Part 1 – Configure AudioCodes SBC for Microsoft Teams Direct Routing

Microsoft have been providing us the option bring your own sip trunk for enabling the enterprise voice functionality. With Microsoft Teams Direct Routing we can provide the phone system to Teams users ,connect the SIP Trunks and use the local telecommunications provider. This option provides most of the customers for an easy transition to Microsoft Teams in parallel by utilizing the existing infrastructure and moving the users to the new system.

In order to leverage this functionality we need to setup certified session border controllers. Previously there is an article written which can be referred to check the readiness and steps that is required to configure Direct Routing in Microsoft Teams.

In this article series we will see on setting up audiocodes session border controller that will help in configuring the Direct Routing.

There are multiple ways to achieve this and we have an option to configure this from the Azure Market place. We will see on configuring this from the Azure Market Place.

First prerequisite is we need a valid azure subscription. Login to Azure and search in the Azure Market Place for Audio Codes.

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Move users to Teams only mode from on premise Skype for business environment

This article outlines the technical steps that is required to move an on premise skype for business account to Teams only mode. There are lot of other factors that needs to be considered before making this change and this step can only be a final stage almost in any environment.

If there is any PSTN integration with Skype for Business on-premise environment then these factors needs to be planned and executed in stages before phasing out Skype for Business On-premise and moving users to Teams Only Mode. These features and functionalities needs to be transferred completely to Microsoft Teams.

If you are moving from a Skype for Business 2015 environment, ensure that the supported CU version admin tools is Skype for Business Server 2015 with CU8.

In this example I have built a lab on my environment which has my local Directory identities below test accounts synched to the Azure AD.

And I have a standard Skype for Business 2015 environment running in the local active directory environment.

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Schedule Microsoft Teams Live Events from an external app OBS Studio

With Microsoft Teams Live Events ,we have an alternative to stream them from outside encoding sources. There are few advantages of playing out this activity from an external application. We can customize the presentation deck by including various sources and there is an option to include multiple cameras and cumulate them on the same deck.

So here I caught some eye over this subject to investigate this alternative from an open source free tool OBS Studio . The installer can be downloaded and installed on the PC from where we are going to stream the live event from this app OBS Studio. And they are present in the list of Supported Encoders provided by Microsoft.

Well before we setup the OBS studio the mandatory part is we need to schedule a live event to generate the URL to build up the connection between them.

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PowerBI – Microsoft Intune Data WareHouse Beta connector

Now we can use PowerBI and use the Microsoft intune data warehouse to build reports for the entire organization to foresee the intune analytics and the status. PowerBI being a very potential platform for data gathering and analysis this intune data warehouse can help in terms of analyzing the Microsoft intune statistics and provide us the overall metrics.

When we look into the get data from the PowerBI desktop version, we do see the option Intune Data WareHouse Beta Preview connector. Once authenticated with the account we can select this connector

At this point of writing this blog , we could see that this connector is integrated with a 3rd party service as of now and it in the progress of full mature version and can expect more improvements in the future.

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Microsoft Teams – script to generate teams owners ,visibility type, owners count, members count and archive status

Microsoft Teams utilization have phenomenally increased with the current COVID situation where almost everyone of us are working from the home. Microsoft Teams being one of the top collaboration software helping all of us to stay better connected during this time.

Most of the organizations doesn’t restrict the Team creation from Microsoft Teams because this factor is heavily influenced on better adoption rate of the Teams communication platform. The below script can be used to run in task scheduler or in Azure Function on a monthly basis for reviewing the Teams Created in last 30 days especially to see the Teams that have been archived and to see the fashion of teams created private or public by the users.

Below is the sample output of the script which will provide us the below details.

Teams Raw – This has the total number of teams with below information.

Teams Single Member – This is to identify teams with just single member

Teams Single Owner – This will report Teams with single Owner

Teams wit no Owner – This will report Teams with no Owner

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Microsoft Teams – Utilize the Azure Sentinel to facilitate SOC and Monitor Teams critical events

Its been almost a year that Microsoft has announced the new release in Azure Sentinel which provides us the opportunity to integrate MS Teams related activities that are recorded in the audit logs to Azure Sentinel. Enabling this feature benefits organization where there is a separate SOC team monitoring and analyzing the security posture as an ongoing operational procedure.

