Analogue Devices and Microsoft Teams

Last week, I was working through a technical workshop with a customer who wanted to make the move to Microsoft Teams. We’d worked through the usual questions, and then the infamous question came: So .. are there any analogue devices still in use? “Yeah, about 50 handsets”. You’d be forgiven for thinking that analogue handsets were a thing of the past. However, much like the fax machine, there’s still a whole lot of love out there for them. There are many reasons for this, but the ones often heard are:
  • A basic analogue handset fits the requirement – There’s no need for a fancy touch screen.
  • It’s a common area phone – hallways, lifts, stairwells, doors, gates etc
  • It’s a wireless DECT handset – this may include multiple handsets and base stations.
  • It’s something special – like a car park barrier phone or intercom system
  • It’s in a difficult to reach or remote location – such as a shed or building located away from the main office
  • There’s no power or ethernet cabling to this location – it’s simply using a copper pair.
Whatever the reason, in almost all cases I have encountered, the customer has a requirement to have a working phone at that location. This means we need to come up with a plan of how we’re going to handle these analogue devices once we’ve moved to Microsoft Teams. So, What’s the plan? Well, firstly check and confirm with the customer that they actually still need the handset at that location. There’s always a possibility that it’s no longer required. As mentioned above though, this seldom happens. Once you’ve confirmed the phone is still required, figure out if it can be replaced with a Microsoft Teams handset. Currently, there are a small number of Microsoft Teams handsets available from Yealink and AudioCodes:
  • Yealink T56A
  • Yealink T58A
  • Audiocodes C450HD
Some things to consider with this approach:
  • Availability of networking and PoE – These phones will require a network connection, and can be powered via PoE.
  • Is this a noisy environment? – If the old analogue device was connected to a separate external ringer like a bell or light, this will need to be replaced too.
What if I can’t replace the handset with a Teams compatible device? There will be times when you simply can’t replace an old analogue device with a Teams compatible handset. This could be as simple as there not being ethernet cabling at that location, or that the analogue device is built into something like a car park barrier, or emergency lift phone. Most of the time, your customer is going to want to keep the same level of functionality on the device. The best news is, there are a number of ways to achieve this! Options You’ve got a few options here: Option 1: Do .. nothing You’ve read that right. Do nothing. Your PABX is already configured to work with these devices. If you can leave the PABX in place, as well as the PSTN connectivity, these devices can remain connected to the PABX and happily continue to work as they always have. If you have this as an option, great! Most of us don’t though. Option 2: Deploy Microsoft Teams Direct Routing Alright, so the PABX has to go. What now? Microsoft Teams Direct Routing is the answer. Direct Routing involves deploying a compatible session border controller (SBC) on premises, which allows you to connect up your analogue devices and convert them to SIP. Here’s a simplified overview of how it works: With this approach, your analogue devices and Microsoft Teams users can call each other internally, and you get to keep your existing ISDN or SIP provider for PSTN calls. You can deploy this solution to many different sites within your organisation, and you can even route calls between SBC’s so analogue devices at different sites can make internal calls to each other. What if we’ve gone down the Microsoft Online-only path? If you’re already making and receiving calls via Microsoft Phone System and Calling Plans in Office 365, you’ll need to deploy direct routing at locations where analogue devices still require connectivity. I’m ready to delve into this Awesome! Microsoft have plenty of helpful documentation on Direct Routing over at And as usual, if you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment below.

TLS 1.0 no longer supported in Office 365

Today’s the day. You can mark this one in your Outlook calendars – from October 31st 2018, TLS 1.0 is no longer supported in Office 365.

What does this mean? Well, if you’re using older versions of office, Lync Phone Edition handsets, or an older OS and you run into an issue connecting to the service, Office 365 support will no longer be able to help if the device does not support at least TLS 1.2

This does not mean that your older devices and programs will suddenly stop working. Microsoft has said:

This doesn’t mean Office 365 will block TLS 1.0 and 1.1 connections. There is no official date for disabling or removing TLS 1.0 and 1.1 in the TLS service for customer connections. The eventual deprecation date will be determined by customer telemetry and is not yet known. After a decision is made, there will be an announcement six months in advance unless we become aware of a known compromise, in which case we may have to act in less than six months to protect customers who use the services.”

