Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Microsoft Teams Reply / New Conversation Ideas

Recently @suphatra posted up an update to the uservoice for Better visual delineation between reply and new conversation.  with a survey requesting us to vote on what we liked best. Frankly, myself  along with many others are not happy with the results of any of the options. I picked the "New Conversation" button as the better of the 3 but I think we really need to step back and think what really could make this experience better than just a button.

Sure the button would improve unwarranted replies from what they were before but I think it could be done better. Here are a couple quick mock ups that I think would do a better job than just a button. Some of these might not be technical feasible and require a lot more work than it's worth but I'm putting them out there anyway. 

Idea 1 - New Button, Update Reply

So for this, I just made the reply button a text box by default, instead of clicking reply, most users are going to see the bottom text box and think hey I'm used to using that form chat, and then they click into it to use instead. 

I've also removed the New conversation Textbox and made the button. These two things will have more impact than just the button alone. 

*** New conversation button also needs to take user view to bottom of Conversation history, so that they can see their new conversation is going to go at the bottom. Currently it stays where you are in relation to what you are reading, sometimes causing reply buttons to line up with the New conversation textbox which causes users to use the wrong box, the new button should solve this use case thou.  


Idea 2 - Updated Reply with Toolbar

Second Idea, Add a Toolbar similar to what we'll have on the files tab with SharePoint UI. With New Conversation Button, Meet Now, Messaging Extension and Even Follow. You could even add a Drop down on it for "Channel Roster" (People who favorite) the channel. 

When clicking New conversation, cursor jumps To bottom where the conversation would go inline with the other Threads, and you are editing in place what the thread looks like instead of working from a textbox on the bottom. 



Friday, November 30, 2018

Use mailto: and other link types with the Quick Links Modern Web Part


More link types, more flexability

The SharePoint Online quick links webpart is a great webpart. It lets you quickly and easily put a variety of nice graphical links to other related resources throughout your intranet or even the internet.  

The issue is however the links are limited to only https URLs and sometimes you may want a link to send an e-mail, chat or place a call to someone such as the helpdesk. Since these link types are not supported you really don't have much of a way to accomplish this and it is a fairly common ask I've seen on the Microsoft Tech Community over the months. 

Where There is a Will there is a Way (UserVoice)

Currently there is a uservoice for this option to add support for mailto: links in quick links. I hope they add more than just that if they ever do update it because I would like to do things like add SIP addresses for chat, tel: for calls etc. which I will also be covering here in a minute. The link to the uservoice is here, go vote if you found this article and are reading this :) 



URL Shortening to the Rescue

So when I see this come up, I let people know the best way around this is to make use of a URL shortening service. There are a whole host of them out there. Make sure you find one that supports any type of link translation. The only I found and go working is https://to.click/ Setting a URL is simple and straight forward. Just type in for the e-mail link mailto:youremail@domain.com and click the Shorten button. 



Copy the returned URL and use this URL on your quick links webpart on your SharePoint page. 
Now clicking the quick link will open a new e-mail message using your default mail client! 


Quick Links for Chat

Creating links to chat with a chat contact is handled pretty much the same way as using mailto: e-mail links. To setup a chat use SIP:user@domain.com for your link to shorten. This will open the default chat app and chat with the person with a click of the mouse! For all your Microsoft Teams Organizations this is a great way to have an article with a call out link to chat with someone instead of sending an e-mail! 


I know it's a simple task but sometimes the obvious doesn't show up for us, when an easy solution is there for the taking! Hopefully this helps a few folks out to get desired results! 



Monday, August 6, 2018

Cannot set users or Tenant to Teams Only upgrade mode in Teams Admin Center

Edit: 1/11/2019 - Seems that Teams Only mode is starting to appear in the admin center again. 


I've been seeing a few posts around the community that they cannot upgrade their Tenant to Teams Only mode through the admin center and at first I believed that it might be just an update that needed to take place on the back end for this ability to show up, but now I believe it's an admin center issue and the best way to set these items is through PowerShell.

At some point about a month ago I was able to set my own upgrade policy to Teams Only in the new Teams admin center UI and even had the option to set it for the tenant, but recently discovered both these options have magically vanished from the UI in the new admin center.



Wanting to set my tenant now to Teams Only mode I figured I would check PowerShell and sure enough you're able to easily do this using the Grant-CsTeamsUpgradePolicy commandlet. 


There is a great article touching over all the interoperability operations and settings at https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/MicrosoftTeams/migration-interop-guidance-for-teams-with-skype 





If you want to set a single user set to Teams Only or one of the other upgrade policies you can by using the following. The example upgrades user@user.com to Teams Only mode. 


Grant-CsTeamsUpgradePolicy -PolicyName UpgradeToTeams -Identity user@user.com


Once ran you can look at your user and you will notice the user has the policy now assigned. (This no longer is the case, it will just show blank now, until they update the GUI to support TeamsOnly again)





To set your entire tenant to Teams Only you can use the following command

Grant-CsTeamsUpgradePolicy -PolicyName UpgradeToTeams


How to access and use these commands If you don't know how to access these Powershell commands you need to do the following. 

1. First Install the Skype for Business Online powershell module from here
2. Says a reboot is required after installation but I don't think it is, try if it doesn't work, then reboot ;). 
3. Now open powershell and run the following to connect: 
Import-Module SkypeOnlineConnector
$sfbSession = New-CsOnlineSession
Import-PSSession $sfbSession

After you enter your password to connect, you will now have access to all the commands to manage this and many other items with Skype/Teams. 





Sunday, July 29, 2018

Setting up Free Teams with MSA account already a guest of another Team

I ran across this issue today, and figured I would post about how I solved it to hopefully save some others time. I wanted to setup a free Microsoft Teams tenant on my personal account and I found it a bit confusing on how to accomplish this task.

If you try accessing Teams the many ways you already know to access Teams, by going to Teams.microsoft.com or using e-mail links to a Team etc. and you log in with your Personal MSA account, if that account is a guest of another Team, it will take you to your last logged in tenant or only tenant that you are a member of. You will be shown as a guest there and all is fine. But if you want to go to or setup "Your" instance, you don't have an option to create one from there and your kind of in limbo.




I searched around twitter verse and found links to some sites about free Teams and what not but I really wasn't finding the answer. Poked around the office.com pages etc. and had no luck. I ended up taking another MSA account that I had as a guest of a test tenant, and left the tenant as a guest so the account was no longer tied to any other tenants and then I was presented the sign up link for Teams.



Turns out, all you need to do is go to here: https://products.office.com/en-US/microsoft-teams/free to sign your account up for Teams. It would be nice if this option was available to users that default to guest Teams and haven't set this up yet. But hopefully you guys find this post and save yourself some search time!



The sign up process from there is pretty straight forward. Asking for some basic information, make sure your business name is the name you want your Teams tenant to be called as it uses this field to create that namespace. Once completed give it a minute before clicking lets go as the creation process takes a little longer on the back end, or it will end up putting you in your guest Tenant and You'll have to refresh your page and then choose it out of the tenant picker in the top right corner to get to your new tenant.