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A deeper view into Skype for Business Cloud PBX

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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.

A deeper view into Skype for Business Cloud PBX

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:

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,

Jeremy Chapman

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18 comments
  1. It is so easy to provision numbers I might start provisioning numbers for customers during a demo. Easy way to hit consumption targets!

  2. Just to confirm, we will be able to set this up without any on premise server at all? Similar to how services like RingCentral and didww + pbxww work?

    • Yeah, absolutely. You need an on-premises server only when you’re connecting with existing telephony infrastructure in your site. If you’re using PSTN Calling with Cloud PBX, there’s no on-premises servers needed. Today, PSTN Calling is only available in the US but will be expanding to include additional countries in 2016.

      Jamie

  3. I don’t see any mention of the scope of this product. Is the service (I guess E5) available outside USA? Canada for example?

    • Cloud PBX is available worldwide. PSTN Conferencing is available in 15 countries. PSTN Calling today is US only.

  4. Is it possible to setup O365 Cloud PBX with a main reception line, auto-attendant and for individual users, extension numbers in addition to, or instead of, full seven digit phone numbers?

    • Why no answer after 6 days to this question from Mr Tyler Bennett?
      This is of great interest to any business manager deciding to move to a new telephony solution for her/his company.

      • Sorry for the delay in reply; just getting caught up after the launch activities. We definitely have these items on our roadmap for 2016. We’ll be updating the public office roadmap accordingly. Thanks!

    • This is the only feature stopping me from porting every one of my existing numbers to Microsoft. If they get an “auto-attendant” line to route everything, then all is good.

      • I agree with this. Is there any insight to when the “Auto-Attendant” feature will be available. Like others, once this feature is available, I will be purchasing the E5 license and porting all numbers over to Microsoft.

        • Totally hear the feedback. We had to draw the line somewhere in order to get the initial release out the door and Organizational Auto Attendant just fell below that line. It’s definitely in the works though, and the beauty of Cloud PBX is the ability to get new features in front of users without a big upgrade. When we have timelines to share, we absolutely will. In the meantime, come over to the Office 365 Skype for Business group on Yammer to continue the discussion: http://aka.ms/Office365Network/SkypeforBusiness

          • Awesome. We have about 50 lines in our company, I have ported my number for a test environment. It is scheduled to happen tomorrow morning. I will also be installing a Polycom VVX as it arrives tomorrow afternoon. Exciting!

            Do you see SfB being able to port (800) numbers in the near future as well as the auto attendant?

            Thanks for the info!!

  5. Hi, Skype for Business software goes for on-premise Skype for business server of is there a specific package for that?

  6. As is always the problem with Microsoft, when? When is this going to be available outside the US? I need this now why can we not have this available in the UK? MS always releases all these great useful new features for Office 365 make them sound all easy to use and setup then says “available only in the US and to follow later to other countries” but how long is later? A year, 2 years, 3years:? When?

    • Unfortunately due to regulatory restrictions here we can’t disclose the list of countries or timelines any more specifically at this time. We definitely understand the difficulty this creates in trying to plan for the future, which is why we work hard to have a clear public roadmap for all of Office 365 at http://roadmap.office.com

  7. Can you port existing phone numbers over to this ? Or is it only new numbers?

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