For further information on how to prepare your environment to support TLS 1.2, check out Microsoft’s helpful article:

You can also read a previous post of mine on the subject:

Skype for Business 2019 or Microsoft Teams – Which should you move to

Last week, I presented a “how to” guide on the current 5 methods of moving from Skype for Business to Microsoft Teams to a room of eager Government employees. The talk went well, everyone had great questions and the general feeling was of an energized bunch of people who were ready to walk back into their IT department and take a further look at Microsoft Teams.

From the many questions I received during the presentation, there was a question in particular that I found interesting, and pondered on the long drive home back to Sydney. “Why is there a Skype for Business Server 2019 if everyone should be moving to Teams, Craig?”

Great question. Teams is a fantastic product. The thing is (deep breath guys), your organisation may not be ready to make the move just yet.

There are many reasons why your organisation may not be ready to move to teams:

  • You’re running custom call recording software
  • You have a third party contact centre solution in place
  • You have legal requirements not yet met by the cloud
  • You’ve only recently implemented Skype for Business
  • Your on-premises hardware isn’t Teams compatible (yet)
  • Your organisation moves slowly and takes longer to accept change
  • You don’t have the resources or funds right now


  • You .. don’t want to.

Pick and choose your reasons from above, but that’s one of the reasons why Skype for Business server 2019 exists. For those who are not quite ready to make the move to Teams yet, but want to remain current and up to date.

Other great questions were asked too:

We’re running an older version. Should our organisation upgrade to Skype for Business Server 2019?

Yes. Not only will you be running the latest version of Skype for Business, the latest version includes tools that will make moving to Teams later on a lot simpler.

There are some things to consider with running the latest version such as voicemail and exchange integration, as well as if you’re running older Lync Phone Edition (LPE) handsets, so keep this in mind.

You can read more about this over on the Microsoft Tech Community:


We’re running older LPE handsets, or are running an older version of Lync. What should we do?

Older LPE handsets don’t support TLS 1.2 and cannot be upgraded, meaning that they will need to be replaced if you’re planning on using them with any Office 365 service.

You can find a list of compatible devices here:

You’re also going to need to consider if you want to upgrade your older version of Lync to Skype for Business server, and if you want to configure hybrid mode between your on-premises environment and Office 365. This will make moving users to the cloud, and ultimately to Microsoft Teams a whole lot simpler.


We’re running CISCO on-premises and moving to Teams seems like an enormous challenge. Help!

Deep breath! Remember that Teams isn’t just about IM, or voice and video. It’s a collaboration platform that has many, many uses. If you want to pilot Teams in your environment and only use it for meetings and document collaboration, go for it! There’s no reason as to why you need to move all of your workloads over straight away. Voice and IM could easily remain in CISCO until your organisation is ready to make the move. And when they are, you can look at using Direct Routing with an SBC on premises to allow you to route calls between your CISCO and Teams users with ease.


So, knowing all of that, should we still take a look at Teams?

Absolutely you should. Even if your organisation is running Lync or CISCO and has no plans to move to Teams today, spending the time to investigate it, play around with it and figure out how it fits your organisation is time well spent. Spin up a pilot within your IT team, or maybe get your devs across to it from Slack. Start exploring how much easier having IM, voice, video and shared document access makes collaborating easier.



One month until TLS 1.0 support is removed from Office 365

Not too long ago, I remember making the announcement at our user group that come October 31st, TLS 1.0 would no longer work in Office 365. “That’s ages away Craig!” was the cry from the audience. Well, in just under a months time, it’ll be upon us. The question is, are you ready?

What’s the deal with TLS 1.0 anyway?

Transport Layer Security version 1.0 is being removed as a supported secure protocol for connecting to Office 365. It’s being replaced with a new minimum requirement of at least TLS 1.2.

Am I affected?

If you’re running any of the following, you’re affected by this mandatory change.

