The Mongolian hot pot is believed to have originated in Mongolia about 800 to 900 years ago. The original ingredients only included meat and broth. As the popularity of the dish spread throughout China, many regions customized the dish to make it unique to them. Customizing the hot pot to fit your own preference is still very much a part of the tradition today!
Speaking of all the delicious ways you can customize the flavor of Mongolian hot pots, the SharePoint Team just announced that you can now customize your SharePoint pages to your needs. Mongolian hot pot is also great for today since it’s No One Eats Alone Day!
Make sure your Skype for Business users aren’t left behind either! I, along with Pouneh Kaufman from Microsoft and Tom Arbuthnot from Modality Systems will be hosting a webinar on sunsetting Skype for Business and transitioning users to Microsoft Teams. Make sure you register today!
February 15th, 2019 by Skype for Business News Aggregator
I never thought I would be blogging about Skype for Business in 2019…. Oh Well!
I was contacted by a friend who had deployed an Audiocodes CloudBond appliance to one of their customers. They were experiencing issues with users not being able to search the address book service in Skype for Business.
The Audiocodes Cloudbond appliance deploys Skype for Business Standard Edition into its own domain. In order to connect users to it, an AD Forest trust is required between the Cloudbond and User AD Forest. Users are then synched from the User domain to the CloudBond domain.
This is a typical resource forest deployment.
Initial testing showed that when you ran Test-CsAddressBookService with the credentials of a Skype enabled user in the user forest, the result that came back was an IIS Error 500 Internal Server Error.
After much digging around proving that there was nothing wrong with Skype for Business itself, I decided to take a step back and troubleshoot authentication. I could see that the user could indeed authenticate in the resource forest, I could see the user authenticating against the IIS ABS website and the 500 error was coming from an IIS module
Checking the user permissions on the Skype server Local Security Policy I couldn’t see the user domain, domain users group in the Access this computer over the network setting in LSP / Local Policies / User Rights Assignment.
I thought I would check the local Users group on the server to see if it was listed there, and it wasn’t. After adding USERDOMAINDomain Users to the local Users group and rebooting the Skype Front End, users were allowed to search the address book service.
February 15th, 2019 by Skype for Business News Aggregator
Greetings all, I've been working on a personal project for some time now and I'm happy to say the site is live and available for beta testing.
What is it?
Combining the Microsoft Network Assessment Tool, some PowerShell code, a REST API, and a website to control your network 'nodes', Teams Analyzer provides a cloud-based network assessment platform for customers looking to deploy real time media workloads.
Starting with the client-side, the Teams Analyzer Node software can be installed from powershellgallery.com and includes the Microsoft Network Assessment Tool. Using this tool, the node can initiate a real call to Microsoft's transport relay servers in the cloud. After running a test call the statistics are gathered and securely transmitted to your tenant.
"Gain additional insights by enabling location and performance data to correlate issues"
How do I get it?
Visit teamsanalyzer.com and sign up for an account. You will need to subscribe to a product which will grant you access to the REST API where the node will communicate. If you want to pull historical data from the API you can subscribe to the reporting API as well.
After signing up and being accepted as a beta tester simply follow the instructions on the website.
With many organizations establishing Office 365 as their cloud platform of choice, you might think that most if not all have solid management structure in place. Unfortunately, that’s not typically the case.
In his latest article on Petri.com, AvePoint Solutions Engineer Hunter Willis weighed in on why the process of digital transformation has been a struggle for organizations across industries–and then suggested a possible solution.
The result of this was some great discourse over Twitter between highly respected players in the Office 365 space. We’ve compiled some of the most interesting responses and thoughts here for your convenience.
How it Started
Things began innocently enough with Hunter tweeting out his article and asking for responses:
Though it garnered some decent traction, things really picked up when AvePoint CMO and Microsoft MVP Dux Raymond Sy quote tweeted Hunter and challenged his assertion that Exchange administrators should be in charge of an organization’s Office 365 deployment:
Hunter had justified his push for Exchange admins in the article, positing that they are generally “already experienced with responsibilities spread across IT teams” and are typically “deeply involved in access to services, licenses, and application integration in Microsoft environments.”
