Interlink Cloud Blog

Interlink Cloud Blog

Welcome to the Interlink Cloud Blog

All content provided on this blog is for informational purposes only. The owner of this blog makes no representations or warranties regarding the information from our partners or other external sources.
Matt Scherocman

Skype for Business Mobile: Cloud and On Premise

Microsoft finally released the mobile client for Windows 7 Phones, Androids, iPhones/iPADs, and the Symbian devices.  Finally, we can now use Lync anywhere and those of you out there that have enabled Enterprise Voice have a host of options from dialing out your PSTN connection from anywhere, to auto-joining conferences with a tap on your phone.

The clients have been an average experience for me to this point.  I use the iPhone and, like many, I was anticipating the release of the Lync client to be able to use on my iPAD and iPhone.  Conferencing is the biggest dissappointment to me.  Not being able to connect using the iPad to a conference to see whiteboarding and screen sharing is, to say the least, disappointing.  Especially on the iPad where you would expect a more rich experience.  However, it is classified as mobile and has the same limitations as the other mobile clients.

As for deployment, if you are using Lync online, it couldn't get any easier!  A CNAME change is required for the Lync mobile client to connect, point to online.lync.com. It's as simple as the push notifications provider you have to use anyway!  In discussion with Kevin Peters, MVP and MCM in Lync Voice and Enterprise Messaging, he didn't make any changes; with a single vanity domain, Lync mobile was able to connect with no problems.

Lync on premise is a bit of a different challenge however, there are some great resources out there for you to use.  Don't put your faith in the Microsoft Lync Mobile Deployment Guide - it does not have any of the gotchas in it at all!! 

Resources:

TechNet Deployment Guide

Jeff shertz has a great blow post you can use: http://blog.schertz.name/2011/12/deploying-the-lync-2010-mobility-service/

Jeff does an excellent job clearing up some of the confusion surrounding deployment.

Most notably, the challenge you will run into with certificates and their assignments, how to deploy internally and externally.  There are some good blogs to help with this process, and as always, advise with your partner before attempting to do it on your own.  On this one, there are a ton of catches.

Good luck and enjoy your mobile client!

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Matt Scherocman

MIcrosoft Office 365 Now Supports Removal of Directory Sync

Earlier this month, Microsoft announced that Office 365 will now support the ability to break Directory Synchronization if a customer chooses to do so.

Though through the Office 365 Admin page, when enabling Directory Synchronization it still gives the warning that if it is enabled it cannot be disabled, the fact is you can use the Office 365 Online PowerShell module allows you to connect to your environment and disable it. 

In the past, if a user was brought over by Synchronization, that user was permanently managed from the Directory Sync (DirSync), and if DirSync was disabled or removed, the user account became stale. The only thing that you could do to manage that user online was to reset their password.  You could not delete the account, and couldn't modify other aspects of the user account.

The addition of this alleviates many headaches for those out there moving from BPOS (used DirSync as a migration tool) to eliminate the on premise server required to run it.  Moving to Office 365, former BPOS customers can now manage their users online without that need.  This applies to many small businesses that were frustrated with the need to continue to have another server that isn't a domain controller, on premise to run Cloud based mailboxes.

In addition to this, I recently ran into a similar scenario where I was extracting mailboxes from a an envioronment over the 1,000 limit to use the batch migration.  Since these mailboxes were being extracted for the purpose of an acquisition, the installation requirement of Directory Synchronization in the staged migration scenario (note that you can run a staged migration on 100 users or less without Directory Sync).  I then was required to run Directory Synchronization, at the risk that the mailboxes I was extracting would become stale longer term, and if not setup in the acquiring companies Directory, could eventually be removed by accident or deteled.  Note that I had to run a filter of MIIS to ensure that only users with a specific attribute in the Directory could be copied to the cloud.

By disabling Directory Synchrnization I can then modify those accounts, and evenutally make them Cloud only.  And longer term, enable a new Directory Synchronization to take place with no risk.

   

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Matt Scherocman

Exchange Online Deleted Items Retention Workaround

So, we all have that person, or should I say people, in our organization that use deleted items as a means to actually organize email. Usually, it is because they don't want to organize it. They just delete it and figure they can find it later. This amazing irony of deleting something, then using it as a search folder is somewhat impaired by Exchange Online in Office365. Microsoft's policy for deleted items retention is 30 days which means your favorite deleted items organizer will close Outlook one day and lose their primary means for searching email.

Fortunately, or unfortunately, there is a workaround for this called Litigation Hold in Exchange Online. This accidental feature design for legal keeps all mail retained permanently, and allows deleted items to be stored indefinetely. The challenge is whether or not you really want to do this. Or do you want to take the opportunity to force good behaviors? And the answer is that you don't have a choice because it's the CEO or CIO who is doing it, and they dictate the business rules while we as IT Services cannot. We find ways to make it work.

