Cloud Connector Edition CCE v2.1.0 Released – Adds Operation Management Suite (OMS) support

Over the weekend i noticed thanks to Twitter and Tom Arbuthnot that Friday 17/11/2017 it seems Microsoft have released CCE v2.1 for Skype for Business Online 🙂

Microsoft previously announced before Ignite and SfBO is becoming Teams  we should see co-existence in CCE so it could be deployed alongside Lync Server or Skype for Business Server as currently this is not possible and ive had many requests from customers for this as moving from an existing Lync Server deployment means ripping this out first and then deploying CCE but there was rumors after Ignite that coexistence with CCE will never come even in SfB Server 2019 and it seems this confirmed and not included in V2.1 😦

Microsoft now recommend configuring Hybrid on your existing Lync or SfB Server deployment or looking at deploying a third party appliance which is a bit of a u turn on previous announcement perhaps the shift to Teams has meant this maybe too much work as the focus is on Teams. Microsoft did comment on Tech Community post they will release more information on Hybrid voice so we will have to see. The post is below. This follows a post on the Tech Community saying v2.1 will come mid November check that out here

V2.1 following the Tech Community post focus on Cloud management with Operation Management Suite

Our primary goal for this release focused on improving the ability to cloud manage CCE via the Microsoft Operations Management Suite.

Tenant administrators care about monitoring the state of several indicators when managing CCE:

  • Key services to insure the solution is green and available
  • Hardware utilization for the virtual machines
  • Key statistics such in-bound and out bound calls to allow for fine tuning of resources

Ive been looking for release notes but cant seem to find anything as of yet only the Tech Community posts and community blog posts, highly recommend Tom Arbuthnots Posts below:

Updating to CCE v2.1

Updating option include Automatic and Manual and depends what you are configured for AutoUpdate and your maintenance time window you have configured on your tenant or you may have turned off AutoUpdates or your starting new.

Remember if you have turned off AutoUpdate you need to update to the latest release I think you have 60days before your classed as out of support so you need to schedule this update to stay in support.

I found the support statement

Microsoft supports the previous version of Cloud Connector Edition for 60 days after the release of a new version. Microsoft will support version 2.0.1 for 60 days after the release of 2.1 to allow you time to upgrade. All versions previous to 2.0.1 are no longer supported.


Ive heard of OMS but to be honest i dont know alot so looks a have a quick look.

Whats is OMS ?

Operation Management Suite is a collection of Cloud management service entirely hosted in Azure.

Made up of number of services below but for CCE i think it will leverage Log Analytics.


OMS Pricing Details


I wondered what the pricing would be for OMS as its Azure and most things have a price tag but it seems there is a free plan but has limitations on daily limit of up to 500mb and retention period of 7 Days.

If you go reach the 500mb data analysis will stop and resume at the start of the next day.

So it looks like we can have a free offering for OMS or you can pay for the paid plan for no daily limit and up to 1Mponth retention. If you want to keep longer then you can pay.

OMS Log Analytics

Log Analytics provides monitoring services for OMS by collecting data from managed resources into a central repository. So we deploy an Agent to the virtual machines running on CCE and then configure what to look for, set alerts on the data we collect and view and report on the information. Looks nice and easy. Just set, collect, alert and report and seems we can also not only collect from on premises windows or linux, but Azure services and data collector api’s so you OMS can be useful for much more than just CCE if your not using it.


OMS Configuration and Configuring CCE to use OMS

You will need

  • Confirm Prereqs to use OMS
  • Configure CCE for OMS
  • Configure OMS
  • Create Alerts
  • Microsoft have provided Recommended minimal monitoring set so check it out on the url above.

First you need OMS and have the prereqs you need an Azure Tenant with OMS workspace, CCE v2.1 and Log Analytics new log search configuring.

For configuring on your CCE it depends if your deploying new or upgrading existing both you need to update the CloudConnector.ini file to enable OMS

Then configure OMS and specify alerts and event logs and performance counters

I think its great that you can use Cloud Monitoring and I wonder if SfB Server 2015 will take advantage of OMS as well in a similar way as it was announced with SfB Server 2019 it will take advantage of Cloud services.

