Office 365 – Skype for Business not so “Smart Contact” [EN]

After using XMPP (“Jabber”) for 15+ years it is sometimes hard to wrap around some principles Microsoft communication tools work. We were used to have full control of our users contact lists. This meant every user had a list of groups with contacts (we usually had all the employees there divided into departments). When someone would leave the company, switch departments, change the name, we (admins) would change that and it would automatically appear for everyone. Now, with Skype you don’t have that. The idea is you should know better who you need to have on your contacts and you should search and add them yourself. I can see some sense in that. You probably don’t need every coworker there, but users are lazy, new employees wouldn’t know whom to add, etc. There could be an option to do one way or another. But there is none.

Then comes “Smart Contact” thingy. If you are using Microsoft Windows AD and your users have a manager assigned in their AD cards, Skype will create the “My Group” and put all the coworkers belonging to one manager and the manager itself into that group for every member. And now the best part. This group will only be created when you first time login to Office 365 using Skype for Business client. If you for some reason have logged in into Office 365 (via web portal), used some of the web apps, OWA, etc., then such group won’t be created for you. Also, this group is static and one-time only. If someone moves to another department, leaves the company, their will still be in your My Group. It is not updating, confusing the users and making me wonder what is so “smart” about that feature.. As we started to enroll Office 365 in our company and some users has that group, some don’t, some had users who shouldn’t be in that group, this was just so confusing that i wished there wasn’t such feature at all. Maybe i’m too pedantic about that, but this just bugs me when stale information is shown in such a critical tool as communication.

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