UPDATE – Emergency Dialling within Skype for Mac. It is possible with some dial plan tweaks.

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Good Morning All

Following the last couple of days at the future decoded event in the UK, We (Tobie Fysh of Modality Systems @tobiefysh www.tobiefysh.co.uk) had time to look at this 3 digit dialling issue *Emergency/non-Emergency number ranges* I see within the Skype for Mac client.

I can confirm with some slight tweaks to dial plans, I can now ring the necessary numbers from SFM. Please note: however ringing numeric XXX or +XXX does not resolve or connect via our SIP trunk used in Modality Systems.

My workaround dial plan rule now in place (Kudos to Tobie Fysh )… If I call the emergency number in SFM, there is a dial plan normalisation rule, which prefixes the number with the UK e164 code of +44 meaning the dialled number becomes +44999. At this point SFM is ok and the SIP trunk provider accepts the call.

It’s a slightly odd workaround but it works.

Skype for Mac GA release – Emergency dialling (US 911, UK 999, France 112) in fact any 3 numeric dialling issue

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Good Morning

Following on from my previous awareness post about some of the gotchas with the new new Skype for mac client in regards to last weeks release, i saw rumours coming out of the US that 911 calling was restricted/work.

Well i can confirm that is the case and calling from the new Skype mac client fails (actually, it doesn’t try to ring). well this got me thinking of other countries including the UK emergency calling.

I can confirm that dialling the UK 999 number OR 112 France OR 911 US OR any other 3 digit number won’t normalise and ring within the Skype for Mac client.

Slight oversight from Microsoft but I’ve reported it back to product group.

Skype for Mac GA – 7 ‘Other’ Known Issues not mentioned

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Good Evening All.

For the past 5 months I’ve been fortunate enough to be one of a few people/companies to test the in-flight builds of Skype for Mac. For the People who may be aware this used to be called TAP as in part of the ‘TAP’ program. These days its called the sprint program and like I say, myself and Modality Systems (the company I work for) are part of Sprint around various new and exciting elements of the Skype program. **there is lots coming down the line I promise🙂

Anyway back to Skype for Mac. Today, Microsoft announced the release of the GA build .3638 of the Skype for Mac client. Also they also created a page of known issues with the GA build or rather issues that have been present in the builds for a long time while I’ve been testing/using. The list of public known issues is HERE

So why have I produced this blog post.? Well.. the list of public known issues isn’t the full story of issues.. yes there are more, so what I wanted to do was provide awareness and guidance around them. So in no particular order..

1, P2P desktop sharing still not available

Yes, desktop sharing today in the client isn’t available and will become a pain in the backside for you. Also to confirm this is both a two way issue as in if the other peer user tries to desktop share to you, that won’t work either.

Workaround is… bridge in a third person to your original P2P call and make it into a conference. In this scenario desktop sharing works.

2, Message from other IM users to you.? ‘Unable to send Instant Message’

For the past 5 months this issue has drove me to distraction, and has been reported many many many times to Microsoft product group but yet its still in the build including GA .3638. **note I’m running a newer build version to this .36xx and its still a bug in that as well. 

So what is the bug? Its hard to pinpoint to a actual sequence or task you are doing. A while back I thought it was linked to my Mac screensaver getting activated as I was always told from people who tried to IM me that the IM’s were getting bounced back AFTER say I’ve been for lunch or in a meeting i.e.: when the screensaver came on. However the issue is more wide spread than that and even in short periods of inactivity the same thing happens. At this moment what I do know is, if you actively using your Mac the bug won’t appear. However, if you leave your Mac for 10 mins the bug does appear. (its almost like the client looses connectivity to the server and therefore bounces IM’s back). NOTE: You still get the bounced messages as if there was never an issue, so you won’t know the person sending them is getting the undelivered message if they don’t tell you.

3, Skype for Mac is still a ring fenced entity within the office for mac suit. Other office products have no interaction with the client for things like click to dial etc

Not much to say about this apart from click to join, telephony numbers in word docs or sip names don’t automatically resolve and function within the Skype for Mac client.

4, Adding people to conferences from the Skype for Mac client, crashes the client

I think there is a slight underlaying bug again without good reason of activity or task, but what I still see from time to time is dragging a 3rd person into a P2P call or an existing conference will crash the client. **whats funny though, is the person you was dragging into the conference actually joins, but you get kicked out due to the crash of the Mac client.

5, No ability to mass delete IM conversations

Again not a big issue but certainly if your like me and have a gazillion IM’s going at once it is annoying that you can mass delete the IM history from the Mac client. It would be nice to ‘command A’ and delete all the IM’s in one fell swoop. Sadly you can’t.

