Join my full online day on how to design #Skype4B voice in a cloud first world


Join me March 3oth for my full online day on how to design Skype for Business in a cloud first world. Because of the high score at the last IT/Dev Connections session I did october 2016 Penton asked if I could do a full day, and it is a huge honor to get the chance. I will focus on three topics

  • How to think when designing global voice solutions with Skype for Business.
  • Explore online, hybrid and on-premises deployments and how Azure MFA plays in to the mix.
  • Deep dive in to codecs, protocols, routing and the optimal media path

Skype for Business Online is a different kind of infrastructure technology than the rest of Office 365 and I will focus on helping you understand how to prepare for success. I will answer live Q&A during the sessions, so make sure you sign up!


Talking about #Skype4B design @NICconf

logoFebruary 2nd I have the honor of speaking at the Nordic Infrastructure Conference 2017 for the 6th consecutive year. This is a premiere event with a great expo hall and a list of world known speakers such as Johan Arwidmark, Sami Laiho, Wally Mead to name a few.

I will talk about how I design voice solutions with Skype for Business where I will share my three main design principles. Make sure you catch it if you are wondering about how to design in a cloud first world. Check it out and sign up here


Office 365 Multi-Factor Authentication requirements explained

Short version

mf_authMulti-Factor Authentication (MFA) in Office 365 is dependent on Modern Authentication which is oAuth 2.0 via ADAL that authenticates the user in Azure AD

Longer version with links to deep dives

  • What is MFA?
    • Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) in Office 365 requires Modern Authentication (oAuth2.0 + ADAL) to be enabled for the clients and services that are going to use MFA
    • MFA, Two-step verification, is a method of authentication that requires more than one verification method combined with the Azure Authenticator App, SMS or phone call verification
    • Read more here
  • What is Modern Authentication?
    • Modern Authentication is oAuth 2.0 used via ADAL to enable newer applications (Outlook, Word, OneNote, Skype for Business and other Office applications) to authenticate to services such as Skype for Business, Exchange and SharePoint
    • In Office 2013 march 2015 update and later Modern Authentication is supported and in Office 2016it is enabled by default and will use an in-application browser control to render the Azure AD sign-in experience
    • Read more here
  • What is oAuth?
    • Open Authentication 2.0 (oAuth 2.0) is used as a component via ADAL as the web-based authorization flow between servers or clients and servers
    • Read more here
  • What is ADAL?
    • Microsoft Azure Active Directory Authentication Library (ADAL) is a tool in the .NET framework that lets client applications authenticate users to Office 365 and Azure AD
    • Read more here
  • Two options are available for SSO with on-premises AD that requires Modern Authentication
    • Pass Through Authentication (PTA)
      • Works with Office 365 only
      • Enabled on latest AADC with outbound connection only, no DMZ server
      • Just set up several AADC and it is automatically loadbalanced resulting in low operational cost
      • Does not store password in Azure AD, authenticates user in on-premises AD first and presents MFA after that if enabled
      • In combination with password sync you are not dependent on AADC uptime
      • Read more here and here
    • ADFS 3.0
      • Used for hybrid Skype for Business and Exchange environments
        • Skype for Business server Hybrid supports Modern Authentication, but will do NTLM authentication to on-premises AD and give MFA pop-up when authenticating to Exchange Online, read more here 
        • I recommend Pointsharp MFA for on-premises and hybrid Skype for Business deployments
        • Exchange Server hybrid requires MFA Server, read more here
        • For best Azure MFA result an Online only deployment is recommended
      • ADFS is best for larger organizations
      • More complex and requires proxy servers in DMZ with public IP and Certificate
      • Requires loadbalancer for high-availability
      • Is required when doing MFA with Smart Card, 3rd party tokens and certificate based authentication
      • Read more here
  • You can now use Microsoft Intune to control MFA options and turn of MFA for certain subnets and conditions, read more here
  • Read about conditional access, MFA with Intune Hybrid and SCCM
  • Use Azure AD Premium with automated password roll-over for business social media profiles protected by a MFA enabled identity with centrally controlled delegation, read more here


Virtual Class on getting structured with OneNote

onenotevclassicopngThis fall I have written several articles on how to get structured with OneNote using custom tags and creating lists that you can use when you want to jump-start those focused worksprints. Based on my experience I have created a virtual training class with labs that where I want to share my techniques and help you get started organizing your tasks, information and digitizing your capture of content and braindumps in to your OneNote. By using one place to gather all tasks, even from Outlook, you know you always have a finite list of tasks that needs to get done. Then and only then you are ready to prioritize you next task you want to complete.

