Category Archives: Lync Conferencing

Workaround: Add a Skype Menu Item for Meet Now Dedicated

I’ve had this request from a client and it’s hit TechNet forums as well so I wanted to drop this workaround here.

Issue: When you click Meet Now from the Lync or Skype client, it takes you into a new meeting space, the user would prefer to use their dedicated meeting space.

As the issue states, some people have their dedicated meeting space PSTN conference IDs memorized.  If they want to quickly join a meeting using the IDs they’ve already handed out, rather than whatever method they were using before, they just want a menu item in their client.

The trick I’ve given out is as follows:

  1. Figure out the conference conf: link.
  2. Add the link to a reg key.
  3. Exit and restart the client.

The solution looks like this:

DedicatedMeeting

To get that menu item, paste the following reg key into Notepad and replace the conf: url with the user’s.  Also note that if you’re using Office 2013, replace Office\16.0 with Office\15.0.  To figure out the conf url, just swap out my sip address (anthony.caragol@domain.com) with your user’s, then replace 055VM3JB (my conference ID) with your user’s.  To find your user’s conference ID, you can edit the hyperlink in a new meeting invite (for the dedicated meeting space) and use the alphanumeric ID past the last /.  You can also use my tool here to get this info for all users at once: https://gallery.technet.microsoft.com/Lync-2013-Get-External-deab4539

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Office\16.0\Lync\SessionManager\Apps\{2F3F07C6-7E0B-462B-AAD7-98C6DBEA8F69}]
“Name”=”Meet Now (Dedicated)”
“Path”=”conf:sip:anthony.caragol@domain.com;gruu;opaque=app:conf:focus:id:055VM3JB%3Frequired-media=audio”
“OriginatorPath”=”conf:sip:anthony.caragol@domain.com;gruu;opaque=app:conf:focus:id:055VM3JB%3Frequired-media=audio”
“SessionType”=dword:00000002
“ApplicationType”=dword:00000001
“ExtensibleMenu”=”MainWindowActions;ContactCardMenu;ConversationWindowActions;MainWindowRightClick”

There are other options too, such as scheduling a recurring meeting at a time that’s not intrusive so it’s always in the meetings section of the client for a quick join.  Comment below if you have a better way or improvement as I imagine there are better methods.

Can’t Find Skype Online Cloud PBX?

Recently, a lot of our clients and people out on the Internet are dipping their toes in the water of Skype for Business Online Cloud PBX.  This is included with E5, but if you don’t need the full E5 suite, you can add it as an add-on to the E3 licensing level in Office 365.  But what if it’s not there?  Or perhaps you have E5 but PSTN Calling isn’t there (assuming your tenant is in a country it’s currently sold).  You might ask, “How do I find Cloud PBX?” when it’s not an option in the add subscriptions portion of your tenant?

Typically you would navigate to Billing->Subscriptions->Add subscriptions or just click the Purchase Services link in the left pane.

.Subscribe

However, once there Cloud PBX, PSTN Calling, and PSTN Conferencing do not exist as options.   We had this same issue and after a call with Microsoft, we’ve learned that the portal website isn’t “fully updated” and it doesn’t recognize E3 licenses purchased through volume licensing, enterprise agreements (EA), or internal user licenses.  The trick to get these options to appear at the time of this blog writing is to purchase a single annual E3 license through the portal, and call Microsoft to refund it.  This should be a short term workaround, so I would ask you to call Microsoft before you begin this procedure.

Once you’ve added this single E3 (or E5 or whatever you have chosen), the flag should be set in the portal and you should now see the options to continue.

OptionAppears

Now that we see it, we can add it and select PSTN Calling on the way.

Checkout

All that’s left is to assign the licenses to your users and dive into Cloud PBX!

Review: Jabra Evolve 80 for Lync/Skype

I’m not the first to review these, nor will I be the last.  But I do own a pair and I wanted to walk through it for my own readers.  Thanks for reading!

Overview

If you’re unfamiliar with the line, you can find more information here: http://www.jabra.com/products/pc_headsets/jabra_evolve__series.  In a nutshell, they’re a very high end UC endpoint and are specifically optimized to work with Microsoft Lync.  I’m reviewing the Evolve 80 because that’s what I have, though as you can see in the link above there are others in the line.  The audio quality is outstanding and the noise cancellation features are amazing.

IMG_0860b

Thoughts on the Various Features

  • Quiet – This is a major feature and one of the key reasons you see it touted.  Jabra has Active Noise Cancellation technology.  There’s a little switch on the side of your headphones that you can flip and the world goes quiet.  It’s not perfect and you don’t want it to be, but I didn’t realize how many fans and chatter my brain was tuning out until I turned this on. I work in a pretty noisy shared workspace area near our call center, this makes a huge difference.  This where the WOW factor for most who are trying them comes from.  Beyond that, the shape and build alone gets rid of a lot of the noise without the cancellation tech.
  • Comfortable – I’ve heard reports from other that they’re a bit too heavy for their taste.  The specifications say they’re about 11.43 oz or just under 3/4 of a US pound.  I didn’t notice the weight, they’re just comfortable to me.  The earpieces fit snugly and are very soft.
  • Wired – This isn’t necessarily a positive for some, but for me it is.  They’re wired.  I don’t have to worry if they’re charged or where that little bluetooth dongle went.  I just pull them out of the case when I’m on the go and use them.  Done.
  • Stereo – I’ve said this many times, I love a good stereo headphone.  My head needs to feel balanced. I can’t explain this, but the mono headsets many love so much are difficult for me to get used to and must be very comfortable.
  • Microphone – It moves out of the way and isn’t intrusive.  I haven’t tested the audio quality of the microphone because in my world, I don’t care.  It’s likely to be compressed to G.711 or G.729.  The mic itself is not too noticeable when it’s up and I’m listening to music.
  • Works with everything – You can separate the USB dongle portion that functions as a call and volume control module and you’ll expose a 3.5mm headphone/microphone jack that will work great with your smartphone as well.  You can see a picture of that below.  The UC portion also supposedly works with Avaya and Cisco, but if you have one of those old PABX systems I assume you’re using them ironically, you crazy hipster.
  • Audio Quality – I stopped listening to music a while ago because I typically work in a very noisy environment.  Since I received these, I’ve found myself listening to music quite a bit, the noise cancellation makes it a pleasure and the audio for the first time in my office is very clear.
  • Easy to Use – Plug and play.  It’s Lync!  I didn’t have to read any manual.
  • Good Looking – Yeah they are.  The pop of red is a nice touch.  Very cool.  The red ring you see in the picture above is the “busylight” which you can turn on an off even when you’re not in a call.  I don’t think I’ll ever be able to train my colleagues to not bother me regardless, but I like the look.