  • Windows 7 or earlier
  • Windows 2008r2 or earlier
  • Office 2007 or earlier
  • Android 4.3 and earlier versions
  • Firefox version 5.0 and earlier versions
  • Internet Explorer 8-10 on Windows 7 and earlier versions
  • Internet Explorer 10 on Win Phone 8.0
  • Safari 6.0.4/OS X10.8.4 and earlier versions
  • Lync for Mac 2011
  • Lync 2013 for Mobile – iOS, iPad, Android or Windows Phone
  • Lync “MX” Windows Store client
  • All Lync 2010 clients
  • Lync Phone Edition.  There is further guidance provided for these devices is located here.
  • Lync Room System (a.k.a. SRSv1)
    • LRS Options – Upgrading SRSv1 (LRS) Systems to SRS v2 – Further guidance provided for these devices is located here

I’ve got devices or OS’s on that list, what can I do?

In short, disable, upgrade or replace.


You’re going to want to disable TLS 1.0 as the default security protocol within older versions of Windows. Microsoft has published the steps here:


If you’re running older versions of Internet explorer, firefox, safari, or an older Lync client on your desktops or mobile devices you’re going to need to update them to newer supported versions.

Install Internet Explorer 11 for Windows 7 –

Install the latest version of Microsoft Office on your end user devices

Ensure users are running the latest version of Skype for Business on their mobile devices


If you happen to have a deployment of Lync Phone Edition (LPE) handsets, you’re going to need to replace these with newer, supported devices.

LPE handsets include:

  • HP 4110 and 4120
  • Polycom CX500, CX600 and CX3000
  • Aastra 6721ip, 6725ip

The main reason for this change is that these devices run a version of Windows CE that does not support TLS 1.2.

Microsoft has published a list of supported devices here:

Is the 31st October 2018 a hard deadline?

Microsoft has said that come the 31st of October, devices that do not support TLS 1.2 may experience issues connecting to Office 365 and that no support tickets will be generated for devices that do not support TLS 1.2.

This does NOT mean that the 1st of November 2018, your TLS 1.0 devices will spontaneously combust, and they may continue to work for a while afterwards. TLS 1.0 will be decommissioned from Office 365 though, and so they will stop working at some point.

I still need help.

Microsoft has a whole heap of information available to assist you with the transition. You can check it out here:

Common Sonus SBC 1000/2000 Troubleshooting Tips

If you regularly work with Sonus 1000/2000 session boarder controllers, you may often be sat there scratching your head as to why a simple inbound call from ISDN to Skype for Business won’t ring your test handset.
Before you go and make yourself another cup of coffee and spin up LX, here’s a list of common issues I frequently encounter.
ISDN Channels
Alright, so you’ve set up your signalling groups, your transformation tables are a thing of beauty and your ISDN cables are connected and green. You go to test an inbound call and all you get is a busy single. What gives?
Be sure to check that you’ve configured the correct number of ISDN channels on the SBC. Your carrier will pick a channel at random, and if you’ve configured 10 channels on the gateway but the carrier is trying to send a call down channel 15, the call will fail.
The flip side of this is ensuring you don’t over-provision the number of channels. An outbound call will fail if the SBC attempts to send a call down channel 21 if you only have 20 channels available.
Skype for Business Servers
Are you having intermittent outbound call issues, or has your Skype for Business environment recently grown? Don’t forget to add the additional mediation servers to your SIP Server Tables and Signalling groups on the SBC! If a call happens to originate from a server not added to either of these lists, it’ll fail.
Calls not releasing upon hangup
You may notice (particularly with CAS analogue lines) that when a caller hands up the phone, the line remains in release mode. Your users may not immediately notice the issue unless they go to make another call right after the previous – only to receive a busy tone.
This issue is normally caused by an incorrectly configured tone table. There’s various places around the internet to find suitable tone tables for your carrier and country that a quick Google search will locate. Be sure to update your tone tables and assign the correct tables to the correct signalling groups.
Finding an unknown called number
Lift alarms, security gates, door controls – most sites have them, and you can be pretty guaranteed that they won’t come with details around what numbers they call when a user presses the button.
So far, I’ve encountered systems that dial 10 digits, 9 digits, 5 digits and even 2 digits.
the easiest way to locate these numbers is to build a catch all rule:
Called Number (.*)   translates to Called Number 0400123456 (your mobile number).
Have someone press the button to trigger an outbound call and then use the monitoring tab to capture the phone number dialled. Once you have it, you can then build your transformation rule to capture and transform it to any number you like! (Pizza Hut, anyone?)
Sending a call to two analogue extensions at the same time
A simple request that other phone systems can manage easily. You want to route an inbound call to ring on two analogue handsets at the same time, Or maybe you have a loud ringer and an analogue handset that must ring at the same time.
The easiest way of achieving this is to use an RJ12 (or 11) splitter connected directly to the CAS port on the SBC. You can then connect up two devices to the one port, and both will ring at the same time.
You should note that the FSX cards on a 1K/2K will deliver up to 45 volts to up to 3 devices at once (REN 3).
Do you have a tip that you’d like to share? Leave a comment below!.