Check out the details Config Information here

Further Info and Useful Links

Version Number 2.1.0

Released 17/11/2017

Upgrade Information

Further Information on OMS for CCE v2.1

After upgrades it recommended to Validate the upgrades so check here

Manual Download Link

Planning Information for new deployments of CCE

What is OMS?

OMS Pricing


Configuring DSCP for Skype for Business Online IP Phones

Just noticed on tech community you can now add DSCP tags to SfB Online IP Phones and here’s a quick walkthrough. Tech Community article

Setting the DSCP marking for IP Phones will help with Quality of Service tagging but for QoS you also need to ensure network is configured end to end to honour the IP markings.

1. Connect to tenant via PowerShell –

More details on how to connect to remote PowerShell into SfB Online

2. Check existing settings using Get-CsUCPhoneConfiguration


By defaults VoiceDiffServTag is set to 40

3. run the following to change the value

Set-CsUCPhoneConfiguration –VoiceDiffServTag 46

Then i ran Get-CsUCPhoneConfiguration to check the configuration change.


Thats it!

You can set the DSCP marking to what you require but the default usually set for audio at 46.

Two other greats posts on QoS in SfB Online

Skype for Business Mac Client–September Insider Fast release available Summary

Saw a post on Tech Community Blogs around the SfB Mac Client and new features released in the Insider Fast release. Post on Tech Community here

What’s Insider Fast release ?

The Insider program allows  you to install early builds of SfB for Mac so you can test new features before they will be released publicly in a GA build.  More info on insider program here

Please note: So these new features and changes are NOT yet in the GA build of SfB for Mac.

To Check Insider Build information please check here

Build Details

Released – 14/09/2017
Build Number – Build 16.11.115
Previous Build – August 15 2017

New features

1. Simplified sign-in experience and support for certificate-based authentication

  • On initial sign-in, users are now only required to enter their sign-in address.
  • Based on the sign-in information, we will ask for additional information (such as password) only when necessary. If your organization supports certificate-based authentication and the certificate exists on the machine, you will sign in automatically.
  • We have moved some of the less-used options (such as user name) to the Advanced Options page to simplify the experience and avoid unnecessary confusion to the end users.


2. Meetings improvements

  • Earlier this year we added support for joining a meeting through phone.  We listened to your feedback and have now added the additional option to join a meeting without audio.
  • Users can choose to hide or show content that another user is sharing in a meeting.  When someone is sharing their screen, select to “Turn off content” under the More options menu. If content is available but not displayed, the option will show “Turn on content”.
  • The “End Meeting” option was added last release. This option allows a presenter to end the meeting for all participants before leaving a meeting.



  • Fixed an issue where a user’s location used for E-911 calls is not correctly identified when the user is connected to a network inside their organization.

  • Fixed an issue where a user’s status continued to show as Available after they had quit the app.

  • Fixed an issue that prevented users from signing in with an Alternate ID.

  • Fixed several issues to improve the reliability of viewing screen sharing in a meeting.

Known Issues

Don’t forget to get the known issues a look over as well.

One critical known issue is

E-911 is not supported

SfB Broadcast Ep.50–What’s new with PSTN Conferencing

In the latest SfB Broadcast from Microsoft this episode goes into the “What’s new with PSTN Conferencing” so here’s my summary of the video

Link to the video is here


Delanda Coleman and Oscar Ruiz Garcia


Oscar is program manager for SfB and PM for PSTN Conferencing, been at Msft for 8 years. Started working with SfB 5 years ago, amazing team and product he says, working in conferencing space for three years.

What’s is PSTN Conferencing?

PSTN Conferencing Service for participants of online meeting to join meetings using traditional phone and dial a PSTN phone number and join with a conference ID and join when on the road and not by a computer.

Benefit is online participants can talk to PSTN participants, cell phones and landline callers.

Audio Conferencing isn’t new or a new innovation, what’s makes it special in Office 365 ?