The virtual class will run on January 5th and will use Microsoft Teams from an Office 365 tenant created for the class where we will share all documentation and content with live video for and interactive experience. Check it out and register today at Eventbrite

Running the Skype for Business Partner Airlift in Norway January 2017

skype-for-business-weblogo16-18 January Microsoft has planned a Skype for Business Partner Airlift in Oslo and I am running it. For only 6 600 NOK you will get 3 days of technical training and 2 days exam prep. The airlift is designed to enable partners to understand and design the new workloads for Skype for Business in Office 365 with hands on. I will expand the content with my experience and I will share my thoughts on voice and video design in a cloud first world. We will cover

  • Cloud PBX
  • Meeting Broadcast
  • Hybrid Voice
  • Cloud Connector Edition
  • Network planning
  • Skype Operations Framework

Two days of exam prep for exam 70.334 is included as part of the airlift. Head over to the sign-up page today, limited seats are available:

Solved the auditorium style meeting scenario with Skype Meeting Broadcast

The challenge is to create a good experience in an audiotium and in the Skype Meeting Broadcast at the same time

When is this a challenge?


When you want to have a conference talk, all hands meeting, training or product update with a good experience in the on-site auditorium and in the Skype Meeting Broadcast stream

Why is this a challenge for audio?

If you need to use a microphone in the room there is often no way to get the same sound in to the computer you are using to stream the meeting. You may be in a location where you can not integrate equipment that will solve this problem. Using a speaker device will often not give a satisfactory experience since it picks up sounds in the room, echo and the speaker may feel distant and if not speaking loud enough the speaker may be noise cancelled

Why is this a challenge for presentation?

If you want to present a PowerPoint and combine with a demo you may encounter scenarios where application sharing may break if you are in the meeting from you presentation computer, You may want to demo Skype for Business that will disconnect the meeting or you want to show multimedia with a good experience in the room and a good enough experience in the stream

Two devices are part of the primary solution

  1. Zoom H4n Recorder with two mic in and two audio outh4n
    • 2x XLR inputs from the existing microphones in the room or a system you bring with you
    • The second input can be audio from your presentation computer when you want to show multimedia
    • One USB output that you can set as the audio device in your Skype for Business client with good quality and no interference
    • One line out mini jack that you can plug in to the speaker system to get good sound out in the room
    • Supplementary devices
      • DMS 70 Quattro
        • XLR mic output
        • Two wireless microphone for two speakers or QA in the room
        • Supports up to 4 microphones
        • Update: Seems like the DMS 70 is discontinued
          • An alternative can be the Shure BLX14 Dual Wireless Lavalier Microphone System With 2 x WL185 with a XLR merger like the
            Millenium SML 21.
          • I have not tested this setup, but it has the right attributes for it to work
      • Shure A15LA Line Adapter
        • Converts computer line out to microphone sound for a good audio experience in the H4n recorder
        • Regular audio sounds terrible without this adapter
        • Now you can output sounds from your presentation computer in to the stream
  2. Magewell USB Capture HDMI devicemagewell
    • Converts HDMI output from your computer to USB webcam input for your streaming computer
    • Requires two computers, one presentation computer and one production computer which is best practice for Skype Meeting Broadcast
    • Supplementary devices
      • Standard HDMI splitter for splitting the presentation computer HDMI signal and send it to the projector and to the Magewell device

Afterthought: You may want to have a separate production computer for webcam video of the speaker, then it will be a simple task for the producer to switch between the presentation video or the speaker video

Bringing it together

Below is a gif illustrating the devices connect


Speaking av TechDays Sweden 2016

November 16th 2016 I had the pleasure of talking at TechDays Sweden about How to get started with Skype for Business Meeting Broadcast. This is the second time I have the honor of attending as a speaker and this is a really great conference with a good expo floor and great keynotes.


Heard about Meeting Broadcast in Office 365? It is available for all Enterprise licenses. You can use your regular Skype for Business client to stream your meeting to any device without any client requirements. After the meeting it will be available on demand and you can get statistics on how many have consumed your broadcast. New features even include a QA module for two way communications with your attendees. This session will walk through how to get started, best practices and how to look professional doing it.

