Policies in Skype for Business online


 

Author: Thomas Binder

Reviewer: Jens Trier Rasmussen

This article is about how policies can be managed for users homed in Skype for Business online. 

 

What are policies?

Policies are sets of parameters that determine what users can and cannot do in Skype for Business. Each user has a couple of different polices covering different aspects and workloads of Skype for Business. If there are not specific policies assigned, the global policy will be used.

 

Pick and choose your policy

It is important to understand that in Skype for Business Online you cannot create any new policies and you also cannot change existing policies (which is a fundamental difference from Skype for Business Server). Instead there is a large list of pre-defined policies that you have to choose from. These policies cover many combinations of parameters – though it does not cover all possible permutations.

 

So you will have to pick and choose a policy that matches or is at least closest to your desired configuration.

 

Managing Policies Online

As discussed on TechNet here: https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dn362826(v=ocs.15).aspx, the following policies types can be granted to your user on Skype for Business Online:

  • Client Policy
  • Conferencing Policy
  • External Access Policy
  • Voice Policy

 

In order to look into the details of different policies the best way is to connect via PowerShell to your Online tenant. A comprehensive guide on how to connect to can be found here: https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dn362831(v=ocs.15).aspx

 

By running the get command you will be able to get a list of the existing policies – e.g. run get-CsConferencingPolicy to get all conferencing policies. You will realize that this is a quite large amount of policies. In order to get only a relevant subset there are a parameter and a filter we recommend to use in conjunction: 

 

  • ApplicableTo can be used for Conferencing and External Access policies. It will limit the result set to all policies that can be applied to a specific user based on the user location (not all features are available everywhere) and the license assigned to the user.  Get-CsConferencingPolicy -ApplicableTo sip:davidl@contoso.onmicrosoft.com 

 

  • Additionally you might want to add a filter to get only policies back that have a specific as you require it: Get-CsConferencingPolicy -ApplicableTo sip:davidl@contoso.onmicrosoft.com | ?{$_.AllowAnonymousParticipantsinMeetings -eq $false} | select Identity 

 

  • Ultimately you can export all policies into a csv file and then use the comforts of Excel to find the policy of your liking. Collin Hoag as an excellent post describing this process.

 

Strategies

Two strategies have proven successful in to identify the desired polices:

  • Search via PowerShell
    You can use PowerShell to look at existing policies and identify the ones you want to assign to your users. However as stated before you might have to handle an extensive list of policies even if you are smart at using filters.
  • Configure via GUI
    You can also use the Office 365 Admin Center and configure one of the users as your requirements determine. After that you can query what polices are applied to the user via PowerShell and apply the same policies to other users. To query which policy a user has assigned just run Get-CsUser -identity <user SIP uri> and then you can assign the policy to other users by using Grant-CsConferencingPolicy -identity <user SIP uri> -policyname <policy name> (or the appropriate command for other polices)

 

Applying the policy

Once you identified which policy you want to use, you can easily apply it to a user using the grant cmdlets:

grant-CsConferencingPolicy -identity -sip:davidl@contoso.onmicrosoft.com -PolicyName Tag:BposIAllModality

Obviously you would not run the cmdlet for every single user – this is PowerShell so you can make this part of your user provisioning process, assign to groups of users or import user lists and the policies to assign from csv files.

 

Summary

In Skype for Business online you cannot create your own policies and you cannot change existing policies. However, there are multiple ways to identify the desired policy from the existing policies. Once you have found it you can grant it to users.

 

Learn more

Assigning Per-User Lync Online Policies: https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dn568008.aspx

Collin Hoag’s post on Policies: https://blogs.technet.microsoft.com/nexthop/2016/04/27/policies-policies-policiesonline/

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