How will my Skype for Business call perform?

If you’ve ever been about to jump on an important call or conference, and worried that the network where you are may not be up to the task, then it’s probably a good idea for you to check out the PreCall Diagnostic tool. It’s perfect for when you’re outside your organization, on a public network or on 4G.

Once you start the tool, you’ll need to log in with the details of your Skype for Business or Lync 2013 account. Pressing Start Test will, by default, run a two minute test where it will measure the connection quality between your computer and the server to which you’re connecting. In my case, it’s my edge server as I’m at home.

In the example below, you can see the quality was fine at the beginning of the test, but then I saturated my internet connection by adding a large file to my OneDrive folder (always an excellent test!). Jitter and packet loss spiked, and the overall Mean Opinion Score of the call decreased. This would have resulted in a call which was considered relatively poor.

precall example

Give it a try and see how your network connection compares.

Polycom VVX 5.3.x and 5.4.x Visual Voicemail not working

We fired up some fresh Lync accounts the other day for a couple of users who were going to only be using a VVX 500 handset. They weren’t even going to be using the Lync/Skype client for messaging – they were just telephony users. I can imagine a number of scenarios where you may have this type of user, like a concierge or guard station where only a phone is required.

Unlike all the rest of our users, these accounts didn’t see their voicemails listed when they pressed the messages icon on their phone. Dialing in to the unified messaging subscriber access was fine, and the messages were there, but they just weren’t showing up when the user pressed the envelope icon.

Diving in to the logs on the phone showed the following:

0714111143|ec   |4|00|UM service is 1 and play on phone service is 1
0714111148|ec   |4|00|’calllogs’ service did not received expected folder ids.

Aha! Can’t find the voicemail folder, eh Lync?

Sure enough, when you log in to Outlook, you’ll find that the normal Lync folders haven’t been created yet. I assume that the Polycom UC software is set to look in the “Voice Mail” search folder, but as this folder hasn’t been created the phone gives up and shows a blank screen.

The solution? Log in to the account once with the desktop Lync 2013 / Skype for Business client. This initial login will create all the necessary folders required, and visual voicemail will start working correctly.

LyncLab, part 1: Everything you wanted to know about Hyper-V but were too afraid to ask.

If you’re anything like me, you build up and tear down your lab on a regular basis. You might do this because you’re studying, you might want to try out new ways of doing things, or you might just want to flex your buid muscles while you’re in an operations period to keep your skills fresh. I run a local lab on my home desktop, and found myself tearing it down quite regularly, so I decided it was time to script, streamline and document the process as much as possible.

In this first entry of this series, we’ll do the groundwork for the Lab. We’ll install Hyper-V, create a template disk which can be “cloned” for future builds – all machines will use differencing disks so we can keep the footprint of our lab to an absolute minimum.

The first machine will be a Windows 2012 R2 Server Core install, which is as lean as you can get. We’ll also run a windows update from the comandline, and finally we’ll sysprep the machine in preparation for cloning.

In future entries in this series, we’ll make a child differencing disk and install Server GUI, which will then become the parent disk for any machines which require it, we’ll create an Active Directory, a Lync 2013 Enterprise pool, and maybe a few more goodies.

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