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As Microsoft Office 365 (Cloud) continues to grow and expand, its workload continues to be adopted as well. Those were the days (or maybe till now), where emails (Exchange) are treated as the *only* and primary communication tool, now, more and more organizations are also adopting to Real-Time Communication (Lync, Skype for Business) as part of their operation workforce as well.

In most of my engagements, most organizations only has Lync/Skype for Business Server On-Premise without enterprise voice enabled, and most of them opt to ‘move’ directly to the cloud without any co-existence or migration from the On-Premise servers. Hence, you’ll notice that users whom has their account enabled on Lync/Skype for Business Server 2015 will not appear at the Admin Center, even though the Skype for Business Online Cloud has been enabled.

A workaround for this is to remove any existing Lync/Skype for Business entries from the user object:

Disable the user from any existing Lync / Skype for Business Pool Server. Make sure to click on Commit to save the changes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next, launch the adsiedit console. Locate the user and clear the following entries:

  • msRTCSIP-DeploymentLocater
  • msRTCSIP-FederationEnabled
  • msRTCSIP-InternetAccessEnabled
  • msRTCSIP-OptionFlags
  • msRTCSIP-PrimaryHomeServer
  • msRTCSIP-PrimaryUseraddress
  • msRTCSIP-UserEnabled
  • msRTCSIP-UserPolicies
  • msRTCSIP-UserRoutingGroupId

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*Should you encounter any errors during the clearing process. Close the object property window and re-open it and continue where you’ve left off

Once the attributes are cleared, make sure the Active Directory are fully replicated and initial a Delta synchronization from the Azure AD Connect. The user should now appear at your Admin Center and would be able to login to the Office 365 Skype for Business Online Services!

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This is somewhat a “throwback” article (sigh, time to look for a new ISP Provider) as the post was stuck at my draft till it was “officially” published ūüė¶

Although there’re various materials available from the Internet on how to join a Lync Online Meeting – either through Lync On-Premise or Office 365, I’d came out with a short guide to help some customers/readers especially users whom are part of the organization but still wishes to use Lync Online Meeting to join meetings.

  1. Usually you’ll receive an Online Meeting Calendar invite from the sender, within the content it as a hyperlink/URL with the word Join Online Meeting
  2. Upon clicking the Lync Meeting URL, the web page brings you to Online Meeting page which it’ll starts detecting whether you have a native Lync Client installed. If not, you’ve an option to use Lync Web App
  3. Usually you’ll join as a Participant (Guest). Upon loading up the page, type in your preferred display name to join the meeting. If this is the first time joining such meeting and there is not Lync Web App Plugin detected, you’ll see this:-
    LyncWebApp01
  4. Select the Install Lync Web App plug-in and click on Join the Meeting
    LyncWebApp02
  5. Select RUN when prompted
    LyncWebApp03
  6. Lync Web App plugin will then start the installation
    LyncWebApp05
  7. Once the installation completes, the web page will automatically refreshes. Type in an appropriate Name and Select on the Join the Meeting
    LyncWebApp05
  8. You’ll be placed at the Lync Virtual Lobby till the presenter verifies your identity and Admits you into the Meeting session
    LyncWebApp06
  9. If you receive a warning message, select on Allow to grant the plugin permission to interact with your machine. I would recommend to select the Always allow the plug-in for this domain to ease future access
    LyncWebApp07
  10. If you’re Windows Firewall is enabled, select on Allow access to grant access¬†for the plugin. If this is not available, you may need to grant the¬†it manually from the Windows Firewall¬†option. If you do not grant the plugin through the Windows firewall, you’ll experience difficulties such as there’re no output for its audio and/or video during the meeting session
    LyncWebApp08
  11. Once you’re done, Enjoy the Meeting!
    LyncWebApp09

Many thanks to @KatherineChen as the meeting organization and initiator for this guide to help out the SEA MVP in joining our monthly MVP Meetings!