Installing Skype for Business Server 2019

A few weeks ago, Microsoft announced the availability of Skype for Business 2019 server preview for download and I thought it was about time I checked it out!
Obtaining the installation media
You can obtain the installation media (a 1.68GB ISO file) from here:
The Lab
I’m running everything up at Windows Azure, but by all means feel free to spin up a new VM in your on premises lab if you have one.
My lab is pretty simple, and is setup as follows:

DC01.chiffers.comDomain ControllerAll servers are running Azure’s Windows 2016 base image.
SFB01.chiffers.comSkype for Business Standard Edition Server
CS01.chiffers.comAD Certificate Services

You’ll notice that for now, I’ve chosen to not deploy an Edge server, or Monitoring and Archiving databases.
Skype for Business server 2019 still requires a whole range of prerequisites to be installed, including .Net Framework 4.7

To speed things up, you can install almost all of the required features via powershell:
Add-WindowsFeature NET-Framework-Core, RSAT-ADDS, Windows-Identity-Foundation, Web-Server, Web-Static-Content, Web-Default-Doc, Web-Http-Errors, Web-Dir-Browsing, Web-Asp-Net, Web-Net-Ext, Web-ISAPI-Ext, Web-ISAPI-Filter, Web-Http-Logging, Web-Log-Libraries, Web-Request-Monitor, Web-Http-Tracing, Web-Basic-Auth, Web-Windows-Auth, Web-Client-Auth, Web-Filtering, Web-Stat-Compression, Web-Dyn-Compression, NET-WCF-HTTP-Activation45, Web-Asp-Net45, Web-Mgmt-Tools, Web-Scripting-Tools, Web-Mgmt-Compat, Server-Media-Foundation, BITS, Telnet-Client
(I removed Desktop-Experience from the above command).
Grab a copy of .Net Framework 4.7 from the Microsoft Download Centre if you don’t already have it installed.
A big thanks to Tom Arbuthnot who’s article outlines Microsoft’s recommended server requirements for running Skype for Business Server 2019 too.
Running the installer
The ISO contains a folder called OCS_EVAL (ah, memories). Within there we’ll find the setup.exe file we’re looking for.

After a quick Visual Studio Runtime install, we’re prompted for an installation location:

I allowed the installer to check for updates, but none were found

After clicking Next, the familiar looking deployment wizard appears

Prepping Active Directory
Alright, as this is a completely new lab environment that hasn’t had any version of Lync or Skype for Business installed, I’m going to need to extend the AD schema.

It’s just as easy as it was in previous versions, running through each of the 7 steps.

Installing the Administration Tools
Alright, green tick! Let’s move on to installing the Administration Tools, including the topology builder.

Once that’s complete, We can prepare the first (or in my case, the only) Standard Edition server. The option to install Enterprise Pools is still available, but as this is a lab I’m going to stick with a Standard Edition pool for now.

Note that it would appear that SQL Express 2014 is still automatically installed during the Standard Edition component installation process.
Creating the Topology
Once SQL is installed, you can fire up the 2019 Topology Builder and create a new topology. Keep in mind of course that unless you’re spinning up a brand new lab environment like me, you’re probably going to be opening up an existing SfB topology.

