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Archive for July, 2012

Changelog: New-CsFirmware.ps1

July 19, 2012 1 comment

This is the changelog page for New-CsFirmware.ps1. You will find a complete list of released versions, their dates, and the features and issues addressed in each. Please refer to the script’s main page for more information including download links, installation details, and more.

v1.7 – 05-20-2014

  1. New -Download option will now download all firmware for the 4 LPE families:
    1. Polycom CX700 and LG-Nortel IP Phone 8540
    2. Polycom CX500, Polycom CX600 and Polycom CX3000
    3. Aastra 6721ip and Aastra 6725ip
    4. HP 4110 and HP 4120

then extract them, and then import them automatically

v1.6 – 02-08-2014

  1. bug fix: Tweaked to only target Lync pools and not ALL pools (which could contain OCS 2007 R2 pools during coexistence, and OCS pools don’t support firmware files)
  2. Removed main code from function to streamline things.
  3. Cleaned up parameter code per best practices
  4. cleaned up comment code per best practices
  5. swaped in new version of Set-ModuleStatus function

v1.5 – 09-09-2013

  1. Minor code tweaks
  2. Support added for Snom firmware files (Thanks, @matthewlandis)
  3. Support added for new Polycom VVX firmware file (Thanks, @jdscher)

v1.4 – 05-10-2013

  1. Minor code tweaks

v1.3 – 10-17-2012

  1. Tweaked issue with transcript code that was causing an error.
  2. Minor code tweaks.

v1.2 – 08-17-2012

  1. Fixed the bug that caused script to fail when run from ISE

v1.1 – 07-19-2012

  1. Bug fixes.
  2. Added some extra verbose logging

v1.0 – 07-03-2012

  1. Original version
Categories: Lync Server Tags:

July 2012 Technical Rollup: Unified Communications

News

Premier

OpsVault — Operate and Optimize IT http://www.opsvault.com/

Microsoft Premier Support UK – Site Home – TechNet Blogs http://blogs.technet.com/b/mspremuk/

Antigen & Forefront

ForeFront Team Blog http://blogs.technet.com/forefront

ForeFront Server Security Support Blog http://blogs.technet.com/fssnerds

Exchange

Exchange Team Blog – Site Home – TechNet Blogs http://blogs.technet.com/b/exchange/

MCS UK Unified Communications Blog – Site Home – TechNet Blogs http://blogs.technet.com/b/msukucc

Microsoft Online Services Team Blog – Site Home – TechNet Blogs http://blogs.technet.com/b/msonline/

  1. Extended Rollout of Exchange Online December 2011 Service Update http://blogs.technet.com/b/exchange/archive/2012/06/11/extended-rollout-of-exchange-online-december-2011-service-update.aspx
  2. Everything You Need to Know About Exchange Backups* – Part 2 http://blogs.technet.com/b/exchange/archive/2012/06/14/everything-you-need-to-know-about-exchange-backups-part-2.aspx
  3. Released: v19.9 of the Exchange 2010 Mailbox Server Role Requirements Calculator http://blogs.technet.com/b/exchange/archive/2012/06/19/released-v19-9-of-the-exchange-2010-mailbox-server-role-requirements-calculator.aspx
  4. Exchange Client Bandwidth Prediction – the time zone problem… http://blogs.technet.com/b/exchange/archive/2012/06/20/exchange-client-bandwidth-prediction-the-time-zone-problem.aspx
  5. Establishing Exchange Content Index Rebuild Baselines – Part 1 http://blogs.technet.com/b/exchange/archive/2012/06/25/establishing-exchange-content-index-rebuild-baselines-part-1.aspx
  6. Microsoft Outlook Configuration Analyzer Tool (OCAT) v2 released http://blogs.technet.com/b/exchange/archive/2012/06/26/microsoft-outlook-configuration-analyzer-tool-ocat-v2-released.aspx
  7. Establishing Exchange Content Index Rebuild Baselines – Part 2 http://blogs.technet.com/b/exchange/archive/2012/06/27/establishing-exchange-content-index-rebuild-baselines-part-2.aspx
  8. Mailboxes on a database are Quarantined in an environment with System Center Operations Manager http://blogs.technet.com/b/exchange/archive/2012/06/28/mailboxes-on-a-database-are-quarantined-in-an-environment-with-system-center-operations-manager.aspx

