Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Shared Line Appearance (SLA) in Skype for Business (with busy on busy)

Very often we as MVP are asked about the Busy-On-Busy feature missing Skype for Business.

The native feature for every single device, user or other client is not yet available.
And I can't make any announcement until today if this is planned or not.

But what I can introduce is the Share Line Appearance, yes here Busy-On-Busy is available. Making S4B more look like an old fashion PBX :)

What it the Share Line Appearance.
This is a new feature introduced with the actual firmware from Polycom VVX and last Skype for Business Update November 2015.

Shared Line Appearance (SLA) enables you to configure a group of multiple devices that can each answer calls to a shared phone number (extension).
(SLA it is not supported for Skype for Business clients on computers, mobile phones, or other devices):

What does this mean to us. Well we can use busy on busy only within the VVX configured groups. But not yet between devices and client, or between soft clients.

The supported device are:
  • Polycom VVX300 with firmware update 5.4.1
  • Polycom VVX400 with firmware update 5.4.1
  • Polycom VVX500 with firmware update 5.4.1
  • Polycom VVX600 with firmware update 5.4.1
A rouge description can be found here:

The most interesting features could this:
  • Busy on Busy – excess calls are automatically rejected with a busy signal.
  • Call Forward Busy – excess calls are routed to an alternative number that's configured for the workgroup.
  • Voicemail on Busy - excess calls are automatically forwarded to Voicemail.

  • Installation:

    It needs to be installed as an Server Application based on the Pool Servers and SBA/SBS.

    New-CsServerApplication -Identity 'Service:Registrar:%FQDN%/SharedLineAppearance' -Uri  -Critical $false -Enabled $true -Priority (Get-CsServerApplication -Identity 'Service:Registrar:%FQDN%/UserServices').Priority
    Stop-CsWindowsService RTCSRV
    Start-CsWindowsService RTCSRV

    where %FQDN% is the fully qualified domain name of the pool or server.  

    Create and configure a SLA GROUP:

    First we need to create a group and assign members, as well as set the MaxNumber of Call, which will trigger the busy single once the call count is exceeded.

    Set-CsSlaConfiguration -Identity SLA_OFFICE1 -MaxNumberOfCalls 4 -BusyOption BusyOnBusy
    Add-CsSlaDelegates -Identity SLA-OFFICE1-Delegate 

    Configure an SLA BUSY GROUP:

    if no busy signal is required, instead you can forward the call.

    Set-CsSlaConfiguration -Identity SLA_OFFICE1 -BusyOption Forward -Target tel:+49891234567

    Configure an SLA MISS CALLED OPTION:

    you can also decide what actually will be done if a call isn't answered:
    you can either FORWARD, set a busy signal BUSYSIGNAL, or DISCONNECT the caller.

    Set-CsSlaConfiguration -Identity SLAGroup1 -MissedCallOption Forward -MissedCallForwardTarget

    Summary of the feature list (MSFT):

    • All delegates in the group can answer inbound calls to the same shared number. The calls can be PSTN-based or SIP-based.
    • Delegates can hold and pick up calls.
    • Delegates can transfer calls to a number outside of the SLA group.
    • Delegates can see how many calls are currently on the shared number, and view the status of each of those calls.
    • You can configure a maximum number of concurrent calls for the shared number. You can also set how you want additional calls to be handled after this maximum is reached. Excess calls can be rejected with a busy signal, forwarded to an alternate number, or forwarded to voice mail.
    • You can configure how you want missed calls (calls not picked up after a certain time) to be handled. If you enable voice mail for the group identity, missed calls automatically go to voice mail. If you do not have voice mail enabled for the group identity (shared number), you can choose for missed calls to be rejected with a busy signal, forwarded to an alternate number, or disconnected.

    Wednesday, November 4, 2015

    File Share Perfomance for Skype for Business (slow conference join, slow address book)

    Once more first.
    Really make always sure your environment is patched and up to date.

    Mainly if you have a slow Join Conference user experience. Validate your DFS or File Server.

    Just what we experienced during certain Skype for Business Updated, as well as support cases is:
    - Migration is slow
    - Join Conferencing experience is slow
    - Address Book generation is slow
    and more

    This is, if the Fileshare is not fast enough. What does this mean:
    You should ensure the IOPS as well as the network throughput is sufficient and not the bottleneck in your environment.
    Do a measurement on the file servers, see what is happen if DFS replication is kicked in, check if this is share file server, whats happen if other app's access the shares and monitor the IOPS/ bandwidth.
    Just this is not all, also just perfmon for CPU load, and Memory especially paging.

    If you experience slow conference joins, it will be the issues, mostly.
    (Sure the local SQL server also consumes performance on the Skype for Business Frontend Server)

    Broadcast Meeting Web View and App View

    (v 1.0, 4th Nov 2015)

    Today I'm digging deeper into Skype for Business Broadcast Meeting.
    As its not all about video, the presentation side is important. how to make PowerPoint visible to the audience.
    Also it is easy to handle?
    How is the user experience when a user joins via a webbrowser?

