Microsoft Teams User Tip #25: Blur My Background

Now that Microsoft Teams video blur is GA, go ahead and use it! After you have a video meeting going…click More Actions | Blur my background


Without blue my background




I love this elegantly simple feature.

To see more Microsoft Teams User Tips:

.[Video] Learn Microsoft Teams in 5 Minutes:

My Microsoft Ignite 2018 #Microsoft Teams Notes

This blog will be updated to include my notes about all things Microsoft Teams at Microsoft Ignite 2012. You can also follow me on twitter at

Some things I will be Doing

  • Following All Things Microsoft Teams
  • Meeting with Landis Technologies customers at booth #2012 & elsewhere
  • Ignite Tech Community Blogger
  • Filming the #TeamsRecap Podcast with Josh at 3:15pm Weds.

Microsoft Announcements at Microsoft Ignite 2018

Microsoft Article:

** Features We Knew About That Are Now GA **

Live Events (GA)

Background Blur (GA)

** Ecosystem **

Polycom & Pexip video interop -GA (Blue Jeans in Preview)

New Teams purpose built devices from Crestron and Yealink

Plantronics Mobile Phone Station, Plantronics Elara 60 Series: dock, button to invoke teams

Jabra device w/ button to launch Microsoft Teams

room systems team

Yealink is Now a Room System Partner

Microsoft Calls & Meetings APIs Now In Public Preview

** Convergence **

Microsoft will bring Yammer Tab into Teams (Upcoming)

Streamlining Teams lifecycle: Admin can (October 2018)

Dynamic Teams Management

Microsoft Teams Verticals (Healthcare, Frontline workers)

Device Program Certification Program--Optimized for Microsoft Teams (Devices)

Device Management Solution: managed Teams devices from within Teams Admin Console



Microsoft Teams User Tip #24: Steps to Setup a Free Microsoft Teams Account & How It Works

Below is the process to setup a free Microsoft Teams account starting with a Gmail account.

A few things before we start that you are probably wondering:

  • Setting up a user from will essentially setup a new Microsoft Teams org and the user as admin
  • There is new UI in Microsoft Teams for this user to add new users to the org
  • Yes, you can use gmail accounts

Go to Click sign up for free account.

Now type in email address & “Set up account”


Create Account










Click “Set up account”


Create account






Now the account is setup.

Next we will tell Microsoft about this user.









Run Microsoft Teams for 1st Time and select org.

(for me it seemed to list Teams tenants that had invited this email address.)


(a popup to re-enter my username [email address])


Now you can invite more people to join your org


How to manage your Teams org:



I was impressed by the smoothness of setting up a new Microsoft Teams organization with an non Microsoft email address. The built in administration is very simple.

Microsoft Teams: Use PowerShell to Check for Unused Teams Based on Chat Activity from Administrator Perspective


This below script shows Teams statistics from an Administrator’s point of view using Exchange Online PowerShell.

Log In to Exchange Online with PowerShell

$UserCredential = Get-Credential
$Session = New-PSSession -ConfigurationName Microsoft.Exchange -ConnectionUri -Credential $UserCredential -Authentication  Basic -AllowRedirection
Import-PSSession $Session

Put Exchange Groups with Microsoft Teams “Team Chat” Folders into an Object

The below PowerShell will look for all the “UnifiedGroups” that have a Microsoft Teams chat folder in them (effectively groups that are Microsoft Teams Groups) and put them into an object. Note: This PowerShell will take a while to run, even on a small Office 365 tenant.

$TeamsStats = Get-UnifiedGroup | Get-MailboxFolderStatistics  | ? {$_.Name -eq “Team Chat”}

Now you can see which teams are new and active to run clean up procedures you want. Below are some examples:

Get Teams With No Chat Activity for Last 90 Days

$TeamsStats | ? {$_.LastModifiedTime -lt (get-date).AddDays(-90)} | Format-Table Identity, Name, ItemsInFolder, LastModified*, creationtime

Get Teams Created in the Last 30 Days

$TeamsStats | ? {$_.CreationTime -gt (get-date).AddDays(-30)} | Format-Table Identity, Name, ItemsInFolder, LastModified*, CreationTime

Obviously you can do your other creative checks and tests as well and trigger automatic or manual actions on specific teams now, armed with this information.