  • Easy to use
  • Minutes to setup
  • Wide range of phone numbers
  • Simple service and a lot of time to make it simple and faster without problems

How does it work with Office 365 subscriptions ?

E1 and E3 you can add on PSTN Conferencing

Bundled with E5 as long as you are in a country PSTN Conferencing is sold

Easy to use and meetings details are automatically populated.


NEW Announcement

Msft are starting to Offer a new pay as you go model, existing offer is pay a monthly fee for the service for unlimited dial in and selected dial out.

Now Microsoft will off Audio Conferencing pay per minute!


  • No flat price pstn conferencing
  • Toll and toll free inbound calls are charged on a per minute basis
  • All outbound calls are charged on a pre minute basis
  • Available to enterprise E1, E3 VL customer

Offered geared for customers that don’t need a wide range of minutes

Pay for as much as they consume

Details on offer

Previously subscription based dial was unlimited now this case dial in US France and Argentina now this is pay as you go. Toll free or toll numbers will all be pay as you go.



Flexible model as you pay for your minutes.

For non E5 customers E1 and E3 and want to try PSTN conferencing you can use the pay as you go (consumption model)

OCTOBER 1st for BL customers

RATES will be posted online as well at this time.

PSTN Conferencing in market for almost 2 years and in the cloud new innovations come quickly IT admins don’t need to add or rollout new features.

Since launch lots of new features


  • Customer can purchase in 72 countries
  • End user pin resets before only admins had access, now users can via a web page
  • Entry, exit announcement tones instead of voice
  • PSTN Conferencing in Regional Hosted Meetings, allow company to spread across different datacentre around the world
  • Meeting Migration Service – challenge in the past to update changes to meeting invites. There was an end user tool the Meeting Migration tool which end users had to run and now a service was released so users dont have to action anything.

Three features in preview program (Skype Preview)

  • Lobby Support
  • Disable toll free for specific users
  • Restrict dial outs for specific users

Dive into features in more detail

72 Country Reach


Dial in for 90 and 400 Cities

Automatically you get a list of phone numbers and customer can acquire more from more cities. 400 cities available.

Dial out to 190+ countries

Expanded IVR – welcome to customer – support for 44 languages.

End user pin reset


Meeting invites and Email has link and says forget your dial in pin and is in the SfB client. New Forgot your dial in pin url in meeting invite.

Organiser direct to portal and they can reset their own pin, easy can away from IT admin.

Supported and On premises and now online as well.

Meeting Migration Service (MMS)


Updates meeting invites with PSTN and voip meeting details.

Automatically way to update existing meeting for users and done is different scenarios.

  • PSTN Conf license assigned or removed
  • Provider is changed
  • User moved to new PSTN bridge

Replace dial in numbers and update meeting invites.

Another benefit of the cloud service and can be disabled on tenant basis if you want and can trigger it on a user basis as well. Giving flexibility for automatically or on demand.

More information on MMS i did a blog post here

PSTN Conferencing service in Regionally Hosted Meetings


More interesting with diagram, basically goal is you can have tenant spread in different regions, companies are globally and have users spread out and goal is to have meetings hosted at datacentres closest to them to reduce network latency and improves performance for meetings.

Its the same for PSTN access, when a tenant becomes enabled for RHM, becomes a spread tenant across regions and the concept of PSTN conferencing bridge is spread out as well, users in US are assigned NA bridge and Sydney users assigned APAC bridge, meetings hosted and PSTN access and mixing of PSTN stays all in APAC region and improves performance.

Any licence implications?

No, need to have a RHM meeting enabled tenant though. No enabled by default i believe.

Lobby Support for PSTN Conf. callers (Preview)


In preview, you can see this functionality you can sign up and is a features already on premises and this allows PSTN participant is put in lobby and now you can see this in the rosta and members can admit or deny into the meeting.

Disable Toll Free for numbers of users (Preview)

Feedback from users they wanted to disable users being able to use toll-free numbers for their meetings.

