Why you should be piloting MS Teams – Today!

Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams promises to be a big deal. Of course not everyone is keen to jump on every solution, application and idea thats come out of the Microsoft factory. To be honest, in this day and age most have a hard enough time keeping up, no time to waste playing with technology that may not be hugely successful in the near future, or where little benefit is percieved.

Thats said, I’d like to point out why you should be piloting teams today.

On the surface, Teams appears to be a feature rich replacement for Persistent Chat (I was never a fan of PC, too many limitations). With integration to Exchange Online, Sharepoint Online  and OneDrive for Business users can work within a single pain. Add to that audio and video conferencing and you have a powerhouse application, or a “hub for teamwork”.

I need to point out though, at the time of writing this post, Teams is not geared at the Enterprise Voice Space. Microsoft have however indicated that ultimately it will evolve to include the Skype for Business feature sets as well.

So what..another Persistent Chat app. to distract people from getting on with the job, you say. I am as sceptical as they come and initially resisted a bit too.

I certainly dont have alot of spare time to waste, what I need is an app that will save me time, not consume my time. Spending much of my time looking for documentation, chasing folks for progress updates, finding out who is doing what and the like.

This is WHY I believe Teams will be the next BIG thing.

From my perspective, the most exciting part of Teams is how it keeps all of my content and collaboration in one place. Tracking progress on a project within a channel made easy. Been away for a few days, no problem, all the happening are recorded within your Team discussion. Keep everyone in the loop – All the Time!

Turn your frequesntly used apps and files into tabs at the top of any channel and Boom! All your content relative to the channel at your fingertips.

More about Teams comming soon, but for now, come on – you know you hate wasting time, take the lead. Happy piloting.

Advertisements
Posted in Microsoft Teams, Teams, Uncategorized | Tagged | Leave a comment

Should you halt your Skype for Business deployment and wait for Teams?

Skype vs Teams

I know that the announcement at Ignite 2017 around the future of Skype for Business and Teams has the world on fire. I am also very aware that this subject has been well covered as far as the future state, even though we still await a official roadmap from Microsoft.

The perspective I’d like to focus on is all those organisations who are currently in one of the following situations:-

  • Skype for Business is on the roadmap in the next 12 months
  • About to embark on a Skye for Business deployment
  • Have a Pilot going and looking to do a full rollout
  • Deployment has already started but not completed just yet

So the answer to the question, “Should you hold off your Skype for Business deployment and wait for Teams?” is actually fairly straight forward. The answer can be achieved by asking a few simple questions. By no means is this a comprehensive list, simply a good starting point.

These questions are:-

  1. Do you need basic PBX features and calling (i.e. Enterprise Voice)?
  2. Will you need complex functionality such as Contact Center, CRM integration etc.?
  3. Is federation with other organisations (including Skype Consumer) requirement?

If you have answered YES to ANY of those 3 questions then Skype for Business (Online or On-premises) is the way to go.

The reality is that Teams is a great way for people to collaborate and keep on top of shared workloads, projects and the like. But when it comes to replacing your PSTN Voice, Teams is in its very early infancy.

When Teams has matured to a point where your PSTN workloads can be addressed in line with your business requirements, Microsoft has assured us that there will be a simple switch over (for Online users). Not much has been said about On-premises and switching to Teams at this time.

Ultimately, Teams is not ready to take over from Skype for Business. It does a very good job in the persistent chat space and also gives slack a run for their money. Beyond using Teams for those cases, Skype for Business is still king!

Microsoft has a proven track record of fast tracking these things, however, keep in mind that Skype for Business Online was supposed to have feature parity with On-premises by now. Before this milestone has been reached, the game plan has changed. Its a massive undertaking and will take time get right.

Take Teams for a spin, it will grow on you. But don’t dismiss Skype for Business just yet, especially if Skype for Business Online can’t deliver the functionality you need and you have gone down the On-premises track.

Other Great Microsoft Teams reads..

Feature Comparison – by LucaVitali

An honest opinion on Technical readiness – by Andrew Morpeth

The challenges Microsoft face – by Mark Vale

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

SIP/2.0 415 Unsupported Media Type

So this is a new error for me, not seen this in Skype Client logs before. But there it was, SIP/2.0 415 Unsupported Media Type.

unsupported media

The deployment is Two Front End Pools (both Standard Edition) with a single Edge Pool. No Enterprise Voice (yet).

The Problem

When attempting to call a service that’s effectively a Pexip DMZ Cloud Service in New Zealand (called SmartPresence) from the corporate LAN then the call seems to connect but then disconnects, there is no audio or video.

It all works when then the Skype user tries calling the Pexip\SmartPresence bridge from an external location (not corporate LAN).

Troubleshooting

At first glance, you’d agree that this smells of firewall issues. Lets see what the logs say. Heading off to the client logs cause that’s my go to as a starting point for these sorts of issues. I find the call and of course spot the SIP/2.0 415 Unsupported Media Type.

Looking at the negotiation of Media I see that the Skype Client sends all the usual audio and video codec options.

Audio options from Skype client

Snooper 01

Video Options from Skype client

snooper 02

On the inbound side from SmartPresence we see that there are less media options (thats expected) but certainly options that match with what the Skype client is capable of.

Audio Options from Pexip\SmartPresence

snooper 03

So it appears that its not so much an unsupported Media type, lets see what the clients agree on using by looking for the results of the candidate negotiation.

Looking for the a=remote-candidates line tell in the client log should show the options both clients agree on.

Wait..there is no a=remote-candidates for this call!

What, so that means that the candidate negotiation is failing to establish a viable path between the the Skype client and the Pexip\SmartPresence service. Taking a closer look at the candidtes on offer I see the below.

Candidates from Skype client

snooper 04

So the Skype client sends options 2,3 and 4 as viable (1 and 5 are direct, thats not allowed by customer strict firewall policies).

Candidates from SmartPresence\Pexip

pexip 01

Looking at the options from the Pexip\SmartPresence service I can see the candidates on offer.. and there it is.

Those are not standard ports!

Since when do we need ports in the 40 000 range from our Edge Server pool outbound?

Right, what does the Pexip portal say with regard to firewall requirements. Searched a while for this info but eventually found the following table

pexip 02

and also this little gem

pexip 03

Solution

Open ports 40 000 – 49 999 for both UDP and TCP outbound from the Edge pool to Pexip\SmartPresence Cloud

Source https://docs.pexip.com/sfb/ports.htm

Posted in Firewall Rules, SIP, SIP 415, SIP/2.0 415 Unsupported Media Type | Tagged , , | 2 Comments