Skype for Business Conference and “Mute Off” with Plantronics (and others) Headsets

I was browsing the Microsoft Tech Community last night and came across a post by a user saying “Is it possible to stop Skype from announcing Mute Off in meetings” as it was causing them to miss conversations or a chance to interject. This behaviour is not native Lync / Skype for Business. When you go into a mute state the default sound is played, which is a emphasised beep. You can find the actual WAV file in C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office15\15.0\Media folder (or wherever your Office program is installed). The file you are after is LYNC_muting.wav.

When you come off mute, Lync / Skype for Business doesn’t actually play a sound at all, meaning you can interject immediately and miss no parts of the conversation.

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Skype for Business – Anywhere365 Agents Not Being Hunted on Yealink T48G Desk Phones

Today while creating some test and training plans for a Anywhere365 deployment I am in the middle of, I came across an issue when an agent is signed into a Yealink T48G phone they are not available to be hunted in the Anywhere365 contact center. I must state that I suspect this problem to be present on any Skype for Business certified phone (non-LPE), but the Yealink is the only one I have to test with.

If the agent signed into their desktop client on their laptop, the phone would ring when they where hunted by the contact center. But if they weren’t, nothing.

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Boss / Secretary Scenarios with Anywhere365 – Part 3

In part 2, I described the end user / secretary experience. In this part I wanted to go through more of an advanced scenario. One of the problems with Lync delegate ringing is that when a call comes into the boss, all their delegates will simultaneously ring. For some customers and secretaries, this is a problem because bosses may have a direct secretary that should answer their calls, but equally the secretary has a hierarchy of other bosses secretaries who can answer the call in their absence. For instance, boss 1 mandates that secretary 1 should answer their call as a top priority. Other bosses secretaries should not be disturbed at this point. If secretary 1 does not answer the call due to either being away, or busy on another call, then boss 2’s secretary should answer the call and so on. How do we create this scenario?

(Easter Egg at the end of this article)

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Boss / Secretary Scenarios with Anywhere 365 – Part 2

In part 1 of this mini series focussed around boss / secretary scenarios we looked at how to create a simple call flow that would enable secretaries to answer calls originally destined to the boss without the boss every knowing that they had a call. We took this further and created exceptions to allow some people to call the boss directly, but prevented everyone else. In this part, we are going to look at the experience from the secretary’s perspective.

So when the secretary’s client rings, the toast message looks like any other Skype for Business toast. Except that we don’t immediately see the caller ID as we do in a normal toast popup.

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Boss / Secretary Scenarios with Anywhere 365 – Part 1

If you are running Lync Server 2013 or later, then there is a boss / admin role built-in to the core that allows you to configure delegates for a boss or manager. However, in order to do this you need SEFAUtil, but more recently in Skype for Business these commands have been introduced into native Powershell. The standard offer from the system for boss / secretary role does not always suit the scenario you are trying to configure for. By default, when enabled the boss’s endpoint will still ring at the same time as the delegates. However, the delegates can pick up calls for the boss using their endpoint (client or desk phone). The delegates can also place a call on hold and the boss can pick up the call on their endpoint. Another feature is that the deleagte can place calls on behalf of the boss.

Now for most situations this functionality is sufficient, but what happens if the boss does not want their endpoint to ring? What about if there is a dedicated secretary for a boss, but if they are not available a secretary of another boss should get the call? These scenarios become more challenging to configure that increase system admin effort, and also the end user experience is less than desirable.

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Skype for Business – Niggle Notes – Login & Routing Performance

I wanted to share with you some notes from the field as it where. The most common problems I see in deployments that where either PoC’s come production or just bad habits. I am not sure the reason why so many fall foul to these common mistakes, but they seriously impact the performance of Skype for Business. This post is a collection of a few of these that I have come across, and hopefully will help you not make the same mistakes.

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Microsoft Teams is nothing new and Skype for Business or is it Skype? Understanding the message

At first glance you may be thinking that this post is going to be a scathing review of Microsoft technology. Well sadly for you, its not. The title is simply to grab your attention and at least make you read up to about here…. right?!?

In all seriousness, this is a contentious topic of which I am going to place my ten pence worth down on now. A lot has happened this Autumn (or fall for my American cousins). We have seen the introduction of Microsoft Teams and the announcements around Skype meetings, Skype Meeting Broadcasts and new Skype clients for the Apple family.

Those eagle eyed followers will notice that the last sentence lacked the words “for Business”. That’s not because I am lazy. In fact, I am disappointed because it means that most of my blog posts are going to be about 200 words less from now on! No, the reason is that Microsoft have been dropping the “for business” when delivering marketing messages around the Skype for Business (one last time). This has left a lot of us and our customers confused on what Microsoft are trying to convey with this.

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Porting Numbers to Cloud PBX–What the blogs don’t say

There are many good blogs out there that detail how to port numbers to Cloud PBX, Microsoft pretty much have it organised in this article https://support.office.com/en-gb/article/Transfer-phone-numbers-to-Skype-for-Business-Online-47b3af8e-4171-4dec-8333-c956f108664e. However, if porting numbers is a new thing to you, there are some things you need to know when transferring your customer numbers to Cloud PBX.

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Skype for Business Backup Service Fail to Start

This will only take a second. While reinstalling my lab on CU4 I couldn’t start the Skype for Business Backup Service. Deployment logs showed successful deployment but when the service attempted to start I received an Error 4006 on the LS Backup Service.

The full error was:

Skype for Business Server 2015, Backup Service service could not be started.

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Future Decoded and that little announcement of Microsoft Teams

Before I dash to Seattle for my first MVP summit, I decided to warm up by going to Future Decoded at London ExCel. Future Decoded isn’t a UC conference, in fact there was pretty much zero a UC geek would have picked up that they didn’t already know. However, it gave us chance to broaden our horizons and look forward to the future and see what it has to offer us. Firstly, Future Decoded is all about the “future” durr.. So this means the conference is about the “art of the possible” or “the cutting edge of technology”. The focus this year from Microsoft was all about Machine Learning and Augmented Reality (shocker!).

I wanted to share with you my key takeaways and where I think certain technology may or may not play a relevant role in my life as well as maybe yours. I have to say the Morning Keynote was really enjoyable, using AI and Machine learning to predict outcomes you think of these as complex mathematic equations that only universities really care about. But what you don’t see is how those outcomes help humanity in cases where you traditionally think is down to personal expertise and a good slice of luck. For instance, Joesph Sirosh CVP in Data Group for Microsoft spoke about how machine learning helps predict the chance of an eye operation (Lasik surgery) being successful based on data collected over similar cases with the added influence of the patient’s personal cirumstantial influence as data. Microsoft’s Machine Learning engine is able to process such vast amounts of data it can provide accurate predictions on your chances of success.

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