I had a blast at Microsoft Ignite 2018! Here are some reasons why I think it was the best to date:
The product groups were accessible and always available for feedback. If you went to the different product group booth you would find prominent members available to chat and discuss their products.
Less walking distance, since everything was organized in the same building. This is a great improvement over all other the Microsoft Ignite’s the previous years
The focus om community engagement was apparent this year with Community hours and available podcast booths and locations. Even more community members got to share their experience in breakout sessions, meetup sessions, and theater sessions. The community hours had even more people from the product groups join and you got to ask your burning questions and have a great discussion
Microsoft Ignite 2018 group photo with the Microsoft Teams Product Group and MVP’s
This is at least my experience and I may be biased as I got to have a great time delivering three theater sessions, a meetup, guest two podcasts and spend time at the Microsoft Teams booth. But still, compared to the previous years, the vibe during this year Microsoft Ignite was great. If you are thinking of attending next year, make sure you register as soon as possible, for it is going to be awesome. You can pre-register for November 4-8, 2019, in my favorite vacation location, Orlando
I also had the pleasure of bringing all of CloudWay AS to Orlando this year and had great fun together with Jan Ketil Skanke and Alexander Holmeset. I think networking is a big part of conferences such as Microsoft Ignite, that is why we co-hosted Norwegian networking event at Bahama Breeze together with KPMG, Pexip and Microsoft Norway. Read about our activities here
I am scheduled to be at the Microsoft Teams booth during happy hour on Monday so if you have any burning questions or want to hang out and chat, look me up. I would love to whiteboard some migration scenarios or Teams lifecycle scenarios :)
Microsoft Ignite is a huge event for networking with your peers, that is why I am happy that my company is encouraging that by being a co-host for Norsk Aften on Tuesday.
I am really proud to be awarded Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) 2018-2019. This is the eighth time I receive this award and it is a real honor to be part of this community and that Microsoft recognizes my contributions. I was awarded as Office Servers and Services MVP and I will continue focus on Microsoft Teams, Skype for Business, Office 365 and Microsoft 365, in that order.
The MVP award program recognizes your passion for Microsoft technology and your activities for the past 12 month. I think that the MVP program is the key to success because of getting there is not the end of the journey, but the beginning. When you are recognized as an MVP, you have been acting as an MVP for a long time and this is a way for Microsoft to say thank you for something you have already been doing for a couple of years. Getting the reward just means you need to step it up in terms of community activities to be able to get re-awarded. Think about it, there are now 2996 MVP’s and hundreds of thousands of IT Pro’s, this does not happen by itself.
Typical, but not limited to, activities for becoming an MVP are
Today Microsoft Teams Direct Routing was announced as General Available. This is the means for you to bring your own SIP trunk to Microsoft Teams using only a standard SBC. Today AudioCodes and Ribbon are certified SBC’s for Direct Routing and more are in the works. There are three flavors to Direct Routing
Hosted in Azure!
Yes you read correct. AudioCodes has a certified SBC that now is supported in Azure, which means you can run your Direct Routing SBC in Azure as an appliance.
As long as the SBC is certified and supported by the vendor to run in Azure, it is implied that Microsoft will support it as well, no official Microsoft link at the moment
Installed in your datacenter connected to your PBX or SIP trunk
With Direct Routing you do not need any Skype for Business or Teams components installed in your datacenter to provide voice for your Teams users. All you need is a certified SBC, a public IP address and a public certificate to connect. Read my blogpost on infrastructure requirements for setting up Direct Routing in your datacenter
I think Direct Routing will make Cloud Voice mainstream and it can be combined with Calling Plans where available, which means that you can freely choose how to consume voice. Being able to install the SBC in Azure means that anyone can now host and conenct their own sip trunk to Office 365. With the ability to either get this hosted or set up with next to no on-premises infrastructure you have a solution that can be consumed by most customer types from SMB to Enterprise.
Microsoft Teams Direct Routing is General Available as of June 28, 2018. This is the means for you to bring your own SIP trunk to Microsoft Teams. To be clear, this will only give your Teams users PSTN connectivity, your Skype for Business Online users still needs to use CCE or Skype for Business Server hybrid to get PSTN connectivity.
The goal of this article is to explain the basic around Direct Routing from an infrastructure point of view.
You need a Phone System License per user, which is part of Office 365/Microsoft 365 E5 or add-on for Office 365/Microsoft 365 E3
Phone System is not available as add-on for Office 365 Business Premium or Microsoft 365 Business
To get a phone number in Teams meetings, you need the Audioconferencing license per user, which is part of E5 and can added as add-on for E3 and Business SKU’s
Firewall ports and protocols
To connect a sip trunk to Microsoft Teams, a SIP proxy is used.
