September 6th, 2017 | Tags: ,

For folks that are either trialing RealConnect for Office 365 or have purchased this solution from Polycom they may already be aware that this solution leverages a new scheduling service from Microsoft – referred to as “Modern Scheduling”. This can only be utilized via an updated Skype for Business add-in which is shipped as a part of Office 2016 Click-to-Run.

For those that are not already aware Click-to-Run or C2R is a distribution model, in this case leveraged by Office, whereby updates are streamed to a Windows Desktop. This allows Microsoft to deliver features and fixes on a more regular basis and is the default installation package for Office 365 subscribers. Microsoft have previously announced that from 2020 this will be the only way to connect to Office 365 services. There’s also a simple way for existing MSI-based installations to be converted to C2R, or create an offline installer for Office 2016 C2R here

With the background on this out of the way there are some other items to be aware of, specifically that when Modern Scheduling shipped some of the existing Skype for Business Meeting Options did not function as they did previously. Some of these impacted that ability to seamlessly bring a VTC into a Skype for Business Online Meeting without manual admittance or presenter promotion via an in-meeting organizational Skype for Business client. Let’s address these one at a time:

  1. The ability to schedule a Skype for Business meeting and set everyone to bypass the lobby (including VTCs) has been fixed in Office 2016 C2R 16.0.8431.2022
  2. For those that also want a VTC to have the ability to present content (without promotion to presenter), the option below will need:

a) Office 2016 C2R 16.0.8320.2145 and

b) To ensure their Skype for Business Online Meeting Configuration is updated as per below, for this to be executed you need to be a Global Administrator:

For more information on Office 2016 C2R mainstream supported versions this is published here, whilst Insider information is published here

August 24th, 2017 | Tags:

Some time back I wrote up a blog post on some of the new IP Phone Policies introduced within Skype for Business Online. Since then IP Phone vendors have added additional “3PIP” functionality, one of which is Device Lock.

Device Lock has for some time been available within Lync Phone Edition devices, but more recently this is something which is not only certified by Microsoft but also supported within Skype for Business Online. Many IP Phone settings can be managed out of band via 3rd party provisioning servers, but if you’re registering the device directly and utilizing factory settings some of these parameters can be set via Skype for Business Online PowerShell.

So with Device Lock Microsoft has now exposed the Get-CsUCPhoneConfiguration cmdlet.

By default Device Lock is enabled, but this can be disabled by executing the following commands:

      • Open PowerShell, type $credential = Get-Credential
      • When prompted enter your tenant admin credentials
      • Leverage the credentials to connect to Online PowerShell by typing, $session = New-CsOnlineSession -Credential $credential
      • Import the Online Powershell session by typing, Import-PSSession $session
      • To retrieve current configuration type, Get-CsUCPhoneConfiguration (see output below)

      • To disable Device Lock, type Set-CsUCPhoneConfiguration -EnforcePhoneLock $false (see output below)
      • To retrieve updated settings type Get-CsUCPhoneConfiguration

    1. Note: it takes about 15mins for the new policy settings to take effect.
August 22nd, 2017 | Tags: ,

The event organizers at UC Day reached out to me and kindly asked whether I would be interested in flying back over to Blighty and speaking at their epic day long UC extravaganza, of course I jumped at the chance – even when I found out it was up north 😉

For those of you that can make it I thoroughly recommend you register for this superb free industry event. I’d also encourage you to attend the legendary pub quiz the night before.

To find out more about the event and register now, head over to

June 7th, 2017 | Tags:

Hi All,

For those that haven’t already noticed Microsoft’s Skype for Business Tech Community Blog has announced a second  Skype for Business Online Broadcast on video interop – now that it’s officially GA within NA and close to being launched in EMEA.

I must have behaved the first time around as they’ve asked me back 🙂 Hopefully some of you can make it!

More information here

Update: this video is now posted on YouTube

May 5th, 2017 | Tags: ,

The Microsoft folks that create some awesome Skype for Business training kindly asked that I collaborate with them on updated RealConnect for Office 365 training. This was recently shared via a blog post and the video that @Korneel Bullens and I produced is embedded below.

March 1st, 2017 | Tags: , ,

Almost a year ago Polycom and Microsoft jointly announced at Enterprise Connect a new cloud video interoperability service – RealConnect for Office 365.

Following this announcement I wrote a post that covered this in more details and talked about this on Microsoft’s Skype for Business broadcast vlog.

We’re now in preview within the US and I wanted to give folks an overview of the provisioning flow, it’s still not the final design – in the future the provisioning app will be embedded within a native Office Store Web App and this has minimal branding. Nevertheless it answers a lot of questions around security and how much effort it takes to get the service deployed – the video is live and it’s 8mins! (including commentary)