Category Archives: Lync Online

Moving from a broken Lync On-Prem to Lync Online

When moving from Lync On-prem to Lync Online there are like three or more different approaches, last week I tried one of them where my customer had lost all their Lync servers in a SAN failure.

So the mission was to get them on boarded to Lync online!
Well its just to create a tenant, add the domain, enable dirsync and it should work, right?

Well there is actually one more step to take.
When a user is enabled for Lync some attributes gets tattooed in AD, like the msRTCSIP-UserEnabled & msRTCSIP-PrimaryUserAddress for example and since these attributes has values in the on-prem AD, Lync Online will not provision these users and they will not be able to logon.

You can verify this by going to the users tab in the Lync Admin Center in the Office 365 portal. You should then see all the users that are provisioned for Lync Online there
And IF the user is not listed, make sure that he/she has a license, and if he/she still does not show up (and in the case that there has been an on-premises Lync) make sure that none of the msRTC… attributes has any values on them. They should all be cleared for the Lync Online provisioning to work.

And if you have more than five or so users that needs this clean up, there is a tool called admodify at http://admodify.codeplex.com/ that is super simple to use that can clean this up for you in minutes.

This tool is also perfect to use for any bulk changes that needs to be done over many different OU´s for example.

Feature differences in Office 365 vNext #Office365 #Exchange #Lync #SharePoint

I have prepared a list of all the feature differences in all of the coming Office 365 plans where you also see what differs between Office 365 and its on-prem versions.
(click the ikon in the bottom right corner of the embeded excel file for fullscreen)

 

 

How I use #Lync and #Office365 as a power user – When I travel

I´we just came back from a one months holiday in Thailand. Or actually I worked for 2 weeks so I only have to use two of those five weeks paid holiday we get as Swedes. But I could stay for double that time, I could work from the beach and 5 star hotels.
And just some weeks before Thailand I were one and a half week in the states for the Microsoft MVP summit and all this time, my customers could reach me without a thought of playing phone tennis trying to find different phone numbers or OOF responses. And the best thing about it, I could work as I was at home in my office but with the view bellow.

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This series of posts will tell you all about how to use Office 365, Lync and Enterprise voice when you are traveling international. And some other stuff to about hereworking –working from where you do it the best.

The thing is, thanks to Lync and Office 365 I was able to be as productive as I am when im in my Office. Or I would rather say that I got more done these weeks than if i´d be back home.
I would like to back that up with this article. Tell Your Boss: Unlimited Vacation Actually Increases Productivity.

Working remote or hereworking as I would like to call it, is something that is really easy now with the technology from Microsoft. I got all my documents and notebooks in the cloud stored in Office 365 and SharePoint online. I do note taking in OneNote and that notebook is automatically synced to my personal SharePoint site. Also available from my Windows Phone 7 or iPad. I do some syncing of files between all my devices with Skydrive. My email is in Exchange Online and i use both Lync Online and Lync on-premises.

So how did my setup look like.

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I have a Asus Zenbook and a Samsung Series 7 slate with Windows 8 on as my computers (and a iPad2 that I only used 5-10 minutes thanks to the Slate), depending on where I were going to sit and work I did choose the computer that best fit the needs, All files and OneNote were synced via Office 365. I use VPN and Remote Desktop Connection manager and the connection file of course also syncs between the computers.

 

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For my communication I have a unlocked HTC Titan, Plantronics Voyager Pro UC2 and a Jabra UC Voice 250 MS Lync Optimized USB headset.
Thats what I used for phone calls and meetings. Both my PC´s has built in cameras for the video meetings I had in Lync.

Well that’s it for the hardware. Now some tips on how to find a good office for some hours of work.

To start with, there is always coffee shops, Starbucks and they are generally great in the morning, I’m tiered and like to have a coffee to start the day, not so many noisy people in the mornings either, but around lunch and especially after when the moms invade with their kids its usually time to switch place. Plus it don’t feel so good to sit in one coffee shop for eight hours only ordering a coffee.
The great things with many of the coffee shops though is that they have electrical outlets where you can borrow some power, so when you see an outlet rush over there and use it cause you will need it for the afternoon.

