Microsoft Teams – Webinar

Summary

The long requested Teams Webinar functionality is currently rolling out and made it to my tenant this morning.

Description: Microsoft Teams: Teams webinar capabilities general availability
Feature ID: 80009
Schedule and deliver 1,000 person webinars with the same Teams app you use for meetings! Webinar capabilities support registration page creation, email confirmation for registrants, host management for attendee video and audio, attendee reporting, plus interactive features like polls, chat and reactions.

Setting up the webinar

Two steps for creating a webinar:

  • Create the meeting
  • Create the public registration form.

The meeting invite

Note: A webinar cannot have a channel associated to it. If you try, you’ll get warning saying the channel first needs to be removed.

To schedule a webinar, head to the calendar app in the Team client and select the “Webinar” option from the drop down menu.

This will then open the New meeting form. This form has 2 additional elements compared to a normal meeting:

  • The “Required registration” picker – For a public webinar you want to select “Everyone” here.
  • The registration form link.

Set the registration mode:

  • Everyone for public events
  • EveryoneInCompany for internal events

Invite your presenters, set a time & date and fill in the agenda. I find it’s a good idea to have the Teams meeting start 15 to 30 minutes before the actual webinar is due to start to let the presenters get ready. When you are happy click the “View registration form” link to configure the registration form.

The registration form configuration

Banner image requirements:

Image size: 918 x 210 pixels recommended,
File formats supported: png and jpg.
The banner uploader does include a zoom slider and a drag control, if you choose to use a large image.

Event details (red box)
Area for providing the date and time of the event. There is also a box for providing details about the event, this box accepts rich text.

Speakers (green box)

The registration page provides an area for listing the speaker and providing a short bio for each. This is currently limited to plain text only.

Registration field (blue box)

The registration form includes 3 default required fields: First name, surname and email address.
There is also the option to add additional pre-set fields and create your own custom questions. These can be marked as required.

Published form example

When someone registers for an event, they will received an email confirmation which includes the link to join the event. The email comes from “noreply@teams.registration@microsoft.com”

Policy settings

Currently the webinar related meeting policy settings are not available in the Teams admin center and must be configured using PowerShell. For example:

set-CsTeamsMeetingPolicy -id Tag:WebinarExample -WhoCanRegister Everyone -AllowMeetingRegistration $true -AllowEngagementReport $true -StreamingAttendeeMode $true

Policy: Teams Meeting
Parameter: AllowMeetingRegistration
Values: True | False
Description: Master switch controlling if “Webinar” is available as a meeting type. True is the default value.

Parameter: WhoCanRegister
Values: Everyone | EveryoneInCompany
Description: Controls who can register for your webinar. For a public webinar, set this to “Everyone”.
Additional note: To use the “Everyone” option, you will also need to have the meeting setting “Anonymous users can join a meeting” set to “On”.

Parameter: AllowEngagementReport
Values: Enabled | Disabled
Description: Controls if the meeting organiser can download the registration report for the webinar.


Parameter: StreamingAttendeeMode
Values: Enabled | Disabled
Description: Enabled View-only mode for attendees once a meeting is at maximum capacity.

Additional note:
AllowPrivateMeetingScheduleing also need to be set to True otherwise a user won’t have the “New meeting button” at all.

View-only mode

View-only mode is an overflow feature of meetings. Once the meetings maximum capacity has been reached, additional attendees will join in view-only mode. The view-only mode provides the following experience:

  • Listen to the participants in the main Teams meeting.
  • See the video feed for the active speaker (if the active speaker is sharing video).
  • See content being shared using the share desktop or screen functionality.

There are additional limitations and consideration for view-only mode, please consult the full Microsoft article (link below) for full details.

Full Microsoft reference article: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoftteams/view-only-meeting-experience

Webinar registration report

The Teams meeting invite will also include a registration report, so the event organise can track sign-ups and also see the answers to any questions asked as part of the registration process. These responses can be used to tailor the content of the event.

Microsoft Teams – Voicemail on busy

Summary

In Microsoft Teams, when a user is on a call and receives another call, the default behaviour is to alert the user to the 2nd incoming call with a audio notification and a pop-up. This behaviour is a common complaint from end users.

