Category Archives: Tech

…nik …nology

Exchange Online Unified Messaging is transitioned to Cloud Voicemail

In this post I’d like to point out the most important aspects of the discontinuation of Exchange Online Unified Messaging (hereinafter: EXO UM, voicemail and auto attendant capabilities). EXO UM is discontinued as announced by Microsoft months ago. Now, Microsoft published an information regarding the planned transition towards Cloud Voicemail. Below a short summary of the announced information by Microsoft:

  • EXO UM will be transitioned and migrated to Cloud Voicemail in calendar year 2019 (not later than February 2020)
  • Voicemail messages can still be stored on Exchange Online as well as Exchange Server
  • You’ll receive a transition notification by Microsoft via Office 365 Admin Center
  • You can postpone the transition to Cloud Voicemail via the support panel in the Office 365 Admin Center (however before February 2020)
  • EXO UM with Lync Server 2010 will not be supported anymore and will not be transitioned
  • EXO UM with Lync Server 2013 will be transitioned to Cloud Voicemail
  • EXO UM with Lync Server 2015 will be transitioned to Cloud Voicemail
  • EXO UM Auto Attendants must migrated to Cloud Auto Attendant services
  • EXO UM Auto Attendants must be re-created on the Cloud Auto Attendant service

Conclusion, opinion and summary

EXO UM will be replaced by Cloud Voicemail. The EXO UM service will be transitioned to Cloud Voicemail based on Azure. To me it seems that it will not be a big difference for your users. They’ll still get voicemail and auto attendant capabilities. It’s more an slight cut over to a different backend for the same features.

However, if you are still on Lync Server 2010 you should consider to upgrade to Skype for Business Server to carry on providing voice mail and attendant services.

In case of many auto attendant services on EXO UM you should prepare and plan to re-create auto attendant services on Cloud Voicemail.

Further Resources

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My Microsoft Teams Federation Notes

In this post I’ll describe how federation towards federated partners can work. I’ll not describe meetings and guest access for Teams which are great capabilities for modern teamwork across companies but not subject for this post. Teams provides options for federation with external organisations like suppliers, clients and partners.

Basically there are eight federation scenarios I’d like to describe below. The federation scenarios are based on Microsoft Teams as well as Skype for Business.

Skype for Business Federation

Let’s take a look on federation with Skype for Business. In Microsoft Skype for Business Server / Online (hereinafter: SFBx) there are two major federation types:

  • open federation: Users can communicate openly to everyone except users behind blocked domains.
  • closed federation: Users can communicate only to federated domains configured by the SFBx admin.

Teams Federation

Now, with Microsoft Teams federation is similair to SFBx federation but not 1:1 alike.

You can decide to federate with everyone, openly, except towards blocked domains (blacklist).

Or you can decide to federate only with allowed domains (whitelist).

Another thing to keep in mind is what’s your current Teams upgrade mode or status?

In Microsoft Docs there are five modes listed but not all are available by now.

  • Islands: All workloads on SFBx + Teams
  • Skype for Business-only: SFB for all workloads. Single client.
  • Teams-only: Teams for all workloads. Single client.
  • (not in Admin Center, Feb. 2019, TAP customers-only) Skype for Business with Teams (collaboration-only): SFB for chat, calling and meetings. Teams for collaboration.
  • (not in Admin Center, Feb. 2019, TAP customers-only) Skype for Business with Teams (collaboration and meetings-only): SFB for chat and calling, Teams for meetings and collaboration.

Scenario 1a+1b

You are on Microsoft Teams.

You can federate with other organisations having a) SFBx or b) Microsoft Teams, too.

Scenario 2a+2b

You are still on SFBx.

You can federate with other organisations having a) SFBx or b) Microsoft Teams, too.

Scenario 3a+3b

You are on SFBx as well as Microsoft Teams but your Teams Upgrade mode is “Islands”.

Your users are having two clients installed and only the SFBx works for federation communication.

You can federate only via SFBx with other organisations having a) SFBx or b) Microsoft Teams, too.

Scenario 3c+3d

You are on SFBx as well as Microsoft Teams but your Teams Upgrade mode is “Islands”.

Your users are having two clients installed and only the SFBx works for federation communication.

Your users cannot have an internal cross-client chat or else c) from SFB to Teams or d) from Teams to SFB.

Drawn via Microsoft Whiteboard App by Erik

Conclusion and summary

Teams federation provides the ability to federate with external organisations similair to what we’ve used to from SfBx. Nevertheless we need to pay attention to the user experience and federation experience which migh be slightly different during a coexistence of SFBx and Teams.

Further Ressources

Manage your Office 365 ProPlus deployment with cloud-based policies (preview)

Typically you manage your Microsoft Office installations by using group policies(-only) and options you have before you deploy the software to the computers within your organisation. However, now cloud-based policies for Office 365 ProPlus are in preview (Feb. 2019). These new option helps you to centrally mange Office 365 ProPlus deployments either for domain-joined or non-domain joined (but MDM managed) devices.

The cloud-based policies are for enforced user-based settings management and can complement group policies.

It only works for the Offce 365 ProPlus suite.

Further Ressources

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