All posts by Ben Donaldson

The Microsoft Teams Conversation

Last week I delivered a session on Microsoft Teams at an internal event, its purpose was to provide a shared level of understanding around Teams and address some of the more common questions that typically arise during client facing discussions (because let’s be honest, in the current climate you could go in to talk about tinned dog food and the conversation would still end up on Microsoft Teams). Top of the list is being able to provide a solid explanation of what Microsoft Teams is; I created my content, went … Read the rest

What is Intelligent Communications?

In September 2017 Microsoft announced their vision for ‘Intelligent Communications’, with Microsoft Teams being earmarked as the primary client for future communication within Office 365. As a result the usual Twitter chaos ensued, with many a feed declaring the death of the term ‘Unified Communications’ amid the rise of this superior sounding successor. Microsoft partners rush to create sales and marketing material that embodies the Microsoft vision, whilst consultants, pre-sales, and public speakers alike drop their new ‘Intelligent Communications’ buzzword in the face of anyone standing still. But what is … Read the rest

Teams, The State of Application Sharing

Like a train with no brakes, we should be seeing some fantastic feature updates to Microsoft Teams in 2018 (Capabilities Roadmap). It’s well known that the intention is to ultimately replace Skype for Business Online services with Microsoft Teams, but when organisations choose to comply with that intention will depend largely on when the Teams features they consider to be mandatory, come to market. At the end of 2017, Application Sharing became available in Microsoft Teams, another “Teams can do what Skype can do” tick in the box?… not quite. … Read the rest

Microsoft Teams PSTN Calling… Ready, Steady, Wait.

On the 12th day of Christmas (see what I’m doing here?) my true love gave to me…. PSTN Calling in Microsoft Teams. On the 12th December 2017 to be exact, and there’s been a flurry of Twitter activity and accompanying blog posts to aid us in digesting the latest and probably greatest Teams feature thus far. Hence, I’m not going to re-invent the wheel here and add to the pot with my take on what’s already known, you can read the official announcement here and review the updated practical guidance … Read the rest

Audio Conferencing Diagram

Microsoft Audio Conferencing; how can you not love a feature that’s so high impact, requires such minimal configuration, and enhances meeting experiences so greatly.  Formerly known as PSTN Conferencing, the service is now available through the Microsoft Teams application as well as Skype for Business Online, and provides a means by which meeting participants can dial-in to scheduled meetings. As a public display of affection, I’ve put together the below high-level Audio Conferencing diagram that can either be referenced during a technical explanation of the service, or printed onto A4 … Read the rest

Extending Skype for Business Certificate Validity

One of the things I love most about working with Skype for Business and Microsoft UC is how much the platform bleeds into other technologies and products. The net result is that in addition to being subject matter experts, consultants are often very well versed in multiple disciplines and possess an extremely well rounded skill set. Whilst browsing the TechNet forums recently, I saw a post asking for guidance around extending the validity of Lync / Skype for Business certificates beyond the default setting of what is typically two years … Read the rest

Controlling Caller ID with Cloud PBX

At the end of last month we were introduced to some additional Cloud PBX functionality around Call Queues and Auto Attendants. As part of these updates we now have the ability “To protect user anonymity, by allowing users to make outbound calls on behalf of an Auto Attendant or Call Queue”, which in layman’s terms means we can change a users outbound caller ID to be the same as a number that’s associated with an Auto Attendant or Call Queue. This adds further flexibility to the caller ID control … Read the rest

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