Microsoft Build 2019 live stream

For market observers, in this post I want to notify about Microsoft Build 2019. The event takes place in Seattle, WA from May 6th – 8th, 2019. It’s all about development around Microsoft products and services, e.g. containers, artificial intelligence, machine learning, DevOps, IoT and mixed reality.

Conclusion, opinion and summary

At the time I wrote this post there were no details regarding live streams available. Nevertheless, I’m pretty sure there will be a live stream at least for certain sessions available. I guess on the Build 2019 page and Channel 9 you might be able to watch the keynotes and later, after the event you could find recordings of certain sessions there. So, stay tuned for more details on the below pages as the event comes closer.

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Google Cloud Next ’19 recordings

In this post I’d like to point out some Google Cloud Next ’19 recordings which you can watch on YouTube. Their focus are on modern communication and collaboration based on Google services. The links are at the bottom of this post.

Conclusion, opinion and summary

I watched some bits of the event to get some insights on what’s Google offering regarding modern collaboration and communication services. I saw some common, innovative as well as different (implemented/looking) features and services. From my point of view, although otherwise mentioned by the speakers of the sessions, to me the services deliver just some certain service building block for an enterprise grade IT service infrastructure. You need to take a close look at several aspects to find out if the provided services are right for your company. But that’s what you need to do for all services and things before you start rolling out anything.

To me, it was interesting to watch what and how certain modern collaboration capabilities are offered by Google. Also remarkable that Google partners with Cisco to enrich their, both, communication and collaboration portfolio and feature set. Finally, I’m looking forward to read news from Gartner regarding cloud-based unified communication (for 2019) and which player is categorized as a leader (for 2019).

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Design options for PSTN SIP Trunk links

In this post I show and explain two SIP trunk (topology) designs. This will give you a first glimpse on what you could do if you plan to migrate from ISDN to SIP (ALL-IP) or if you think about consolidating or distributing your PSTN access links, either to reduce costs or increase availability.

This post is just a high level and simplified overview and under no circumstances a complete design or something you can directly apply for your company without knowing your requirements, needs and related dependencies. I don’t go into detail regarding Microsoft Phone System/PBX/SBC deployments and connectivity.

Option 1: Central PSTN SIP Trunk links

Central PSTN SIP Trunk links with two options (example)

Central PSTN SIP Trunk links are one or more sip trunks terminating centrally on a session border controller (SBC, redundant or not redundant). The above figure displays two options:

Option 1: Connect to PSTN via Internet

  • no QoS
  • “no SLA”
  • call and media quality might vary depending on your internet link (bandwidth, latency, roundtrip latency (RTT), jitter, packet loss …)
  • commonly low priced

Option 2: Connect to PSTN via “MPLS” or “MPLS Light”

  • QoS
  • SLA
  • PSTN service provider delivers a dedicated connection link, either via existing MPLS (if PSTN and MPLS/WAN provider are the same) or new IP-link “MPLS Light” (dedicated IP-link and connection only for voice SIP Trunking).
  • commonly costly

Option 2: Decentral / distributed PSTN SIP Trunk links


Decentral / distributed PSTN SIP Trunk links (example)

Decentral PSTN SIP Trunk links are one or more sip trunks terminating on a session border controller (SBC, redundant or not redundant) at each location/site. As the above drawing shows each site has its own PSTN link. In my experience many companies have this architecture if …

  • they are still on ISDN,
  • or have several and different PBXs per site
  • or have local PSTN service provider and did not develop a PSTN provider concept for a central approach
  • or don’t have a highly available WAN in place for a central approach (e.g. no redundant MPLS links, no SD-WAN, …)

Conclusion, opinion and summary

Now, as you can see, there are two major options for designing PSTN access with IP-based SIP Trunks. However, a combination of both is possible, too.

In large and multinational deployments (>10.000 users) you might find a mix of above options within world regions, for instance, central PSTN sip trunks per world region (NOAM, LATAM, North Europe, South Europe, MEA, APAC West, APAC East, APAC South, APAC North). One in a while you might come across certain constraints at a site which make you temporarily stick with ISDN. B

Finally, it all comes down to your requirements, needs and goals. Due to the shift of how we work, how we can communicate and collaborate today, I would prefer and go for a “slim” PSTN access concept.