After lunch I usually hit the hotels, and preferably the “high so” ones, 5 stars where a coffee is 3 times more expensive than where I had the morning shot. Normally theses places are gorgeous to and have great chairs to work from, but not all has electric…

Some hotels can start playing some music around 3-4pm and have some after work bar or something that could get loud, so its usually time to finish work at this time, or switch seating to some seat away from the people/music. Here is a collection of other tips when hereworking at coffee shops.

However the firsts weeks of my trip where spent in Isaan in the northeast part of Thailand, planting rise Winking smile 

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But with great 3G connection I even had some meetings from these fields in the middle of nowhere. And yes, with good quality of voice and video and I couldn’t hear that much latency either, when calling Sweden.


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And I would like to end this post with a link to 9 Tips for Overcoming Jet Lag

The next part will be a bit more technical, showing what settings I did to make this possible.

Troubleshoot IM in OWA – #Lync #Office365

This is a great article with some troubleshooting steps and instructions on how to check your settings for the Lync instant messaging feature in Exchange Online OWA.

Some of these steps can also be applied to the on-premises versions since its basically the same PowerShell commands.

View the Outlook Web App policies available to your organization

Run the following command:

Get-OwaMailboxPolicy | Format-Table Identity

The command returns a list of the Outlook Web App policies that you can change. In the list of results, notice that each mailbox plan has an associated Outlook Web App policy. This means that users who are assigned different mailbox plans can also have different Outlook Web App settings. For example, you can disable instant messaging for users assigned the GalDisabledMailboxPlan, and enable instant messaging for the default mailbox plan.

View or verify instant messaging settings

Run the following command:

Get-OwaMailboxPolicy OwaMailboxPolicy-DefaultMailboxPlan | Format-List *instant*

Using the wildcard character * returns all settings that contain the term “instant“.

Who's federated? #Lync #Office365

So right now there is three four lists of companies that have enabled federation that I know about.

First there’s Julian’s list of companies in New Zealand http://blog.kiwibees.net/index.php?p=176

Then there is the list of Swedish companies on the Swedish UC Klubben (SUCK) that originated from Mattias Kressmark.

And the last one I have found is Matt landis List at his blog

Edit: “Mdangelo” posted a comment with link to a list over all the American universitys that are federated, and thats a great long list of students that can work without boundaries (now i just wish that it was that long in the rest of the word and that all these university students from all over the word could federate and collaborate with each other.)

I also created a subsection on the blog called Federation Yellow Pages where you could get listed.

If there is any other lists of federated companies out there, please let us know in the comments.

Temporarily removing #Lync connectivity with Windows Live Messenger in #Office365 for professionals and small businesses

From a post at http://community.office365.com/en-us/b/office_365_technical_blog/archive/2011/07/14/notice-temporarily-removing-lync-connectivity-with-windows-live-messenger-in-office-365-for-professionals-and-small-businesses.aspx

 

As of this week, we will temporarily remove support for Lync connectivity with Windows Live Messenger in Office 365 for professionals and small businesses (Plan P). This means that customers using Lync with Office 365 for professionals and small businesses will temporarily not be able to see presence, IM and make video calls with people using Messenger. They will, however, still be able to see presence, IM and make video calls with other Lync users inside and outside their organization.

The reason for this temporary change is that individuals using a vanity or custom domain (i.e. yourcompanyname.com) with both Office 365 and Messenger were unable to access their Messenger accounts. By temporarily disabling Lync-Messenger connectivity, those customers can continue to use their existing Messenger accounts.

Here is an example scenario: Steve is currently using his business e-mail, steve@contoso.com, as his Messenger ID. Steve’s company has purchased Office 365 for professionals and small businesses (Plan P), where Lync-Messenger connectivity is enabled by default. Once the administrator at the company associates the domain contoso.com with Office 365, Steve will no longer be able to access his Messenger account. When Lync-Messenger connectivity is disabled using the Office 365 control panel, Steve will be able to access his Messenger account again as usual.

