Skype for Business Broadcast Meetings –Scheduling Portal updates so far

I’ve been using Skype for Business Broadcast meeting in preview for a while now and i do think its a kick ass for that webinar “Town Hall” style type of meeting to the masses !

Its not a direct replacement for Skype for Business Meetings in terms of all the features, collaboration and attendee and presenter interaction but Broadcast Meetings are superb for one way broadcast to 10,000 attendees using any device and utilizing Office 365 and Azure media services so offload that traffic from your network. WHY NOT !

In August i presented a session at the UC Birmingham User Group on Broadcast meetings and did a live demo. Link to the slides can be found here

Whilst using the preview I’ve noticed a number of interface updates and looks like Microsoft has been working hard and so far overall its been a good experience during preview I’ve found.

Below are some updates I’ve noticed during Preview so far, mostly UI changes on the scheduling portal. There still a list of known issues at the bottom as well to be aware of. I would imagine more of these will be ticked off before general release.

Great to see the product evolving throughout preview as well !!!! Well done SfB Broadcast meeting Team !

Scheduling Home Page

Updated Design which i think looks much better

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Before

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Create New Meeting

Scheduling all from one window, you had to expand and save each section before you could continue. This was ok but i often tried to jump ahead and be reminder you cant. 🙂

Now your meeting settings and customizations are separate and you can only customise after setting up the meeting.

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Before – You had all meeting options and customize event on the same page.

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Customise Event after Scheduling

After meeting settings are completed you have the button to Customise.

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Clicking Customise takes you to the Attendee page options

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Before

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Participation Apps

Still only has Yammer and Bing Pulse much cleaner interface.

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Show Meeting Link

This is a new feature to link the “Show” option and view the hyperlink and there’s a copy link button. Before you only had copy link

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Before

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Past Events

Join Link is now used not Event Link

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Before

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Downloaded Videos

From the start of the Preview you couldn’t download your broadcast meetings but you can now which is great!

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 Event Report

Has a couple more columns

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Before

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Event Join Page

The Same

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Join the Event

The Same

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Before

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Event Team Broadcast Meeting using SfB Client

The same look and feel really

  • Still only Video, Audio and PowerPoint
  • Broadcast and layouts are the same
  • Annotations on PPT not displayed to attendees
  • Have to start video then make broadcasting
  • Changing between broadcast layouts seems better but still a 30 – 60 second delay for the attendees.
  • Broadcast live the same
  • Cant restart broadcast once made live

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Sending Meeting Invites

Still seems to be manual copy and paste job into Outlook to send out to your attendees or posting the link on a web page invite or twitter etc.

 

 

Known Issues Noted on SfB Broadcast Meetings from https://www.skypepreview.com/Resources

  • The broadcast meeting producer must run the Skype for Business 2015 client with the Skype UI and with the latest Product Update applied.
  • When scheduling a new broadcast, you must click the check boxes to accept changes in each change before navigating away, otherwise error messages will be experienced.
  • When adding Event team members that are not unique, the Resolve function simply deletes them from the list with no prompt or message. Valid searching criteria are email address, alias, principal name or SIP proxy address field.
  • Clicking on a link to the Scheduling portal within Word or OneNote will often result in IDX0311 errors. Simply close the browser, open a new browser and enter the address manually.
  • Yammer integration on Windows Phone does not work properly. Do not try and authenticate with Yammer as you will be navigate away from the broadcast.
  • Yammer integration is not supported on iOS or Android yet.
  • When selecting bottom panel for Yammer integration, it’s important to remind broadcast attendees to scroll the browser window down.
  • PowerPoint annotations are not yet supported in a broadcast meeting. Any annotations a presenter makes will not be visible by attendees.
  • You must upload a PowerPoint, or share video for the Producer controls to become available during a broadcast meeting.
  • You cannot currently create a custom URL with Skype Meeting Broadcast. If your organization requires a shorter, more friendly URL, please use a popular URL shortening tool such as tinyurl.com or bit.ly. This will also allow you to change the meeting URL without needing to send a new invitation to your attendees if you have to recreate your meeting.
  • If you want to add a Bing Pulse to a Skype Meeting Broadcast, you must first create the Bing Pulse item for your event. After you have created your Bing Pulse event, you will be given an Event Link in the Bing Pulse portal. For example: https://pulse.bing.com/app/SMB/KickOff
    When adding Bing Pulse to either the lower panel or right panel, the proper format is:
    Account = SMB
    Id = KickOff
  • The more information links for adding Yammer do not include information on what is needed in the required fields. Given the sample URL for a Yammer discussion: https://www.yammer.com/contoso.com/#/threads/inGroup?type=in_group&feedId=4620292
    The following parameters would be used to include Yammer while customizing your broadcast event.
    Yammer Group ID: 4620292
    Yammer Group Network name: contoso.com
  • Yammer may have issues loading successfully, specifically on IE11. As a workaround, please go to Tools, Security tab, and uncheck "Enable Protected Mode". Refresh the browser to reload the page with the new settings.
  • Authentication may fail when a user has previously logged in other services with their personal credentials. Clearing the cache and cookies and refreshing the browser fixes it.
  • If you can’t see the video on Windows 7 IE or Firefox (on all platforms), it could be Flash player missing. Please make sure the latest Flash player is installed.
  • Yammer is not displayed on Mac OS X Safari and WindowsPhone. Please use alternative browsers for Mac OS X (e.g. Chrome).
  • There is a known issue of Bing Pulse not loading successfully on IE11. To work around, please try using Chrome.
  • You may receive the message "We couldn’t connect you to the event. The meeting may have ended. Please check with your event organizer" when trying to join the inner meeting as an event team member. If all event team members disconnect from the inner meeting for longer than 10 minutes, the meeting will no longer be available for use.
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