Online. Thanks. However, time changes and so do people, technology and work. Therefore, Microsoft Teams enables ways of modern communication and collaboration which Skype for Business (Online) did not. The retirement date is not that close. So, you’ve got a time frame which should provide sufficient time to plan and migrate to Microsoft Teams.

Additional resources

Skype for Business desktop app for meetings on Mac

Microsoft released a change for Skype for Business (SFB) meetings on Mac which enables you to use the desktop app for SFB on Mac instead of the SFB meeting app.

This is primarily applicable for SFB Online. It works for SFB Server 2015, too BUT it requires that the Microsoft Content Delivery Network (CDN) is used instead of the bites coming from your SFB Server 2015.

Configure SFB Server 2015 for CDN to enable SFB desktop app for meetings on Mac

First you can check your current SFB Server 2015 configuration.

Get-CsWebServiceConfiguration | select Identity,MeetingUxUseCdn

This return your SFB Server web service configuration. If MeetingUxUseCdn is set to “True” everything is ok and CDN is used. If it is “False” you can enable it as follows.

Set-CsWebServiceConfiguration -MeetingUxUseCdn $True

Additionally and optionally, you could also enable Meeting Telemetry and / or change the join launcher CDN timeout (in case a client might be unable to connect/receive data from the CDN an needs to failback to the SFB Server meeting app binaries.

To check the as-is:

Get-CsWebServiceConfiguration | select Identity,MeetingUxUseCdn,MeetingUxEnableTelemetry,
JoinLauncherCdnTimeout

To enable telemetry (OPTIONAL, sends telemetry data to Microsoft*):

Set-CsWebServiceConfiguration -MeetingUxEnableTelemetry $True

To change the join launcher CDN timeout to 10 seconds:

Set-CsWebServiceConfiguration -JoinLauncherCdnTimeout (New-TimeSpan -Seconds 10)

Conclusion, opinion and summary

To use the SFB desktop app on Mac for meetings should offer you a much better user experience. Microsoft says that this makes audio, video and sharing communication and collaboration more stable and reliable than it is with the SFB meeting app on Mac.

Additional Resources

My Microsoft Teams Federation Notes

In this post I’ll describe how federation towards federated partners can work. I’ll not describe meetings and guest access for Teams which are great capabilities for modern teamwork across companies but not subject for this post. Teams provides options for federation with external organisations like suppliers, clients and partners.

Basically there are eight federation scenarios I’d like to describe below. The federation scenarios are based on Microsoft Teams as well as Skype for Business.

Skype for Business Federation

Let’s take a look on federation with Skype for Business. In Microsoft Skype for Business Server / Online (hereinafter: SFBx) there are two major federation types:

  • open federation: Users can communicate openly to everyone except users behind blocked domains.
  • closed federation: Users can communicate only to federated domains configured by the SFBx admin.

Teams Federation

Now, with Microsoft Teams federation is similair to SFBx federation but not 1:1 alike.

You can decide to federate with everyone, openly, except towards blocked domains (blacklist).

Or you can decide to federate only with allowed domains (whitelist).

Another thing to keep in mind is what’s your current Teams upgrade mode or status?

In Microsoft Docs there are five modes listed but not all are available by now.

  • Islands: All workloads on SFBx + Teams
  • Skype for Business-only: SFB for all workloads. Single client.
  • Teams-only: Teams for all workloads. Single client.
  • (not in Admin Center, Feb. 2019, TAP customers-only) Skype for Business with Teams (collaboration-only): SFB for chat, calling and meetings. Teams for collaboration.
  • (not in Admin Center, Feb. 2019, TAP customers-only) Skype for Business with Teams (collaboration and meetings-only): SFB for chat and calling, Teams for meetings and collaboration.

Scenario 1a+1b

You are on Microsoft Teams.

You can federate with other organisations having a) SFBx or b) Microsoft Teams, too.

Scenario 2a+2b

You are still on SFBx.

You can federate with other organisations having a) SFBx or b) Microsoft Teams, too.

Scenario 3a+3b

You are on SFBx as well as Microsoft Teams but your Teams Upgrade mode is “Islands”.

Your users are having two clients installed and only the SFBx works for federation communication.

You can federate only via SFBx with other organisations having a) SFBx or b) Microsoft Teams, too.

Scenario 3c+3d

You are on SFBx as well as Microsoft Teams but your Teams Upgrade mode is “Islands”.

Your users are having two clients installed and only the SFBx works for federation communication.

Your users cannot have an internal cross-client chat or else c) from SFB to Teams or d) from Teams to SFB.

Drawn via Microsoft Whiteboard App by Erik

Conclusion and summary

Teams federation provides the ability to federate with external organisations similair to what we’ve used to from SfBx. Nevertheless we need to pay attention to the user experience and federation experience which migh be slightly different during a coexistence of SFBx and Teams.

Further Ressources

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.