Feb 17, 2017

Posted by in Thoughts | 0 Comments

The benefit (and problem) with O365 rapid updating

(Ouch, 2 years of being blog-dark. Guess I’m finally doing some interesting project work again eh? Winking smile )

When recently working with a customer to help migrate their users from on-prem SfB to OPCH (On Premises Call Handling) Cloud PBX we were working through what the deal was with Cloud PBX voicemail / Azure voicemail / Exchange UM Online (This will be another post if I can maintain a bit of momentum!). Without going into all the details here we concluded that you needed to UM enable the user in O365 just so that Outlook and associated devices would identify the received “voicemail” as a voicemail & not just an email with an MP3 attachment.

So far so straight forwardish until last week when a client noticed they were getting some intermittent results back from the UM enablement PowerShell Cmdlet. It only occurred for a couple of users & there wasn’t much info to go on so we suggested that if the problem persisted building in a sleep to the script in case it was a replication type issue. Fast forward to yesterday when I got an IM from a colleague asking if I’d had any issues with the Get-CSOnlineUMDialPlan Cmdlet as he was getting a “not valid” error when trying to run some scripts. As I swapped screens to login to our test tenant and take a look I spotted this floating passed in my twitter feed – http://realtimeuc.com/2017/02/dude-wheres-my-csonlineum-cmdlets/. So it looks like MS have removed the Cmdlets to do with UM.

Ok so I’m sure MS have a good reason for them to have been removed (although I’ll admit that wasn’t my first thought!) but where does that leave us for updating any process or deployment scripts? From a post in Tech Community Jamie confirmed that MS have updated the back-end process to auto-configure more of the user setup process so that admins don’t need to worry about it.

Now don’t get my wrong I’m all for improvement & the continuous update cycle but this does present a bit of a problem. Firstly this change doesn’t seem to have been communicated in advance, or at all officially, anywhere (it’s not on the O365 roadmap that I can see) and secondly you now have a mix of documentation where some don’t reference the Cmdlets and others that do (see OPCH setup information vs CCE information). Which leads me to another gripe that Technet articles, while they do contain a last updated timestamp, do not seem to track changes or let you view what was edited or updated.

From a consulting point of view these things make it really tricky to be the voice of authority to the customer when stuff is constantly updating & the process you outline and explain to people suddenly doesn’t work any more!

How could this stuff be fixed? I recon it comes down to communication channels & having one reliable place to go to as the authoritative source for changes & updates as well letting Technet show a version history to track what was updated & why. Something similar to Wikipedia would probably work here.

On the other hand if they don’t fix this stuff then what would I have to blog about Winking smile

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