Hosted Messaging Collaboration

None

Lync, Office Communication Server & LiveMeeting

NextHop – Site Home – TechNet Blog http://blogs.technet.com/b/nexthop/

DrRez: Microsoft Lync Server Technical Reference Hub http://blogs.technet.com/b/drrez/

  1. Lync Server 2010 Server Roles Do Not Support SQL Server 2012 http://blogs.technet.com/b/nexthop/archive/2012/06/07/some-lync-server-2010-server-roles-do-not-support-sql-server-2012.aspx
  2. Features of the Lync Server 2010 Multitenant Pack for Partner Hosting http://blogs.technet.com/b/nexthop/archive/2012/06/11/features-of-the-lync-server-2010-multitenant-pack-for-partner-hosting.aspx
  3. Administering Office 365 – Jump Start Series http://blogs.technet.com/b/nexthop/archive/2012/06/11/administering-office-365-jump-start-series.aspx
  4. Planning and Deploying Office 365 – Jump Start Series http://blogs.technet.com/b/nexthop/archive/2012/06/11/planning-and-deploying-office-365-jump-start-series.aspx
  5. Configuring Inter-tenant Federation for the Lync Server 2010 Multitenant Pack for Partner Hosting http://blogs.technet.com/b/nexthop/archive/2012/06/12/configuring-inter-tenant-federation-for-the-lync-server-2010-multitenant-pack-for-partner-hosting.aspx
  6. Security Bulletin: Vulnerabilities in Lync Could Allow Remote Code Execution http://blogs.technet.com/b/nexthop/archive/2012/06/12/vulnerabilities-in-lync-could-allow-remote-code-execution-2707956.aspx
  7. Cumulative Updates for Lync Server 2010: June 2012 http://blogs.technet.com/b/nexthop/archive/2012/06/18/lync-server-2010-updates-now-available-june-2012.aspx
  8. Cumulative Update for Lync 2010 for Android: June 2012 http://blogs.technet.com/b/nexthop/archive/2012/06/19/cumulative-update-for-lync-2010-for-android-june-2012.aspx
  9. Installing Lync 2010 for Windows Phone on Windows Phone Emulator http://blogs.technet.com/b/nexthop/archive/2012/06/20/lync-server-2010-installing-lync-2010-for-windows-phone-on-windows-phone-emulator.aspx
  10. LyncMD: Troubleshooting the Lync 2010 Address Book http://blogs.technet.com/b/nexthop/archive/2012/06/21/lyncmd-troubleshooting-the-lync-2010-address-book.aspx
  11. Practice Accelerator Sessions for Lync Server 2010: July 2012 http://blogs.technet.com/b/nexthop/archive/2012/06/22/practice-accelerator-sessions-for-lync-server-2010-july-2012.aspx
  12. Interview with a Lync Pro: Tommy Clarke http://blogs.technet.com/b/nexthop/archive/2012/06/25/interview-with-a-lync-pro-tommy-clarke.aspx
  13. Lync Online: Focus on Functionality – Lync Social Connector http://blogs.technet.com/b/nexthop/archive/2012/06/26/lync-online-focus-on-functionality-lync-social-connector.aspx
  14. How to Create Visio and Excel Output from a TBXML File http://blogs.technet.com/b/nexthop/archive/2012/06/28/how-to-create-visio-and-excel-output-from-a-tbxml-file.aspx

Outlook

Outlook Team Blog http://blogs.msdn.com/outlook/default.aspx

Other

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/office/ocs/ee465814.aspx

http://blogs.technet.com/themasterblog

Documents

Antigen & Forefront

None

Exchange

  1. Multi-Tenancy and Hosting Guidance for Exchange Server 2010 SP2/
    This document provides information on the challenges and problems that need to be solved, and offers advice and direction to ensure the Exchange multi-tenant environment that you build can be supported by Microsoft. http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=28192

Hosted Messaging Collaboration

None

Lync, Office Communication Server & LiveMeeting

  1. Microsoft Lync Server 2010 Protocol Workloads Poster
    This poster shows each workload in Microsoft Lync Server 2010 communications software, describing relationships, dependencies, flow of information, and certificate requirements. Version 5.12 adds more details to the Enterprise Voice workload quadrant based on excellent feedback from several Lync experts. http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=6797
  2. Installing and Using the Lync Server 2010 Meeting Content Viewer Tool
    This document describes the purpose, installation, and use of the Microsoft Lync Server 2010 Meeting Content Viewer tool that is shipped as part of the cumulative update for Lync Server 2010: June 2012. http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=30136

