Category: Skype for Business

March 27th, 2019 by Skype for Business News Aggregator

“Mobility”, as an industry term, refers to any application developed for a mobile device that facilitates business outside of a typical office environment.  By using the portable power found in modern smartphones, a lot of the work that just a few years ago could only be done on a PC can be done in the palm of your hand.

Posted in Skype for Business

March 27th, 2019 by Skype for Business News Aggregator

Create a Design Document for Microsoft Teams direct routing
— Read on

Posted in Skype for Business

March 27th, 2019 by Skype for Business News Aggregator

Can you schedule a Skype for Business meeting if you’re in Teams Only mode?

When a user moves to Teams Only, the “New Skype Meeting” button is removed from the Outlook Ribbon. Therefore the user can no longer schedule Skype for Business Meetings.

I’ve been testing Teams Only for the past couple of months and out of interest I wondered whether I could still schedule a Skype for Business Meeting. Note, I can’t find any official guidance from Microsoft, so although this works today, I would imagine Microsoft could disable this at any point. When you’re in Teams Only mode, your meetings should be scheduled in Teams.

This is possible via the Skype for Business Web Scheduler at: 

You should login using your O365 credentials if required. After that, it’s pretty straight forward. Complete the New Meeting request:

Skype for Business Web Scheduler

Once the meeting has been generated, the Meeting Join Info can be copied and sent to participants:

Skype for Business Meeting Join Info

It’s then possible to join the SfB Meeting. Note if you have SfB installed, it will use your Skype Desktop client, otherwise you will use the SfB Web App. External Participants can also join:

Teams user hosting a Skype for Business meeting

That’s all there is to it. All users in the O365 Tenant I used to test this are Teams Only so it should work for anyone. I did this more out of interest and I’m sure it’s a rare use case, but it’s interesting to know it works (for now).

Posted in Skype for Business

March 26th, 2019 by Skype for Business News Aggregator

When it comes to communicating day-to-day, Office 365 users have the option to use Outlook, Skype for Business and, the new kid on the block, Microsoft Teams. That said, Teams is still very new to a lot of users who are used to its predecessors and may not know where and how it fits into their daily workflow. After you review the comparison charts below, there should be no doubt as to which business app is the best for everyday collaboration.


Skype for Business and Microsoft Teams are the standard go-to options when it comes to needing immediate responses. Both allow users to send instant messages that typically get more immediate responses than traditional email. Outlook is good for sending longer, more in-depth messages, but if you want a quick response, Skype for Business and Microsoft Teams are your best bets.

Persistence and Follow-Up

We’re all familiar with the periods of lag time we can encounter when waiting for responses from coworkers. Outlook and Skype for Business allow you to follow-up by sending another email or starting another chat, but both can result in more clutter for the recipient. There may be a multitude of unread messages in their Outlook inbox or message history in Skype for Business.

Microsoft Teams is much more reliable as previous conversations are saved within the chat for immediate review. You no longer need to worry about searching for the last message or resharing files since all the information will already be there!

Aren't sure how best to collaborate in Office 365? Check out this post:
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Group Discussions

Ever been in an email chain that has numerous responses and causes your inbox to be inundated with messages? Microsoft Teams is your answer to that problem.

Group discussions in Microsoft Teams are convenient because:

  1. Everything is centralized in one location,
  2. You don’t have to scrub through chains of messages, and
  3. All files that have been shared are located under the “Files” tab to mitigate version history complications.

Skype for Business can do some of these things, but it doesn’t offer a centralized file sharing location or provide a simple way for group discussions to be saved and easily surfaced. Because a “team” is a group by nature, you only have to define that group once.

In Skype for Business, you need to “re-create” the group consistently by typing in their names each time you open Skype. Email has distribution lists and that’s great, but how often does a “Reply” versus “Reply All” end up branching the conversation into multiple directions? We’ve all been there and it can be an incredible hassle for collaboration.

1 to Few Discussions

Bringing more people into a conversation can be difficult with Outlook and Skype for Business. You can add them to an email thread, but it can be hard for newcomers to be brought up to speed if files aren’t readily shared. Skype for Business is slightly better since you can add someone to the conversation and share the conversation history, but it’s very common to have to catch people up.