Once toll free numbers are added they are assigned and available for users so now you can control the access of toll free numbers. IT Admins can choose on user by user basis to allow toll free numbers. If you restrict the find your local numbers page will not display toll free numbers and wont be included in meeting invites.

If you have the toll free and dial into a users meeting who doesn’t have toll free numbers enabled the caller wont be able to dial into the meeting using that toll free.

Toll free services does require PSTN consumption billing so its a way to control costs as well.

Restrict PSTN Conf. dial-outs (Preview)


Based on user feedback. you can restrict dial out controls

Three levels of control

  • Allow International and domestic dial out (Default)
  • Allows domestic dial outs (New feature)
  • Restrict all dial outs

Combined with Toll free features it allows companies to have different profiles for users and their requirements.

Preview Program and sign up for preview features

Demo on PSTN Setup

Have licences through trials (E5) or purchase, licence are then assigned to users.

Office 365 admin centre > Users > select user > assign licence (Skype for Business PSTN Conferencing) > Save

Takes a few meetings to provision on back end

Admin doesn’t have to email them, users will get an email automatically to say enabled for PSTN Conferencing service and PINs are enabled.


Q and A

Can i mix PSTN subscription and pay per minute subscriptions ?


What’s is different between shared and dedicated number ?

Set of phone number are shared and assigned to other tenants, shared phone numbers primary and backup languages can not be changed.

Admins can get new numbers and have dedicated and dedicated solely to that tenant and are customisable and languages can be changed.

Can you support just PSTN conferencing only meetings ?

Yes, since launch, by default they will have a settings, allow only PSTN meetings and PSTN meetings don’t have to have a SfB client or authenticated user in the meeting.


Next episode

Before Ignite, guide to follow Ignite and get ready for successful time for ignite.


SfB Broadcast Ep49–3 ways to bring your existing VTC into a modern meeting Summary

Last Friday August 18th there was a new SfB Broadcast featuring Eddie Clifton from Pexip and i wanted to give a summary on the broadcast. Also recommend watching the video and checking out the Questions and Answers from the session that Graham Walsh from Pexip has posted on the Microsoft Tech Community Site link here

Lets dig in!



Presented by Delanda Coleman and Eddie Clifton

Eddies been in the VC business for many years worked for Polycom, Tandberg and other big vendors and worked on many large worldwide deployment. At Pexip they looked at what problems needed solving across organisations.

When video conferencing is used properly it drives productivity over traditional methods. Pexip looked to create and join large expenses legacy VCs or Modern VCs to the new and exciting PC based and modern based VC with the largest vendor SfB.

Pexip says they are the Rosetta Stone of the VC world (Not the software) where they  takes lots of different video languages and protocols and take them into one conference. very clever way of looking at it. More info on the ancient Rosetta Stone here

What are you seeing out there ?

We see large amount of companies with a large appetite for video conferencing


  • People want a more authentic experience
  • 20 Billion $ plus industry
  • bringing Skype for business and VTC and Audio conferencing into one conference is a new thing.
  • enabling working from different places, working mothers working from home and flexible working. Video can do a lot of things

There are challenges!

Many large organisation cant move to the cloud due to laws, data restrictions so on premises has to be key and specialist area is on premises video interoperability and at the same time is a hybrid solutions so you can be on premises and in the cloud at the same time.

Equipment was made traditionally of specialist hardware and processors and average VC bridge was over a million dollars yes a 1 MILLION Dollars (Reminds me of Dr Evil)

Image result for dr evil one million

Pexip wanted to bring a solution based on standard Intel hardware and processors, everyone knows how to use it in a standard environment and go anywhere and buy a server and add the software and do it 8000 / 9000 dollars and massive savings in cost. By implementing solutions in large corps they can leverage existing vtc’s and Sfb in amazing ways.

Companies use Pexip where they were using 4/5 million mins of year up to 110 million minutes of video per year in a very short time and increasing usage of SfB, Azure and other technologies.

Reduced cost of computing to distributed workforces

Challenges with Hybrid and mixed environments ?