Outlook

None

Other

None

Downloads

Exchange

  1. Exchange Web Services Managed API 1.2.1
    The Microsoft Exchange Web Services (EWS) Managed API 1.2.1 provides a managed interface for developing client applications that use Exchange Web Services. http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=30141
  2. Open Specifications Poster
    The Open Specifications Poster (PDF format) makes it easy for interoperability developers to explore the Open Specifications overview documents for Office client, Lync, SharePoint, Office file formats, and Exchange Server. http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/en/details.aspx?familyid=1b9a43e0-2e37-481b-9e00-686973094ca0

Lync, Office Communication Server & LiveMeeting

  1. Microsoft Office Communicator 2007 R2 Hotfix KB 2647093
    This download contains an update for Microsoft Office Communicator 2007 R2. http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/en/details.aspx?familyid=515d6dba-4c6a-48bb-a06a-d99c5742676d
  2. Open Specifications Poster
    The Open Specifications Poster (PDF format) makes it easy for interoperability developers to explore the Open Specifications overview documents for Office client, Lync, SharePoint, Office file formats, and Exchange Server. http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/en/details.aspx?familyid=1b9a43e0-2e37-481b-9e00-686973094ca0
  3. Security Update for Microsoft Lync 2010 (64-bit) (KB2693282)
    http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=30122
  4. Security Update for Microsoft Lync 2010 Attendee (user level install) (KB2693283)
    http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=30120
  5. Security Update for Microsoft Lync 2010 (32 -bit) (KB2693282)
    http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=30115
  6. Security Update for Microsoft Communicator 2007 R2 (KB2708980)
    http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=30117
  7. Security Update for Microsoft Lync 2010 Attendee (admin level install) (KB2696031)
    http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=30119
  8. Security Update for Microsoft Lync 2010 Attendant (KB2702444)
    http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=30121
  9. Microsoft Lync 2010 Attendee – Admin Level Install
    Microsoft Lync 2010 Attendee is a conferencing client that allows users without Microsoft Lync 2010 installed, to participate in online meetings. A user with an administrator account on the computer can install Lync 2010 Attendee so that users of the computer can join Microsoft Lync Server 2010-hosted meetings. http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=23396
  10. Microsoft Lync 2010 Attendee – User Level Install Microsoft Lync 2010
    Attendee is a conferencing client that allows users without Microsoft Lync 2010 installed, to participate in online meetings. If you are not an administrator on the computer but an administrator has allowed you to perform installations, you can install this application. http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=15755
  11. Lync 2010 Attendant Hotfix KB 2496326
    This download includes all available updates for Lync 2010 Attendant. http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=24759
  12. Lync Server 2010 Hotfix KB 2493736
    This download includes all available updates for Lync Server 2010. http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=11551
  13. Lync 2010 Group Chat Hotfix KB 2701665
    This download includes all available updates for Lync 2010 Group Chat. http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=11804
  14. Lync 2010 Attendee Hotfix KB 2500438 (Admin level install)
    This download includes all available updates for Lync 2010 Attendee. http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=13365
  15. Lync 2010 Group Chat Admin Tool Hotfix KB 2672318
    This download includes all available updates for Lync 2010 Group Chat Admin Tool. http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=22675
  16. Microsoft Lync 2010 Phone Edition for Polycom CX700 and LG-Nortel IP Phone 8540
    Microsoft® Lync™ 2010 Phone Edition for Polycom® CX700 and LG-Nortel IP Phone 8540 is the next generation of software designed for the phones from Polycom and LG-Nortel to interoperate with Microsoft® Lync™ Server 2010. Lync Phone Edition provides traditional and advanced telephony features, integrated security, manageability and much more. http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=21644
  17. Lync 2010 Attendee Hotfix KB 2693283 (User level install)
    This download includes all available updates for Lync 2010 Attendee. http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=22157
  18. Microsoft Lync 2010 Phone Edition for Aastra 6721ip and Aastra 6725ip
    Microsoft® Lync™ 2010 Phone Edition for Aastra 6721ip and Aastra 6725ip is the first generation of software designed specifically for the phones from Aastra to interoperate with Microsoft® Lync™ Server 2010. Lync Phone Edition provides traditional and advanced telephony features, integrated security, manageability and much more. http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=18390
  19. Microsoft Lync 2010 Phone Edition for Polycom CX500, Polycom CX600 and Polycom CX3000
    Microsoft® Lync™ 2010 Phone Edition for Polycom® CX500, Polycom® CX600 and Polycom® CX3000 is the first generation of software designed specifically for the phones from Polycom to interoperate with Microsoft® Lync™ Server 2010. Lync Phone Edition provides traditional and advanced telephony features, integrated security, manageability and much more. http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=23866
  20. Microsoft Lync 2010 Phone Edition for HP 4110 and HP 4120
    Microsoft® Lync™ 2010 Phone Edition for HP 4110 and HP 4120 is the first generation of software designed specifically for the phones from HP to interoperate with Microsoft® Lync™ Server 2010. Lync Phone Edition provides traditional and advanced telephony features, integrated security, manageability and much more. http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=28158
  21. Lync 2010 Hotfix KB 2701664 (32 bit)
    This download includes all available updates for Lync 2010. http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=25055
  22. Lync 2010 Hotfix KB 2701664 (64 bit)
    This download includes all available updates for Lync 2010. http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=14490
  23. Lync Server 2010 Meeting Content Viewer
    This download includes the Lync Server 2010 Meeting Content Viewer tool. You can use this tool to convert Lync Server 2010 meeting content, such as the whiteboard and poll files saved by Lync Server 2010 Web Conferencing service, into a viewable format. http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=30144
  24. Microsoft Lync Server 2010 Group Chat SDK
    Lync Server 2010 Group Chat Software Development Kit (SDK) includes documentation and sample applications developed with the Lync Server 2010 Group Chat platform. http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=23647