Watch the recording


Date: 16 Nov 2016
Time: 11:00 – 12:00
Room: M6

Read more and sign up here:

3 tips for sending notes, pictures and tweets to OneNote from mobile

untitledRead about the basics, on becoming more structured with OneNote and Getting Things Done (GTD), in my first article and download the OneNote Template I created and refer to in this article. In the article you will find links to all my “collect to OneNote” posts as well. If you find this article helpful, let me know on Twitter or as a comment. Read more about the virtual OneNote Class I am running here

Using mobile to collect thoughts, whiteboards and slides from seminars to OneNote is key for finding them again and working structured with OneNote

Collection is key

When succeeding with OneNote being structured with tasks and information, collecting the information and tasks in the same place is key. Everything you collect from email, meetings, workshops, thoughts, Pictures and everything else must go in to the collection tab in OneNote. Here is how I collect from my mobile device

#1 Point your OneNote mobile quick notes to your collection section

In OneNote Mobile I set my quick notes to send to my collection section in OneNote, to make sure I do not get another place to look for the stuff I collect. After that, I process it and distribute it as described in my GTD and OneNote article. This works from all mobile platforms and the example is from Android where you can quickly capture using the OneNote Badge

To select the default section, navigate to you collection section, hold until you get the menu, and select default


#2 Capture Whiteboards and presentations directly to OneNote using Office Lens

Office Lens is really great for capturing whiteboards from workshops and taking pictures of slides at seminars. Office Lens will clean up the picture and align it correct if you are taking a picture at an angle.

You can now connect Office Lens to your school or work account in Office 365 as well as your private account. Heres is how you capture to the collection section in OneNote. Read more about Office Lens here



#3 Use IFTTT to send all your Twitter likes to OneNote

While this is not really a mobile trick, it is worth mentioning here and it works from any platform. You can like a tweet and it will get sent to your collections section in OneNote. I get most of my professional updates from Twitter and find articles I want to save or read later. Collecting them to OneNote makes sure I can process them for reading later or having content for future blogposts.

Here is the If This Then That rule. There is one caveat, it only supports OneNote stored in your private account, which means you need to either store your collection OneNote there or your entire GTD OneNote.

To use it, register to IFTTT and use my published rule, or create one yourself, find it here


Thanks to @OneNoteEDU for creating this nice gif for my blogpost


My unbiased review of Skype for Business Unleashed

Nevermind! My name is in it!

With 15 other awesome Skype for Business subject matter experts. 1001 epic pages on everything you thought you did not need to know about Skype for Business. It just has to be a great book, run out and buy it :)

Also look up my chapter on VDI, cool stuff is happening there. Was an honor to be part of it, thanks Pat Richard for involving me :)

How to process your #Outlook inbox and do calendar right with #OneNote

untitledRead about the basics, on becoming more structured with OneNote and Getting Things Done (GTD), in my first article and download the OneNote Template I created and refer to in this article. In the article you will find links to all my “collect to OneNote” posts as well. If you find this article helpful, let me know on Twitter or as a comment. Read more about the virtual OneNote Class I am running here

Your email inbox is someone elses agenda, take control and move emails with actions that takes more than 2 minutes to your collection section in OneNote

Collection is key

When succeeding with OneNote being structured with tasks and information, collecting the information and tasks in the same place is key. Everything you collect from email, meetings, workshops, thoughts, Pictures and everything else must go in to the collection tab in OneNote

Processing and collecting emails in Outlook

There are two ways to work with emails in Outlook

  1. Everything that takes two minutes or less you do right away
  2. Everything that takes more than two minutes you move to the Collection section in OneNote

All email elements that are processed including spam and information are moved to an archive folder to keep your inbox clean. This is how you get an empty inbox. That using you inbox as an archive and keeping interesting items as unread is a good approach is a myth. Process everything, and move them to the collection section in OneNote and process everything from there. If you want to read something later, tag it as someday maybe or move it to the mobile section. Do not leave it in your inbox.

Emptying you inbox helps free your mind, so that you know you do not have any urgent email you should have answered. If you are to use this system then you must schedule time to work on your OneNote tasks. I schedule time for two hours every monday and friday to process my tasks and plan my weeks. As you see in the picture, I also like to process my inbox every morning, that way I can answer all those 2 minute emails and process the rest


Why empty your Outlook inbox and move elements to OneNote? Because your inbox is not your finite folder for all you information, it is just your email inbox. Your email inbox is someone elses agenda, take control and move emails with actions that takes more than 2 minutes to your collection section in OneNote. The collection section is your finite list of tasks and a better chance to prioritize correct.

Can it be done in less than 2 minutes? Do it right away and move the email to archive


If you get a task in an email, move it to OneNote

Send email to onenote

Collecting meeting notes

I send all my meeting notes to the Meeting section in OneNote where I have notes from workshops, meetings and Skype for Business calls sorted by customer. It is a great way for taking notes and creating tasks right away and a good source material for followup emails and actions. You can also send your Skype meetings to OneNote, but then you lose the agenda, but you gain an updated attendee list

Sending a scheduled meeting from my calendar to OneNote


You can also send a Skype meeting to OneNote, will get a current attendee list


Use options in OneNote to select send-to section for Outlook and web

if you already have configured other OneNote sections or want to predefine where to send your emails and meetings, use options in OneNote