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Google Cloud Next ’19 live stream

For market observers, in this post I want to notify about Google Cloud Next. The event begins at April 9th, 2019 in San Francisco. However, you can watch it online at April 9th, 19:00 h (CET) on YouTube. The event is about news all around Google’s cloud services. There are “special” tracks you can stream which are regarding communication and collaboration services with the G Suite. I added the links to these communication and collaboration sessions at the bottom of this post.

Conclusion, opinion and summary

Why do I share this? In my opinion it’s important to observe the communication and collaboration market and always stay up-to-date. To know (different) communication and collaboration services’ capabilities helps in discussions regarding pros and cons plus adds more value to advisory services. 

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Busy on busy in Microsoft Teams

I stumbled upon a new feature which is under development for Microsoft Teams. Belief it or not but on the official Microsoft 365 (M365) roadmap “Microsoft Teams: Busy on Busy” (short, abbr. BoB) appeared in the list. It’s planned for May 2019.

Microsoft Teams: Busy on Busy (Source: https://www.microsoft.com/de-de/microsoft-365/roadmap?filters=&searchterms=49990)

What’s “Busy on Busy”?

Well, this feature gives a caller a busy ton or sound in case the callee is busy with another call/meeting. So, you as a caller then now “Ah, well the person I’m calling is busy, right now. I’ll try it later, send an IM or mail …”

Do you need this?

It depends. It’s a frequently and common feature in Germany. Most people are used to it. In US and other countries it is not so widely used as far as I’m aware of. There is a little different “telephony mindset”, e.g. “If I cannot get a call because I’m busy the caller can leave a voicemail… or it is forwarded to my delegates/assistant …” or “The caller can try another communication option…” That’s why it depends if you need it or not. In general to have it is a good idea so you can decide if you enable it for all or a few users (depending on how the feature can be configured after it’s development).

Conclusion, opinion and summary

I remember, in the past, that the announcement of Busy-on-Busy for Skype for Business Server was a big deal. Many customers in Germany were waiting for this nativ feature for SFB. It was released as part of a SFB Server 2015 cumulative update. The busy-on-busy implementation was not 100% as some customers expected it to be. Compared to their known and legacy busy-on-buy feature by their legacy PBX. However it was adopted partially. And third party app and tools for this previously SFB Server 2015 feature gap vanished. Finally, I’m sure Microsoft Teams Busy on Busy will be adopted by some Team users instead of or even supplementary to voicemail, call forwarding or else depending on the configuration and assignment options for BoB.

Please note that this post and its contents might be subject to change. Especially, because it was added and last modified on April 1, 2019.

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What’s new in managing apps and integration in Microsoft Teams? (03-19)

In this post I’d like to note a recent announcement which improves the admin experience to manage apps and integrations in Microsoft Teams. To keep it short and simple, the following configuration options were announced by Microsoft:

  • Teams App Setup Policies – Who get’s which apps displayed?
  • Teams App Permission Policies – Define who can install which apps
  • Bulk Assignment via PowerShell – Assign the above policies by using a PowerShell (Script and CSV)

Conclusion, opinion and summary

To me, these two options for managing apps and integration will help to enable what Teams users need or don’t need. Plus it’s another step in the right direction towards a more comprehensive and granular management of Microsoft Teams as a hub for modern teamwork.

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Speaking at abtis Modern Teamwork Roadshow 2019

Soon, I’ll speak at the abtis Modern Teamwork Roadshow in Pforzheim (19/03/2019), Heidenheim (20/03/2019) and Freiburg i.B. (19/03/2019). The event and speakers cover different topics all around modern teamwork.

I’ll talk about Microsoft Teams and (PSTN) telephony. My session “Telefonie mit Microsoft Teams – Das sollten Sie wissen” is about frequently asked questions and things you should know regarding Teams and (PSTN) telephony. I’ll give answers to frequently asked questions and provide first ideas on how you could start with adding PSTN telephony to Teams to enable your fellow employees for modern teamwork throughout your business.

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