However, Dux wasn’t the only one who advocated for SharePoint admins to manage Office 365. Both Daniel Anderson and Office Apps and Services MVP Trevor Seward showed their support of the idea:
SharePoint serves as the file storage and management engine for many of the applications in Office 365. As a result, much of the content-level security of the entire Office 365 platform relies on SharePoint permissions, something SharePoint admins would naturally be quite familiar with.
Collaboration is Key
Despite there being good cases for both Exchange and SharePoint admins each solely taking charge of Office 365, the vast majority of influencers in the thread argued that managing an Office 365 deployment should be a collaborative task.
There are a lot of moving parts when it comes to Office 365, so the thought of it being controlled by a single person/small group of people was strongly contested:
Specifically, the combination of SharePoint and Exchange admins was highlighted as a potential dream team.
Office 365 admin Rob Bowman even shared how his company has tackled this joint effort:
In an ideal world, a team of Exchange and SharePoint admins would be an excellent match for the role. However, they would have to work especially well together when it comes to strategy and planning in order to get anything accomplished.
Office 365 Admins
Of course, another possible route would be to simply establish an Office 365 admin role or team that takes on governance tasks full-time. This was suggested by several people:
The thing is, for many organizations a single “Office 365 admin” that owns all the applications would be hard-pressed to understand each application to the point that they could effectively strategies and lead a team. In addition, it’s likely that this Office 365 admin will have a background in managing one of the applications within the platform. This begs the question: Which traditional admin role would be best to fill the new Office 365 Admin role?
In the end, key influencers simply suggested that the CIO has ultimate Office 365 management responsibilities:
Of course, in most cases an organization’s CIO should have the final say regarding any major Office 365 changes or decisions. But, depending on the size of the company, it’s unlikely that he/she will have the time to actually manage it on a daily basis. In addition, many CIOs are disconnected from the day-to-day processes, and teams are typically given little to no operational guidance. This can be great for teams that already work well together, but can conversely create chaos in teams that are still trying to figure out how to work with the solutions.
The Final Word
To further the conversation, Dux gathered a few of the participants into a Microsoft Teams call later that day for a more in-depth discussion. Watch the full conversation here:
As it turns out, there are plenty of options when it comes to ownership of Office 365! Who do you think should own it? Let us know in the comments below!
February 14th, 2019 by Skype for Business News Aggregator
I've kept blog posts here primarily technology related, offering how-to or problem-solving topics. However, I thought it would be time to review my IT career over the past dozen years and try to offer advice or perspective on what has led me to where I am now and what I learned along the way. By sharing this, I hope that it might help someone just starting out or considering what to do next.
From Music to Computers
I was originally a music performance major out of high school. Three semesters later, I realized that, while I was a decent musician, there was very little chance I would make a living doing this. I looked around at my peers who were in their early 30s (or in one case 50s) working on a doctoral degree that would lead them to a teaching position. I realized that I did not want to be school that long only to end up teaching. To those that are going this route, no disrespect to your decision, but I just realized it wasn't the path for me.
I "transferred" to a community college and starting taking computer classes. I wanted to work on building, troubleshooting, and repairing computers. Growing up, my dad worked at Seagate, so I had a computer from an early age (this was in the early 90s, computers in homes were not that common, Internet access was through dial-up). While I didn't program or doing anything beyond being a user, I did grow up using the command prompt a little, dialing into bulletin board systems (BBS) to play games and order books from the library. I still remember my dad telling me to type "win" at the DOS prompt to load Windows 95 (hotdog theme anyone?). But I didn't know how they worked or what was inside the box and I wanted to learn.
I started on some classes to prep for the CompTIA A+ Certification as well taking management information system and programming courses. This is where I discovered I really loved programming, but I didn't see that as my future in IT (looking back, I wish I had pursued programming). I felt my future was in systems administration in some capacity as I wanted to be hands-on. I finished my associates degree and managed to land a job before graduation.
Entering the IT Profession
For my first "grown-up" job, I started out doing phone support for Dell assisting home users with parts replacement and operating system reinstalls. While I quickly found out that I had no desire to do frontline support like this (especially over the phone), I had to develop the ability to troubleshoot issues quickly while maintaining a conversation with the person on the phone. I also learned my distaste for performance metrics, like resolution rate, average call time, repeat dispatch rate, among others. While I understand the importance of needing to measure job performance, I'm a firm believer in looking at someone's whole performance that metrics can't measure. In preparation for advancing my career, I completed my A+ and Network+ certifications.