Before you begin   To learn how to install and configure Windows PowerShell and connect to the service, see Use Windows PowerShell in Exchange Online.

Run the following command to configure the litigation-hold duration for a mailbox that’s already on litigation hold.

Set-Mailbox  -LitigationHoldDuration <duration, in days>

Example   The following command sets the duration of the litigation hold on Ann Beebe’s mailbox to one year.

Set-Mailbox "Ann Beebe" -LitigationHoldDuration 365

Run the following command to put a mailbox on litigation hold and set the litigation-hold duration.

Set-Mailbox  -LitigationHoldEnabled $true -LitigationHoldDuration <duration, in days>

Example   The following command puts Pilar Pinilla’s mailbox on litigation hold, and sets the litigation-hold duration for 7 years.

Set-Mailbox "Pilar Pinilla" -LitigationHoldEnabled $true -LitigationHoldDuration 2555

Note   You have to use the IncludeLitigationHoldDuration parameter with the Get-Mailbox cmdlet to view the value of the litigation-hold duration. For example, run the following command to display all litigation-hold settings for Pilar Pinilla.

Get-Mailbox "Pilar Pinilla" -IncludeLitigationHoldDuration | fl Litigation*

After this you will get a pop-up box with two options: one is a note that you can send to the mailbox owner telling them the details of being on litigation hold, in this case because you need to keep all deleted email indefinetely. Then, a URL if you want to point them to a policy online. As you'll notice, the mailbox is in pending. It will take up to 60 minutes to take effect in Exchange Online.

I hope this was helpful. As always, more posts to come!

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Matt Scherocman

Office365 Voicemail and Exchange Messaging in Action

Several posts ago, I did a short review of Exchange online and Lync online. During that time we discussed another soon-to-be-revealed post, reviewing the capabilities of Office365 and Unified Messaging. So, let’s get right down to it!

First – What does it get you?
1. Obvious – voicemail through Exchange – using SIP gateways configured to connect to UM online.
2. Faxing – Yes, you can have an on premise fax solution, with SIP capabilities or compatible with exchange, along with a gateway. However, most providers doing Exchange 2010 UM integration for faxing support Microsoft SIP, some are even Virtual Machines.
3. Outlook voice access – Perhaps the most critical to some of us!!!
4. Missed call notifications.

Configuring – If you’ve configured Exchange UM on premise, you have an immediate advantage. Very simple:

Note that we can set the dial play URI type, this includes SIP URI, and the preference of most, E.164.

So, we have configured our UM dial plan. Now let’s get our gateway in place. The gateway will be the interface between either your standard POTS based PBX or another IP PBX. There are many gateways out there that can do SIP/TLS in a supported fashion with Microsoft.

Now, configure your respective gateway based on the new UM IP gateway configuration – The following will be generated for configuration:

Note here is where Microsoft is giving you the SIP forwarding address. This will assist you in configuring your SIP gateway. Seems easy enough, but depending on the device you use and your unique situation, as well as the general IT principle, nothing is ever as easy as it looks. Fortunately, we can troubleshoot!

Now, let’s not forget we have to set an auto-attendant up. For SIP and E.164, keep in mind you must configure this for the E.164 extension type. See the configuration options below:

Also – If you are using E.164 or telex you will need at least one UM Hunt Group:

Get stuck? Well you can check call logs, and user logs right from the Exchange online console:

Very familiar look and feel, however the architecture of this is key. It’s great to show you what it is capable of doing, but to get it functioning is based on your situation. However, the one thing that doesn’t change regardless of where you are, is that  you must understand the concepts and technologies that power this experience. For many of us, telephony integration into systems is new because we are systems, but there are also some of you out there that decided to learn core infrastructure. With systems and infrastructure knowledge, you begin working toward understanding the Microsoft Lync, and Exchange PBX solutions, and how online ports those into hosted integration.

Hope this was a helpful post, more to come soon!

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Matt Scherocman

What is Versionless?

Versionless software is software that is always up to date with incremental improvements.  Microsoft has flipped the coin.  Clients used to have to wait for functionality to be available in the cloud.  Now the cloud gets the functionality first and on premise comes later.  This change is tremendous for clients.  The number one obstacle that clients have told me to utilizing new software is the deployment.  Now in the cloud, Microsoft takes care of that deployment and keeps the product up to date.  From the slides you can see their commitment to the cloud and how much functionality is being released on a regular basis. The 2013 graphic was produced in the late summer time frame so it doesn’t include new functionality like encryption included in the E3 plans that came out later in the year.
What we've delivered 1

What We've Delivered 2

 

This posting is provided “AS IS” with no warranties, and confers no rights.

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Welcome to the Interlink Cloud Blog

All content provided on this blog is for informational purposes only. The owner of this blog makes no representations or warranties regarding the information from our partners or other external sources.