Recently I’d carried out a Proof-of-Concept (PoC) for a customer on a SMART Lync Room System (LRS) to replaced their existing Video Conferencing solution – which isn’t too “Unified”, several limitation when it comes to Group Meetings and worse off is the user experience was horrible (and that’s why I’d the opportunity to go in)

The PoC was straight forward where the LRS will be connected to Microsoft Office 365 account where it can be easily configured and demonstrated; simply just an account for the LRS which has Exchange & Lync license assigned would get the entire LRS up and running. However, it wasn’t as smooth as it seems as when the Exchange Calendar doesn’t appear and the “Round Loading Screen” keeps rotating.

Thanks to a good friend from the Lync/Skype for Business MVP @OliverMoazzezi, he’d pointed out that there was a bug within LRS and a temporary workaround can easily solve this issue:

  1. Reboot the System into Admin Mode
  2. Select the Network Connection Configuration. At the Network Connections Windows, activated the Address Bar and type Regedit which opens up the Registry Editor
  3. Maneuver to HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Office\15.0\Lync > Right Click on the Key (icon shows as folder) > Permissions.. > Click on Add > type in Everyone > Grant Full Control                LRS-Registry-Permissions
  4. Reboot the System and the Exchange Calendar will appear

For On-Premise LRS User, you may refer to www.Exchange2010.com for additional steps to resolve the similar issue.

Once again, I’d the privilege to attempt the technology that was introduced during Lync Conference 2014 where SMART Technologies, where they’d demonstrated how Lync and the interactive panel are able to bring people to collaborate further and be more productive. On top of the native Lync Online Meeting, it was extended to other file types such as AutoCAD – SMART Technologies: Taking the SMART Room System to the Next Level To enable to use have the features on top of the Native Lync Online Meeting interactive collaboration, SMART Technologies has introduced an add-on known as the USB Bridge.¬† This add-on allows machines such as laptops or workstation to be connected to the Lync Room System without needing to “switch channels” from the panel. This also enables direct interaction with the machine via the SMART interactive panel.¬†For better understanding on how the USB Bridge works with SMART Lync Room System, here’s a Youtube video¬†Interactive Sharing with the SMART Room System‚ĄĘ for Microsoft¬ģ Lync¬ģ¬†(Wise Man says: Videos is worth a Million Words) ūüėÄ

To configure the USB Bridge, basically there’re only two (2) cables involve – the HDMI & USB Bridge Cable. These two (2) cables are to be connected to the Lync Appliance (known as AM70 Lync Appliance) and NOT the Interactive Panel. The USB Bridge connector can be connected to any of the available USB 2.0 ports¬†EXCEPT¬†the USB 3.0 while the HDMI cable is to be connect to the¬†HDMI Capture¬†Port (see illustration) below: USB-Bridge Once the cable connectivity is completed, you should expect such behavior – USB Bridge with SMART Lync Room System Another area to take note is the SMART Lync Room System must be running on 15.10.1 or higher (currently 15.10.2) – you would need to check the version through Admin Mode. If the LRS isn’t running on the specified version, just run a Web Update at the same mode (Admin) and allow the system to reboot a couple of times and it’ll complete the update easily.

Frankly, I’d troubles with the cable connectivity during my initial attempt as you may not find such document on the Internet – hope those whom will be implementing the SMART Lync Room System will find this article helpful.

Been running Windows 10 Technical Preview for the past couple of months together with Office 2016 Preview but we (MVPs) had to be mouth tied due to the NDA. However, with the recent announcement by Microsoft for Office 2016 for ITPro & Developer Preview, finally I can blog about the new Skype for Business Client (Skype4B). Microsoft has also announced the recent re-branding of Lync to Skype for Business (Skype4B) and it will be released as part of the Office 2016 Suites – bear in mind just the client bits are release at the moment. Unless you want to be part of the TAP Program (or maybe already part of the TAP Program), the server bits are not available at this moment. Skype4B will also be available for Office 365 Customers. Once you obtain from the link above, you would need a valid Office 365 ProPlus subscription to use the Preview. Here’s a guide on How-To by Stale Hansen –¬†Got Office installed from Office 365 and want to test Skype for Business Client Preview?¬†Upon completion, you’ll get a new Cool Blue interface

