Most companies manage their telephone communications using a PBX (private branch exchange) system, which is essentially hardware that acts as a private telephone switchboard. Now, with Skype for Business Cloud PBX, you can eliminate separate PBX systems for users and move the functions of the PBX into the cloud, assign and manage phone numbers using Skype controls within your Office 365 admin console, and easily enable dial-in telephone numbers for your Skype meetings. We explain how this works and demonstrate everything in this week’s Microsoft Mechanics.
You can get phone numbers directly from Microsoft or port existing phone numbers into Skype for Business and assign or re-assign them to your users as needed. If your organization has hundreds or thousands of users, all of this can be automated via PowerShell scripting. So all of the communication needs of a new user—from email and collaboration to meetings and phones—can be automated and delivered straight from Office 365. Additionally, with PSTN Conferencing, an administrator can easily enable phone numbers to be added to their users’ Skype meetings, so anyone who receives the meeting request can dial in via a landline or mobile phone.
Cloud PBX also works with your existing carrier circuits with on-premises PSTN connectivity. In this configuration, you connect Skype for Business software to communicate between your existing PBX or PSTN Gateway and Cloud PBX in Office 365. This allows you to continue to use your carrier contract and circuit for phone calls while the users are hosted in Office 365.
Ideally, the connection between anything on-premises and online would be done using Azure ExpressRoute for Office 365, but you can use a normal Internet connection as well.
Cloud PBX and PSTN Conferencing are included in Office 365 E5 or can be purchased standalone. In the coming months, we’ll be expanding the number of countries where calling plans will be offered. And because this is a cloud service, you’ll see more and more features added to the service soon.
If you’re evaluating Office 365 E5, we’ve released a number of Microsoft Mechanics demos and shows highlighting the new capabilities:
- Customer Lockbox in Office 365
- Office 365 Advanced eDiscovery
- Advanced Threat Protection in Exchange Online
Over the next week, Microsoft Mechanics will go deeper on the remaining Office 365 E5 features with an explanation of Delve Analytics and updates to Power BI.
See you then,