‘Lync can’t connect to Exchange. Your contacts list and conversations might have issues’

‘Lync can’t connect to exchange. Your contacts list and conversations might have issues’ I came across a problem with a customer who had been instructed to change their users default SMTP addresses as part of a larger company consolidation. This change has created a problem in Lync 2013 where the Lync client can no longer access the Exchange 2013 services such as Calendar and message history. Historically the smtp address and SIP URI were both user@contosocam.com The recent instruction requires them to add a further smtp address (contoso.com) to all user mailboxes and make this the default reply address. So now we have a user with a default smtp address of user@contoso.com and a Lync sip uri of user@contosocam.com. The additional default smtp address was added in Exchange and initially everything seemed to be fine. However, they found that following the change, when new PC’s were deployed and Lync profiles configured the Exchange services didn’t work and Lync configuration information in the client showed blank entries for the EWS services (both internal and external). The client also reports an error stating that ‘Lync can’t connect to exchange. Your contacts list and conversations might have issues’ A simple temporary fix was quickly found to change the default smtp address back to user@contosocam.com, delete the sign in info in Lync (both through client and delete the profile folder in windows user profile) – then sign into Lync. Exchange services will connect and you can then change the default SMTP address back to user@contoso.com – we don’t know if this cached info times out eventually but we had users working for 3-4 weeks...

Microsoft Surface Hub

Microsoft came to ISE2015 armed with an array of Windows Surface Hub devices both 55″ and 84″ and were happy to let the show attendees get their hands on the kit. In total I counted 6 screens including a free standing device on a trolley So what did we learn, well first off the Perceptive Pixel displays are impressive, touch response is incredible with the screens detecting not just the presence of the pen on the screen but also pressure resulting in a drawing experience which is freakily good. There really is a sense of ink flowing out of the pen in a way that other solutions fail to achieve. Flip the pen over and it functions as an eraser. Hardware wise snippets were given away in conversation, 55″ screen is currently 1080p, the 84″ is running 4k resolution, 55″ is powered by a latest i5 with the 84″ being i7, both have 8gb RAM, 512gb SSD From the launch videos I was under the impression the screens could detect the presenter either by Xbox Kinect style camera recognition or NFC pairing with say a mobile phone. This isn’t the case with the system being shown currently. The system detects the presence of a presenter through motion and light sensors so will come on automatically but will not identify the person using the screen. The cameras (used in Skype for Business calls) are mounted on either side of the screen and angled in slightly, this angle combined with the wide angle feature of the camera creates a view of the presenter as they interact with content on the screen....

Polycom Group Series Testing with Lync 2013

I recently received a couple customer comments about disappointing video quality when using Polycom Group Series devices with Lync 2013. I also made similar observations in a previous blog when testing Verba call recording with Lync but was unsure if Verba might have been contributing to the issue. To better understand the problem I spent a little time testing this for myself to see if the issues were reproducible. I set up a test environment consisting of a Lync 2013 deployment based on a single Standard Edition Lync server, WAC, Edge and Exchange 2013 installed to provide calendaring for the Polycom devices to facilitate conference join. Two Polycom Group Series devices were used, a Group 300 and Group 500. Both have 1080p and Microsoft Lync Interop licences. In every test involving the Lync client on the PC I maximized the video window. Sure enough I found problems similar to those reported. The following is a list of my tests and results. Lync Client running on Windows PC point to point call with Polycom Group 300 – see the stats below, good quality call running 720p     Polycom Group 300 making Lync point to point call with Polycom Group 500 – again the stats below show a very good quality call 1080p, very happy with that. Lync client doing a ‘meet now’ to create a conference call and then dragging the Polycom Group 300 onto the call. So now we have the same two devices as in test 1 but video resolution has dropped off from 1280×720 to 640×368. Group 300 and Group 500 in a Lync MCU hosted...

Lync to Skype video

The announcement that Lync to Skype video is now available is an exciting piece of news in the Lync world. The functionality is live although as ever the devil is in the detail and there are a few simple considerations to keep in mind if you want to start using or testing it. 1) The skype user account needs to login with a Microsoft account (option when you login on skype client) 2) The skype user needs to be using ver 7 of the Skype for desktop client on a PC (support for other clients is coming soon, full integration will be available with Skype for Business next year) note – I found that if I tried to update function within the Skype client it reported the client was up to date even though it wasn’t on ver 7 – to get ver 7 I went to the skype website and downloaded the latest client) If you previously had Skype federation configured for Audio from Lync there’s nothing more to do, it will work. To make a call all you need to do is find your Lync contact within Skype and right click to start a video call – the same is true for calling from Lync to Skype.  ...

Verba call recording for Lync – Polycom Group Series endpoints

I was recently asked by Verba to help test their call recording solution with Lync endpoints. Specifically they were interested to know if the Polycom Group Series devices could be recorded using Verba when registered as Lync endpoints. In the past I have produced a few basic overview videos on Youtube describing how to configure and operate Polycom Realpresence devices as Lync endpoints and have recently update the material to include the new Group series devices. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hVMyuqqe2Y0 It’s pretty early days but I thought it would be useful to document what we have found so far, particularly as the pressure of other commitments means this activity may have to take a back seat for a week or so. The installation of Verba was pretty pain free and achieved in about half a day with the help of the Verba support team. In very simple terms I installed an additional Windows server which runs the Verba software and installed an agent onto the front end server (testing was done in a single standard edition environment). The way call recording works for Lync is by intercepting the SDP traffic at the Front End (can also be intercepted at the Edge server) and rewriting such that media is sent via a proxy (the Verba server) where it can be recorded. This isn’t the only option but was deemed the simplest for these purposes. Security groups in AD are used to determine which calls get recorded. I have it set so that any calls involving the user accounts used by the Polycom devices will be captured. The specific use case we are interested in...