To help address this Microsoft introduced the BusyOnBusy functionality. The user would not receive an alert and the caller would hear a busy tone. Definitely an improvement but still not perfect.
Now with the ability to follow a user’s call answering rules, we finally have voicemail on busy.

How to setup voicemail on busy

Policy: Teams Calling
Parameter: BusyOnBusyEnabledType
Values: Enabled | Unanswered | Disabled

Unanswered description
When set to Unanswered, the user’s “If unanswered” settings will take effect, such as routing to voicemail, forwarding to another user or forward to another number.

This can either be applied to everyone using the Global (org-wide) policy, per users or by group using a group assignment policy.

Setting the parameter to “unanswered” is currently only available via PowerShell using the Set-CSTeamsCallingPolicy cmdlet:

Set-CsTeamsCallingPolicy -Identity "Voicemail on busy" -BusyOnBusyEnabledType Unanswered

The important part with this setting, is that it is following a user’s “Call answering rules” -> “If unanswered” setting. So for this to work, a user need to have the “If unanswered” set to “Voicemail”.

Microsoft references

UserVoice announcement: Voicemail on busy – Microsoft Teams UserVoice
Cmdlet reference: Set-CsTeamsCallingPolicy Parameter – BusyOnBustEnabledType

Customising the Teams app store

Note: Settings can take up to 24 hours to apply.
Summary
This setting will allow an organisation to customise the look and feel of the Teams app store (aka the Teams app catalogue) to a limited degree.

Settings
The customize store policy is located in the Teams admin center -> Teams apps -> Customize store. This is a global setting and applies to all users.

The following customisation settings are currently available:

Customise organisation logoThe logo should be 240×60.
It should be no larger than 5 MB.
Supported file formats:
.svg
.png
.jpg
Customise small logoThe logomark should be 32×32 pixels.
It should be no larger than 5 MB.
The supported formats are:
.svg
.png
.jpg
Customise the background colourFor choose a picture:
The background should be 1212×100 pixels.
It should be no larger than 5 MB.
The supported formats are:
.svg
.png
.jpg
Customize the text colour of your nameSelect a colour using the MS colour picker.

What it looks like to an end user

Microsoft reference:
https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/MicrosoftTeams/customize-your-app-store

How to save Microsoft Teams meeting recordings to OneDrive for Business and SharePoint Online

Note: This setting only applies to Teams meetings. Teams Live Event recording are still stored in Streams.
Note: The policy change took about 4 hours to take effect in my tenant.

Description
Ability to save Microsoft Teams meeting recordings to OneDrive for Business(ODfB) and SharePoint Online(SPO) for improved sharing capabilities, basic governance, automatic retention labels, go local, bring your own keys and, more that comes from recording video files and storing them in SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business.
Road map feature ID: 67138 (rolling out)

Default behaviour
By default new Teams meeting policies have the recording location set to Streams.
The storage location of existing meeting policies will not be changed.

How to set meeting records to be saved to One Drive for Business and SharePoint Online
This is a meeting policy setting and is not currently available in the Microsoft Teams admin center. So we’ll need to use PowerShell to change the setting.

CmdletSet-CsTeamsMeetingPolicy
ParameterRecordingStorageMode
Available optionsStream (default) | OneDriveForBusiness
Referencehttps://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/powershell/module/skype/set-csteamsmeetingpolicy?view=skype-ps

Examples

Set all meeting policies to use ODfB and SPO for recording sGet-CsTeamsMeetingPolicy | Set-CsTeamsMeetingPolicy -RecordingStorageMode OneDriveForBusiness
Set the global meeting policy to use ODfB and SPO for recording sSet-CsTeamsMeetingPolicy -Identity Global -RecordingStorageMode OneDriveForBusiness

Default save locations
The save location changes depending on the RecordinStorageMode setting on the meeting organiser’s Teams meeting policy and the type of meeting the recording was created from.

Default recording permissions
The permissions of a recording change depending on the type of meeting the recording was created from.

Recording available email
With SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business selected as the recording storage location, you don’t receive a “recording is ready” email notification.

MFA and the Polycom VVX

Note:
The Web Sign-in option only works for Skype for Business Online accounts.