  • People don’t sit in offices all day and are out and about, working from home, train stations and client sites
  • Pexip allows you to bring everyone into one meeting to enable quicker decision making. You can bring people from cell phone, laptop, tablet, legacy vtc systems, surface hub, Skype room systems etc etc
  • Also you can share data as well!! All the different devices and you can also share data such as website, videos, excel , PowerPoint and enabling collaborating.
  • When people don’t see video being used they will move back to audio conferencing
  • Its key to get people using video and embracing video and embrace productivity with so many use cases.

There is a large amount of VTC equipment that gets written off over 5,6,7 or more years and you want to use this and Pexip will allows you to gradually move from legacy devices to new modern VTC, so saves a hard switchover. This can include thousands of VTCs and hard switching can be a problem, also you can have different sites with different architecture so makes multiple architecture and complex and Pexip are all about simplicity.

The user doesn’t know anything and Pexip do everything in the background, if you a SfB user you see the usual interface and the same for each device. Its all native to the user and the client. Pexip makes complex workloads very simple for users

Fundamentals of interoperability


  • Hundreds of protocols to translate and present them in a common way
  • Join experience needs to be good and the same your used to
  • Audio, Video experience good and data sharing is key
  • Gradually bringing users into the new world

Easy to Administrator and Manage


  • Single pane of glass for administration globally!
  • Azure and IAAS and hybrid computing you can create very reliable environments for VCs and Pexip allows resilient architect and testing
  • Management is KEY!



Beauty of Azure they allow elastic compute and when utilization is high you can add compute and low you can shut down. Also allows you to not have to pay and upkeep and manage large infrastructure when your not using it.

Pexip name their solution affinity


From above Pexip can handle hundreds of gateway nodes

Each green dot is a gateway showing utilization these can be deployed in private datacentre of IAAS such as rackspace also in cloud compute such as Azure.


Quarterly based calls for all staff and this can be spread geographically across multiple nodes. Infrastructure can be scaled up and then scale down and reducing costs.

  • Pexip is distributed and using local hop to local datacentre.

PEXIP are all about simplicity and efficiency!

Ways we can bring Pexip into SfB


1. Standard SfB schedule meeting via Outlook, same as you would before. Pexip adds information to the bottom of the invite for VTCs to join. Seamless to users and no training needed.

2.Peer to Peer calls


  • A SfB client calling a VTC device
  • Pexip creates direct link to VTC

3. Escalation mode (adding another person/VTC)


Add them via SfB UI and add them in the call. they could be on legacy VTC or SfB.


Some people cant move to the cloud but Pexip allows them to maximise utilization of their VTC and benefits of the modern meetings with SfB.

Some companies move slow and will get there in the end but this help

Lync 2010 and Lync 2013 users are all covered!



Data sharing in all modes is available

Pexip is VBSS (video based screen sharing) and an example on surface hub when user draw on whiteboard it uses the latest data sharing methods to give a good and full motion video on data sharing. Data sharing is key and its not just video translation its data as well!


Pexip with SfB Online Meeting ?


Register VTC endpoints with Pexip to simplify VTC infrastructure?

Yes, you don’t need the legacy call control environment anymore.

Does Pexip work with legacy OTBP protocol for legacy VTC?

Yes, we work with ecosystem of partners, this is niche requirement Pexip would work with partners to do this with Pexip. 4 or 5 companies that can handle this.

Outlook integration – third party add in required ?

No, Add is from Pexip solution

Any insight into Pexip onsite MCU ?

Yes, its essence is standard HP or Dell running hyper V and can be a conference node. customer with 10,000 users with the ability to join a call.

Pricing model ?

Its cheap ! $3.99 USD per user per month

You have to buy server as well.

Content sharing as 1080p or higher desktop resolution?

720 or 1080p

Do i have to use Skype meeting id to join a meeting ?


Any roadmap on enabling media bypass ?

No sure on that question

Will you standout at Ignite in Crazy pants (Trousers) ?