ALSO, the ability to ‘command + del’ in rapid succession does not work either meaning you will have to select almost every IM thread before you can delete it from the IM window.

6, Headsets not certified yet (plantronics, Sennheiser and Jabra) randomly come off mute sporadically.

Headsets are a key part of the Skype for Business ecosystem, yet for all the ones I’ve used with the new Mac client (I would say 99% of certified endpoints) ALL suffer the same issue of when on mute in a conference call, the headset will whisper in your ear that you are no longer on mute. This can happen at random times, even when leaning back in your chair and not even touching the keyboard/Mac machine. What makes this bug even more of a challenge is that the Skype for Mac client onscreen visually has you still on mute.!! so the 64 million dollar question is. which ‘thing is right’ ?? the headset saying you OFF mute, OR the Skype for Mac client visually saying your still on mute.!! Arghh.. **to confirm the Skype for Mac client is always correct you do stay on mute even though sporadically the headset will tell you your not.

so the moral of this issue is, don’t believe everything you hear.. !

7,  Sound conflicts in calls when you get an outlook email through. **Makes the audible call appear robotic

Odd bug this one… You could be quite happy on a call of some type talking away, then you get a inbound email. What I have certainly found at this point is, my speech to the end user I’m talking to becomes robotic while I guess the sound notification from the email finishes. After this the audio in the Skype for Mac call becomes ok again, until the next email, then Robotic and so on……

The only workaround I’ve found is to turn of email notification sounds which then stops the interference with the Skype for Mac clients audio.


That’s all for now, I hope you have a great experience with the Mac client, and it is a good client, and will be even better over the next few updates.

Iain Smith

In-Place Upgrade from Lync 2013 running Windows Server 2008r2. Services failing to start

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Within this blog post is a issue that we’ve seen a couple of times along the way. However finding information on the issue is hard to come by hence this blog post.

So the scenario is.. the client is doing an in-place upgrade from lync 2013 to Skype for business 2015 running on windows 2008r2 OS. **Note: this issue has only been seen on 2008r2 OS..

The In-place upgrade to Skype for Business Server 2015 completed successfully, however when issuing “Start-CsWindowsService” or “Start-CsPool” the Skype for Business Front End Service failed to start with the following error:

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it was also noticed that the windows fabric service was also failing to start.
I continued to troubleshooting the following areas:

1. Certificates – Checked for untrusted root certificates using the following PS commandlet:
Get-Childitem cert:\LocalMachine\root -Recurse | Where-Object {$_.Issuer -ne $_.Subject} | Format-List * | Out-File “c:\computer_filtered.txt”
2. Reset Pool Quorum using the following PS commandlet:
Reset-CsPoolRegistrarState –PoolFqdn POOLNAME –ResetType QuorumLossRecovery
3. Ran Install-CsDatabase PS commandlet to ensure backend DB’s was in sync with front end servers – Install-CsDatabase –Update –LocalDatabases
4. Rebooted FE
5. Re-ran bootstrapper.exe (Step2 from the deployment wizard)
6. Confirmed SQL DB’s across all three instances (RTC, RTCLOCAL & LYNCLOCAL) was accessible and online

None of the above helped, the RtcSrv service still failed to start.

After further investigation it would appear the Windows Firewall Service had been disabled. I set the service back to its default setting of “Automatic” and started the service.

Would you believe it, all Skype for Business Server 2015 services would now start!!!

Skype for Business Profile moving to Skype Online – Lync for Mac 2011 ‘adding, removing, tagging’ contacts issue

While im in the mood for another blog post, below is further information around Skype Online and the sketchy Lync for mac automatic supportability.

Ive been moving my profile between Skype for business Onprem and also Skype online and while this is a seamless transition to complete, lync for mac does grumble somewhat with moving your profile.

One of the main pain points of this profile move is the fact that contacts (your buddy lists) stop functioning as you would expect. For example when your profile is moved to SkypeOnline, you cease the ability in adding, moving and tagging of Lync user contacts???

Unfortunately to get this working you need powershell in the backend of the SkypeOnline to invoke some permissions. For some reason putting the profile online causes the UCS *unified contact store to have issues for your -identity

If you run the command get-csuserservicespolicy you should see the USC allowed set as false? so in general you should not be having any issues.?? go figure.!

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the solution needed to get you past this issue is another powershell command which is detailed in this link

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Once you’ve invoked rollback of your identity, the contacts in the SkypeOnline will start acting as normal.

