Microsoft Teams and Skype for Business News and Thoughts

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Introducing the Microsoft Skype Operations Framework (SOF)

Published 12/07/2016 - 0 Comments


WPC (the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference) is this week, where Microsoft and it’s partners get together to talk about the last and coming year both regarding technology and sales.

One of the big pieces of news in the Skype space is Microsoft launching the Skype Operations Framework. Modality Systems are pleased to be one of the partners supporting and implementing the Skype Operations Framework.




What is Skype Operations Framework (SOF)?

The Skype Operations Framework (SOF) is a comprehensive guide and toolset for implementing and managing a reliable, cost-effective communications service based on Skype for Business. It covers the entire customer lifecycle, including planning, deployment, adoption, and operations. It is a multi-faceted approach to the successful deployment of Skype for Business, incorporating four key elements that have customer success firmly at the center.

The SOF framework provides a standardized approach to successfully plan, deliver and operate Skype for Business by incorporating practical guidance, tools, assets and recommended practices. It’s a framework with over 60 documented assets in the initial launch with more development and updates to come in line with field learning and new features.

You can learn more from this great introduction video from Ali Rohani and Bryan Nice from Microsoft

Key Slides:

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You can find out more details at, which also has registration for the virtual Skype Academy training sessions for SOF, open to both customers and partners.


Skype Academy Training Sessions:

SOF Overview – 18 Jul 2016

The SOF Overview session will introduce the Skype Operations Framework (SOF) which provides a structured approach to successfully plan, deliver and operate Skype for Business in the Cloud. This session will provide information on SOF, share reasoning behind the creation of the framework, and provide a view into the tools and assets available, illustrating how SOF is relevant to customers and partners. The session will address how SOF can be applied to deliver customer success, introduce the framework components and launch materials (tools, assets and offers), describe how to access the materials, how we will deliver updates and how to provide feedback.

Audience: CTOs, Architects, partner portfolio leads, Level: 200, Register

Cloud PBX and PSTN Conferencing Get Deployed – 19 Jul 2016

This session will explain the Cloud PBX and PSTN Conferencing Get Deployed offering and introduce the tools, documents and processes SOF will provide to delight customers.

Audience: Architects, partner portfolio leads, project managers, Level: 200, Register

Envisioning: Overview and Objectives and Key Results – 20 Jul 2016

This session introduces to the SOF envisioning process and serves as a base for the subsequent envisioning sessions. The session will cover instructions for the delivery of two Envisioning Workshops: Envisioning Kick-off and Envisioning Wrap-up. An overview of the recommended project flow, methodology, how to measure the success of the project and how to deliver wrap up session will be covered.

Audience: Architect, project manager, Level: 200, Register

Envisioning: Discovery – 21 Jul 2016

The Envisioning: Discovery session looks at what information is needed from the customer to minimize project risk. The session will detail how the questionnaire and other tools can be used to collect detailed information about the existing environment, and how the Readiness Assessment report can be used to highlight both concerns and blocking factors back to the customer.

Audience: Architect, project manager, Level: 200, Register

Envisioning: Business Use Cases – 22 Jul 2016

Training for how to prepare and deliver an Envisioning Business Use Case Workshop targeted at Skype for Business is offered through this session. The objective of this workshop is to work with customer representatives to define a number of use cases or scenarios that will make a material difference in how people go about their day to day activities. This will not only help to refine the goals of the project but also creates focused material to work with when preparing business cases and adoption materials. Business Use Cases define current business practice scenarios where Skype for Business Online features can be applied to deliver business impact, describes at a high level how the process would change and what the material benefit of that change is to uncover business value.

Audience: CTOs, Business Analysts, Architect, project manager, Level: 200, Register

Envisioning: High-Level Architecture Workshop – 25 Jul 2016

This session will walk you through the architecture envisioning workshop to create high-level solution design and the work breakdown planning workshop that will be done as part of the envisioning process.