Overview:
Firmware versions tested:  5.7.0.14430 & 5.8.1.6389
Phone used for test: Polycom VVX 600
The following is a step by step guide on how to sign-in a Polycom VVX IP phone to Skype for Business Online using an account enabled for MFA.

The process is pretty painless and worked at the first time of trying, which is always nice.

The phone will also sign back in after a reboot/power outage.

Step by step guide

  1. Click the “Sign In” button. Image01
  2. If you don’t see the screen, press the physical Home button and it will take you to the above screen.
  3. You should have 3 options:
    1. User ID
    2. Via PC
    3. Web Sign-in
  4. Select “Web Sign-in”:
    Image02
  5. The phone will display a code. The code is uniquely generated for each phone and each login attempt. Make a note of the code. Image03
  6. Navigate to http://aka.ms/sphone and enter the code from the phone.Image04
  7. The site will automatically check the code and if valid show the following message:Image05
  8. Click “Continue”
  9. At this point, you will be re-directed to the standard Office 365 login page. Select the account you want to use:Image06
  10. At the prompt enter the account password and click “Sign in”.Image07
  11. At the prompt enter the 6 digit MFA code and click “Verify”.Image08
  12. If everything worked you will be redirected to the following page:Image09
  13. The phone should now be logging in. From this point onwards the sign-in process is the same regardless of the sign-in method used.
  14. Find the Skype for Business Online serviceImage10
  15. Downloads the SfB generated certificate.Image11
  16. Set a phone lock code. This can be disabled via SfB policy. Image12
  17. Confirm code.
    Image13
  18. A handy note about how to change the Lock code, it will disappear after a few seconds.
    Image14
  19. Click “Skip”.
    Image15
  20. All done. The phone is logged in and ready for useImage16

This is also the process to use if you are using a Skype for Business Common Area Account.

Rack and cabling

Racking

This was nice and straightforward. The two Dell R710 at the bottom, 3 Cisco switches, 2 Cisco Routers and 1 Synology  NAS. Neatly stacked. 

fullrack

The cabling

The next challenge was to get a network cable from the garage to the study.

I did consider using Wi-Fi or Ethernet over Power(EoP) however, I discounted both. Wi-Fi is too unreliable and when I’ve tried EoP in the past I got slow speeds and frequent disconnects.

So a good old fashioned cable was the solution. Three options for running the network cable:

  1. Get in a professional to do the job – This wouldn’t have made a very interesting blog post…
  2. Install a network socket in the wall and run a cable down the inside of the wall – prefered options
  3. Drill a hole in the floor and run the cable through that – simplest.

So with Option 2 selected and a quick trip to B&Q, Wickes and Screwfix for supplies, I was ready to get started.

Step one was cutting the hole for the socket, to be honest, this is when things started to go wrong. There wasn’t enough clearance between the plasterboard and the breeze block wall to fit the socket. There also wasn’t enough room to actually drill a hole in the cavity between the plasterboard and breeze block wall.

IMG_20180623_160336

With Option 2 a non-starter (well apart from the hole in wall :/), I started on option 3. This went surprisingly smoothly, I used a 25mm drill bit for the hole along with a drill extender to get all the way through. I then ran a section of plastic 24mm piping to line the hole and make it easier to replace the cable in the future. I fitted a mounting box to the garage ceiling to tidy up the hole. Finally, fitted some stick-on trunking to keep the cable out of the way.

Connection in the study:

IMG_20180629_123701

Connection in the garage

IMG_20180629_123231

Overall, pretty happy with how it all turned out and wasn’t as difficult as I expected.

Bonus blog post:

I learnt how to fix holes in plasterboard

SfB Online: Number porting in the UK

Resources:

Step by step process

  1. Download and complete the Letter of Authorization (LoA) from the Microsoft site (see link above).
    Note: The “To” Carrier refers to your existing service provider or carrier.
  2. Submit porting form to ptneu@microsoft.com.
  3. You’ll receive a reply back in a few hours with your Port Order ID along with any questions.
  4. Porting is accepted by Microsoft and submitted to the Losing Carrier.
  5. Losing Carrier has 3 days to reject the request or issue a Firm Order Commitment (FOC) notice.
    If accepted, the porting date is confirmed.
    If rejected, engage in back and forth with Microsoft and Losing Carrier to get the information on the form correct.
  6. One day after the FOC notice is received, the numbers will be available in the SfB Online Portal. They will have a status of “Transfer pending”. They can be allocated to users but inbound calling won’t work until the porting is complete. SfBPortal-Pendingtransfer
  7. Three days before the port is scheduled is the last chance to cancel the port.
  8. On the porting day, at some point after the porting time, calls will start being directed to SfB users.
  9. Once the port is confirmed, Microsoft will convert any user numbers to Service numbers.
  10. Crack open a <beverage> and celebrate a job well done.