Microsoft Teams once again offers a solution to this problem. Teams lets you add someone to a conversation, ensure that they have access to all the pertinent files, and gives you options to share just enough of the chat history as is appropriate to quickly get that person up to speed.

File Collaboration

Collaborating on a document or file with a co-worker can be a big hassle if you’re trying to use Outlook or Skype for Business. You can share files in both of those applications, but you must constantly resend files and it becomes impossible to make sure that you and your colleagues are working on the proper version of the file.

Microsoft Teams remedies these issues since all files that are shared in your conversations go under the “File” tab and are automatically updated as everyone works on the file. No more version history problems!

Meeting Recordings

Outlook doesn’t even have a meeting option so we can scratch it off this comparison list. In Skype for Business there are options to record the meeting, but the ability to share is limited. The file is only shared in the local drive of whoever recorded it. The person then has to find an appropriate place to host the recording, grant proper access, and subsequently share the location with all the attendees.

In Microsoft Teams, you can get the recording instantly after the meeting has ended and it’s automatically uploaded and ready for viewing in Microsoft Stream. Stream provides an automatically-centralized location for all attendees to view the recording and have advanced capabilities such as transcriptions of the recording, the ability to search for all meeting recordings, and more. It’s now easier than ever to surface meeting recordings using these tools!

Managing Notifications

I’m sure everyone can relate to this one. Your Outlook inbox could be flooded with messages that are drowning in even more messages! Since inboxes are a single stream for information, you can only choose to be notified by everything or nothing at all, something that’s not ideal for managing notifications. The only solution would be to open all of the messages and run the risk of missing something important.

Skype for Business alerts you with notifications whenever someone messages to you, but it requires you to open the message to manage those alerts. You also can’t control and manage the notifications you receive.

Microsoft Teams outshines both in this regard as you can follow the channels and teams that are pertinent to you and your everyday tasks while muting those that aren’t necessary. You can also figure out what requires  immediate attention by searching by @mentions, conversations, etc. The way to manage notifications in Teams is endless and can be catered to your individual needs, which is the best part!

Ultimately, it’s clear which business app everyone should be using when it comes to day-to-day collaboration. For more information on how to get started in Microsoft Teams check out the official documentation and watch this beginner video for new Teams users!

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Posted in Skype for Business

March 26th, 2019 by Skype for Business News Aggregator
As mentioned in an earlier blog article, Microsoft Teams is not only a great team collaboration application with built-in intelligent communications, its also a powerful extensible platform that allows applications to be embedded within teams channels that make collaboration even richer and customizable. As of today, Microsoft Teams already contains hundreds of 3rd party apps published in the Teams store which users can easily install and add to their channels so that everyone in the team can leverage and use. It's also very simple to publish custom built apps and make it available in Teams. This blog posts walks through the steps publishing of a chat bot that can help answer user questions about the upcoming Microsoft Build Conference 2019 from May 6-8 at the Washington State Convention Center, Seattle WA. No coding is required to build this bot and in addition to MS Teams, we can even connect the bot to other additional chat services such as Telegram, Skype and Facebook Messenger
For this walkthrough we first need to have an Azure subscription and licenses to run MS Teams. Free trial Azure subscriptions are available at To begin, we first login to the Azure portal and on the dashboard create a new "Web App Bot" resource. This will bring up the following screen as shown below:
To proceed, we simply click on the "Create" and which will allow us to fill in some details of our Web App Bot:
As shown above, for this walkthough we'll use the name 'msbuild2019bot' which fortunately is still available at the time of this writing, choose the correct Subscription, use an existing resource group 'bk612' (or we can also create a new resource group), select the location closest to us (in this case SouthEast Asia), use the S1 Pricing tier (or we can also use the F0 tier) and the App name will automatically be chosen for us. The important parameter here is in the Bot template section where we need to select the "SDK v3" version and the "Question and Answer" archetype. Further down we can choose an existing "App service plan/Location" (or we can create a new one) and create new Azure Storage for our bot with the auto-created name, turn off Application Insights for now, and lastly choose to auto-create the Microsoft App ID and password. This is shown below:
With this, we can proceed to click the "Create" button to let Azure create our bot which will take some time. Azure will first validate our parameters to make sure everything is correct and then proceed to create the bot. This can be seen in the notifications area in of the Azure Portal:
While waiting for our bot to be created, we can head over to the QnAMaker at to build the knowledge base for our bot. When logging in, we use the same Microsoft account that we used for Azure and proceed to click on the "Create knowledge base" tab on the top. Since we're doing this for the first time, QnAMaker requires us to first create a QnA Service in Azure as shown below:
To proceed we click on the "Create a QnA service" button which will pop out another window in Azure portal that allows to define the QnA service. Here we can specify some parameters including the name 'bksgqnasvc' which is not already being used, select the F0 pricing tier which can be modified later if we want, next we leave the Location and Resource group parameters as defaults but we select the Search Pricing tier of B (15 indexes) since this will allow us to build more knowledge bases in the future for other bots. Finally we click on the "Create" button as shown below and Azure will go ahead and deploy the service for us which make take several minutes.
Once Azure has finished creating our QnA Service, we can head back to http and hit the "Refresh" button. This will allow us to select the Azure tenant, subscription and QnA service for us to build the knowledge base as shown below:
Next, we can proceed to specify a name and build the knowledge base and the QnA Maker allows us to do this very easily by adding web URLs that contain question and answers. It also allows us to add this information manually but for this walkthrough, Microsoft also provides a MS Build 2019 FAQ URL at that we can simply add:

We can also specify the personality of our bot and finally click on the button to Create the KB:
QnA Maker will parse the URL that we provided and start building the knowledge base. Once completed it will display a list of all the questions and answers that it parsed from the URL:
Finally we can select the "Publish" tab  and click the Publish Button to publish our knowledge base:
When successful, QnA Maker will provide some important information such as the first line containing the Knowledge base ID, followed by the host URL and Authorization key that we'll need to use for our bot. Its best to copy this information to a text file for use later:
Next we head back to Azure portal and navigate to the Application Settings for our Bot. Here we can find three parameters that we need to enter from the infomration that we got from the previous step. On the "QnAAuthKey" we need to enter the authorization key, "QnAEndpointHostName" is our host URL and the "QnAKnowledgebaseId" is our Knowledgebase ID. After entering these 3 parameters we can click the save button and our bot is now connected to the QnA service with the correct knowledge base:
To test our newly created bot, we can click on the "Test in Web Chat" menu in the properties pane which will allow us to chat with the bot directly and see the results. This is a very useful and easy way to make sure our bot is working properly before we proceed to connect the bot to chat channels such as MS Teams:
Now that our bot is working we can proceed to connect with MS Teams by selecting the "Channels" properties tab. From here we select the MS Teams icon in the "Add a features channel" section:
Next we just save our channel and we should see it running:
To test this bot in Teams immediately, we can simply click on the Microsoft Teams link in the channels and it will automatically launch MS Teams and allow us to chat with our bot as shown below
Note that if this fails, it may be due to side loading of external apps is not enabled in which case we can head over to the Microsoft 365 admin portal  and enable the necessary setting as shown below:
To make our newly created Bot to other Teams users, we can head over to the Teams application and start App Studio (download from the Teams Apps store if not already done so). In App Studio we select "Manifest editor" and click on "Create a new app"
This allows us to create a JSON manifest for our bot so that it can be loaded by other Teams users. Most of the fields in the App Details section are pretty self-explanatory except for the ID which can just click on the "Generate" button to create a new random ID
In the "Capabilities" section is where we define out bot details. Select "Bots" on the left, followed by "Setup" and then "Existing Bot" and we can enter the correct parameters. The only important field here is the "Name" which we can be anything we want, followed by the MS App ID which we need to get from the Application Settings of our Bot in Azure portal:
We need to copy this App ID and enter it into the manifest in the 2nd text box field. We'll select both Personal and Team Scope and then click Save to complete:
The final step is to distribute our bot and under the "Finish" section we select "Test and distribute" where we can directly install the bot into Teams or download and save the app package for distribution:
Clicking on the "Install" button allows us to add the bot to my own account or to a Team within MS Teams:
Now that we've added the bot to MS Teams we can chat with it:
We can also download and save the package as a zip file which we can distribute to other uses to upload as a custom app in the Store tab in MS Teams.This concludes the walkthrough of this blog post.