Tony Redmond PowerShell for Inspiration

Find Teams Enabled o365 Groups

Microsoft Teams User Tip #23: Quickly Get Microsoft Teams Ring & Version (Works with App or Browser)

How to determine Microsoft Teams Ring you are on (from Browser or Teams App):

  1. Press Ctrl + Alt + Shift + 1
  2. Open the “MSTeam Diagnostics Log…” file that is created.
    1. On Browser it will be easy to open directly from Browser
    2. On MS Teams App open from “%userprofile%\Downloads\MSTeams Diagnostics Log*” (On Win10 click Start & just type %userprofile%\Downloads)
  3. Look at section of file near the top that looks like this: "ring": {     "id": "ring4"
    1. 4
    2. 3 (TAP)
    3. 1.5 (IT)

That’s all.

To see more Microsoft Teams User Tips:

.[Video] Learn Microsoft Teams in 5 Minutes:

AT&T TL86103 USB Desk Phone + DECT Handset Almost “Compatible with Lync” (& Skype for Business/Office 365 Phone System) Review: Almost Interesting!


NOTE: This device is NOT Skype for Business Certified

I was perusing simple multiline AT&T desk phones at my local Staples when I noticed a phone with this sticker on it: “AT&T Softphone Call Manager—Compatible with Microsoft Lync”. What?!


I decided to just take it along home and investigate how this phone interfaces with Skype for Business & Office 365 Phone System, not the least because we have common scenario in Office 365 Phone System implementations in small offices who just need one simple, good ole, DECT portable phone.

I quickly discovered that this phone is designed to act as a USB phone for Lync (explicitly for Lync in the documentation, but because of the shared desktop API, by extension it seems to work with Skype for Business and Office 365 Phone System! Note: This devices is NOT Skype for Business Certified!)

Video Review


How to Setup

Setup involves a few simple steps:

  1. Download and install the AT&T Softphone Call Manager (very simple)
  2. Plug the provided USB cable from the desk phone into your PC running Skype for Business client & signed into a local Skype for Business Server or Office 365 Phone System
  3. Select AT&T TL86103 as the audio device in Skype for Business
  4. Start receiving calls. (or making calls…from the Skype for Business client. see below)

How to Use with Skype for Business

To answer a call: An incoming call on Skype for Business will ring the desk phone and DECT handset and you can answer by picking up the handset.

To make a call: According to manuals you should be able to dial on the handsets and press the “PC Call” soft button, but in my test this fails after a few seconds. So you seem to need to make calls from the Skype for Business client, which works fine in my tests.


  1. DECT phone that (kind of…see below) works with Skype for Business & Office 365 Phone System
  2. Traditional desk phone and portable phone user experience
  3. 1 button hold and pickup between TL86103 desk phone and portable phones.
  4. Send DTMF to a call using the desk phone or portable phone keypad
  5. The PTT (which works entirely outside any Skype for Business infrastructure) is kind of nice


  1. Seem to need to initiate calls from Skype for Business/Lync client. (If you try to initiate a call from the desk phone or portable phone, the call will be initiated from the Skype for Business client, but after a few seconds you will get the error message “Unable to Call. Try Again.”)
    1. Work around: call out using Skype for Business client.
  2. 1 call handling only. (Users will hear the “beep beep” of the 2nd incoming call, but there is no way to answer the 2nd call from the handsets)
    1. Work around: Using Skype for Business client to answer and handle 2nd call.
  3. 3 digit extension dialing seems not to be supported. (4 digit and longer seems to work)
  4. Need to use Skype for Business client to transfer calls.
  5. Sometimes incoming calls take a bit to start ringing on the TL86103
  6. AT&T support is limited to “reinstall the software” & return the device.


I’ve often wonder why vendors don’t do exactly what AT&T (aka VTech aka Advanced American Telephone) has attempted to do with this phone. Yes, some Chinese vendors have made half hearted attempts with very mediocre USB hardware, but why not traditional phone hardware with a USB connection to a PC?

My thought in written this article is mainly to save others the time of testing how (& if)  it works. I think needing to use Skype for Business client to dial out will be a show stopper for many scenarios. (but not all) A secondary reason is: if someone has found a fix for the issue of it not correctly dialing out, please comment.

But for this one, but significant issue, it could solve a common challenge for small business wanting to implement Office 365 Phone System.