In Office 365 for enterprises (Plan E), Lync-Messenger connectivity (also known as Public Internet Connectivity or PIC) is enabled but turned off by default. If you decide to enable connectivity, please notify your users that they will not be able to use their business e-mail to sign into their Messenger account. This only affects individuals using their business e-mail address to sign in to Messenger, and does not affect those using @hotmail.com or @live.com e-mail addresses with Messenger.

We are working to address this issue and re-enable support for Lync-Messenger connectivity in Office 365 for professionals and small businesses in the coming months. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause in the interim.

 

My comments: Finally Microsoft is fixing it, but a couple of months to fix it… Surprised smile there were reports of this as a problem very early in the beta.

Lync and some other stuff from the keynote @ WPC11 #Lync #Wpc11

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Steve Ballmer on Skype and Lync from the keynote at Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference 2011.

“I’m very enthusiastic about us acquiring Skype.

Skype is very consistent with what Microsoft has made one of its core businesses, and that’s for us is helping people communicate and collaborate.

I’ve been asked by partners is this Skype acquisition somehow mean your not as serious and enthusiastic about Lync?

Quite to the contrary, one of the great motivations in acquiring Skype is to enable the enterprise to have all of the control it wants of communication and collaborations through active directory and through Lync and yet be able to connect people within enterprises to consumers, business and trading partners around the world.

So Lync in some senses with Skype is a strategy that I think will allow the consumerization of IT to really proceed with full vim and vigor armed by Lync and the good work that our partners are doing.

70% of fortune 500 is on now Lync.

Certainly if you look at the products from Microsoft that is growing most quickly it is Lync in the enterprise.  Kevin Turner calls Lync the Kinect of the enterprise, meaning its just eye candy when you demoing it for corporate users. so I encourage you all who have any involvement with Lync to really drive forward very very hard, we have new scenarios coming, digital meetings white boarding etc.

And with the combination the power of Lync and Skype under the same umbrella we think we will be able to do even more fantastic things together. “

(and it ends in spontaneous applause. (remember this is a MS conference, its not like the Google or apple sects where everyone is screaming out laud on every slide change))

 

My thoughts on this.

So after the news of Facebook integrating Skype last week and the integration between Lync and Skype, it all starts to come together. The web plugin that Facebook uses in the Skype integration is really sweet and I like it a lot to just be able to click and call someone in Facebook, if this is coming to Lync and Office 365 I’m starting to think that the 8.5 billion acquisition of Skype wasn’t so bad after all. Not that Microsoft couldn’t build or enable Lync in the browser, but having the possibility for a business to be on Facebook, a customer then makes one click and calls the customer service that are on the other side of the planet working in Lync or on Office 365 and Lync online.

Consumerization of IT will drive Lync in new ways I think.

 

Some other notes of interest:

100 million copies of Office 2010 sold

In just 2 weeks we’ve had 50 000 business trialed office 365 , that’s about 1 in every 25 sec

- Partners asking how are you doing with the competition on Office 365 answer is: OUTSTANDNING

Federation 101 in Lync Online #Office365 #Lync

Hi

After hours spent on answering questions in the community.office365.com forums on this topic its now time to set this straight and tell you all there is to know on how to federate with all what there is to federate with in Lync online.

Since Lync online is a hosted service, features can and will be added over time and this post is based on the features as of the time of writing (Office 365 GA). For updates on the service please refer to the “Microsoft Lync Online for Enterprises Service Description.docx

First I want to start with trying to explain Lync federation (since we also have ADFS identity federation and calendar federation) The term “Lync federation” is specific to Lync and should not be confused with the requirements and capabilities of identity federation that are supported in Office 365.