As this is a new topology, I’m going to enter a new SIP domain. sounds pretty good!

After completing the usual process of creating my first site (I’m calling mine Lab 01), my new topology appears – complete with the new Skype for Business Server 2019 folder.

Let’s create our new Standard Edition front end pool – named

I’m going to enable all available features for this pool (although I don’t have an Exchange server right now!)

And, of course we can still co-locate our Mediation services on the Front End server.

The wizard still prompts me for the usual Edge Server, Office Web Apps, Monitoring and Archiving details (If I want to deploy these too). Once complete, my server appears under the Skype for Business Server 2019 folder.

Publishing the Topology
Ok, time to publish the topology! This took less than 60 seconds.

Installing the Skype for Business 2019 Components
Now for the best bit. We get to deploy the SfB 2019 components to our Standard Edition Server.

There’s 4 steps in total to work through. My lab isn’t running super powerful VM’s and so this part took a while

Starting the Pool
Once the components are installed and certificates assigned, it’s time to start the pool!

Boom! the Skype For Business 2019 pool is up and running.
Stay tuned for part 2, where we’ll delve into the Control Panel and see what’s changed since SfB 2015.

The 5 ways to migrate from Skype for Business to Microsoft Teams

Microsoft recently published a technet article outlining the different ways to migrate away from Skype for Business to Microsoft Teams. The article currently contains 5 different migration methods. Lets take a closer look at each of them, and how they might be used within your organisation.
The 5 migration methods
They say good things come in three’s, but in this case they come in five! Five different methods of moving from SfB to Microsoft Teams. When it comes to migration planning, choice is a good thing
Migration Method 1: Skype for Business with Teams Collaboration
Ok, so you have a Skype for Business deployment right now, and are looking at moving to Teams. The problem is that Teams just doesn’t meet your requirements right now. This could be due to:

  • Running custom SfB applications such as a call centre app, or on premise UCMA/UCWA app.
  • Teams is missing a feature that you currently use in Skype for Business

If this is you and your goal is to adopt Teams quickly, you can easily start using Teams for collaboration. Your users can quickly faimilarise themselves with Teams and how they can use it to work with colleagues on documents in SharePoint and OneDrive, as well as sharing ideas within their newly created Teams and Channels.

  • No overlapping capabilities between Teams and Skype for Business.
  • Instant messaging and chat will reside in Skype for Business (tied to calling).


  • None!

Migration Method 2: Skype for Business with Teams Collaboration and Meetings.
Maybe you already have a Skype for Business deployment with significant use of enterprise voice, but right now some of your calling requirements aren’t yet met by Teams calling (such as a third party meeting service).
If this sounds like you, consider enabling Teams for Collaboration as well as Meetings. Existing Skype for Business scheduled meetings will work as normal, but users will be able to create new meetings within Teams.

  • Start Teams adoption quickly, going beyond group collaboration.
  • Improve your users’ meetings experience.


  • Instant messaging and chat will reside in Skype for Business (tied to calling)

Migration Method 3: Islands – The default option
If you choose to do nothing, Office 365 enables “Islands” mode by default.
Both Skype for Business and Teams continue to run within their own “island” and all features and functions are enabled within both products.
You may consider this approach if you’re running a PoC with a number of users, and want them to experience the full range of Teams features whilst still having the ability to use Skype for Business.
Of course, without the right user adoption and communications, things can get messy fast. Be sure that your communication around how each product should be used is solid.

  • Simple to operate, no interoperability.
  • Best Teams experience up-front for all capabilities


  • Requires good user communication to avoid confusion and to drive usage toward Teams.
  • Exit strategy requires users to have fully adopted Teams by the time Skype for Business is   decommissioned.

Migration Method 4: Teams only.
Alright, so you’re ready to take the plunge and use Microsoft Teams. Of course, you may still have users using Skype for Business on premise, but you want all of your cloud based users to use Teams.

  • Limits user confusion by providing only one client to work with.


  • Interoperability only supports basic chat and calling between Skype for Business and Teams

Migration Method 5: Skype for Business only
And lastly, you may choose to avoid Teams (for now at least), and wish to stick with Skype for Business only.
Keep in mind that at some point you’re going to need to make the move to Teams anyway, but at least you still have the option for now.