Regards

Iain Smith

Lync and Skype for Mac -moving profile from SkypeOnline back to Skype OnPremise issues

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Hello All

Based from experience ,below are details on how to fix your Lync for mac 2011 client or the new Skype for mac client when you have your SkypeFB profile in the 365 cloud then for whatever reason want to bring it back on-premises.

Recently, i’ve been in the Microsoft TAP program for SkypeOnline and more interestingly CloudPBX. Today however i wanted to complete some testing back on the server estate on premises, which to reverse this hybrid profile approach i had is a couple of clicks within the 365 tenant to bring my profile back onprem.

Unfortunately though the Lync/Skype for Mac client does not like this change and without manual intervention will never ever log you back into the client.

So the scenario above then the fix below.

Lync 2011 or Skype for Mac 2016 for MAC

Log out and quit Lync/Skype for Mac.
Go to Finder > press Command+Shift+G > type in /users/<MacUsername>/library >

delete the following files:
Caches > com.microsoft.Lync
Internet Plug-Ins > MeetingJoinPlugin.plugin
Keychains > all files beginning with OC__KeyContainer
Logs > Microsoft-Lync-x.log and Microsoft-Lync.log
Preferences > com.microsoft.Lync.plist
Preferences > ByHost > MicrosoftLyncRegistrationDB.xxxx.plist
Go to Finder > press Command+Shift+G > type in /users/<MacUsername>/documents > navigate to Microsoft User Data > delete the following folders: Microsoft Lync Data and Microsoft Lync History.
Open Keychain Access from /Applications/Utilities folder.
Delete all keychains startting with OC__KeyContainer.
In your Login keychain, delete all e-mail address certificates.
Finally, empty the Trash.

 

Thats it you should be now again fixed and able to log back into the client.

Iain Smith

 

 

 

AnyNode SBC Review – TE-Systems

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Good Morning All

Recently. I had the pleasure of meeting the guys from Anynode. If your not aware, Anynode are a German based company who provides a software based solution as in Session Boarder controllers which are certified to work with Skype for Business and the predecessors Lync 2010/2013. Interesting of late they have announced that they also can provide telephony capabilities into the new SkypeFB cloud Connector which I’m sure will become of interest to a lot of people.

The underlaying technical architecture is a well guarded secret, however on face value Anynode states their SBC solution can work with any Telcos SIP platform, so with the challenge laid, i set about building the Anynode SBC in my lab to work along side my PureIP SIP trunk.

Below are my findings.

From the start as you can see the interface is one that is a lot different to what we might has seen before (in relation to Sonus, Audiocodes), yet it was one of simplicity. There are a number of things you need to align within the wizard build before the wizard takes over and completes, however if you have all the necessary FQDNs & IP addresses etc at hand literally within 10 minutes you can be up and running with calls traversing between your SIP carrier and Skype for Business.

Anynode 1wizard 2
wizard 3

In my lab i wanted to ensure that the SBC can do all the things a hardware appliance is capable of, meaning smart routing, DDI transformation, cause code rerouting, message  header manipulation etc etc. so with this in mind i started to tweak my configuration.

Back at the main page, on the left hand pane you see your configuration from the wizard on the select down tabs and from there you can start to get cute with your configuration to make it work exactly how you want.

mainconfig 4

Other things of interest are..

If the Server running the Anynode software is being hammered with traffic or maybe there has been a dodgy OS patch which is causing the CPU to spike, Anynode has built in resilience to specify CPU load conditions and for the software to make a judgement on what happens next, whereas more traditional hardware appliance will try and soldier on and in turn provide poor audio quality calls due to the CPU ramping.

My Synopsis on Anynode the company and also the SBC software

The guys at Anynode could not be more forthcoming with help and assistance and are willing to provide time to suit the customer to get the Software configured to your requirement.

The SBC software is excellent in truth and for any customer looking for a SIP only solution and maybe doesn’t have the outlay of money to purchase a physical appliance, then running Anynodes SBC on a VM would be a perfect option. Like i say there has been nothing lacking i can see within the software which you would get from a Sonus/Audiocodes hardware based solution.

Its worth mentioning in terms of physical\Virtual hardware, the footprint is minimal and the software is happy running on a small subset of CPU and RAM.

All in All, i really like this solution and at the time of writing in the UK the likes of Audiocodes and Sonus don’t have a low end/user software based solution which in some respects opens the door for a company like Anynode to provide an offering.

If you are interested in reviewing, trailing or even speaking to the guys at Anynode about something you are trying accomplish within your company then they are more than happy to assist.

Details are below

http://www.anynode.de

Contact Nick DiCiaccio on Email : support@te-systems.de