Posted in Skype for Business

March 26th, 2019 by Skype for Business News Aggregator

With Microsoft Teams live events, users in your organization can broadcast video and meeting content to large online audiences.

Teams delivers chat-based collaboration, calling, meetings, and with live events, so you can expand the audience of your meetings. Teams live events is an extension of Teams meetings, enabling users to broadcast video and meeting content to a large online audience. These are meant for one-to-many communications where the host of the event is leading the interactions and audience participation is primarily to view the content shared by host. The attendees can watch the live or recorded event in Yammer, Teams, and/or Microsoft Stream, and can interact with the presenters using moderated Q & A or a Yammer conversation.

Teams live events are considered the next version of Skype Meeting Broadcast and will eventually replace the capabilities provided in Skype Meeting Broadcast. At this point, Microsoft will continue to support Skype Meeting Broadcast for users who are using Skype for Business in their organizations, with no disruption in service for new or future events. However, we encourage you to try out Teams live events to leverage all the new and exciting features including screen sharing and support for external hardware/software encoders.

Global Level

And we can see that the BroadcastAttendeeVisibilityMode property has the value of Everyone, so it is a matter of waiting for the policy to apply so that they can select the Live Event Public option.

You can view this setting from the Teams Admin panel also.

User Level

Also if you wish, and want to have a more controlled environment on who has the permissions and not open it to the whole company, you can create a policy using PowerShell, log in to your tenant and create a new TeamsMeetingBroadcastPolicy.

New-CsTeamsMeetingBroadcastPolicy -Identity Visible4All -BroadcastAttendeeVisibilityMode Everyone

Asign the policy to a specific user:

Grant-CsTeamsMeetingBroadcastPolicy -PolicyName Visible4All -Identity

Setup the Live Event from your Teams Client

From your Teams client go to Calendar, and click New Meeting. From the dropdown box choose New live event.

In the next screen you will need to enter the title of the meeting, and the timeframe.

You can also add some extra Producers or Presenters. When finished click Next.

On the next screen you can choose if the Live event must be for specific group/people or everyone from your organization can join.

Click Schedule te finalize the meeting.

Your Live event is now created! Copy the attendee link and share this will the people who needs to join.



Posted in Skype for Business

March 26th, 2019 by Skype for Business News Aggregator

My last week in MVP Summit gave me a lot to think about. Conveniently Enterprise Connect revealed new features that adds even more collaboration possibilities to Teams meeting: Whiteboard in Teams. So it is a good moment to recap why meetings in Teams rock! 1. Easy to join Joining meetings is easy in Teams. Just … Jatka lukemista 5 reasons why Teams meetings rock!

Posted in Skype for Business

March 25th, 2019 by Skype for Business News Aggregator

Let's imagine that you go shopping for an automobile, and you're looking for something with four doors and decent mileage nothing special. What if amongst all of the $35,000 mid-sized cars and $28,000 compact cars you find one priced for $7000, brand-new and fully loaded. That seems too to be true doesn't it? You might be immediately suspect of this low-priced car, and even if you bothered to look at it, in your mind something would always be wrong.

Posted in Skype for Business

March 25th, 2019 by Skype for Business News Aggregator

Let's imagine that you go shopping for an automobile, and you're looking for something with four doors and decent mileage nothing special. What if amongst all of the $35,000 mid-sized cars and $28,000 compact cars you find one priced for $7000, brand-new and fully loaded. That seems too to be true doesn't it? You might be immediately suspect of this low-priced car, and even if you bothered to look at it, in your mind something would always be wrong.

Posted in Skype for Business

March 25th, 2019 by Skype for Business News Aggregator

Posted in Skype for Business