Download AT&T Softphone Call Manager:

Install Guide AT&T Softphone Call Manager for TL8603:

Amazon AT&T TL86103;

Microsoft Teams User Tip #22: Quickly Create a Folder & Copy Files to It from Multiple Mobile Devices

The Challenge

What should be easier than creating a folder in a Team and copying multiple files to it from various Mobile devices? At the moment this is stymied by several Microsoft Teams limitations:

  • Users cannot copy a file directly from a mobile device to a specific Teams Folder using the Teams mobile app
  • Users cannot select several files at once to upload to a conversation. User need to select each file, then wait (a considerable time till it uploads for a typical Android photo file), then select the next. No user will do this…

So how can users achieve this?

This process will essentially require a desktop Teams client to get started, then mobile users can contribute.

1 - Create a file folder in a team using Microsoft Teams on a PC.

2 - Now open this folder using Sharepoint (Open in Sharepoint) to get the Sharepoint URL.


3 - Next, copy the Sharepoint URL into a Conversation in this team labeled something like “Link to efficiently upload file to this folder”

4 – Now on Mobiles and PC’s users can click on the Sharepoint URL and efficiently send multiple files to this Teams folder.

5 – On the mobile devices click on the Sharepoint URL | “…” | Upload | Files | and now select the multiple files to be uploaded…

To see more Microsoft Teams User Tips:

.[Video] Learn Microsoft Teams in 5 Minutes:

Enterprise Connect 2018 Microsoft Teams and Skype for Business Observations

Microsoft started EC18 with a bunch of announcements, demonstrating the rapid  (even dizzying) pace of development of their Microsoft Teams product. Some of the big items include:

Read more details here:

Microsoft Teams Phone Application (Vendors Audiocdoes & Yealink)

Both Yealink and AudioCodes have prelease demonstration models of Microsoft Teams native desk phones running Microsoft developed android app.

I’ve done a blog listing some of the items we know about these new devices along with a quick first look video here:

SRS (Skype Room System/ to eventually be Teams Room System) Continue to Proliferate (Vendors Lenovo & HP)

To demonstrate how big Lenovo is betting on their new SRS, they have a complete booth dedicated to their SRS device.

Room Phones by Various Vendors

Polycom Trio, Yealink CP960 and Crestron Mercury. See Tom’s article:

Busy Light Vendors Continue to Innovate (Embrava)

Embrava brings a presence light that includes a name display for dynamics office spaces.

Landis Technologies is Showing Contact Center for Microsoft Teams

Our team is announcement and showing an Office 365 (Microsoft Teams, Skype for Business Online & Skype for Business Server) Contact Center at Booth 744.

Microsoft Teams Phone Application First Look

Quick Video Review Below of Audiocodes 450S Microsoft Teams native phone.

Video First Look


More Details

Some Items
-It looks like a "mini" Teams app
-Its an Andoid app
-Its a voice centric app
-There's a vendor settings menu in setup
-Hardware buttons work with app: for example dialing jumps to dialing screen, on Yealink model voicemail button switches to voicemail tab
- Voicemail transcriptions show on the voicemail tab
-No "Better Together" connection to PC at this time (source:Yealink)
-No Teams messaging components seem to be on the app

Some Notes on Skype for Business & Microsoft Teams PowerShell Sessions & Throttling


A few items about Skype for Business PowerShell

  • Only 9 PowerShell Sessions per domain
  • Only 3 sessions per administrator
  • After 15 minutes of inactivity, the session will automatically disconnect itself.

Fellow MVP Curtis Johnson notes  PowerShell sessions will be throttled if there is repeated read or write PowerShell executed. See his full article:

My Experience

  • It seems like credentials timeout after about 2 hours
  • Retrieving settings in small numbers can be done repeatedly (based on tests)

I would welcome your input on what you have found on Skype for Business (Phone System) PowerShell throttling.

How to get All Services in one PowerShell Session:

Native Office 365 (Skype for Business & Microsoft Teams) Overhead Paging Solution Using Polycom VVX


This blog outlines the steps to use a Polycom VVX IP phone as a native Office 365 Phone System interface to an overhead paging system.