Skype4B Client Login

Basically the Lync Client GUI has been design as close as possible to the Skype UI but maintains the corporate look of Lync Skype4B Client Contacts         Skype for Desktop

Skype4B is still tightly integrated with our Outlook and this is once of the best thing to have – all appointments, schedule and conversation in a glimpse (Skype Consumer doesn’t integrate with your Exchange/Exchange Online in any means) Skype4B History

For¬†instead messaging, Skype4B still keeps the “Tab Ribbon” by the left side of the program while the Consumer Skype appears under the Recent Tab

Skype4B IM          Skype Consumer IM

For Voice call, Skype4B retains the unique look which gives the “always ready for Video Call” look Skype4B Audio Call¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†Skype Consumer Audio Call Even the System Tray Icons looks pretty close as well Skype4B & Skype Consumer Tray Icon

When you perform a mouse-over at the taskbar, Skype for Business actually allows you to change your status on the fly

Skype4B06

This is just a glimpse of Skype for Business running with Office 365 – we should be expecting more features on the On-Premise so stay tuned!

With a recent move to Lync Online, I notice most of my contacts with Microsoft are no longer working – showing Presence Unknown. After much troubleshooting, we’ve decided to lodge an incident to the Microsoft Office 365 Technical Support, in which they came back with a feedback that they’ve did something at the backend and the Federation should work by now.

However, the contacts at my Lync Client shows that “Updating…” and later changes to Presence Unknown.

Finally, manage to get this sorted out by:

  1. Remove all of the contacts that shows as Updating or Presence Unknown
  2. Sign-Out and select “Delete My Sign-in Info”
  3. Deleted all folders under C:\Users\<Username>\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Office\15.0\Lync

Upon signing back to the Lync Client, re-adding the users brings the Presence back to its normal state

 

Plantronics has came out with a very cool method of updating the firmware on Bluetooth headsets – which is via their MyHeadset Updater¬†running on web-based and I’ve updated mine using the same way as well.

However, after the update, I notice that my headset couldn’t pair with the Bluetooth dongle that comes with the device (BT300)

Plantronics BT300

Couple of the forum threads had suggested to delete and uninstall the using the Device Manager and re-pair the unit again, some even suggested to drain the battery completely so that the headset will automatically detect and pair back with the dongle. In which I’ve attempt both and no luck; pairing it with my Surface Pro 3 in-built Bluetooth works but the Voice Quality was extremely bad while running Lync Voice Calls.

In the end, I decide to create a ticket with Plantronics support and I would like to share this to¬†those whom are experiencing the same problem as I did¬†before¬†(since there’re no blogs about it):

  1. Plug the Bluetooth Dongle (BT300) to the machine
  2. Hold down the Pick-up/Hang-Up Button for 5 seconds till you see the indicator turns Blue and constantly blinking

Pairing 00

Once the pairing is completed, you should be able to hear the Headset indicates that “PC 1 Connected” and you’re done ūüôā

 

At my earlier post on Setting-Up Lync Room System from scratch, I’d mis-configured the display settings on Primary & Secondary Monitor, causing that I wasn’t able to use the Touch/Interactive Flat Panel seamlessly. In the end, I gave up by using the option – Factory Reset which took another 30 minutes to re-flash the LRS Operating System and another 1 Hour+ to reconfigure the entire. This is when I realized there’s a better way:

  1. Temporarily connect a USB keyboard and mouse to the Lync appliance (AM70-L).
  2. Access the system’s settings screens and the system will restart in the administrative settings mode:
  • On the room system console, click Options and then click Settings.
  • Enter the room system’s administrator account credentials.
  1. Select System Settings in the Settings column on the left.
  2. Click Network Connections under Control Panel.
  3. In the Network Connections window, change the address in the address bar to explorer.exe and press ENTER.
    Windows Explorer opens.
  4. In Windows Explorer, go to C:\Program Files\LyncRoom and open the moncfg application.
    A “Please check the display settings” message appears.
  5. Click OK.
    Windows display control panel opens.
  6. Change the display layout and resolution so that the large interactive flat panels are logically arranged to the left of the small console display, and so that the top edge of all displays are aligned as described in chapter 4 of the SMART Room System for Microsoft Lync setup and maintenance guide (smarttech.com/kb/170450)
  7. Click OK.
    A “When done, press OK to continue” message appears.
  8. Click OK.
  9. Close Windows Explorer.
  10. In the Network Connections window, change the address in the address bar to Taskkill.exe /f /im LyncRoomConsole.exe.
    All open windows are forced to close, and the Lync Room Console loads again and refreshes its settings.
  11. Press Apply and Restart to save your changes, and then restart the Lync Room System in user mode.
  12. Disconnect the USB keyboard and mouse

Reference Link – HOW-TO: Forcing a display configuration change in a Lync Room Systen

Finally the moment has arrived! Manage to get my hands on a SMART Lync Room System (SRS-Lync-S) to hook up with my office Lync 2013 infrastructure.

I’ll be skipping the “heavy metal” work on assembling and wall mounting the system as this took us almost half a day just to setup the Mounting Stand and positioning the Interactive Flat Panel (that weights almost 100KGs!).

The crucial part is connecting the console and Interactive Flat Panel where the instructions can be easily found within the boxes that came with the equipment. While I’m trying to locate the exact copy that I’d, this is link that has the closest match how should the connectivity for the LRS.

[Updated 28-08-2014] Audio Cabling Guide can be obtained from here.

[Updated 06-10-2015] Hardware Installation & Cabling Guide

LRS-Startup

With the display, audio, USB and Power connectivity in-placed, the system which runs on Windows 7 Embedded will walk us through the initial setup that would be required to Calibrate the Flat Panel and Detect the peripherals that are connected to it. The full setup guide can be found here

Here’s some walkthrough (aka HOW-TOs) during the overall setup that may not be too “visible” from the available document:

1. When the wizard initiates the Audio Source, select the Table Speaker instead of the Web Cam. The speaker will not immediately shown that is activate in Green so don’t panic and complete the wizard

2. During the display adjustment, you need to adjust the following resolution: Interactive Panel – 1920 x 1080, Console – 1366 x 768. LRS-Adjust Resolution 01

3. Upon confirming the changes, you’ll receive¬†an error message: ERROR: The right-most monitor isn’t the primary monitor if you did not move the Console to the Right side

LRS-AdjustResolution 02 

4. To fix this, you’ll need to drag the Console screen to the left of the Interactive Flat Panel

LRS-AdjustResolution 03

5. However, this is not the end – upon confirming the changes, you might get this message indicating that the top of the console is not align with the Flat Panel ERROR: The top of the monitor \\.\DISPLAY2 is not aligned.

LRS-AdjustResolution 04

6. To solve this, just move the console screen and align it with the Interactive Flat Panel:

LRS-AdjustResolution 05

7. After this the Wizard will start to configure the System with a couple of reboots and you’ll be brought into the Lync Room System Setup Wizard, which you’ll need a Lync account to be provisioned at the Lync Server 2013

8. Download & follow the  Lync Room System Deployment Guide to setup the Exchange & Lync account for the System

9. Go back to the LRS Console

10. If you’re using an internal Microsoft Certificate Authority Server (Microsoft CA), manually add the Root Certificate into the Trusted Root Certificate Store

11. Add the trusted domain into the registry – Adding a Trusted Domain

12. Activate the¬†System License ¬†– Activating On Premise LRS. I’m currently¬†stuck here as I’ve tried a couple of license keys but couldn’t get it activated. However, the LRS still works as per normal but you’ll get an annoying pop-out stating that the Lync Activation has failed . [Updated: 01/08/2014] Got the license key from SMART Technologies and¬†the Lync Room System was successfully activated.