Deciding that just talking people through issues wasn't going to cut it (and not actually touching a computer), I starting applying for helpdesk positions. My thought process was that this was my entry into corporate IT to work my way to a sys admin. I applied and interviewed at a particular place, and while I didn't get the helpdesk job, the company actually offered me a junior sys admin type role instead. Success! I bypassed the entry-level position to get the job I really wanted. I knew nothing about Active Directory, Exchange, SCCM, scripting, workstation imaging, servers, or printers (which are the devil by the way) but I got to learn on the job. The almost five years I spent in this role laid the foundation for the rest of my career as I learned the basics of enterprise IT.
Next I moved to a company where I was also a general sys admin. While the company was smaller, it was extremely well organized and had procedures and processes to follow. I learned about creating documentation for systems, virtualization, and getting free meals from vendor lunch-and-learns. During this time I completed the MCSA for Windows Server 2008 and 2012 as well as VMware's VCP in Data Center Virtualization.
Gaining New Skills
It was at this point in my career that I decide in order to maximize my value (translation: compensation) I should specialize in something. I had been a generalist and my knowledge was "a mile wide but an inch deep". I felt that gaining expertise in 1-2 technologies would lead to a consultant or architect type role. I got a job at a large company supporting Exchange and Lync. I knew very little about these technologies, so I lucked out again and got to learn on the job.
I spent the next 3 years immersing myself into these technologies and learning how to work with other groups in IT who had their own specializations. Coming from smaller environments, I was used to having full control to do whatever I wanted. Not the case anymore. Now there was change control and project planning. And meetings. I had never used my Outlook calendar this much before.
Exchange and Lync being the technologies they are, it was expected to learn and master PowerShell. Along with using PowerShell on a regular basis came script writing. I already had basic programming knowledge from school as well as previous VBScript scripting experience, so picking up PowerShell was natural. I also had some great mentors who took the time to teach me scripting norms and the right way to do things (remember, Write-Host kills puppies). During this time I completed the MCSE for Communications and Messaging as well as MCSA for Office 365. I also started this blog and published my first post in May 2014 and completed my bachelors degree at WGU.
Moving Even Higher
Finally, I had a specialization, now onto the next step of maximization (translation: compensation). I was contacted by a recruiter for a Skype for Business consulting position. I didn't get it the job the first time, but I kept in touch with the company. When another position came open several months later, I followed up with the recruiter. This time it worked out, and I got the job. I had achieved my goal set four years earlier: maximize what I was worth by gaining specific skills and landing a consulting position.
Another goal for consulting was the opportunity to be exposed to multiple environments. I felt that the best way to gain expertise was to be exposed to different environments and scenarios. I viewed being in one environment would make you an expert in one thing: that environment. Gaining this additional experience and expertise eventually led to my current position as a field engineer with Microsoft. I specialize in Skype for Business and Microsoft Teams and assist customers with maximizing their environments to fulfill their business needs. I think it's pretty cool to be working for the company that created the product that I specialize in.
As I started writing this, I intended to say everything I wanted to say in one post. Writing this out, I realize this is going to be a multi-post affair as I have a lot more to say! Check back in a few days as I release more articles on what I learned through my career and advice to any one new to the landscape. This post will be updated will links to the rest of the articles in the series.
February 14th, 2019 by Skype for Business News Aggregator
Wouldn't it be nice if an employee leaves the organization, that you can remove only your corporate data from their iPad or iPhone, but yet leave all their personal data alone? It absolutely would, especially if that employee was using the native (built-in) mail app in iOS. Look no further, because Microsoft 365 has the capability to perform a selective wipe on the device and remove corporate data, including data from the native mail app.
So how is this possible?
Intune will remove data that is tied to your Azure Active Directory identity. So, if I am logged into the native mail app on my iPhone with my Azure AD credentials for my Office 365 mailbox, Intune associates that as "corporate data". If the device is enrolled into Intune Mobile Device Management (MDM) and the selective wipe command is issued (or the user manually performs a selective wipe via the Company Portal App) then the Office 365 data will be removed from the native ail app.
What are the requirements for this to work?
The iOS device is enrolled into Intune MDM.
An Intune iOS Device Configuration Profile is configured and assigned to the user or device, that is pushing a mail profile.
The user is signed into the native mail app using their Azure AD credentials to access their Office 365 Mailbox.