User experience during the porting window

During the porting window, there should be no disruption to calls.

Outbound calling from SfB will continue to work. Once the port is complete, CLI should automatically update to the new DDI number.

For inbound calling, at some point during the porting window calls will stop ringing on the old handset and start ringing on the SfB client.

Calls that are already established will continue until one party hangs up.

Porting timeline

Based on my experience, the timeline for porting to Microsoft is very similar to other telecoms companies. And will look like the diagram below:

PortingTimeline

The process is also governed and regulated by OFCOM in the UK, so telcos are legally required to comply with valid requests.

Gotchas and lessoned learnt

  • The form doesn’t ask for it but you will need to provide either the Organisation ID or *.onmicrosoft.com domain.
  • The initial response from the porting team was good, we had the Port Order ID within 30 minutes of emailing in.
  • All numbers are ported in as user number and you can then convert select numbers to service numbers.
  • Pick a migration date at least 20 working days in the future.
  • 3 days notice to cancel a request.
  • Numbers are available in the SfB Online portal once the losing carrier has accepted the request. They have a status of “Transfer Approved”. You can assign them to users at this point, however, inbound calling won’t work till the agreed port day.
  • Converting from a User number to a Service number takes 20 minutes, can only be done once the port is complete and does involve the number being out of service while being converted.

Finding your onmicrosoft.com domain

Admin Console

The organization ID can be found from the Azure Active Directory Admin Center -> Azure Active Directory -> Custom domain names.

From the list search of the <>.onmicrosoft.com entry.

FindDomain

PowerShell

Once you are connected to Azure ID run Get-MsolDomain and look for the <domain>.onmicrosoft.com entry

FindDomainPowerShell

Finding your Organisation ID

Third Party Website

Some kind folks have built a website that will find your Org ID for you: Link Simply enter your office 365 domain and it will display the Org ID. The site uses OpenID Connect which is an identity layer that sits on top of OAuth 2.0.

Admin console

The organization ID can be found from the Azure Active Directory Admin Center -> Azure Active Directory -> Properties  -> Directory ID.

It looks like a GUID type string. EG. a3gbd34b-14bd-5304-c380-774f60aa533b

FindOrgID

LackRack

Part 2 of the build – The enclosure. As mentioned in the design and planning post, the LackRack looks like a good option being cheap and easy to build/assemble.

Normally a LackRack is built using the Lack Table (55cm x 55cm). This is perfect for 1/2 length (~35cm) equipment. However, I will be using full-length servers in the lab so the Lack Coffee Table (55cm x 90cm) gave me the extra length required to completely enclose the equipment.

Reference: LackRack

Part and equipment list

  • 2 x Lack Coffee tables – white (Ikea – £14 each)
  • 2 x 44mm by 44mm by 2400mm timber (B&Q –  £5 each)
  • Chisel
  • Hammer
  • Screwdriver
  • Wood saw
  • Tape measure
  • Marker pen

Tools

Construction steps

At a high level the steps where:

  1. Assemble 1 x Lack Coffee table without the shelf (bottom)
  2. Assemble 1 x Lack Coffee table without the shelf (top)
  3. Use the chisel and hammer to remove the stoppers from the bottom of each leg.
  4. When this doesn’t work.. apply saw to the offending leg.
  5. Cut 4 x 80cm posts.
  6. Insert one post into each of the legs of the bottom table.
  7. Hammer down each post to make sure it is fully inserted.
  8. Fit top table into the top of the posts.
  9. Pull down on the top table to make ensure each post is completely inserted into each leg.
  10. Add the shelf to the top table.

And as a special “treat” I recorded the process: Video (sorry about the overexposure).