We still have the Microsoft native cloud app security which benefits in creating the alerting mechanism for MS-Teams related activities.But with the Log Analytics and Azure Sentinel we can do a lot more than it can be done from the Cloud App Security. We can further fine tune the alerting, create workbooks and dashboards for Microsoft Teams related activities which will be useful for Teams Monitoring.

To start with this new feature ,we need to enable this new option to ingest Teams Data into Azure Sentinel Work Spaces. This article can be followed to start with connecting office 365 with the Microsoft Cloud native SIEM Azure Sentinel.

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Synology DiskStation Active Backup for Office365

Recently i was requested to review the synology diskstation ActiveBackup for Office 365 . Though Microsoft 365 provides unlimited retention period and litigation hold for office 365 applications i always had one topic in my hit list to read on why there might be a reason to have a local backup instance for Office 365 applications.This made me to do some little bit research on this topic and could see there might be few business cases ,compliance/legal requirements which demands to maintain backup copies of electronic data.

Moreover the litigation hold and retention period is not applicable for all office 365 plans. I have seen organizations consuming wide variety of Office 365 plans based on their business models.

On the other hand i see most of the office 365 backup solutions provides faster efficiency of users able to restore the content on their own mostly from the user management portal. In an ideal scenario office 365 user data recovery can be executed from a native tool set where we use the native content search or an e-discovery case from the admin portal. In a real case scenario if we don’t have an SLA for restore of data that comes in everyday for a resigned employee or an existing employee there might be some delay where only few admins are responsible in handling the operations tasks. With these third party packages we can optimize the processes for data restore.

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Overview of Microsoft Teams Graph API and its benefits

Microsoft Teams Graph API have been there for a quite a long time and it can be beneficial in various ways to perform Teams related tasks in API operations. In this article we will go through the Teams Graph API overview and API calls available as of now.

Using Graph API developers have a unified Rest API to access Teams underpinned components. For instance, using Graph API we can post a survey notification to a channel with option to vote for the survey. With this we can create a Team, add members and owners ,configure team settings and even archive a Team.

The overview of Graph API can be explored by navigating to the below URL.

https://developer.microsoft.com/en-us/graph/graph-explorer

Before consuming the Graph API we need the required permissions on the Graph API to run the query. So we need to consent the required permission based on the action that will be performed from the Graph API. In below example have granted the below permissions to execute the Graph API operations for Teams.

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Microsoft Teams – Change the Supported Meeting Mode on existing Skype Room Systems to Teams Mode by leveraging Intune Scripts

Microsoft Teams have been the highly adopted collaborative platform in few months time.It has been helping a ton worldwide and the new features that is been released every now and then makes us stay connected and expands the efficiency in every organization who have been using them.

By default Microsoft Certified Room systems are forward compatible with the new Skype for Business or Teams services while maintaining the same client user experience.Usually when any organization has only Skype then these meeting rooms will have the options only Skype enabled on them.

In this article we will be looking at how to enable the existing Skype room systems to have the capacity to host Teams Meetings in them.

Example screen of a Skype room system panel where we have the below options on the supported meeting mode while configuring them at the initial stage .

These devices are basically on KIOSK mode running on recommended versions of Windows 10 currently supported one being 1909 at the time of writing this blog.

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Microsoft Teams – Utilize Power BI to get more details on the Call Quality Dashboards

With Microsoft PowerBI we can gather more details from the call quality dashboards. As of now Microsoft have released 7 power BI desktop templates to accumulate more details on the Microsoft teams call quality dashboard.

PowerBI being a very potential platform for data gathering and analysis these new templates for Microsoft Teams have been more outstanding in terms of analyzing the Microsoft Teams data.

We will go through the overview of the reports and the configuration on this post.

Firstly the PowerBI Query Templates for Microsoft Teams needs to be downloaded.

We have below 7 templates report:

  1. CQD Helpdesk Report.pbit
  2. CQD Location Enhanced Report.pbit
  3. CQD Mobile Device Report.pbit
  4. CQD PSTN Direct Routing Report.pbit
  5. CQD Summary Report.pbit
  6. CQD Teams Utilization Report.pbit
  7. CQD User Feedback (Rate My Call) Report.pbit

These are customizable templates which can be used to analyze data. These above are PBIT file formats which can be used from PowerBI desktop which has the data source configured. If we need to open them directly from the powerbi portal they need to be renamed as pbix. If we are importing them from the powerbi desktop the following file MicrosoftCallQuality.pqx needs to be imported to the location [Documents]\Power BI Desktop\Custom Connectors folder.

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