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. 

Additional Resources

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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.

Additional Resources

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.

Additional Resources

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.

Additional Ressources

How to port Microsoft Phone System phone numbers between Office 365 Tenants?

In this post I describe and share my experience on how you can port numbers from Microsoft Phone System from one Office 365 source tenant to another Office 365 target tenant. First of all, why should you do this? Well, there are several reasons you might have to port existing phone numbers from a source to a target Office 365 tenant, e.g.

  • company merger and acquisition
  • company segregation
  • other forms of organizational restructure measures and needs
  • technology change requirements (migrate / cutover / move (partially) from a PoC environment to a production environment …)
  • security change requirements

When do you have to port phone numbers?

On the one hand, if one of the above reasons or another reason may apply to your organization. And of course, on the other hand, if your organization and you like to keep the phone numbers to carry on getting calls on these ones. To sum it up,

  • you’ll have to port phone numbers if you rely on Microsoft Phone System Calling Plans and
  • Microsoft is also your PSTN service provider from whom you get your PSTN phone numbers
  • and you might published (to suppliers, customers, partners) and adopted  these phone numbers in your company communication with the outside world … (mail signatures, business cards, …)

Is this difficult to do?

Fortunately it is not.
Still, you have to pay attention to a few things to make the phone number porting a smooth cutover and a success. I recommend to read carefully what’s on the Microsoft Phone System documentation and a blog (see links below). I do not mention here that an Office 365 Tenant-to-Tenant migration might has other challenges you have to cope with. I recommend that you plan it – the whole migration – thoroughly to get it working with a minimal impact to your users.

What numbers can I port?

You can port user and service numbers.

What do I have to do?

As a prerequisite I recommend to set up the destination tenant with the appropriate licenses (e.g. E5 + Calling Plan International + Communication Credits + Audioconf …) to be ready for assignment as soon as the numbers are available in the destination tenant. Don’t forget about setting up Communication Credits.

Besides of all your other Office 365 Tenant-to-Tenant (T2T) migration tasks as your first step please read the blog post from “Porting Cloud PSTN Telephone Numbers Between Office 365“.

What data do I need to submit to the Microsoft PSTN Porting team?

Because it is almost always the same data you need to submit to Microsoft  for a T2T migration I just created an easy to use table which you can copy and  help as a guiding and supporting tool.

DataValue (you need to insert)
O365 source tenant domain name….onmicrosoft.com
O365 source tenant unique identifier
O365 source tenant (porting) PIN
O365 destination tenant domain name ….onmicrosoft.com
O365 destination tenant unique identifier
O365 numbers emergency location address (for the numbers) e.g. (Floor, Building,) Street, City, ZIP, Country
Number(s) to be ported from source to destination tenant e.g. +49711xxxxxxx to +49711xxxxxyy
Number type (user vs. service phone numbers?) e.g User
Requested date and time range of port requestion execution e.g. 17/03/2019 10am
Request mail-to [Microsoft PSTN Team, see port request Microsoft page] e.g. Microsoft PSTN Europe Team

What’s next?

After you have submitted the request the Microsoft PSTN Team answers, either with additional questions or a confirmation request. You than need to confirm the port request which enables the Microsoft PSTN Team to port your numbers based on the details of the confirmation mail.

During the porting

  • the numbers will be removed on the source tenant,
  • users will not be able to be called or make a (PSTN) call [inform your users early enough],
  • numbers will show up in the destination tenant.

If you have licenses, numbers ready, congratulations you made it and can now assign the user/service numbers within the target O365 tenant.

Conclusion, opinion and summary

In my opinion porting phone numbers is really a smooth migration part of an Office 365 T2T migration. Recently, I had to port numbers and was really positively surprised how straightforward and smooth it worked. The only thing I really want to note and highlight is that if you should have all your licenses early enough in the destination tenant because in a recent T2T migration the licenses where added/booked quite late and that’s why it took some time till phone numbers could be assigned to users.

Additional Ressources

General

Phone Number Porting Tenant-2-Tenant

Online Audiocodes Command-Line Reference Guide for SBCs/GWs Version 7.20

This post is about news regarding the Audiocodes CLI Reference Guide. If you configure Audiocodes Session Border Controllers (SBCs) or Gateways you may know that there are some features and settings you might need or prefer to set them via command line (SSH/telnet).

In the past you downloaded the latest reference guide from the Audiocodes Library as PDF. Now there is a new site where all the commands can be found and looked up. You can find the guides as before via the Audiocodes Library.

Conclusion, opinion and summary

I prefer to use the site instead of the PDFs because the commands are easier to find at least for one version. However, it would be nice to have the option to switch between versions. E.g. if you have still a SBC with 7.0 a version selection which enables you to switch from 7.20 reference guide to 7.0 would be nice. Otherwise you had to navigate via the Library to that version. Finally, this new content delivery is nice and all you need. I like it.

Additional resources

Microsoft Teams Calling for everyone

Microsoft rolls out Teams Calling for everyone. What does it imply?

It means that everybody will get the “Call”/”Phone” button in the Teams navigation pane on the left. Additionally users will get voicemail capabilities. For existing “calling” users there won’t be a change as it reads on the official roadmap.

So, your existing CsTeamsCallingPolicy etc. should be as is.

Conclusion, opinion and summary

I like this because it will make adding telephony, PSTN voice, just a tiny little change if you go for telephony with Teams. User adoption for telephony might not require so much efforts because for the user it’s just a little extra.

Additional resources