  • Continue to meet business requirements that currently can only be met by Skype for Business.


  • Interoperability only supports basic chat and calling between Skype for Business and Teams.

Upgrade Journeys
Still following? Good. Maybe go and grab a coffee. Don’t worry, i’ll wait. Ok, you’re back? Let’s push on.
There are two recommended upgrade journeys, one “simple” and the other .. not so much.
Simple Upgrade
If you like keeping things simple (and who doesn’t), there’s a three step process of Selecting users for a  PoCEnabling Teams Collaboration ModeEnabling Teams-Only Mode
That process is outlined in the below graphic:
This is a nice and simple way of selecting your users based upon their job roles (and their eagerness for change), then slowly introducing them to Teams before enabling Teams only mode for them.
Gradual Upgrade
I hope you’ve finished that coffee! The other recommended upgrade path is the gradual path. I’ll give you a moment to absorb the below graphic:
As you can see, it is possible to migrate different users at different rates. You may choose to move IT into Teams only mode quickly, but choose to move HR and Sales at a slower pace. Which ever method you choose, you’ll more than likely want to end up in a Teams Only mode.
Upgrade Scenarios
Alright. At this point you’re probably saying “That’s great Craig. I have a choice. 5 choices to be exact. But uh … which one do I choose?”.
Great question! Of course, you’ll need to have a think about how your organisation responds to change, and how you’ll equip your userbase to start using and adopting Microsoft Teams. The below may help steer you in the right direction, though!
Scenario 1: I’m Running Pure Skype For Business Online
In short, move to Teams. You’re not using any custom applications or have any on premise servers to deal with. Sort your user adoption comms out, select some users for a PoC and get them up and running with Teams.
Once everyone is trained and happy, enable Teams Only.
Scenario 2: I have Cloud Connector Edition (CCE) deployed
Firstly, kudos. CCE is an awesome product. Secondly,  You’re in a great position to deploy Direct Routing to Microsoft Teams to continue using your existing Sonus or Audiocodes SBC and Phone company.
Consider the approach of enabling Teams in Collaboration and Meeting only mode first of all. you’ll be able to continue using CCE to route calls to Skype for Business as well as direct routing to route calls to Teams.
Scenario 3: Skype for Business Hybrid with Sfb / Teams Online
This one is a popular scenario. The good news is you have many options available to you. You could enable Skype for Business with Teams collaboration–only mode, Skype for Business with Teams collaboration and meetings mode, keep Islands mode enabled or jump ship and enable Teams-only mode.
Keep in mind that your existing on premise SfB users will be unaffected by this change. Only your cloud users will be able to communicate with Teams users, and vice versa.
Work to create a plan of moving as many (or all) users from SfB on premise to SfB online, and then to Teams. Leave only those users that absolutely must remain on premise (because of specific SfB on premise requirements).
Scenario 4: Skype for Business Server on premise – no Hybrid
There’s good news for you. Microsoft have announced Skype for Business server 2019 for on premise, which we’re told will help you to eventually move your users to Office 365 and Microsoft Teams.
If you have no desire to move users to Office 365 or to Teams, consider upgrading your Skype for Business on premise environment to 2019, once it’s released.
Next Steps
Microsoft have outlined the steps mentioned above in their own technet post, which can be found here:

SBC Direct Routing For Teams – How are you affected?

What exactly is Direct Routing for Microsoft Teams
If you’ve been following along at home, you’ll have heard about the recent announcement with Microsoft Teams now allowing you to directly connect your existing on premise Sonus (Ribbon) or Audiocodes SBC to Microsoft Teams across the internet, to allow your Teams users to make and receive calls from the cloud.
Here’s a handy diagram direct from Microsoft that shows how it works

Hold on a minute Craig, Isn’t PSTN calling already available in Teams?
Er, yes. Sort of. You see, If you were one of the lucky countries to have Microsoft Phone System (CloudPBX for you old skoolers), you can already make and receive calls directly from the Cloud from both Skype for Business and Microsoft Teams. All you need is:

  • E5 licensing (or E3 licensing with the Microsoft Phone System Add On) Per user
  • A calling plan per user

If you’ve got both of those things, you can select and assign numbers to your cloud users, and as if by magic, they can make and receive calls from the cloud! Your calls simply route via Microsoft’s PSTN calling service.