From your SBC to the SIP proxy you need always to use port 5061
From SIP proxy to your SBC you can choose any port between 1024 – 65 6536
I prefer to use 5061 since it is the same port as SIP proxy and it may be simpler in the long run
Traffic needs to be open both ways
You can limit the connectivity to the pstnhub.microsoft.com addresses specified below and the IP addresses they resolve to
you should always use sip.pstnhub.microsoft.com as primary as it is a Global FQDN
sip-all.pstnhub.microsoft.com is mentioned in the documentation and can be a possible source DNS name
Media range is UDP between the ports 49 152 – 53 247
220.127.116.11 /14 (IP addresses from 18.104.22.168 to 22.214.171.124)
To connect the SBC to the Microsoft Teams SIP Proxy you need three things
Public IP, which is where the sip signaling will be routed
DNS name, which resolves the public IP
can be sbc.domain.com or more location specific, sbceu.domain.com or sbccountry.domain.com
Public certificate from one of the providers listed below
Wildcard is supported, easy to use if you have multiple sbc’s within same domain
SAN certificate is supported
Some SBC’s can only use one TLS certificate which means you need to update existing certificate with new name or make sure you add all TLS names your SBC is using
You only need one certificate per tenant, not per sipdomain, as long as the certificate contains the names of all SBC’s connected
The domain name for your connection does not need to be part of any of your sipdomains, it has nothing to do with any of your sipdomains
NAT is not supported with Direct Routing, public IP address needs to be directly assigned to the SBC
After you have prepared the FQDN and certificate and configured your SBC, you need to register it Office 365, read more here
Media Bypass internally
The advantage of media bypass in a Direct Routing scenario where server is in the cloud is that media stays local and the media path is more optimal
Media bypass is supported by AudioCodes and Ribbon
needs to be configured specifically on SBC and enabled in Office 365
both vendors support ICE light which is used for connectivity checks when finding optimal media path
The clients need to be able to resolve and connect the public IP of the SBC
traffic needs to be open both ways, same media ports are used
requires hair pinning on NAT device
Media Bypass externally
Media bypass is possible from clients logged on outside the corporate network
The client needs to resolve the SBC FQDN and connect to the IP
This results in allowing any IP as source ip on the media port range on the SBC
Since only TLS connections are allowed, I think this is something that can be considered
If the client cannot connect to the IP it will relay media via the SIP Proxy
Migrating to Direct Routing
Since CCE or Skype for Business Server cannot provide voice for Microsoft Teams, the only viable migration path is to introduce a SBC or configure the current SBC to connect to Microsoft Teams. From there you can start moving users by routing specific numbers and number series over to the new SIP trunk.
If you use direct SIP trunk with your Skype for Business Server today, then you can test Direct Routing by implementing a SBC and connect it to Microsoft Teams. Then provide a SIP trunk from Skype for Business using the inter trunk routing feature in Skype for Business Server, which allows you to move some test numbers to the SBC and Microsoft Teams. When you are ready to move to Microsoft Teams, you can switch the PSTN SIP trunk to go directly to the SBC.
When you have the correct approach from an infrastructure point of view, then you are ready to create PSTN usages and voice policies in Office 365. After that, users need to be enabled for enterprise voice and get assigned a number. Then you are ready to succeed with Microsoft Teams Direct Routing
Official Microsoft announcement on Direct Routing Preview
Wow! I am going to speak at a conference at the Microsoft Headquarters in Redmond! This is bucket list check for sure. I am soo looking forward to this and hope the attendees will learn a thing or two about Microsoft Teams and get inspired to do more with OneNote in my two sessions.
This session will help you learn how to take control of Microsoft Teams using PowerShell. You’ll be able to find activities across all workloads to create PowerBI reports and use the information to decommission, archive, or expire inactive teams.
You will learn:
How to administer Microsoft Teams using PowerShell
Advanced activity reporting on usage using PowerShell and PowerBI
How to use advanced activity reporting to decommission, archive or expire Teams
So you’re using OneNote as your primary note taking tool? Without any structure, you might lose track of all your notes. This session will help you learn how to get structured using OneNote to dump all your thoughts, ideas, e-mails and notes that are either actionable or something you want to find later. You’ll learn five steps to get started with a robust framework from using the sections correctly, take notes with your mobile device, use Microsoft Flow to send e-mail to OneNote from any device, and the Pomodoro Technique to prioritize and induce flow in a busy workday. The magic is to collect all information in one section regardless of the platform.