Outlook

  1. Open Specifications Poster
    The Open Specifications Poster (PDF format) makes it easy for interoperability developers to explore the Open Specifications overview documents for Office client, Lync, SharePoint, Office file formats, and Exchange Server. http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/en/details.aspx?familyid=1b9a43e0-2e37-481b-9e00-686973094ca0
  2. Microsoft Outlook Configuration Analyzer Tool 2.0
    The Outlook Configuration Analyzer Tool 2.0 (OCAT ) provides a quick and easy method to analyze your Microsoft Office Outlook profile and mailbox for common configurations that may cause problems in Outlook. This can be very useful for busy Help Desk personnel when end-users call for help with Outlook or when you want to identify possible issues with Outlook proactively. http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=28806

Events/Webcasts

None

New KB’s

Antigen & Forefront

  1. Microsoft Forefront Online Protection for Exchange: Legitimate email messages are marked as spam for a Forefront Online Protection for Exchange (FOPE) user http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2669119

Exchange

Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 Enterprise Edition

  1. How to reset the default virtual directories that are required to provide Outlook Web Access, Exchange ActiveSync, and Outlook Mobile Access services in Exchange Server 2003 http://support.microsoft.com/kb/883380

Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 Enterprise Edition

  1. Calendar items that are copied are missing in Exchange Server 2007 http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2714118

Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 Enterprise

  1. The E-mail Signature text box is not editable in Outlook Web App when you use Google Chrome in an Exchange Server 2010 environment http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2695022
  2. You cannot move some users’ mailboxes from one Exchange Server 2010 mailbox database to another http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2698960
  3. Event ID 122 is logged incorrectly on a server that is running Exchange Server 2010 http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2716912

Lync, Office Communication Server & LiveMeeting

Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 R2 Group Chat server

  1. Description of the cumulative update for the Lync Server 2010, Group Chat Administration Tool: June 2012 http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2707265

Microsoft Office Communicator 2007 R2

  1. MS12-039: Description of the security update for Communicator 2007 R2: June 12, 2012 http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2708980

Microsoft Office Live Meeting 2007 Dedicated

  1. Time zone changes for the Live Meeting service during 2012 http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2723544

Outlook

Microsoft Office Outlook 2003

  1. The Outlook meeting tracking tab is not updated http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2215547
  2. Items that are copied to the Inbox are not synchronized to the server mailbox when the delivery location is set to a .pst file http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2723685

Microsoft Office Outlook 2007

  1. Outlook Junk Email settings ignored after moving mailbox to Exchange Server 2010 http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2655142
  2. Description of the Outlook 2007 Junk Email Filter update: June 12, 2012 http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2687267

Microsoft Outlook 2002 Standard Edition

  1. Outlook does not import meeting attendees from certain file types http://support.microsoft.com/kb/289962

Microsoft Outlook 2010

  1. How to configure the default message class for new items in an Outlook folder http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2697986
  2. Error message when you try to open an IRM-protected email message: “This build of Microsoft Office is unsigned and cannot be trusted” http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2722088
  3. Outlook 2010 programmatic security settings for Simple MAPI cannot be configured by using the Group Policy Object http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2723336

