Microsoft Office 365 Group Based Licensing

In February Microsoft announced the public preview of Azure AD group based licenses. The caveat it was only available for tenants with Azure AD basic and above not only that the dynamic group feature was available for tenants with Azure AD Premium subscriptions.  That being said once it goes GA it will be available to E3 and equivalent licensed tenants. I am a half full kinda guy!

While working on a large Exchange Migration I decided to test it out. The issue, well I did not have any AD groups that I could honestly rely on for the several type of Office 365 licenses that I was issuing.

Prior to this feature I was populating a custom attribute in AD, cutting over mailboxes and then licensing based on the custom attribute via Power Shell. This method worked but wasn’t as efficient as I would have liked it to be.

The solution was to create the unique groups and add the appropriate users in these groups. I did some searching on the web and came up line below thanks to TechNet.

Get-ADUser -SearchBase ‘OU=Sales,OU=EasternUS,DC=TechKrag,DC=com’ -Filter * | ForEach-Object {Add-ADGroupMember -Identity ‘O365-SalesLicenses’ -Members $_ }

I did this for each license type included the proper restrictions on the O365 License side such as removed Yammer, etc., following the Azure instructions here.

Once AD synced to Azure AD the users were now licensed! Group based licensing not only saved time it makes the future management of licenses and features simple and easy.  If you need to add or remove a product from a group simply make a change in one location and all members of the group will update with the change, etc..

This was a long time coming and some may say perhaps overdue! Either way I am glad its here and we can take advantage of it.

If you are passionate about O365 let your voice be heard by Microsoft visit the user voice page and get to voting or adding suggestions. 

 

Skype for Business Organization

Many of us have multiple computers, a laptop and desktop or multiples of each. When maintaining the Skype for Business list his can present a problem. On premises Skype for Business will not automatically sync your contacts list and groups across computers. This did not seem to be an issue I worried about. Then I spent some time organizing my list into logical groups on my laptop. When I logged into my desktop, it did not match! Perhaps there is another administrative way to correct this issue. Full disclaimer I am not a Skype Administrator. I approached my solution from a users perspective.

The solution was to find a way to replicate the changes. Trying to sort out where the list was stored proved not as straight forward as I thought. It wasn’t easily accessible via the application itself in the options area, etc.

I decided to find a way to solve my issue. What I ended up with seems like a simple solution that anyone can perform. In fact it can be taken to the next level in combination with One Drive for Business  or your cloud storage solution of choice in order to automatically sync the folders. That being said I will share my findings.

In my case I am using Microsoft Office 2016 and I navigated to the following path.

c:\users\username\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Office\16.0\Lync

Notice below how the final folder reads Lync and not Skype.

Skype for Business Path

Once there, I simply copied the sip_ folders in to my target computer. I copied the folder to the same path and name. I allowed an override and that is all there is to it. Now both my Skype for Business clients have the same list.

I hope this helps resolve a small but pestering issue with Skype for Business on premises. I am have not ventured to confirm if this issues also exist in Skype for Business online but if it does I am pretty sure the solution will be the same. Please share any similar solutions you may have. I am looking forward to hearing them.