Yes, Booth 1001

How to contact Pexip


two weeks time

  • PSTN Conferencing updates over the last year
  • New business models
  • New features


Two weeks after – Microsoft IT behind the scenes at Skype meeting broadcasts

After that its Ignite and filming from Studio floor!

Polycom VVX 400 Software upgrade to 5.6.0 and Web Sign in Walkthrough–Nice new SfB Enhancements

Old news now but I’ve just got chance to upgrade my VVX400 to the latest software 5.6.0 release and i read this should have some SfB UI updates! at last a more SfB looking VVX400. I’ve been waiting for this for a while.

There’s a lot more than just UI enhancements so recommend you check this out, this post will just look at the Upgrade, UI and web sign in.

SfB Enhancements (more details on each at the above URL)

  • Dial Plan Normalization
  • Multiple Emergency Number Dial Plan
  • Skype for Business User Interface Enhancements
  • Skype for Business Conference on VVX Business Media Phones
  • Device Lock Enhancements
  • Profile Photo on Device Lock Screen
  • Secure Single Sign-On with Third-Party Supporting Solutions
  • Safe Transfer for Boss-Admin Enhancements
  • Busy Options for Incoming Calls
  • Support for Siren 7 Audio Codec

Lets go for the upgrade

So i wanted to walk you over the upgrade and web sign

So here’s my VVX 400, what a beauty!




Signed in (SfB Online)

So yo upgrade i need to login into the phone via the web interface which i have enabled. So lets grab the IP from the phone.

Go to Settings > Status > Network > TCP/IP Parameters

Grab the IP, open browser and enter the IP


default password is 456 but yours could be different

Once logged in go to Utilities > Software upgrade


Here you can see current software version which i have


I next checked for updates via the Polycom hosted server, im not using any custom update servers at home yet.


From the drop list after the update i can see a number of version and i wanted the latest


Software versions on the server you choose display in the Available software versions drop-down list. The currently installed version is shown in blue; older versions are shown in red; newer versions are shown in green.

So i selected the latest version click install


Clicked yes


I read all and clicked accept or i may have clicked just accept. lol


Clicked ok


And the phone started the upgrade




After the upgrade took about 5 – 10 mins i saw this


Awesome i love the UI already !

Entered my passcode set before and im logged in. Im liking the new look.


Menu is much better


When signed out a little nicer


Next i logged on the web interface same as before and checked the current software version and all done.


Also what i like is the Web Sign In so wanted to show you this as well

Select sign in > Web Sign in



Open browser and go to


Enter Office 365 sign in address


enter again grrr


Show my tenant sign in and say hello to Spencer ! who guards my tenant, hackers beware lol


Login and enter code on phone


click continue

Click on name


and says were done


Phone jumps into life and starts signing in


Enter lock code and confirm again


and im in



Release notes from Polycom

What’s new for Auto Attendants and Call Queues July 2017 Summary

Just spotted this announcement on Tech Community

Overall great new features for AA and Call Queues ! Keep them coming Microsoft !

In quick summary for what’s new, (Check out link above for more info)

  • Users can now receive Auto Attendants and Call Queues calls on Mac, iPhone, iPad and Android Skype for Business client (Latest clients)
    • Mac Client (16.8.196)
    • iPhone (6.16.0)
    • iPad (6.16.0)
    • Android (
  • Admins can now use 0365 Groups (both public and private) to limit the scope of users reachable with Dial by Name feature in Auto Attendants
  • The maximum size of the name list supported for name recognition with Speech has been increased from 50,000 to 80,000 users in Auto Attendants.
  • Improved accuracy of recognition for similar-sounding names for name recognition with Speech in Dial by Name feature of Auto Attendant.
  • To protect user anonymity,  Admins can now use PowerShell to enable users to make outbound calls on behalf of an Auto Attendant or Call Queue using a policy called CallingLineIdentity (also called a Calling Line ID):
  • Auto Attendant has been updated with an enhanced English (US) Text to Speech voice in July, 2017. Note that an enhanced Text to Speech voice for English (UK) has been rolled out in April, 2017.