Audience: Architect, consultant, project manager, Level: 300, Register

Skype for Business Adoption Methodology and Success Framework – 26 Jul 2016

Your rollout approach can impede or accelerate change. This session will introduce you to our Adoption Methodology and Overview proven Success Factors to ensure you are setup for success. We’ll supplement the session with links and details to end user training and adoption materials – such that you have a jumping off point to launch a successful Skype for Business adoption campaign.

Audience: Architect, project manager, adoption and change managers, Level: 200, Register

Network Readiness – 27 Jul 2016

The network is one of the most crucial parts when it comes to the quality of real-time communication. This session will walk through the tools and processes SOF Network Readiness Assessment offers. It will serve as an introduction an overview of the Network Readiness Assessment Version 1 and its position inside SOF

Audience: Architect, consultant, project manager, Level: 300, Register

Delivering Network Readiness – 28 Jul 2016

This session is a mock delivery of the Network Readiness Assessment, for the customer This walkthrough provides a look at the overview session in practice.

Audience: Architect, consultant, project manager, Level: 300, Register

Cloud PBX, technical planning architecture session – 29 Jul 2016

This deep technical session is intended for detailed planning Cloud PBX and includes planning steps for three options: Cloud PBX with Microsoft PSTN calling, Cloud PBX with on-premises PSTN connectivity via Cloud Connector or via on-premises Skype For Business or Lync pool. Also, the session guides you through the process of planning for voice mail and dial-in conferencing. As a result of the session the partner and the customer should have an architectural document per site completed. The architectural document template also provided as part of the SOF Cloud PBX and PSTN Conferencing Get Deployed offer.

Audience: Architect, consultant, project manager, Level: 300, Register

Deployment Guidance – 01 Aug 2016

This session will go into detail what resources SOF provides for a successful deployment, including information about the deployment workshop and the deployment guidance checklist.

Audience: Architect, consultant, project manager, Level: 300, Register

Polycom Phone Provisioning with Skype for Business Online – 02 Aug 2016

The Polycom Phone Provisioning with Skype for Business Online session addresses the place of phones in Skype for Business deployments with Enterprise Voice. Learnings about what to consider when deploying Polycom phones and how to manage them within a Skype for Business Online environment will be shared through the session.

Audience: Architect, consultant, support, Level: 300, Register

Configuring Call Quality Dashboard to monitor your Skype for Business Online Environment – 03 Aug 2016

The Call Quality Dashboard (CQD) is the best way to assess and monitor overall media quality health once Skype for Business Online services has been deployed. Attend this session to learn the proper setup and configurations steps required to support gaining deeps insights within Skype for Business Online environments today.

Audience: Architect, Consultant, Level: 200, Register

Testing – 04 Aug 2016

This session is focused on Testing activities during SOF Deploy phase. It covers the functional testing guidance workshop designed to educate the customer about Skype for Business Cloud PBX and PSTN Conferencing Testing Activities, Scope of testing, and setting customer expectations. The session will include an overview of the test matrix and templates available for successful delivery. After this session, attendees will be able to articulate the value of testing activities, required resources and will be prepared to successfully deliver engagement.

Audience: Architect, Consultant, Project Manager, Level: 200, Register

Scripted user enablement – 05 Aug 2016

This session will introduce SOF content that will allow easy enablement of a large mass amount of users for Skype for Business and voice features. SOF scripts including required input files, execution, features, and execution reporting will be covered in the session.

Audience: Architect, Consultant, Level: 200, Register

Service health and service usage – 08 Aug 2016

The Service health and service usage session will provide all the information required to determine if the service is healthy and if the envisioned modalities are being used.

Audience: Architect, support, Level: 300, Register

Managing Call Quality – 09 Aug 2016

This session will go into details on managing and optimizing call quality – to ensure that users have a great experience when using Skype for Business.

Audience : Architect, support, Level : 300, Register


Tom Arbuthnot

Tom Arbuthnot

Principal Solutions Architect at Modality Systems
Tom Arbuthnot is Principal Solutions Architect at Unified Communications specialist Modality Systems. He is a Microsoft Certified Master and MVP, blogger, has a regular podcast with UCToday at and is a regular speaker at events including Microsoft TechEd and Ignite. He co-runs The Microsoft UC User Group London.

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