Skype for Business client goes live in April

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If you have an Office 365 license that includes Office Pro Plus you should know that you get the full Lync 2013 client for your desktop. Hopefully, you are also aware that Lync is being renamed Skype for Business. There is a preview of the client that you can download and look at right now.

What you may not be aware of is that on April 14 2015 (i.e. the next patch Tuesday) the updated Skype for Business client will automatically be downloaded and update any existing Lync 2013 client application you have running if you used the ‘click to run’ install method from Office 365.

Yes, that is correct. If you do nothing, then on April 14th (US Time) your Lync 2013 client will automatically be replaced by the new Skype for Business as shown above. If you look after a lot of Office 365 users with Office 365 Pro Plus who use Lync now, expect quite a few phone calls (hopefully some Skype for Business calls!) in regards to this change.

The new Skype for Business actually contains both the old Lync interface as well as the newer Skype for Business look and feel. This means that you can actually switch the interface back to Lync 2013 look and feel if you want.

How do you make this change? PowerShell of course!

Firstly, connect to your tenant using PowerShell. Make sure you load the Lync Online PowerShell commandlets. I’ve detailed both of these steps previously here:

Configuring PowerShell Access in Office 365

Connecting to Lync Online via PowerShell

Once you are connected run the following PowerShell command:

Grant-CsClientPolicy -PolicyName ClientPolicyDisableSkypeUI

If you then restart Skype for Business you should see the familiar Lync 2013 interface return.

There is a lot more information about controlling this interface update as well as Skype for Business in general at:

What’s new in Skype for Business and how you can take control of updates

The main point to remember is that if you current have Lync 2013 installed from Office 365 and you do nothing, then come April 2014 you’ll have Skype for Business on your desktop.

Office 365 Compliance Center now available

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If you login to the Office 365 portal as an administrator and have a look under the Admin option on the left hand side you should now see a new item – Compliance

This will now be the central location to quickly and easily access anything to do with compliance in your organisation. Such as:

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– Archiving

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– eDiscovery

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– Retention

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– Permissions

These options will continue to increase over time so check back regularly to see what’s been added.

Need to Know podcast–Episode 63

This to me is very interesting episode because in it I speak with Greg Plum from PlumUC.com around the opportunities Lync in Office 365 provides.

As many know, I have always been very, very positive about what functionality Lync can provide and the opportunity it offers for IT resellers to with customers. One of the major missing pieces in the SMB space has been the easy integration with traditional phone systems. This is where Greg and his business can help. He is able to provide that quickly and easily.

To me this is a HUGE value add to Office 365 and something everyone should take heed of because the concept of unified communications is rapidly being adopted by all businesses, and Office 365 makes that even easier.

Sit back, listen and enjoy. I think you’ll get a lot out of this episode. You can find the episode here:

http://ciaops.podbean.com/e/episode-63-greg-plum/

or subscribe to this and all episodes in iTunes at:

https://itunes.apple.com/au/podcast/ciaops-need-to-know-podcasts/id406891445?mt=2

I am also pleased top announce that the podcast is now available on Stitcher at:

http://www.stitcher.com/podcast/ciaops/need-to-know-podcast?refid=stpr

Of course, I’d love to hear what you think of this episode or any others. Also, if you are interested in being a guest on the show to discuss business or technical topics also feel free to contact me (director@ciaops.com).

Are you coming to Office365 Nation?

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From September 26 to 28 I’ll be in Redmond Washington, USA speaking at the Office 365 Nation conference. What will I will I be talking about? Here’s a list of my sessions:

T106: Coming to Grips with SharePoint Online

SharePoint is the heart and soul of Office 365 and major differentiator from the competition. It is a business that allows solutions to just about any business pain point, but how does it achieve this? Without a solid foundation in the fundamentals of SharePoint you are not going to be able to explain to customers how it solves their business needs. This course will help you understand everything in SharePoint Online, including OneDrive for Business, from the ground up, then how to demo it to clients and build solutions to help their business. If you want to stand out from the crowd then you need to know SharePoint and you need to attend this course.

T107: The Business of Yammer

Social is changing the way that business works today. It is fast becoming the de facto method of working for employees entering the workplace and it is something that is now part of Office 365 via Yammer. However, what is Yammer? What can it do? How do you make the best use of it even for small businesses. This course will take you through the basics and help you firstly understand why implanting social into a business is so important and then how to use the tools and abilities of Yammer via Office 365 to achieve this for clients. Collaborating is key for smart business in the future and this course will arm you with the knowledge to take advantage of this and be an expert in the field.

T108: Level up with PowerShell for Office 365

PowerShell is the THE tool for IT Professionals to administer and a mange Office 365. It provides access to many settings that are not available in the GUI. It provides faster deployment and management of just about all aspect of Office 365, from Exchange to Lync and SharePoint. To truly be a skilled Office 365 professional, you need to know and user PowerShell. This course will provide you exactly this skills. You’ll learn not only how to set up a PowerShell environment to connect to Office 365 but you’ll also learn some of the handy scripts you can use to make administration so much easier. If you want to manage Office 365 better and faster then this is course for you.

T109: Lync: The Red Headed Stepchild

Too often Lync is overlooked when it comes to Office 365. However it is a very powerful service that provides key benefits in Office 365. This course will firstly help you understand what Lync is and why it is so important to businesses large and small. You’ll learn how it is the easiest tool to pitch to decision makers and therefore the key service you should be using to leverage the complete Office 365 suite. If you want to convert more Office 365 stakeholders you must know Lync.

I’m luckily to be speaking at an event with many distinguished and experienced presenters who are aiming to provide IT professionals and business leader key information about how Office 365 and Microsoft cloud products are changing the way that business is conducted and opening unprecedented opportunities.

You can of course still register for the event at:

https://www.regonline.com/Register/Checkin.aspx?EventID=1573788

and to learn more about the conference visit:

http://fall2014.smbnation.com/

so if you are interested in what I believe is some fantastic content I encourage you to register today.

If you are attending the in the area during these dates I always love to catch up with people and understand how they are taking advantage of products like Office 365 and Azure, so feel free to reach out to me and organise a time to meet. It’ll be a packed few days but I’m sure we can squeeze something in.

Hope to see you there.

My Lync for Mac returns

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A while back the version of Lync I had installed on my Macbook started prompting to verify certificates and then wouldn’t connect to Office 365. I fiddled around a bit but couldn’t get it to work so I put it on the too hard pile for the time being.

Eventually got back to it and low and behold, once I apply this update:

Update 2963369 for Lync for Mac 2011 14.0.9

That was recently released it all works as you can see above.

Now all we need is a OneDrive for Business Mac desktop sync app (which I don’t think is far away).