13. Key in the necessary credentials which was created at Step #8.

14. DO NOT SAVE and Restart the System. Run at least a Test Call and the Test Online Meeting, if everything works well, Save and Restart the system

[Updated: 01/08/2014]

15. After the LRS has rebooted into its Normal Mode (in this mode, you’re able to see the Calendar option on the Interactive Flat Panel); however, I wasn’t able to join the Online Meeting when attempting to do so from the screen.

16. To resolve the issue, I’d unplugged the keyboard & mouse (as initially administrating it through those devices seems to be faster to me) and I’d rebooted the system but the problem persists.

17. Booted into the Admin Console and run the calibration – both the Interactive Flat Panel & Console seems to solve the problem after that.

18. Next, is to test out the Online Meeting – it appears that joining the conference for Audio & Video doesn’t pose any issue however the Collaboration Workload (Presenting of Power Point & Desktop Sharing) doesn’t seem to work with the following error:

LRS-OnlineMeeting 01

Surprisingly, this error only occurs on the LRS but not the other machines in the environment. So a quick search at the Internet leads me to this article – Troubleshooting Lync 2013 PowerPoint sharing issue: ‚ÄúThere was a problem verifying the certificate from the server. Please contact your support team.‚Ä̬†As my problem was due to Access Rights to the Certificate Authority Server, I’ll post my experience on a separate article. In short, the problem happens only on Workgroup machines where the LRS is currently configured under the Workgroup membership.

With the last challenge shared above, the LRS is now fully functional and ready to operate whenever anyone sent a Room/Resource Booking invite – no more messy preparation & configuration of Web Conferencing Meetings!

Feel free to post your Queries/Feedback if you need to know more about the Solution ūüôā

A co-worker of mined had attempted to put in a Exchange 2013 recently – in which causing the UM Server not to work unexpectedly. Although after cleaning up the Exchange 2013, we notice that:

  • Dialing to Voice Mail doesn’t to work anymore
  • Dialing to the Exchange Auto Attendant & Subscriber access seems to just “dropped”
  • Miss call notifications & voice mail no longer arrives in the mailbox

From the Exchange Server, such error kept surfacing when an attempt is made through the Lync Client

The following UM IP gateways did not respond as expected to a SIP OPTIONS request.

Transport = TLS, Address = LyncPoolServer.domain.com Port = 5061, Response Code = 0, Message = This operation timed out

UMNotWorking01

From the Lync Server:

Dial Plan Unknown

Dialplan [DialPlanName.domain.com] not recognized by routing application.

Cause: Dial plan does not exist, or Microsoft Lync Server 2013 does not have permission to read the relevant Active Directory objects.

Resolution: If the dial plan is valid, then run  exchucutil.ps1 in appropriate Exchange forest to give permission to Microsoft Lync Server 2013. If the dial plan is not valid, then clean up proxyAddress attribute for the affected users.

UMNotWorking01

As we suspected that during the Exchange 2013 installation, some of the permissions may have been reset or altered, causing the issue above, so we went ahead and re-run the script of ExchUCUtil.ps1 from the Exchange 2010 Unified Messaging role server and restarted the services.

However, the first error still appears and to confirm this, we’d to check the Dial Plans on the Exchange UM Server:

Get-UMIPGateway | fl

UMNotWorking03

Notice that the Port displays the value of 0 ; to solve this matter, we’d to manually assign the port number of 5061 to each Lync Server 2013:

Set-UMIPGateway -Identity LyncPool.domain.com -Port 5061

Next, a restart on the Microsoft Exchange Unified Messaging & Lync Server Front-End services will bring the Voice Mail back “alive”

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