How are companies communicating in Germany?

I came across an interesting research result and overview by Statista. It tells us that most companies use e-mail, telephony (land line), mail and fax on a high frequency. New and modern means of communication are not that used as often. To me, this means there is plenty room for improvement to strive for adoption of modern workplace technology…  

Infografik: So kommunizieren Unternehmen in Deutschland | Statista

Mehr Infografiken finden Sie bei Statista

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Highlights of SFB Server 2019, SFB Online, SFB Hybrid and Teams

Microsoft’s Ignite 2017 in Orlando took place and some very interesting announcements were made. This post sums up some contents and highlights regarding Skype for Business and Teams which were mentioned in one of the sessions (see link/video at the bottom). All contents might be subject to change and only provide a high level overview and summary.

Skype for Business Server (SFBS) 2019

Skype for Business Server (SFBS) 2019 Migrationpaths

  • Server 2013 -> Server 2019
  • Server 2015 -> Server 2019
  • Minimum OS: Windows Server 2016
  • Minimum SQL: SQL Server 2016

Current State –> Migration Proposal towards Teams

  • No onpremise Lync/SFB server –> Go for a TEAMs pilot (IMP, Meetings, Voice)
  • Onpremise SFB server without Enterprise Voice –> Go for TEAMs pilot in coexistence with SFB, migrate to TEAMs over time
  • Onpremise SFB server with Enterprise Voice –> Assess current capabilities incl. third-party integrations, service contracts etc., go for TEAMs pilot in coexistence with SFB, evaluate migration feasability to TEAMs or SFB Server 2019

SFBS 2019, SFB Online and Teams Hybrid

  • Office 365 Tenant required
  • Office 365 Tenant/Cloud (admin) permissions required
  • Hybrid aware Office 365 portal
  • Call Analytics and Retention in one portal for all useres
  • Voicemail Services provided via Cloud Backend for SFB Server 2019
  • Auto Attendant provided via Cloud Backend for SFB Server 2019
  • Call Queues provided via Cloud Backend for SFB Server 2019
  • One experience for all users
  • Modern Auth (in Public Preview for SFB Server) –> AAD

Meeting Migration Service

  • Scheduled Meeting Update Service
  • Replaces Meeting Migration Tool
  • Supports moving user from SFBS to SFBO
  • Supports Exchange Online or Exchange Server 2016 User Mailboxes

CloudPBX

  • Bring your own trunk
  • No CCE

Skype for Business Server (SFBS) 2019 Response Groups News?

  • No news/no new features regarding on premise response group/s

High Availability – Windows Fabric

  • New Fabric
  • EE 1 – 16 Frontends (not 2!)
  • EE 2 does not work –> Quorum problem! Not usable

Future Roadmap Microsoft UC?

More details might be provided on the October 2017 Roadmap of TEAMs.

Source of the above information

 

To stay up to speed do not forget to check out http://skypepreview.com for new (preview) features and functions on SFB/Teams as well as the other links listed in my previous posts here on this blog.

Microsoft Ignite 2017 Reminder

Tomorrow, 2017/25/09 Microsoft’s Ignite 2017 in Orlando (US) will kick off. You will be able to watch the keynotes from 15:00 – 23:00 h (UTC +01:00 Amsterdam, Berlin, …) via live stream. I’m looking forward to pretty awesome news and announcements regarding Office 365, Skype for Business, Teams, Yammer, … As you maybe already know there are rumors about SFB Online and Teams to become one or being merged to one single (cloud) platform (see links below)?! I’m thrilled to hear what’s going to happen with SFB and Teams. 🙂

I’m also very interested in UC-related AI (artificial intelligence) topics especially bots and fancy things we will be able to do with it. Automate things for communication-enabled business process (CEBP) etc. There so many options what can be done with it for all kind of companies, from small to large.

Enjoy and get positively amazed! 😉

 

Don’t forget a change management for your UC&C service deployment!

Unified Communication and collaboration (UC&C) service deployments do have a large-scale impact on your business. If well planned and executed a positiv one which supports the return on (your) investment over time. I’m writing this post because I’ve seen the excellent, the good and the bad adoption strategy realization. Some companies struggle and some do very well. I like to write down some notes which might be helpful for the one or the other to reach a good or even excellent adoption strategy realization.

Why is change management important for your UC&C service?

UC&C is very holistic because it is not just one service it’s a bunch of services for communications and collaboration. We all know that many IT infrastructure services are touched or involved in a properly functioning UC&C environment. That IT provides the fitting services to business should be standard. However it is not always the case. Users which keep the core business running and who will not receive what they need are more and more creative. In other words users might try to find and obtain the required service somewhere else to close the gap between provided IT services and requested IT services. But sometimes there are services provided by IT, like UC&C services but users are not aware of the features and how to use them. To put it in a nutshell if you have a car but do not know how to drive you will switch to and use what you know, so you’ll might ride a horse or bicycle instead of driving a car. So the car than stays where it is. If you bought it or pay a leasing rate there is no added value, on contrary you lose money. The same applies for IT services and UC&C. There are differences between IT services (direct / indirect services for users). UC&C is a direct service  (or bunch of direct services) because users will directly interact with the applications and devices providing UC&C capabilities. For instance database services or network services are indirect services because users are not directly interacting with these kind of services. To sum it up it is essential to plan for user adoption and training before rolling out all UC&C services and features to end users. Additionally I must also note that change management is always a good thing if your IT clients, users by default, are going to be confronted with new technology, services and organizational transformation. Don’t leave anyone behind! By using a car you can go more kilometers a day instead of going by horse or bicycle. 😉

What can I do?