I’m not in one of those lucky PSTN cloud calling countries though.

Well that’s ok too. Previously, if you weren’t in one of the lucky countries where Microsoft has enabled PSTN calling directly from the cloud, you could do one of two things to allow you to make calls from Skype for Business:

  1. Move countries
  2. Use Cloud Connector Edition

Cloud Connector Edition (or CCE for short) is a cut down version of Skype for Business that runs on either a server or a special edition of an AudioCodes or Sonus SBC. This box lives on premise with you – although most of the time it’ll sit in your data centre. You connect your existing ISDN, SIP or PSTN services from your carrier to the SBC, and then connect the SBC across the internet to Office 365.
Doing this then enables your Skype for Business Cloud homed users to make and receive PSTN calls via your existing carrier services.
What’s also really great about this setup is that you can connect your existing PABX to the SBC too, effectively allowing you to perform a staged migration of users from your current legacy PABX to Skype for Business in the cloud, all while allowing calls between the PSTN, legacy PABX and Skype for Business.
Lastly, if you’re running CCE right now on premise, you’re 3/4 of the way towards having PSTN calling from Microsoft Teams via this infrastructure. More on this below!

What if I’m running Skype for Business on premise in Hybrid mode with Skype for Business Online?

That’s cool, and it certainly means you’re able to make calls right now from the cloud via your on premise equipment (servers, SBC and SIP trunks).
The great thing about this setup is that you’re also 3/4 the way there towards having PSTN calling from Microsoft Teams!

What if I’m building a greenfield site?

Starting from scratch is an added bonus, and means that you get to decide the direction that you want telephony (and UC as a whole!) to go in.
If you want to explore Teams:
If you’re in one of the lucky countries that has direct PSTN calling from the cloud for Skype for Business and Teams, purchase your E5 licensing and PSTN calling plans and assign the numbers to your users.
If you’re not in one of the lucky direct PSTN calling countries, go down the direct routing path. Purchase a certified SBC from Sonus or AudioCodes, get yourself a SIP trunk, Office 365 E5 licensing and away you go!
If you want to explore Skype for Business AND Teams
Lucky country – Buy those E5 licenses and PSTN calling plans!
Other countries – Consider setting up CCE with a certified Sonus or AudioCodes SBC, then create two SIP trunks – One to Skype for Business online, and the other to Microsoft Teams. You’d then route your inbound calls to either service.

I’m running Cloud Connector Edition, or Hybrid Mode right now. How do I start making calls from Teams?

As mentioned above, if you’re already up and running with CCE or Hybrid mode and your SBC is certified you can create a SIP trunk from the SBC to Microsoft Teams!
Doing so will allow you to route calls between Teams, Skype for Business Online and On Premise, Legacy PABX’s and the PSTN via your existing ISDN, SIP or PSTN carrier trunks.

This all sounds great, but I have questions. Lots of questions!

Completely understandable. This is a moving topic at present and so information is always subject to change!
Microsoft have a great blog post about the topic here:
You can always post your question in the comments section below, and i’ll give you a hand!

Surface Hub: Notes from the field

I’ve been working with Surface Hub for around a year, and have ran into a few quirky things that are worth pointing out.

The display

Let’s get this one out of the way straight away. The display is beautiful. Especially when you connect up an Xbox one to It via HDMI! Perfect for kicking back during a deployment.