This solution achieves

  • Works with Skype for Business on premise & Office 365 Cloud PBX / Phone System
  • Paging can be initiated from Skype for Business & Microsoft Teams users who can audio call a Skype for Business users.
  • Any Skype for Business or Microsoft Teams (with interop working) client or IP Phone can initiate paging (using VVX multicast method only other VVX phones can initiate paging)
  • Paging can be initiated from remote locations (literally anywhere on earth)
  • Uses wired building audio system to get the audio to speakers throughout the building
  • For multiple zones you would need to repeat the below configuration for each zone

What You Will Need

Overview of the Steps

Sign in Phone: Log the Polycom VVX Desk Phone into Skype for Business/Office 365 Phone System

In our testing we used a VVX600, but likely for an overhead paging system the Polycom VVX 201 would be lower cost and sufficient Office 365 device.


Just get the phone signed into Office 365 Phone System (aka Cloud PBX, Skype for Business Online or Microsoft Teams in the future.). This solution also works with Skype for Business Server as well.

Once the phone is working  and can make calls, we are ready for the next step.

Connect to Overhead Speaker System: RJ9 to Audio Cable

First you will need a cable to go between the handset jack on the phone and your audio system. Something like the Onvian RJ9 Male to 2 3.5mm Female Headset Phone MIC Audio Splitter Adapter Cable 2 Pack will provide an 1/8” (3.5mm) from audio system.


Remove the physical handset & its cord. (you will not need these anymore). Now plug this into the handset jack. (not the headset jack) on the back of the VVX phone.


For our test we will use a PC speaker as our “speaker system”. (this will typically be a Bogen/Valcom or other speaker amplifier system)

Configure VVX Settings

Below are the settings necessary on the VVX phone.

  • The hook switch should be in the “off hook” position. (as if no phone handset is on hook. Don’t try to tape or hold the hook switch down during testing )
  • When the phone handset goes off hook, the VVX screen will temporarily look like the screenshot below. Press the “Back” button on the VVX screen.
    • (this is only necessary for while configuring and testing. Normally if someone accidentally presses the hook switch button, after several seconds it will go back to HomeScreen/no call
    • image
  • Settings > Basic > Preference > Auto Answer SIP Calls = Yes

Based on our testing, rebooting the phone should not disturb your settings, which means if you have a power outage and the VVX reboots there should be no surprises.

Now you should be able to call this phone from any Skype for Business client or other phone and it will play over the speaker connected.

For Multiple Paging Zones

Repeat the above steps with another phone.

Optional: Creating an Optional Beep Before Overhead Announcements

You can setup a preannouncement beep, but this will involve setting up a VVX provisioning server (essentially a simple FTP server) and changing a few others settings. [This article will be updated later to include these steps.]


Gotchas to Consider

The only one I can think of at the moment:

  • When the VVX phone starts, it does a short statics burst on boot which may play over PA system (just beware. If you are doing a reboot during the day, unplug the VVX audio from speaker system?)


This is a fairly straightforward overhead speaker solution that works for Office 365 Phone System and Skype for Business Server.

Thanks to:

Other solutions:

Microsoft Teams User Tip #21: Using Desktop Sharing Give Control


In this Microsoft Teams user tip we will take a look at the new Desktop Sharing Give Control functionality.

Sharing Your Desktop

You click on Share Desktop and then select a Screen if you have more than 1.


Now the screen you just shared will have a red border indicating its shared.

Give Control – Hover, Top, Center.

To give control to another user in the meeting you may need to hover in the center top of the shared screen to get the control. (For me, sometimes the Give Control panel doesn’t show on initial sharing, as shown below)


Hover center top to get the control


That’s it.


Request Control – Lower, Left

Of course, another user in the call can request control, The button is in the lower left of the video canvas.


Neat New Feature – 2 Mouse Pointers: Local Mouse and Controller Mouse

A nice surprise is that Microsoft Teams Desktop sharing has two mouse pointers:

  • The user sharing their own screen has a mouse pointer
  • The user controlling the screen at this time has a mouse pointer

The user who is not currently controlling the screen has a black mouse pointer [2 in screenshot] and the user actively controlling the screen has a normal pointer. [1 in screenshot below]


By a single click in the shared screen the local user and user given control can toggle who has active control of the mouse at the moment.

Screen Sharing Lag Indication

There is a small amount of lag, but Microsoft Teams shows this by allowing the remote mouse to trail your local mouse. This is my opinion nicely indicates what is happening in a natural way.



I think Desktop Sharing Control has been nicely implemented and will be a welcome features to all users!

To see more Microsoft Teams User Tips:

.[Video] Learn Microsoft Teams in 5 Minutes: