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Microsoft 365 Office Office 365 Outlook

Deploying Zoom Add-In To All Outlook Users

With the sudden change in working practices, a (large) number of companies has start to use Zoom as their video conferencing software. Though this software is not from Microsoft, that does not stop an Office 365 or Exchange Server administrator helping their users out in terms of scheduling Zoom meetings via an add-in in Outlook.

On the Zoom website the user can download and install their own add-in and the Zoom application, but the steps below will push the Outlook add-in to all users (or all Zoom users if you have a group containing just these users).

These steps are run from the Office 365 Admin Center and not from Zoom, and they push the add-in to Outlook without end end-user interaction

To deploy an add-in, and in this case the Zoom Outlook add-in, first go to the Microsoft 365 Admin Center at https://admin.microsoft.com/.

Click Show All on the left and then select Settings > Add-ins from the expanded menu.

In the Add-In main page click + Deploy Add-In.

Deploy Add-In Screen
Deploy Add-In Screen

This screen outlines the Centralized Deployement service for Office Web add-ins. These add-ins work across the web version of the application, the desktop versions (PC and Mac) and in some cases the mobile version as well. The important thing to learn here is that they are not just for the web version, so not just for OWA. In the context of the Zoom add-in, on the Zoom website it says the add-in only works in Outlook for the Web (OWA), and this is not correct.

Click Next and click Choose from the Store as shown:

Choose from the Store
Deploy A New Add-In Screen

You will now see a list of all the add-ins in the Microsoft Store (once you have logged into the Store if you needed to do this).

Add-In Store
Select Add-In From Store

As we are discussing the Zoom for Outlook add-in at this point, type Zoom in the Search box.

Zoom for Outlook Add-in In the Add-In Store

Click Add next to the Zoom for Outlook add-in. Then accept the licence terms and privacy policy shown to you as shown below. If you click on the title of the add-in then you see a description of the add-in and can complete deployment from that screen.

Zoom Add-In Terms and Conditions
Zoom for Outlook License Terms and Privacy Policy
Zoom for Outlook Details
Zoom for Outlook Details

If after clicking Add and accepting the licence you get a correlation error similar to that shown, it means the add-in was already deployed. There is a bug in the new Admin Center that does not show existing deployed add-ins and you need to go to the old old Office 365 admin center (switch the slider top right) and search for the add-in:

Configure Add-In Error
Configure Add-In Error
Add-In Shown in Old Admin Center
Zoom for Outlook Add-In Shown in Old Admin Center

If you had no error on deploying the add-in, then you will be asked who to deploy the add-in to. The options are to Assign Users and choose all or some of the organization and also the Deployment Method and Fixed, Available or Optional. This last option controls whether the add-in is deployed for the user to the ribbon in the Office application and they cannot remove it (Fixed), where the user can choose to add the add-in to the office app (Available), or where the add-in appears on the application ribbon, but the user can remove it (Optional). This is shown below:

Configure Zoom for Outlook Add-In
Configure Zoom for Outlook Add-In

Select your user and deployment options. For users, any group cannot be a nested group and the requirements for groups is covered in the documentation. For this blog post I selected Everyone and Fixed. Click Deploy to start the deployment to the users.

Deploy Zoom for Outlook
Deploy Zoom for Outlook

The listed time is dependent upon the number of users in your deployment scope or your Office 365 tenant. You will get an email upon completion.

Once completed the add-in appears in the Office application. In this particular case, Zoom for Outlook appears in the New Appointment window in Outlook.

If you deployed the add-in as Available then the user needs to click the Get Add-In button in Outlook to install Zoom as shown:

Admin Add-Ins
Admin Add-Ins

Once the add-in is deployed, it will appear in the New Appointment screen as shown (on the right):

Zoom for Outlook New Appointment
Zoom for Outlook Add-In in New Appointment

Clicking the Add a Zoom Meeting button will present a dialog box where you can login with your Zoom account or if you have set up Zoom as an Enterprise Application then click the Sign in with SSO button.

Zoom for Outlook Add-In Login

In the below screenshot, Outlook Appointment shows the Zoom meeting details automatically added. The HTML view for the meeting details is an option available in your Zoom account settings, as is the location for your audio dial in settings (here shown as UK) as you don’t get to choose these options per meeting as you can do when meetings are made via the web browser on the Zoom site.

Zoom Meeting Created

The Settings button on the tool bar allows you to control other meeting settings such as Meeting ID (personal or auto-generated), password or not!, and video and audio settings for the meeting.

Zoom for Outlook Settings
Zoom for Outlook Settings

To edit the Add-In deployment you need to visit the old Microsoft 365 Admin Center (switch off “Try new admin center” to top right of admin center). From here you can adjust the status of the add-in and who it is deployed to, as well as removing the add-in.

Zoom for Outlook Add-In Settings
Zoom for Outlook Add-In Settings (old Office 365 Admin Center)

Finally, for info, the Teams Add-in to do the same thing in Teams is automatically added to Outlook if you have the Teams client installed and your deployment option is not Skype for meetings – for example if you are in Islands Mode you will be able to see both Skype and Teams buttons in Outlook!

Categories
Live Event Microsoft 365 Microsoft Teams Stream Teams

Microsoft Teams Live Events For Running a Church Service

Or, how to run a Microsoft Teams Live Event with average technical capability presenters, or how to run a Microsoft Teams Live Event for events that you would not normally consider this service for!

So with this title and alternative titles in mind we are going to look at how I set up and ran a Microsoft Teams Live Event for a weekly church service because access to the church building was closed due to social distancing because of the SARS-CoV-2 (Covid-19 Coronavirus global outbreak). The previous week at church we ran a YouTube live streaming event as we could get access to the church building and we needed five people to put the service together (preacher, piano player, camera operator, sound desk and computer [for hymn words] operator). The second week of self isolation, government rules made this method of live broadcast impossible. So we turned to Microsoft Teams Live Events.

Microsoft Teams Live Events requires an Office 365 E3 or higher licence. The other requirements are that the producer(s) role and the presenters need to install Microsoft Teams and have a login to your tenant, but the attendees do not need a licence at all (as this particular Live Event will be open to anonymous attendees).

So how do we put this together:

  1. Set up the live event and a practice live event (as you cannot reuse a live event twice, so set up at least one practice event as well)
  2. Publish your event on your church website, and if interested use a URL shortening service that you can update (we use https://rebrand.ly) as this gives you click count and geo-location of the audience. Our first live event had attendees in India, northern Africa, and North and South America (as well as the UK where the church is based).
  3. Have all presenters arrive early to the live event (we went for 30 minutes) and aim to go live around 10 minutes before the actual event
  4. Have a collection of presenters for different roles – in social isolation it is of great benefit to see many different people taking part in the church event rather than it being run by one preacher
  5. Audio is open from all presenters unless they are muted – this allows the attendee to hear more than one person in different locations at the same time – this allowed us to have a pianist 15 miles from the person displaying the hymn words on the screen.

Create a Teams Live Event

To create a live event open the Teams app or website and go to the Calendar component.

To the top right, click the down arrow next to New Meeting and choose Live Event:
image

Fill in the details for the Live Event. This will include a title, a location (which we will leave blank due to self isolation!) and a start and end time. The start time should not include the pre-show preparation by the presenters and does not need to include time for the pre-event greeting which we will discuss below. So in our example here, church starts at 10:30am on a Sunday so that is the start time for the event.

Also invite the presenters. You can come back and edit this information later and add and remove presenters as the event information changes regarding what and who is going to be involved in the event.

image

Click Next and then select your audience. In our case this is an anonymous audience:

image

Scroll down in the New Live Event dialog and ensure that you select Recording available to all attendees (this allows attendees to watch the event at a later time on the Teams Live Event URL). Ensure that you pick the translations that support your expected audience and choose the Audience Engagement Report to be able to download a list of attendees who signed in after the event.

image

Click Schedule to create the Live Event. This sends the invitation to your other presenters and producers.

You then see the following dialog:

image

From the above you grab the attendee URL, which we will use in the next section and also from here you can edit the live event. You can return to this dialog box if you open the event later from your calendar in Teams (remember to show “Whole Week” from the calendar view as it just shows “Working Week” by default).

URL Shortening

Your live event is now created and its time to tell the audience how to get to the event. The below is what the Teams Live Event URL looks like (this below will not work):

https://teams.microsoft.com/l/meetup-join/19%3ameeting_ZDA5OWZhNDYtYzdlMS00ZWXxXxXxXjYtZTc4NzJjNDc1NDJk%40thread.v2/0?context=%7b%22Tid%22%3a%22046f8910-0ef6-412a-xxxx-yyyyyyyyyyyy%22%2c%22Oid%22%3a%224bd86ae6-7fa8-470e-8578-59214991d892%22%2c%22IsBroadcastMeeting%22%3atrue%7d

We used a URL shortening service where we could send the attendees a single URL that we updated the target of each Friday or Saturday. We do not update the URL shortener link earlier in the week as the attendee can click the link after the Sunday and watch the event again or maybe for the first time. We did not use Bitly for link shortening as we could not update the link target without buying an expensive package.

So our church service can be reached at https://rebrand.ly/wrbcliveevent. We also placed this link on our website and wrote instructions on how to connect to the event and this is at https://wrbc.org.uk/live/ so that the user has some advice on how to connect as well (for example, mobile apps need the Teams app installed, but PCs can view the event in a modern browser).

