Friday, April 20, 2018

The end of 2013 editions

Here is a reminder for those of you who are still on Microsoft Lync 2013 Server out there.

Last week marked the end of the mainstream support for Lync 2013 related products.

Thinking about it, this is not just a reminder for those using Lync 2013, All office 2013 server products went out of mainstream support at the same time, including:

  • Lync 2013 server
  • Exchange 2013
  • Sharepoint 2013
Ending mainstream support doesn't mean the product will stop working, or that security issues won't get fixed. But it does mean there will be no more functionality improvements, and non-security updates (hotfixes) requires a hotfix support agreement. MS FAQ 

I would recommend everyone to upgrade to a supported version the sooner the better.

Monday, April 16, 2018

Get to know Teams from Coffee in the Cloud

The team behind Coffee in the Cloud is working hard to get us up to speed on what's new, what's coming and how to get the most out of Teams.
Last week they published a 100 session on on-boarding Teams, and also giving a good overview of what Teams is and how it can work for companies looking to improve their collaborative work-space.

It is an hour well spent!

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Microsoft Teams Guest Access for all (Not just MSA)

A truly collaborative platform

For a collaboration tool to be truly collaborative, it needs to support not only most kind of devices but it should also be able to include users from across the globe. For some time now, Slack and Google hangout have kind of ruled this space, by being able to bring people together based on a simple e-mail address, and not making it a prerequisite to be a subscriber of their services.

Microsoft Teams first version of Guest Access had the limitation of only being able to invite other users from companies who also were users of Office 365.

Their second version expanded this functionality to users with a so called MFA (much like Skype Consumer federation was limited to users with a "Microsoft" account).

But all that is gone now. It was just announced that the support for all kinds of guest access into Teams will be supported, and here is quick glance at how it looks.

Prepare the tenant

Guest access is controlled by the Admin of the tenant, and in order for it to work, the administrator needs to set the propper rights and licencing in the portal. This is quite easy done like this:
  • Click Settings
  • Click Services & Add-ins
  • Select "Microsoft Teams"
  • Select "Settings by user/license type"
  • Select "Guest" in the drop down list
  • Verify the option is set to "On"

Invite the user

Once the settings are implemented (Note: the setting is global), users may invite guest by entering an email address in the "add member" dialog:

This will send an email to your contact, which will contain a link to initiate the participation.

After the initial sign in, the user may choose download the client or participate in the web browser of his or her choice, and participate fully with everyone in the team.

I have been playing around with this for a while, and I see this as a great development of Teams, strengthening it's position in the market.