Microsoft Unveils Skype for Business Services in Office 365
Microsoft (MSFT) will offer “a complete, enterprise-grade communications solution at global scale as part of Office 365.”
The technology giant last week announced that Office 365 enterprise customers can download preview versions of new Skype for Business services. Microsoft also said it plans to deliver direct connections to Office 365 Skype for Business customers later this year through Azure ExpressRoute for Office 365.
Office 365 enterprise customers can now register for the following previews:
- Skype Meeting Broadcast – Microsoft said Skype Meeting Broadcast enables users to host large virtual meetings, including internal “Town Hall” style meetings and public webinars. The preview includes integration with Bing Pulse for real-time polling and sentiment tracking, Microsoft noted, and Yammer to enable attendee dialogue during the broadcast.
- PSTN Conferencing – This capability allows users invited to a Skype for Business meeting in Office 365 to access the meeting by dialing in using a landline or mobile phone. In addition, PSTN Conferencing users can join to a meeting even if they do not have Internet access.
- Cloud PBX with PSTN Calling – With Cloud PBX with PSTN Calling, users can make and receive traditional phone calls in their Skype for Business client and manage these calls with features like hold, resume, forward and transfer. Microsoft said this preview is built on the enterprise voice technology available in Lync Server and Skype for Business Server and later this year plans to ship Cloud PBX that includes a configuration option for customers to use existing on-premises phone lines for inbound and outbound calling.
Zig Serafin, Microsoft’s corporate vice president, said the new services enable people “to connect with one another across all forms of human expression.”
“With these new services, we will bring traditional calling and conferencing into the new era of workplace communications, and also add an entirely new way of communicating at much higher scale with much greater flexibility over the Internet,” he wrote in a blog post.
Office 365 enterprise customers can register for the Skype for Business Services preview here.
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