Final result

Overal, I am happy with the final result. Assembly was straightforward and resulted in a cheap enclosure for the lab equipment.

Lessons learnt

Below is a list of things I learnt from the project or would do differently if I repeated the project:

  • Wear gloves!
  • The thickness of the plywood stopper in each leg varied a lot. Of the 8 legs I “opened”, 6 had a 1cm stoppers and were easily removed with the chisel and hammer. 2 had a 4cm stoppers. For the 4cm stoppers, I had to cut off the bottom of the legs to remove them.
  • Each leg had a 2nd big stopper about 1/2 way up the leg. I didn’t remove these so the support posts wouldn’t fit totally inside the legs and where visible in the final product.  Not a huge deal for me and luckily meant the top of the rack was at the ideal height for a monitor and keyboard. The rack ended up standing 135cm tall.
  • Add the shelf to the top tables. I hadn’t initially planned to do this but it ended up being really useful for storing cables and boxes.
  • If you cut the posts to 35cm (rather than 80cm) the posts should be fully enclosed in the legs and look a bit nicer.

So there you have it, one LackRack assembled and installed.

Next: Racking the kit and cabling.

 

Home Lab – Part 1: Goals and design

As with any project, it’s always a good idea to set out the purpose and objectives.

Purpose

To provide an environment I can use to explore Skype for Business and the supporting technologies(SBCs, IP Phones, SQL, Exchange,  etc). Also as an environment I can use to test specific scenarios and replicate customer environments and issues.

Objectives

  • Build a two host VMware environment with vCentre for management.
  • Build a multi-VLAN network based on Cisco switches and routers.
  • Build a LackRack
  • Build Windows environment (ADDS, DNS, DHCP, PKI, SQL, Exchange etc.).
  • Install and configure SfB.
  • Install and configure PfSense Firewall, Kemp HLB, AudioCodes SBC and AudioCodes MP114 (analogue gateway).

Design

Rack, power and cabling

After some searching I came across LackRack. Looks like an interesting (and cheap) solution. I’ll be using the Lack Coffee table for the extra length.

Lab-Diagrams-Rack-v1

My “secure data centre location” aka the garage already has power, so that’s nice and easy.

Cabling – I need to get a physical network cable run between the study (1st floor) and garage (directly below). Erm.. drill a hole in the ceiling? I’ll consult with a sparky about this to avoid property damage…

Network

Pretty basic network, using a pair Cisco C3750 and a 1841 Router. Currently planning to include 4 virtual networks:

  • Server VLAN – Virtual servers and appliances.
  • Client VLAN – Physical clients and IP phones.
  • Internal DMZ VLAN- SfB Edge int interfaces and reverse proxy.
  • External DMZ VLAN – SfB Edge ext interfaces, “outside” clients and reverse proxy.

I also plan to add a firewall (probably a PfSense) once the VMware environment is up and running.Lab-Diagrams-Network-v1

This should allow me to test most scenarios and also gives me an excuse to finally learn Cisco networking.

VMware 

The VMware layer will be based on two Dell R710 (2x X5650 2.66GHz 96GB) from eBay. They should be ESXi ready. So hopefully the install will be straight forward. Once the hosts are built, I plan to install vCenter as the first virtual machine.

The VM data store will be hosted on my existing Synlogy DS1515+. Planning to try out iSCSI as the access protocol.

All the other bits

Once I have the network and VMware environments installed and working, I’ll do a seperate post detailing the design of ADDS, DNS, DHCP, Exchange, SfB and all the other things I want to test.

So there we go, part 1 of my plan for my home lab!

The UC Journey Begins

After lots of procrastination, I have finally created a blog. Thanks for joining me! Hopefully, some or all of the content that will be of interest or helpful to the community.

What to expect from this blog:

  • I’m currently in the process of building a home lab. So expect a series which follows my progress. The first post will record the design and planning stage.
  • Updates about new features and functions in Teams and SfB (both online and on-premise).
  • There is a new version of SfB On-premise due later this year, so that will hopefully generate some interesting articles.
  • Any interesting problems (and resolutions) I encounter that I think are worth sharing.

And finally any neat scripts, tips and tricks I come across in my day job, I plan to share here.

The great myth of our times is that technology is communication. — Libby Larsen

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