Microsoft Expands The Preview Of Skype For Business Services In Office 365


Microsoft today announced that they are expanding the availability of Skype for business services to more enterprise customers around the world.

PSTN Conferencing preview now available in 14 additional countries

Initially available only in the U.S., the PSTN Conferencing preview will now be available to customers in Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom starting this month, with Finland, Norway and South Africa coming in November. The new PSTN Conferencing services enable customers to add dial-in and dial-out capabilities to existing audio, video and web meetings in Skype for Business Online, all provided by Microsoft. The preview will be localized for these countries to include their native languages and local phone numbers for meetings.

Cloud PBX Preview now available to customers worldwide

Skype for Business Server customers around the world will now be able to preview Cloud PBX in Office 365 using their existing phone lines for inbound and outbound calling. Using this on-premises PSTN connectivity, customers worldwide can use Cloud PBX to eliminate separate PBX systems for users but still take advantage of their existing carrier contracts and circuits. In this hybrid configuration, Office 365 customers use on-premises Skype for Business Server software and their own existing IP-PBX or carrier connection to make and receive calls to landlines and mobile phones. Initially, this hybrid option requires an on-premises Skype for Business Server installation, but we plan to provide additional options over time.

Number portability and voicemail

In addition, we are enabling number portability for users of the PSTN Calling preview in the U.S., which allows customers to use their existing phone numbers with our new PSTN calling service, ultimately simplifying adoption. We are also enabling voicemail for Cloud PBX customers worldwide, providing a simple way to leave a message for someone when they are unavailable.

IP Phones with Cloud PBX

In the coming weeks, several IP phone models will also become available for preview with Cloud PBX. Existing Skype for Business customers can use Polycom CX600 and CX3000, HP 4120, and Mitel Mivoice 6725 (previously sold as Aastra 6725 IP) devices running the latest firmware. New customers can purchase Polycom VVX series devices pre-loaded with the necessary software to connect directly to Office 365—more information can be found on Polycom’s website here. Over the next several months, the list of supported devices will expand to include additional models and manufacturers.

Call Quality Dashboard

Finally, later this month, we will add the Skype for Business Call Quality Dashboard (CQD) to the preview. This dashboard offers IT admins quick and easy access to aggregated quality information for both meetings and calls. It will include daily and monthly views of call volumes along with the ability for customers to assess call quality as a function of IP network type and user location.

Read more about it here.