You could implement an adequate project change management which accompanies your UC&C project. It will help you to …

  • establish and execute a strategy for the change to an UC&C service
  • plan and execute user communication
  • plan and execute users involvement (surveys, discussions, service previews/demos, …)
  • enable users (trainings, FAQs, wiki pages, handouts, video clips, …)
  • enable service for users (roll out / activation of services, disable / decommissioning legacy service (if applicable))

change-management

What can I provide my users to adopt UC&C?

It is common for vendors which provide applications and services for users to have supportive information and material available. Below you will find some examples what it can be like. It’s just some basic information. Depending on what the UC&C changes will be and look like within your organisation more and also customized material might be necessary. It’s no big deal but it must be taken into account for project planning.

Some resources for Microsoft Skype for Business

Some resources for Cisco Collaboration Services

Let’s start your project, make a change and improve things! 😉

Office 365 Enterprise – Skype for Business Service Preview

Office 365 Enterprise Kunden können sich bei Microsoft jetzt für eine Preview von neuen SfB Features registrieren.

Skype Broadcast Meetings / sehr große Onlinemeetings

Ausgewählte Office 365 (Preview) Kunden können mit Broadcast Meetings sehr große Onlinemeetings veranstalten. Bis zu 10.000 Teilnehmer sind bei einem solchen Onlinemeeting möglich.
Die Teilnahme ist nahezu von jedem Browser möglich.
Während des Meetings können Umfragen und Stimmungen via Bing Pulse gestartet und durchgeführt werden. Yammer gestattet die interaktive Kommunikation zum laufenden Broadcast Meeting.

PSTN Conferencing / Einwahlkonferenzen

In den USA können Office 365 (Preview) Kunden Einwahlkonferenzen bereitstellen. Teilnehmer können somit via Festnetztelefon oder Handy an der Konferenz teilnehmen, wenn keine Internetverbindung besteht.
Ergänzend wird eine Art Dialout-Conferencing verfügbar sein, d. h. ein Referent/Teilnehmer im Meeting kann einen anderen Teilnehmer in die Konferenz hinzufügen.

Cloud PBX with PSTN Calling / Cloud TK mit Anrufen ins Festnetz

Auch sehr schön, zuerst in der Preview nur in den USA, Basis-Telefonie aus der Cloud. Office 365 Preview User können damit Basis-Telefonie-Feautres nutzen, z. B. anrufen, Anrufe entgegennehmen, Anruf halten/fortzsetzen, weiterleiten und transferien.

Microsoft hat auch angekündigt, dass Cloud PBX auf Basis von Lync/SfB Server noch voraussichtlich Ende des Jahres weltweit ausgerollt werden soll. Im Detail wird vorgesehen, dass Kunden vorhandene Anschlüsse für ein- und ausgehende Anrufe nutzen können. Grandios! 🙂

Link zum Announcement: https://blogs.office.com/2015/07/01/announcing-preview-of-new-skype-for-business-services-in-office-365/

Skype for Business Solution Catalog

Das Microsoft Unified Communications Open Interoperability Program (UCOIP) ist einerseits ein Programm für verschiedene Hersteller/Anbieter, um ihre Lösung für Lync testen und qualifizieren zulassen. Andererseits ist es ein Katalog (Dokumentation der qualifizierten Hersteller-Produkte/Services). Darin ist alles was mit Lync offiziell von Microsoft getestet wurde, z. B. 3PIP Phones, Gateways, Load Balancer, SBCs, ergänzende Applikationen, E-911 Services/Trunk Provider.

Mittlerweile gibt es quasi den Nachfolger, den Skype for Business Solution Catalog mit

  • IP Phones
  • Personal Peripherals & PC
  • Meeting Peripherals
  • Meeting Room Systems
  • Networking & Hardware Infrastructure
  • IT Pro Tools (hierauf freue ich mich schon und hoffe, dass ich hier künftig z. B. den Network Troubleshooting Guide, BW Calculator, etc. finde und zentral herunterladen kann) 🙂

Skype for Business Solution Catalog (neu): http://partnersolutions.skypeforbusiness.com/solutionscatalog

Unified Communications Open Interoperability Program (UCOIP, Lync): https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/office/dn788948.aspx

Skype for Business Server 2015 Produkt-Dokumentation online

Diese Woche hat Microsoft die Produkte-Dokumentation von Skype for Business Server 2015 veröffentlicht. Ein sehr netter und praktischer Inhalt sind die technischen Diagramme (Skype for Business 2015 Workload Poster). Diese sind Bestandteil der Dokumentation und als .pdf und .vsdx verfügbar.

Anfang Mai wird dann voraussichtlich auch die Serverversion auf dem Microsoft VLSC-Portal zum Download bereitstehen (http://www.zdnet.com/article/microsoft-to-kick-off-skype-for-business-rollout-on-april-14/).