Script: New-CsFirmware.ps1 – Upload Multiple Lync Phone Edition Firmware Updates to a Single or Multiple Pools

July 3, 2012 18 comments

Description

When cumulative updates are released from the Lync Product Group, they often contain firmware updates for Lync Phone Edition devices. The update process is somewhat arduous in that you have to download each update for each device model, extract it, then manually upload each firmware file, test it, then approve it for wide scale release. If you have multiple pools, the updates need to be uploaded to each one so tha a copy exists in each Lync file share. And there is no way to select multiple files and upload them, and each file is named ucpdates.cab, so they need to be in separate folders. So, I made this little script to help deal with the upload process.

Create a parent folder called whatever you want. In my example, it is called “CU6 – June 2012″. Inside that folder, I have the Cumulative Update file, LyncServerUpdateInstall.exe, as well as child folders for the various devices. The child folders can be called anything.

Folder and file structure

Folder and file structure

Inside each of the child folders, I’ve downloaded the firmware update for that model, run the .exe, and extracted the file back to the same folder. So each folder has the original UCUpdates.exe file that was downloaded, and the ucupdates.cab file that was extracted. This is normal practice for me, even when manually uploading the files. With the newer Polycom VVX and Snom firmware files, they download in different formats. The Snom firmware just comes as the .cab file, while the Polycom VVX comes as a .zip file containing several .cab files. Nothing to do once you download the Snom file, but you do need to unzip the Polycom file.

Files in each child folder

Files in each child folder

Next, run the script using

.\New-CsFirmware.ps1

If the script was launched from a plain PowerShell console, the Lync module will be loaded automatically.

Next, you’ll be prompted for the parent folder.

Prompt for folder

Prompt for folder

Select the parent folder and click ok. The script will look through the parent folder and all child folders for update files called ucupdates.cab, and will upload them to all pools that it can find.

Firnware files being uploaded

Firmware files being uploaded

That’s all there is to it. You will still need to follow the rest of the upgrading process such as configuring test devices, testing, and then approving. Fellow MVP Jeff Schertz has a fabulous blog post, Updating Lync Phone Edition Devices that details the entire process.

You can also include the path to the parent folder when you run the script, such as

.\New-CsFirmware.ps1 -FilesPath "c:\users\lyncent.administrator\desktop\cu6-june 2012"

and the script will skip prompting for the folder.

.\New-CsFirmware.ps1 -Download

Will download the firmware for LPE devices, and automatically import them. It does NOT download firmware for SNOM or Polycom devices.

A special shout-out to fellow MVP and Lync MCM Kevin Peters, who gave me the idea to script it out and include all of the child folders and all of the pools.

Once you’ve deployed the firmware, you can easily see the firmware versions connecting to Lync by using my Get-CsConnections script and specifying the -ClientVersion parameter with a value of “CPE”.

.\Get-CsConnections.ps1 -PoolFqdn mypool.fabrikam.local -ClientVersion CPE

And look at the first table:

LPE connections and their firmware

Installation

Execution Policy: Third-party PowerShell scripts may require that the PowerShell Execution Policy be set to either AllSigned, RemoteSigned, or Unrestricted. The default is Restricted, which prevents scripts – even code signed scripts – from running. For more information about setting your Execution Policy, see Using the Set-ExecutionPolicy Cmdlet.

No real installation required. The script can be run from any machine that has the Lync Core Components installed. As usual, you do need to set your Execution Policy to RemoteSigned or Unrestricted in order to run PowerShell scripts. The script will create a folder called .\Logs, and it will create the transcript file in there for future reference.

Frequently Asked Questions

Question: Will this update Roundtable devices?

Answer: No, but fortunately, fellow Lync MVP Jeff Schertz has an excellent article on how to upgrade those devices at http://blog.schertz.name/2012/02/update-cx5000-rt-firmware/.


Question: My test phones aren’t downloading the right firmware?

Answer: Could be this quirky issue. http://uclobby.com/2013/11/06/lync-phone-edition-test-device-wont-update-to-unapproved-version/

Download

v1.7 – 05-20-2014 – New-CsFirmware.v1.7.zip

v1.6 – 02-08-2014 – New-CsFirmware.v1.6.zip

v1.5 – 09-09-2013 - New-CsFirmware.v1.5.zip

v1.4 – 05-10-2013 – New-CsFirmware.v1.4.zip

v1.3 – 10-17-2012 – New-CsFirmware.v1.3.zip

v1.2 – 08-17-2012 – New-CsFirmware.v1.2.zip

v1.1 – 07-10-2012 – New-CsFirmware.v1.1.zip

v1.0 – 06-30-2012 – New-CsFirmware.v1.0.zip

Changelog

See the changelog for this script for a list of what’s changed in each version

The UC Architects Podcast – Oh My God, They Let Me Host!