    Simply said it is excellent.

    If you need to understand how setting up a meeting, please follow my last blog article: 

    Have a look and I explain what to do and how to use it.

    If you join as an authenticated user and being part of the Presenter Team, the browser checks the Desktop App and will ask you for access permission.

    As usual, if you click the "Monitor" button, it give you the option uploading a PowerPoint file and als manage the content. Once it is uploaded it is show in the preview windows, where you can also use the PowerPoint Tools e.g. the marker or others.

    Next step is the Broadcast activation, meaning you need to start broadcasting to the participants. which you do by clicking the broadcast meeting button on the right.

    Soon clicked, the broadcast is activated and streamed to the audience. From here you follow the same principals as you did with the common / classic Skype for Business Meeting or Lync Meeting.
    Whats about Bing Pulse or Yammer?
    Wenn this is managed outside the meeting right now. You need to login to Yammer and start the Social Media part from there. This is good and make it more understandable, that if you are hold a lagre meeting, please make sure do don't do it alone. You need support from multiple person. This is even different from a "normal common meeting".
    The audience joining the meeting now see the following.
    First if you join, the experience is different, no Meeting Lobby is here, you simply join based on the meeting join permission set earlier. (Maybe later a temporary picture can be presented here). 
    As described in the upper chapter, once the presenter team started the meeting, meaning start the broadcast, the PowerPoint is streamed to the attendees. and the will see the presentation listen to audio and see the video.
    Yammer as I had configured first during the meeting setup is presented now in the right frame. ere all action will be show. I had have Yammer group right now associated with my test account. But it is self explainable how this will work. 

    Tuesday, November 3, 2015

    Setup Broadcast Meetings in Skype for Business

    (Version 1.0: 3rd Nov. 2015)

    First I start with, broadcast meetings are in an very early stage and introduce only a handful of planned and great feature still coming. Therefore I ask you to read this article frequently seeing the updates will I can blog about.

    Microsoft introduced Skype broadcast meeting as an individual service aside with Office 365. It requires a dedicated login under:

    You can use Skype Broadcast Meetings in both scenarios:
    - Office 365 only (Skype for Business is 100% in the cloud)
    - Hybrid Setup

    Required is:
    - Azure Password sync or ADFS

    The Broadcast meeting relays on the Azure Media Services and must be delivered online.

    From here we are entering the main managing page for broadcast meeting:

    As you see, the scheduled meetings are visible at this level. They will appear in the three column design. Simply if you need to schedule a new meeting, click the "New Meeting" option and start configuring it.

    Here going define the meeting.

    The Time Zone is define here as the time zone your computer/ device is configured with.
    - Title of the meeting
    - Meeting time and duration (which actually doesn't matter)
    - The Event Team, the team managing the meeting. e.g. starting the broadcast or handles the IM and Q&As and more
    Note: The members must be a Office 365 enabled and license assigned user from your tenant.

    Going further, the Attendee setup will be defined. Right now at this time, the three options are available. IF you configure e.g. a not valide user, it will show this and mark the user in red.
    Here this user (marked red) is not part of the actual Office 365 tenant.

    Access options:
    - Anonymous: everyone who knows the "join link" can join this meeting.
    - Secure: only defined users from our tenant can join
    - All Company: here the users with in your tenant can join.

    The Video recording, enables you the recording an later the publishing on Azure Media Services.
    Right now you cannot truncate any of the video.

    Configuring the advanced features:

    A meeting can require more defined/ individual settings. If you need the Audience app having a different view and better a different Social Content Access (either BING or YAMMER) you will have to configure this here.
    More than, the URLs you like to have presented to the Attendees is focusing on a Company Identity. You set the Troubleshooting/ Support URL and or the Customer join link.

    As already said the APP used for managing social media can be defined as YAMMER or BING PULSE:
    You can define it for up to 2 app's.

    As you are familiar with YAMMER, I have provided the definition for the YAMMER APP. Just provide the Group information you have previously defined in SharePoint (Yammer). Letting your audience get in touch with you during the meeting.


    After your configured the meeting, you can actively show the JOIN MEETING URL.
    Just now copy this URL and setup manually a OUTLOOK meeting with the copied link, send it to the audience which should join your meeting.

     Joining the Broadcast Meeting:

    I will only provide the important new and experiences users. How to join a Skype for Business meeting should be quite clear and didn't change here, especially the part of how to activate audio/ video in Skype for Business Client.
    Once you click the link to join the meeting, you will see two different webpages, depending on the client (if you have desktop app) and if you are join a meeting in your organization or an external meeting.
    Internal Meeting, same Org:

    External Meeting, different Org:
    You client will be connected to the meeting, if you have installed one. Else the web based client will be started.
    As usual we active e.g. our own video:
    (same applies for the PowerPoint Content)
    Now we come to the point starting the video broadcast.
    Therefore you need to RIGHT click your video:
    Your video will now be set active:

    Form there you have to click the "Start Broadcast" button with led you to finally broadcast it.

    Here we are:
    The broadcast is live and 10.000+ user can follow you