Monthly Archives: April 2015

It’s Raining Skype for Business Resources

SfBLogo

Skype for Business server is about to drop, but technical resources are already showing up from Microsoft everywhere.  For my readers who don’t follow the Microsoft blogs and social media closely, here are some (not an exhaustive list of course) brand new Skype for Business resources for your weekend reading pleasure.

TechNet Documentation: https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/gg398616.aspx

Skype for Business Protocol Workloads Poster: http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=46448

Skype for Business change management and adoption: https://support.office.com/en-us/article/Skype-for-Business-change-management-and-adoption-d8d85da6-52e7-4819-8451-45c103fb5ccb?omkt=en-us&ui=en-US&rs=en-US&ad=US

Skype for Business Client awareness and readiness resources: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=46369

Skype for Business FAQs: https://products.office.com/en-US/skype-for-business/faqs

Skype for Business Solutions Catalog: http://partnersolutions.skypeforbusiness.com/solutionscatalog

Enjoy and let me know if there’s a big one I missed you’d like me to add!

-Anthony

It’s That Time Again! Quarterly Lync User Groups!

LyncUsersGroup

The quarterly Lync Users Groups are coming up!

If you haven’t attended before, or are on the fence, now’s the time!  The Skype for Business client patch has been released and we’ll be talking about it!  May 1st we’ll see the server version become available as well.

If you haven’t ever attended, I HIGHLY recommend going for the great presentations as well as the networking with other individuals excited about Microsoft Lync\Skype. If you’re newer to Skype for Business or just want some questions answered it’s a great place to go to network and meet up with others in your field.

Head over to lyncusersgroup.com and find your group on www.meetup.com.

  • April 16th – Los Angeles, CA
  • April 21st – Cincinnati, OH
  • April 23rd – Chicago, IL
  • April 28th – Nashville, TN
  • May 14th – Seattle, WA
  • May 19th – Detroit, MI
  • May 20th – Charlotte, NC
  • May 20th – Milwaukee, WI
  • May 21st – Kansas City, MO
  • April TBA – Atlanta, GA
  • May TBA – Silicon Valley, CA
  • May 12 – Portland, OR
  • May TBA – Baltimore, MD
  • May TBA – Boise, ID
  • May TBA – New York, NY
  • May TBA – San Francisco, CA
  • May TBA – Philadelphia, PA

Hope to see you there!

Why You Don’t Want to Pre-populate Contacts in Lync/Skype

One of the questions that comes up very regularly on the TechNet forums is how to add contacts to the Lync or Skype client before a user signs in for the first time.  This question is occasionally followed with a bit of incredulity that there is no native functionality in the server to do this for you.  For those with an absolute need to get this done, there are some links at the bottom of this post to help with on-premises deployments.

But why isn’t it native?  Did Microsoft simply forget this? Not at all! However, it might be time to change the way you think of your contact list.  Don’t think of the client as a place to keep all of your contacts, instead, think of it as a speed dial for quick access to frequently used contacts.  For all of your other contacts, the search is all you need (and if you’re having trouble with that, try WebSearchOnly).  Why clutter a user’s client’s with everyone else in the company?  They won’t be able to see everyone’s presence without clicking and scrolling anyway due to the size of the client, and if this is still functionality they’d want, you can always direct them to add Exchange Distribution lists relevant to their job function.

If you do pre-load contacts into user’s accounts, keep in mind that depending on the size of your organization, and how many you want to load, there may be ramifications.  When a contact is added, a subscription is created that will regularly retrieve and update presence and status information.  If you’ve ever watched a contact’s status change in near real time from available to busy or away, you’ve witnessed this.  This presence information is stored in the SQL databases associated with your Front End.  When you unnecessarily multiply this constant updating of presence by loading up contacts, there can be performance implications.

To this end, Microsoft has limited the total number of contacts and groups that can be added to the client.  The default maximum contacts for the on-premises server is set to 250 and can be seen by running Get-CsUserServicesConfiguration and reviewing the MaxContacts property.

MaxContacts

The MaxContacts value can be increased using “Set-CsUserServicesConfiguration -MaxContacts” but only to a maximum of 1000.  Online, I do not believe this can currently be changed as of the writing of this post.

Let’s say we ignore this, and increase this number.  By default, if more than 200 users have a user in their contact list, some may see the dreaded “Maximum Followers Reached” message described here: http://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/2795173.  This happens because too many people are requesting a user’s status.  Like the rest, this value too can be modified to an extent, however the hope is that you’ll see the reasoning not too.

If you’re still dead set on pre-adding contacts for your users, the following utilities may be of assistance.  Please let me know if you’ve found another one you particularly like and I’ll add it below begrudgingly 🙂

Skype for Business Client Coming April 14, Server May 1st!

I don’t typically like to make short blog posts repeating what is being shouted everywhere else, but the Skype for Business release dates have been announced with specific dates and this is important!

Per the Office Blogs: http://blogs.office.com/2015/04/01/whats-new-in-skype-for-business-and-how-you-can-take-control-of-updates/ the specific dates mentioned are April 14th for the client update, which will be an update made available to Office 365 ProPlus, Office 365 Business Premium, and Office 2013 installs of the Lync 2013 clients.  The server will be available for download on May 1st.  Later on, but not date specific, we’ll see more and more enhancements roll out such as the beginnings of Enterprise Voice in Office365.

s4brelease

I know you’re as excited as I am for these major events!