4 or 5 weeks ago, fellow MVP Steve Goodman sent out a tweet about possibly starting a podcast, and asking if anyone was interested in participating.

And so it begins

Steve Goodman’s original tweet about starting a podcast

There was quite a response, and 13 people in total started “The UC Architects Podcast” project. Within about 2 weeks, a website was born, Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn accounts were up and running, and the first episode was recorded. Steve hosted that episode, and four of the group were co-hosts. Post production editing was performed, and the episode was launched via web, iTunes, Zune, and RSS. What an accomplishment!

That first episode was quite a learning experience for all involved. Not only did topics need to be chosen and discussed, but the technical details of producing a podcast had to be researched. That first episode was recorded as a Lync conference, and the resulting audio pointed to possible improvements in recording hardware, techniques, etc. Every step of the way was based on group decisions and suggestions. When it came time to start discussing episode two, I was honored to be chosen as the host. Steve set a high bar with the first episode, and I was excited yet nervous at the opportunity.

I created a simple text file that was essentially a brain dump of ideas I had about what to discuss from a technical perspective about Lync and Exchange, as well as including some things we missed in episode 1, like mentioning our website, Facebook page, and other details. Topics are chosen by consensus of the group, but I had some ideas for “mini feature”. I listened to episode 1 several times, as well as my normal podcast subscriptions like TWiT, The Tech Guy, and others. Once I had a long list, I organized it into a flow of the complete episode. My plan was to work from the top down. This would help me stay focused, as well as making sure I didn’t forget something.

Scheduling a conference call involving a half dozen people scattered around the world was probably the most challenging issue. We used http://www.doodle.com to figure out the best schedule for everyone. Unfortunately, this resulted in a couple of the originally scheduled architects to not be available, so a couple of others stepped in. This also caused a couple of changes to the proposed topics as well.

When the time came to hold the Lync conference call, we had a brief meeting before starting the episode, and I shared out the notes in Lync so that everyone could see them. This turned out to be quite beneficial, as the co-hosts could see what was coming up. An occasional IM by the others, including the episode’s producer Dave Stork, really helped the show flow. I could, however, tell that my normal public speaking issue was coming into play – I was rushing things.

I managed to step back a little and let the co-hosts run with some topics and stretch things out a little. This really helped me relax a little, and ensure I wasn’t dominating the conversation as much.

We wrapped up all of the items on the list, and I closed the episode. Once that was done, we had a quick discussion on something that we missed, so we just picked it back up, discussed the topic, and it was later edited into the right place of the recording.

A post-recording briefing was beneficial for discussing the episode, and then the recording was off to the editor, Michael van Horenbeeck. An episode specific graphic was created, the episode’s summary page was created, the files were updated, and lastly, the podcast XML file was updated. At that point, the episode was live, and available online. Well, after I fixed a typo in the XML file. Whoops. At that point, many of the guys in the group begin socialized the episode via blog posts, Twitter, and Facebook.

What an experience! As much as I, like many people, don’t like to hear the sound of their own voice, I listened to the final edit and made notes on a couple of areas, including meeting flow, speaking styles, and audio quality. The audio quality is somewhat limited mainly due to Lync’s recording mechanism and embedded codecs, however we continue to tweak. Little quirks like the background sound of people playing with their mic, typing on their keyboard, or Windows sounds like Lync IM notifications were noted as areas for improvement. And my own speaking style didn’t escape my critique. Lots of “um” and “ah” type comments were fortunately edited out, but a few still remained. And I think I sounded a little stiff. But I managed to survive and had a ton of fun.

Steve is returning as host for episode 3, with me likely returning for episode 4. Even as episode 2 was being posted, I realized there has been ~700 emails between the group! Plus IMs, Lync calls, etc. Planning is well underway for episodes 3 and 4, and I’m excited to see what’s next. We’re planning on having people from the Lync and Exchange product groups, as well as vendors and other UC architects as guests in upcoming episodes.

Be sure to check out the podcast and let me know your thoughts, suggestions, and critiques.

 

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