Skype for Business Voice and PSTN Calling

With Microsoft’s announcement of the new E5 plans, Micah Linehan, Now Micros’ Cloud Sherpa evaluates what this gives us.

I have had the pleasure over the past several of months to be a part of the Skype for Business closed preview, and there are a few things that I am excited to share about the experience I have had so far. There are a bunch of great features but more importantly the refresh of Skype Voice in the office environment.

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Deploying the ConfigMgr Console as a ConfigMgr Application

The Configuration Manager Console is the primary tool used to manage an organization’s Configuration Manager environment. Currently, when using the ConsoleSetup.exe file to install the Configuration Manager Console silently, the R2 RTM version of the console is installed. Also, the Report Viewer is left out of the install. Now Micro’s team of expert engineers presents the process for creating a Configuration Manager application that will silently install the console and the report viewer while also applying the latest cumulative update.

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Deploying .NET Framework 4.5.2 as a ConfigMgr Application

Deploying .NET Framework 4.5.2 as a Package/Program has always been a possibility, and now it can even be deployed with Software Update Management as a feature pack. But, since the .NET Framework’s only purpose is to support other applications, it makes a lot of sense to be able to deploy it using the Application Model in Configuration Manager. This means the .NET Framework can be defined as a prerequisite for another application. Having .NET Framework 4.5.2 ready to go as an application means any requirement can be covered .NET Framework 4 or above.

Installer
The offline installer can be downloaded here from Microsoft.

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Be Proactive in 2015: Three Significant Opportunities for Success or Failure

The three biggest IT challenges for 2015 are all things you can start today, so there’s no excuse when you get asked about them a year for now.

We know the pace of change is accelerating, and looking ahead at 2015 there is reason to expect that to stop.  As we start a new year we get an excellent opportunity to leave behind the business practices that have not served us well. It is time to seriously work to cut the boat anchors slowing us down and try to build a fast and capable ship that our customers are proud to be associated with. Sooner or later, the organizations whose IT shops look like junkers from last century will decide to bypass them entirely if they can’t provide useful services or respond to their changing business needs. IT will no longer be able get away being a boat anchor on the business.

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Off Boarding and Linking User Identities From Office 365

During a recent Microsoft Office 365 migration, Now Micro’s Cloud Sherpa, Micah Linehan, encountered a tenancy migration where he had to work through reinstalling Exchange on premise. In this particular case, a vase majority of users had previously been created without Exchange. As Micah moved forward and installed Exchanges, the users were directory synchronized; however, a remote user in Exchange was not. He put together the following recommendations and best practices for working through these issues, as he found there were few technical resources (articles, blogs, etc.) out there. Hopefully this post will alleviate some of the confusion and ease any off boarding or tenancy conversion issues within Office 365.

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Delivering a Secure, Customized Experience with Microsoft Windows Embedded

Now Micro’s solutions leveraging Microsoft Windows Embedded deliver a customized user experience, ensure a secure device, and decrease costs.

Microsoft Windows Embedded on Now Micro hardware has several key advantages over traditional methods of delivering single-purpose devices, such as kiosks, digital signs, tablets, POS terminals, or customer-facing computing devices.

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Managing User Identities in ADFS

Windows Active Directory - Now MicroNow Micro’s Micah Linehan identifies common issues with identities in an ADFS environment and provides insight on how ADFS and directory synchronization actually work.

User Creations and Troubleshooting
User management after deploying ADFS can be more confusing to the direct staff and those who support it. For example,

  • Are the addresses stuck as .onmicrosoft.com and not switching?
  • Are staff unable to add in alternate email addresses?
  • What about directory synchronization errors?

It is amazing how simple process and workflow user account provisioning can remediate most of those issues. Here are a few things that can ease a lot of issues with user identities:

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