Presenter Practice

I highly recommend running a presenter practice. In our example of a church service we wanted the ability to play music via a keyboard and to wire that keyboard into the PC that was running Teams. During practice for the first week we were unable to do this because of a suspicious device driver that impacted the ability to connect in a audio source via Line In. So in practice we decided just to place the PC near the piano and audio quality was acceptable but not great. We left this to fix for the second week!

Presenter practice also allows each presenter to get familiar with the application and what they see on the screen. For example in our case I as the producer was also sharing my second monitor to show the hymn words in our projection software (not PowerPoint). Each presenter could see my second monitor image large and the live view quite small (as can be seen below) which caused some questions during the rehearsal, and I as the producer could see something else (producers can see the live screen and the queued video image).Screen Shot 2020-03-26 at 17.05.16

Above is an example of what a presenter can see when the producer is sharing content. You can see the minature video streams for the other presenters and the yellow “pre-live” notice. Once the session goes live (again this was a practice session), the presenters can see the following:

Screen Shot 2020-03-26 at 17.37.22

Now there is a red “live” notice on the control bar and the image that is live is shown boxed in red.

On the producers screen they can see each video feed at the bottom and have the ability to share an app or desktop. During practice we shared the second desktop with the plan to run our hymn projection software (Zionworx) but as this has a control application on screen one and display on screen two it was too busy to try and do that and the Teams live meeting production – so during rehearsal we decided to have all the hymns and other slides (welcome, sermon, notices, reading and exit slide) as a single PowerPoint with presentation viewer option turned off (so running only on the second screen and press enter to move to next slide). This is what the producer could see:

image

Here you can see we are pre-live (yellow) and we can see the final attendee view to the bottom right as well as each video feed and the mute status of each presenter – the producer can mute (but not unmute) presenters. The content (producers second screen) can be seen on the right of the video feed screens.

Going Live

The plan for the live event was that all presenters would be online 30 minutes before the service start time, and that at 10:20 (10 minutes before start time) we would “go live”. At this point all presenters where muted and ensured the holding slide in PowerPoint was displayed on the right-hand view. It looks like this:

image

To get the PowerPoint presentation as a valid source of data you click the Share button on the bottom row and choose the application to share. We decided during the practice that we would share only PowerPoint and have a single slide desk for the whole service rather than sharing individual different presentations. The slides where structured in order, notices and hymns as required. We did not use PowerPoint Presenter View, as that would appear on the monitor that Teams Live Event controller was running on. So in turning off Presentation View all I needed to do was Alt+Tab between the Live Event (Teams app) and PowerPoint and press Enter to move to the next slide in time with the pre-planned order of service.

At five minutes to the start the pianist unmuted her Teams client and started to play some music. This ensured that attendees could both see and hear audio – we briefly swapped video feed to the pianist so that people knew they should be hearing something. This meant that attendees could be sure they were looking at the pre-start notice and that their volume was up.

At 10:29am we went live (there is about a minutes delay to the attendees but real time between the presenters, so this meant we started on time!)

To go live we clicked the Content option on the bottom row – this added it to the Queue (left larger video window) and we clicked “Send live” to place it on the right. We then clicked the video feed of the service leader and this added him to the Queue – this is what you can see above. At the start time we just clicked “Send live” – the pianist stopped and muted herself, the leader was unmuted in advance (but kept quite) and the producer (my role) used hand signals to indicate they were live – the leader and I were about a mile apart, the preacher was eight miles away and the pianist 15 miles away – hand signals via my video feed worked great as a way to communicate.

As each part of the service progressed, I added the next video or PowerPoint content to the queue on the left and sent it live as I needed to.

Finishing and Downloading Recordings

The service went fine, a few people had issues connecting that we later worked out to be issues installing apps on phones (no Apple account set up or credit card saved with Google, and both of these stop you installing any app) and one person had issues with Internet Safety software blocking the Rebrandly URL shortner service! We recommend that you get people to attempt to join the service in the days before Sunday so that they can follow up issues that they have rather than trying one device at the start time on the Sunday and giving up disappointed that it did not work for them.

Once the service finished we placed the final thank you slide on the screen and stayed muted for about 1 minute and then clicked “End”. This finishes the live event and after this point it cannot be restarted – so you need to confirm you really want to end the event. Don’t click Leave at the top as that pauses the event if there are no producers online.

The automatic recording is stopped and all the presenters can talk freely. We each left the meeting and a few hours later I came back and downloaded the recording along with the attendance engagement report. This showed the times people connected and who had a dodgy connection and kept needing to reconnect. If the user is logged into Teams it shows the username as well.

The video stream was then uploaded to our YouTube channel so that anyone who could not connect still had a way to listen to the service, though not in real time.

Now all ready to repeat this next week! And each week until self-isolation in the UK is lifted…