Cons – I can’t afford to buy them for everyone, but everyone wants one.  I let several people in my office try them out and received a lot of “wows”.  Given a choice of endpoints, this very reasonably priced next to a Polycom VVX 500 or CX600 phone, but getting both may be a tough sale.  No surprise for a headset of this caliber.

Overall Impression

So I don’t need to repeat it but I will.   I love them, and I give them the highest marks.  Is love a strong word?  Yes.  Too strong?  No. Even when I’m not on a call or listening to music I’ve just kept them on so I can plan and write without distraction.  These are my new favorite endpoint.

 

IMG_0861

IMG_0862

IMG_0863

IMG_0864

Thanks for reading!

 

New Tool: Change Lync Conferencing Dial-In Number Display Order (GUI)

I wrote this for the last blog post, Reviewing and Reordering Lync 2013 Dial-In Conferencing Numbers.

Basically, I realized that if you have quite a few numbers to display, swapping the order around can be a pain.  So, I wrote a PowerShell GUI to do all the heavy lifting for you!

From the link to the TechNet Gallery at the bottom:

If you ever have more than a few Lync dial-in conferencing numbers but the order is off, you know it can be a pain to rearrange them.  That’s the whole purpose of this GUI.  It’s a simple PowerShell script that can be run from your Lync server or anywhere the Lync Management Shell is installed.  No parameters to specify, just pick your region in the dropdown box and move your numbers up, down, to the top, and to the bottom.

I have noticed that the change may take a few minutes to take effect and users may need to restart Outlook before the change is seen.  This is a function of Lync, not the script itself.

If you like it, please give me 5 stars!  If you don’t, please let me know why before rating (in the Q/A section, or find me on Twitter or LinkedIn via my TechNet profile).  I can make that bug fix for you, or possibly make the additon you’re looking for depending on complexity.

Before you run any script from the Internet, please back up your data as you agree to run this at your own risk!

DialInGui

Try it here: http://gallery.technet.microsoft.com/Change-Lync-Conferencing-0207cb29

Reviewing and Reordering Lync 2013 Dial-In Conferencing Numbers

You’re using Lync 2013, you’ve entered several different conferencing numbers for your region, and now when you go to create a Lync meeting invite the numbers are out of order or just aren’t logically arranged.  How can you change the order?  Well, there’s a setting for that and the trick is of course in PowerShell with the Lync Management Shell.  This can be a bit tricky at first because if you simply run Get-CSDialinConferencingAccessNumber you won’t see the priority list.  Well, there’s a trick to that too, you have to specify the region and also specify that you want to see all parameters as shown below:

Get-CSDialinConferencingAccessNumber -Region “Illinois” | format-list *

get

You’ll see the a priority 0 and a priority 1 entry.  The lowest number is the first to be displayed in the meeting invite.  In our example above, this means that 312 666 1212 is displayed before 312 555 1212, and that CAN NOT HAPPEN!  So, the simple trick to make the change with Set-CSDialinConferencingAccessNumber.  To run this command, you’ll need to specify two settings, the first is the Priority, the second is the ReorderRegion.  In our example, I effectively want to move our 312 555 1212 to the top of the list.  To do this I’d run:

Set-CsDialInConferencingAccessNumber -Identity sip:temp1dialin@domain.com – Priority 0 -ReorderedRegion “Illinois”

Notice here that I set the priority of temp1dialin (which matches the 312 555 1212 number we want to move up) to 0, which is the lowest number.  However, isn’t this number already specified as the priority of the other number?  Not to worry, Lync figures it out and reorders appropriately.

set

If we wanted more granular control, perhaps we have many numbers, we could execute the command repeatedly with priorities starting from 0 and moving higher like so:

Set-CsDialInConferencingAccessNumber -Identity sip:temp1dialin@domain.com -Priority 0 -ReorderedRegion “Illinois”

Set-CsDialInConferencingAccessNumber -Identity sip:temp2dialin@domain.com -Priority 1 -ReorderedRegion “Illinois”

Set-CsDialInConferencingAccessNumber -Identity sip:temp3dialin@domain.com -Priority 2 -ReorderedRegion “Illinois”

That’s pretty much it.  It’s not difficult, but it’s also not something you might just stumble across.  Good luck and if you have any questions, remember the best way to reach me is via LinkedIn or Twitter so find me and ping me there!  Also, stay tuned because in the next post I will reveal a simple GUI that does all of this for you!