Lync federation enables a Lync Online user to connect with users in other organizations that use Lync Online as well as those that host their own Lync Server 2010 on premises. Federated contacts can see presence, communicate using IM and make Lync-to-Lync audio and video calls.

In addition to Lync-to-Lync federation, Lync Online users can also connect with their contacts from the Windows Live Messenger. (A note on security: All federated communications are encrypted between the IM systems using access proxy servers. But Microsoft does not control encryption after messages are passed to the federated partner’s network i.e. between the Live messenger server and client.)

 

Federation features by type

Supported modalities

IM and presence

Lync-to-Lync audio and video

Lync Online tenants (other companies
using Office 365and Lync Online)

Yes

Yes

Lync Server 2010, OCS 2007 and
OCS 2007 R2 (on-premises)

Yes

Yes

Windows Live Messenger

Yes

Yes

File transfer is not available with federated connections.

 

Configuration in the Lync Online portal

Lync federation requires the consent and proper configuration of both parties of the federation relationship. So there are some configuration that needs to be done in the Lync Online control panel.

First make sure that your DNS are correctly configured. I wrote a blog post on how to verify this a while ago so please see it for a detailed description Verify your DNS records in Office 365    – #Office365

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After the DNS are verified and working correctly, go to the Admin overview and then select manage on Lync online.

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Then go to Domain Federation tab and make sure that it is enabled, there are some options to chose here as well:

  • Allow federation with all domains except those I block
  • Block federation with all domains except those I allow
  • Disable federation

 

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The next tab of interest is the Public IM tab and you can here select the domain that we would like to enable for public IM federation with Live Messenger. But make sure that you read the warning before enabling this for your domain, after you have enabled it here it will take some time before the provisioning is finished so take glass of water and come back later.

WARNING:

I have seen some people in the forums at http://community.office365.com/ that didn’t realized that enabling Public IM Connectivity (PIC) in Office 365 will actually move the pic federation domain from pointing at the Live Server and being used in Live Messenger to pointing to Office 365 and being used in Lync Online.

So lets say you have your own domain in Live Messenger i.e. tommy@mydomain.com

I now enable my Office 365 tenant and add mydomain.com to in the Office 365 management portal. I then click around and enable pic for that domain. BOOM!!

From that moment the move process will start and your live messenger users will not be able to log in with their user@mydomain.com in Live Messenger anymore. (since its moved to Lync)

This is actually kind of the same thing that happens when you enable PIC for your on premises Lync server, except that this is a bit easier.

The last tab is the User Information tab and we should here select our users that should be enabled for External access as seen below.

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You could also see this post for some more information on how to configure Lync online for federation http://blogs.msdn.com/b/mvpawardprogram/archive/2011/06/27/mvps-for-office-365-lync-online-federation.aspx

After the configuration we have done above is done we can now federate with people that are on Lync online in other organizations (if they also are enabled for External access that is) and with Live Messenger users, but what about Lync on premises servers?

Well there are some configuration that needs to be done on the on premises side before we can start sending IMs and doing video calls with them.

Configuration in the Lync on premises to federate with Lync Online

I wrote a blogpost on this a while ago so I refer to it for the details Enable federation with Office365 in Lync On-prem  – #Lync #Office365 

But the short answer is that this can be configured in two ways. Either:

New-CSHostingProvider –identity LyncOnline –ProxyFqdn sipfed.online.lync.com –Enabled $True

The above will enable federation for all Office365 domains and is suited if you already allow “open federation”

or

Use Direct Federation by adding the Lync Online Allow domain entry with ProxyFqdn. ( Run the following two commands and replace youronlinedomain.com with your domain )

New-CSAllowedDomain –identity youronlinedomain.com

Set-csAllowedDomain youronlinedomain.com –ProxyFqdn sipfed.online.lync.com

 

Ok so that’s about all the configuration we need to do on the portal/server side, so say goodbye Lync admins!

And say hello to user training.

How do you add a Live Messenger user that has a vanity domain name in its IM address?