You broke it

Alright. I’ll hold my hand up and admit that I was the first person globally to break a surface hub (so I’m told, anyways). You see, when you first turn the hub on it’s going to want to do Windows Updates. This is highly recommended and i’d definitely advise letting the device do its thing.
This is particularly important, because if you interrupt the update process, you’ll break it. I learned this one the hard way.
Long story short, we were in the middle of deploying a surface hub and had left the device to update, but at some point all we got was a black screen. We left the device to work itself out whilst we went for an extended dinner break and came back to .. a black screen. I made the (stupid) decision to power cycle the device and when it attempted to boot back up it wouldn’t boot into Windows.
No problem, i’ll just F8 into safe mode. There’s no safe mode.
Ok, then I’ll download an image from Microsoft and reimage the Surface Hub. There’s no image available to download.
To recover the device, We had to ask Microsoft to go and grab a spare pre-imaged hard drive from the warehouse floor, and bring it to us so we could swap it out for the “broken” one. Once that was swapped over, we were back up and running!

The long story short – Don’t interrupt the Surface Hub whilst its doing updates – including if you get a black screen for many hours.
Skype Meetings
The surface hub is a fantastic device for hosting and joining Skype for Business meetings. The two cameras work perfectly together to show everyone in the room and around the device, and the ability to draw on and present the whiteboard is awesome.
There are a couple of things to note though:
Only todays meetings appear
The home screen on the surface hub will only display todays scheduled meetings, and on top of that will only show 8 scheduled meetings from today. Meetings scheduled for tomorrow will not appear at all.

Only the next 3 scheduled meetings appear in Skype
Within Skype itself, only the next 3 scheduled meetings will appear in the list. The list is not scrollable either.

Inviting two or more surface hubs to draw on the whiteboard has its limitations
Whilst it is true that you can invite more than one surface hub to draw on the same whiteboard during a Skype for Business call, there are some prerequisites:

  • Office 365 with cloud-based Azure Active Directory (Azure AD) for all users
  • OneDrive for Business deployed for all users who intend to collaborate
  • Currently not utilizing Office 365 Germany or Office 365 operated by 21Vianet
  • Surface Hub needs to be updated to Windows 10, version 1607 or newer
  • Port 443 needs to be open since Whiteboard makes standard https requests
  •,, *, and your company’s SharePoint tenant domain URLs need to be whitelisted for proxies has all the information you need to get this set up and working.

Microsoft Teams

If your organisation is currently trialling Microsoft Teams along side Skype for Business, you’ll be glad to know that at least some of the features of Teams will work on Surface Hub right now via the built in Edge browser.
Microsoft are working on a app for the Surface Hub as you read this. If you’d like to know more about what you can do right now on Surface Hub, check out my blog post on the topic.

Surface Hub 2
Lastly, there has some really exciting news on the new Surface Hub 2 from Microsoft. If you haven’t already seen the video, go and check it out here:
I for one cannot wait to see one in person!

Surface Hub and Microsoft Teams: What can you do right now?

If you’re lucky to have access to a Microsoft Surface Hub in your organisation, you may be wondering if Microsoft Teams will work on the device.
Microsoft are working on a Teams app for the surface hub, but whilst we wait for that to become available, what features are available to us right now?
Signing In to Teams
First things first; If we don’t have a Teams app on the device how do we sign in and use Teams? The answer is to simply browse to from the built in Edge browser on the surface hub.
Sign in with your organisation credentials, and you’re in!

The interface
If you’ve used the web version of Teams before, you’ll feel right at home. Everything looks and feels exactly the same on the big screen as it would on the small screen. You get easy access to the Teams activity feed via the left hand navigation, as well as chats, teams, meetings and files.
Using the chat screen, you can easily invite team mates into a chat, just as you would on your desktop. Gifs work too!

What does work
Surprisingly, quite a lot!

  • The activity feed, and chat work great
  • Voice and Video calls with the built in camera and mic/speakers works
  • Adding Gifs to chat works
  • Scheduling and joining Microsoft Teams meetings works


What doesn’t work
Right now, the following things don’t work in the web client on the Surface Hub:

  • Adding additional attendees to a meeting once the meeting has started
  • Presenting your desktop, or other content
  • Adding content to a chat

I imagine that a whole bunch of other things don’t work as expected too, but am yet to test every feature.
What about the Microsoft Teams surface hub app
It’s coming! We don’t know when, but when it does become available it’ll most certainly be available for download from the App store.
Keep those eyes peeled to Twitter to stay up to date with the latest Surface Hub and Teams announcements!

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