You will learn:
A framework for productivity
How to use the GTD methodology and a practical context with OneNote
How to use the Pomodoro Technique
Amplify your knowledge at TechMentor Redmond — bring the issues that keep you up at night and prepare to leave this event with the answers, guidance and training you need. Register now: http://bit.ly/RDSPK09_reg
When downloading and installing the app, it will automatically integrate with your Skype for Business 32 bit application and your Windows OS making it capable to:
Set you to “do not disturb” in Skype for Business with a custom presence state called Pomodoro Sprint
The app cotains the SDK dll’s for the Skype for Business client, so no extra installs to control presence
Write a note of your choosing during the the Pomodoro sprint and adding the time when you will be available
It even counts down the last 15 seconds, so that people waiting to reach you that you are about to become available
Write a note of your choosing after the Pomodoro sprint is complete
Set your computer in to presentation mode which suppresses popups
Start your favourite Spotify playlist for productivity
Make you available again when the sprint is finished
The app supports automatic updates and the roadmap includes IFTTT ingration so that you can mute your phone during the pomodoro sprint. See full roadmap here
The goal is to induce the flow state in a busy workday
Multitasking is a myth. The goal is to reach the flow state by focusing on one task at a time. Have you ever started writing an email, thought you sent it and eagerly waiting for a response, only to find it incomplete and unsent at the end of the day? This is one of the perils of multitasking.
The Pomodoro Technique is a great methodology to induce flow in a busy workday. It is all about avoiding distractions for 15-25 minutes and focus on one task at a time. This is a short enough period in the day that you can squeeze it in before a meeting. It is incredible what you can get done 15-25 minutes. The goal is to not get distracted and it takes about 7 minutes of focus before your reach your flow state.
If you want to succeed with Pomodoro, you need to make yourself unavailable. Equally important, you need to make yourself available again when those 25 minutes have passed. That is why we created the Pomodoro PowerShell tool, and why I love the simplicity of this app.
Watch an outtake from my session at Microsoft Ignite 2017 on singletasking
Learn more on my thinking around singletasking and tools available to succeed with the flow state, from this outtake of my OneNote LifeHacks talk at Microsoft Ignite 2017
Complete lists of your tasks is key to success
An important part of succeeding with the Pomodoro Technique is lists. Lists enables you to choose the task that lifts the most weight off your shoulders at that point in time. I use OneNote to capture all my ideas and actions, enabling me to create that finite list of tasks. Check out how I do it in my OneNote LifeHacks YouTube series
Write down a question, comment or expectation for the session, open ended
What do you associate with OneNote, live word cloud
Both worked out great. I got some good questions that I answered beforehand because I was not going to cover it in my actual session. Other comments where about actual topics during the session that I made sure I covered thoroughly.
I thought the live word cloud was a great icebreaker before the session where people got to see what other associated with OneNote and maybe amplify what they agreed on, and of course add to the word cloud with their own association. It gave me a chance to interact with the audience before the session and know the focus of the attendees
What is Mentimeter?
It is an interactive presentation software that lets you engage with an onsite or online audience live. The attendees participate via their mobile by navigating to a website and entering a code that is displayed onscreen. You have nine different types to choose from and you get five quiz as part of the free getting started package
What I liked about Mentimeter
It was easy to get started with
You can add a timer to the activity, indicating to the audience when you start your session
It looked good
Helped me break the ice in the room.
I recommend you check out the free version and it may be a good tool to get some feedback from the room during a presentation as well. I will definitely try it out again
At Nordic Infrastructure Conference 2018 in Oslo, I had the honor of talking about Microsoft Teams and OneNote in two packed sessions. I got some awesome feedback after my sessions and heard that people learned something. That’s the reason I do these talks and want to continue to speak at conferences like this. You can download all slides from the conference via GitHub, which I realize is a super way to share content after a conference.
I had the issue that my ISE client timed out after 10 minutes and I could not re-logon to Exchange Online PowerShell and I had to start a new session each time. I asked on Twitter and got some great help from these guys, a big shout out to
It turned out I was doing it wrong. Here is how to do it right
Install the Exchange online PowerShell module for MFA
Go to Exchange Admin in portal.office.com
go to Hybrid and click download for the Exchange module
This will break in Chrome, so use Edge og IE
Note that you should run the installed module from time to time in order keep it up to date
Open PowerShell ISE or Visual Studio Code and use this code to connect to Exchange Online
#Import the module, requires that you are administrator and are able to run the script
Import-Module $((Get-ChildItem -Path $($env:LOCALAPPDATA+"\Apps\2.0\") -Filter CreateExoPSSession.ps1 -Recurse ).FullName | Select-Object -Last 1)
#connect specifying username, if you already have authenticated to another moduel, you actually do not have to authenticate
Connect-EXOPSSession -UserPrincipalName email@example.com
#This will make sure when you need to reauthenticate after 1 hour that it uses existing token and you don't have to write password and stuff
Now you are able to stay connected to Exchange Online, run your script and combine commands from other modules such as Microsoft Teams, Skype for Business, Azure and SharePoint
If you want a great tool to connect to all of them, check out Michel de Rooij’s awesome tool Connect-Office365Services.ps1