Instruct your users to add MSN/Live users that have vanity domains in this format username(domain.com)@msn.com

To add a user Write the address in the search input bar, then right click on the result and choose add to contact list. wait wait wait and a request should pop up at the msn user after a while.

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This has always been the case for users on OCS/Lync when we used PIC before and it is the same in Lync Online.

Federation scenarios

  • If you and the external user are on Lync Online in Office 365 and both organizations have federation enabled it will just work
  • If you talk to a partner user that is on Lync or OCS but where they have the servers on premises, their admins need to enable federation on the on premises server for federation to work.
  • If you talk to a user that is on Live Messenger and uses a hotmail.com, msn.com (Microsoft address) it will just work.
  • If you talk to a user that is on Live Messenger and uses a vanity domain. You need to add it as tommy.clarke(mydomain.com)@msn.com in Lync or via the IM field in Outlook.

Deep diving into troubleshooting of Lync Online federation.

How to troubleshoot #Lync Online using Lync Server Resource Kit Tools & Snooper v4

PSM “PowerShell Master” beta #Office365 #Lync #Exchange #Sharepoint #Powershell tool

!!! The beta has ended and PSM is now released onto the Office 365 marketplace. !!!!
!!! Click here to find PSM in the Office 365 marketplace !!!

 

As some of you might know I have been developing a tool built in InfoPath 2010, yes you read right. InfoPath is that Office program that got installed on your pc that you probably never ever started before, kind of like OneNote, a real hidden gem, unfortunately not so many people uses InfoPath but don’t worry, you only need to have it installed and the tool is being delivered in email to your Outlook client so it will always be near at hands when needed and auto updated as I release updates (so creating a folder and a rule for it in Outlook might be a good idea).

Anyway the tool is a question/form based PowerShell tool, for Lync, Exchange & SharePoint. On-premises or online in the cloud doesn’t matter as I designed it to work both ways. So it’s excellent for Office 365 and since I don’t even have an Exchange server anymore all my development and testing are done with Office 365 for now.

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Personally I have found it time consuming and some time troublesome to manage my customers systems in PowerShell as I tend to forget some of the different cmdlts. And I got bored of having to ask my customers the same questions over and over again when setting up policy’s for them, so I first created a form to be filled that generated a PowerShell command as output. I then designed this in a kind of a “flowchart way” to easily and quickly install and set up Lync proof of concepts.

The process is now getting fine tuned and setting up a custom Lync front end for lets say a PoC is now a matter of minutes (minus the installation time of course) but the general config can easily be made in the form and then with the press of a button remote PowerShell configures it all for you.

From there I have developed the tool to now work with Office 365 and Exchange Online. Well Exchange on-premises works as well but only some cmdlets are supported in the beta.

 

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Mobile Device management

One section is dedicated for Mobile Device Management (via Exchange ActiveSync) and there are options to completely take control of your organizations mobile platform via policy’s pushed out via ActiveSync. Reporting of devices, block devices wipe, devices, etc..

Office 365

Partner support so that you can manage all your customers from one tool will be in the tool at V1 and when there is support from Microsoft.

User management, domain management well everything is in there, what you can do in PowerShell against Office365 you can do in PSM.

Lync Server 2010

Flowchart based setup of Lync Server, tuned to save time and make an ultimate configuration for your customers. Management and reporting are built in.

Design Goals in V1

My design goals with the V1 are that 100% of Lync and Office365 should be there.

V1.5 will be 100% Exchange and SharePoint

You as an admin will have full control and the commands being run are always visible for your fine tuning and most importantly (at least for me) for training. In a way PSM is also the perfect PowerShell training tool since its all so visible for you to verify before you hit run. I can honestly say that my PowerShell skills has gone from noob to 100 in some weeks of using the tool.

There will be two or more versions and my goals are that the full version should be very affordable and the free version might be ad supported in the future depending on what I want to do with it for V2.

Beta Sign up?

Beta signup can now be made by sending a email to psmsignup@ucaware.com

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