Skype for Business Online Conferencing Policies: Part Deux

Boris Karloff in Lab

In a previous post, I described how to apply a conferencing policy to an O365 account’s Skype for Business audio/video settings.

I also pointed towards this Technet article, which provides some additional information about these policies.

Reviewing this material however, I noticed that Technet entries (at least, the ones I’ve found so far) don’t go into a lot of detail about what each of these policies includes and excludes.  In other words, how do you know what you’re turning on and off when using the Grant-CsConferencingPolicy cmdlet to modify an account?

The answer, is that you have to do a bit of research within your tenant.

First, you need to learn what conferencing policies can be applied to users within your tenant.

Here’s the syntax:

Get-CsConferencingPolicy -ApplicableTo user.name@yourdomain.com

The -ApplicableTo switch returns information about what conferencing policies can be activated for the user specified (and it’s a good bet that the same policies can be applied to others within your tenant).

For example:

 

Identity: Tag:BposSAllModality

AllowIPAudio: True
AllowIPVideo: True
AllowMultiView: True
Description:
AllowParticipantControl: True
AllowAnnotations: True
DisablePowerPointAnnotations: False
AllowUserToScheduleMeetingsWithAppSharing: True
AllowNonEnterpriseVoiceUsersToDialOut: False
AllowAnonymousUsersToDialOut: True
AllowAnonymousParticipantsInMeetings: True
AllowFederatedParticipantJoinAsSameEnterprise: False
AllowExternalUsersToSaveContent: True
AllowExternalUserControl: True
AllowExternalUsersToRecordMeeting: False
AllowPolls: True
AllowSharedNotes: True
AllowQandA: True
AllowOfficeContent: True
EnableDialInConferencing: False
EnableAppDesktopSharing: Desktop
AllowConferenceRecording: True
EnableP2PRecording: True
EnableFileTransfer: True
EnableP2PFileTransfer: True
EnableP2PVideo: True
AllowLargeMeetings: False
EnableOnlineMeetingPromptForLyncResources: False
EnableDataCollaboration: True
MaxVideoConferenceResolution: VGA
MaxMeetingSize: 250
AudioBitRateKb: 200
VideoBitRateKb: 50000
AppSharingBitRateKb: 50000
FileTransferBitRateKb: 50000
TotalReceiveVideoBitRateKb: 50000
EnableMultiViewJoin: True
CloudRecordingServiceSupport: Supported

This reveals what Skype conferencing elements are enabled within the BposSAllModality policy (as the name suggests, it’s “all”).

You can also obtain this information by using the simple cmdlet (without referencing a user):

Get-CsConferencingPolicy

By examining the properties of each conferencing policy, you can learn what makes sense for your environment.

Skype for Business Online: Modifying User A/V Status via PowerShell

outer-limits

Recently I experienced a bit of trouble modifying users’ Skype for Business audio/video properties using the Office 365 web admin GUI.

For example, when trying to save a user’s modified A/V settings (in this case, enabling audio and video), I encountered the following:

Skype for Business Admin Error

Notice the “Sorry, but we couldn’t save your changes…“error message.  This is a bug within the tenant (being addressed by Microsoft as I type this – details about that in a future post).

Needless to say, this is a job for PowerShell.

If you’re familiar with the Skype for Business PowerShell module (and if you’re not, it’s detailed here) you might be inclined to solve this problem by using the following syntax:

Set-CsUser –Identity <User> -AudioVideoDisabled <True|False>

It certainly seems straightforward enough but, TechNet articles notwithstanding, the actual way to accomplish this is by applying a conferencing policy to a user.

Here’s a listing of the conferencing policies I’m familiar with:

Tag:BposSAllModality
Tag:BposSDataProtectionMinVideoBW
Tag:BposSAllModalityMinVideoBW
Tag:BposSAllModalityNoFTMinVideoBW
Tag:BposSAllModalityNoRecMinVideoBW
Tag:BposSDataProtectionNoDialoutMinVideoBW
Tag:BposSAllModalityNoDialoutMinVideoBW
Tag:BposSAllModalityNoFTNoDialoutMinVideoBW
Tag:BposSAllModalityNoRecNoDialoutMinVideoBW

And again, you can learn more about what these mean by going here.

So let’s say you want to enable audio and video conferencing (i.e., Skype call) for the user Clever Boots.

You can change his settings by using the following syntax:

Grant-CsConferencingPolicy -PolicyName Tag:YourPolicyNameHere -Identity clever.boots@thatdomain.com

You’ve no doubt noticed that you can plug one of the conferencing policies listed above (as appropriate) into the string to enable features for Mr. Boots.

Skype for Business: User Settings Report with PowerShell

silent-film-telephone-conversation

Sooner or later, you’ll be asked to provide information regarding Skype for Business usage within your Office 365 tenant.  And if you have network bandwidth concerns (and who doesn’t?) you’ll want to know what services (i.e., video, HD video, audio) are enabled.

There are a variety of ways to gather this information but one of the most direct is by running a PowerShell query from your tenant.

The first step is connecting to Office 365 using a remote PowerShell session that imports the Skype for Business modules.

A basic script looks like this:

$credential = Get-Credential
$session = New-CsOnlineSession -Credential $credential
Import-PSSession $session

More information about the required software and configuration options are available at this Technet article.

Once you’ve connected, you can create a report, exported to a CSV file, using the following syntax:

Get-CsOnlineUser | select DisplayName, UserPrincipalName, EnterpriseVoiceEnabled, AudioVideoDisabled | Export-Csv “Skype-Users-AV-Status.csv” -NoTypeInformation

In this example, I’m creating a report that shows the audio and video status of each user in my tenant.  With this, I can determine if users whose site bandwidth may not adequately support those features need reconfiguration.

To review all the sorts of information you can report on, see Technet.

Restoring the Lync 2013 Interface After the Skype Upgrade

Richard Buckminster Fuller

 

During the month of April, Microsoft released an update for Lync 2013 that, among other things, re-brands it as “Skype for Business“.

Although these are essentially the same product, enterprise users may be inconvenienced and annoyed if documentation, training and related effort have gone into instructing  everyone how to use ‘Lync‘, only to login and find themselves looking at software labeled Skype.

If this describes you, don’t panic; you can change the interface back to Lync 2013 using PowerShell.

The method is described in this Office Blog post.  To summarize, login to your Lync (or Skype) online tenant via remote PowerShell session and issue the following cmdlet string:

Grant-CsClientPolicy -PolicyName ClientPolicyDisableSkypeUI

This disables the Skype user interface for your users.  Note that users will first login to the Skype for Business interface and then be prompted to restart.  After the restart, the Lync 2013 UI will return.