This is really made possible by having a mail profile configured in the Device Configuration Profile in Microsoft Intune. Let's take a look at how to do that. From within the Intune blade in the Azure Portal, select Device Configuration -> Profiles -> and create a new Profile for iOS platform with a profile type of Email:
Next, click Settings and configure the email profile. See my screenshot below of how I setup my email profile for Office 365 based on my organization's requirements (note, your configuration parameters may be different). When finished click OK.
Click Save to save the email profile. Next, click Assignments and assign the new profile to All Users, or All Devices, or Selected Groups. For my environment, I am going to assign to a security group that sales and marketing employees belong to. When finished, click Save:
Important: Make sure the user or device that is enrolling, is a member of the security group above! Or the Device Configuration Policy was assigned to that user or device!
You may be prompted to enter the password for the Exchange account (Office 365):
After tapping Edit Settings and entering my password, I'm going to launch the native mail app, and notice my email profile is now configured and my mailbox is visible in the app:
Now, we need to perform the selective wipe and only remove the corporate data. This can be performed two ways either from the Azure portal or from the Company Portal App on the iOS device.
Important: Selective Wipe in Intune is referred to as Retire. More information on differences between Wipe and Retire can be found here.
From within Intune I am going to click my iOS device (Megan's iPod Touch):
Then I will choose Retire and click Yes at the warning:
The Retire request will be submitted and the status will change to Pending:
Wait a few moments for the Retire command to be sent to the device, then on the iOS device launch the native mail app:
The corporate data (Office 365 mailbox) and cached email will be removed, and the app will be returned to the sign in screen:
That's it! While this is simple to setup, ensure you have met the requirements and that your mail profile in Intune has been properly configured and assigned. Note, if you are looking to perform the selective wipe or Retire on Android – this will require Android Enterprise. More information here.
This was the first presence for Microsoft Teams Devices along with the Surface team at the ISE conference. Jointly, we showcased Microsoft’s broad portfolio of conferencing and collaboration devices across personal and shared spaces for Microsoft Teams.
Our booth staff was very busy over the course of the week delivering hundreds of demos of Microsoft Teams, Office 365, and Surface, providing guided booth tours of our different spaces which included Huddle Space, Meeting Room, Executive Office, and our Devices Bar, and meetings with our key customers and channel partners.
Windows Collaboration Displays
Microsoft showcased the first two WCDs from Sharp and Avocor that will be available for customers to enhance their meeting experience with high-resolution multi-touch & pen displays that include integrated stereo speakers, as well as Microsoft, certified far-field microphones and camera, so customers can easily use the best of Microsoft 365 collaboration tools – from Windows and Office to Microsoft Whiteboard and Microsoft Teams – at room scale, and all backed by the intelligent cloud. A simple, one-cable connections make all your apps and content available on the Windows Collaboration Display and even charges your PC. In addition to being teamwork devices, Windows collaboration displays include built-in sensors, such as presence detection, that connect to Azure IoT, so users can find available collaboration spaces and facility managers can utilize the data they collect to make real-time decisions.
It was great to have the Surface family including Surface Hub integrated into our booth presence with our other Microsoft Teams devices last week. Surface Hub is a powerful, pen and touch-enabled large-screen collaboration device with integrated Windows 10 computer, so it runs applications (Microsoft and third-party) natively. In addition to wireless Miracast support and wired projection capabilities, you can also sign-in to the Surface Hub directly to access your cloud content, making it super easy to view and edit your files. Surface Hub is also a great platform for remote meetings. Last summer, Microsoft Teams was introduced on Surface Hub and customers are loving the experience of one-touch meeting join and large-screen remote participant view. Surface Hub empowers teams to collaborate and brainstorm and is great for collaboration spaces like the huddle and open spaces.
Excitement continues to build for Surface Hub 2S, which will start shipping in select markets next quarter!
New! Logitech Tap for Microsoft Teams Rooms
Logitech announced Logitech TAP for Microsoft Teams Room which has a new modular design and allows for flexible mounting. This was displayed in our Meeting Room Showcase.
About the Logitech TAP Featuring a 10.1-inch touchscreen, HDMI input for content sharing, and robust cable retention, Logitech Tap is designed and engineered for reliable convenience in the meeting room. A range of table, riser and wall mounts offer tremendous placement flexibility, while in-wall rated cabling enables topologies and room layouts that please the eye as well as IT.