Skype for Business has opened a new era of real time communication with Cloud PBX and Cloud Connector. There are many vendors exist in the market who provide Voice and Video as a service but now with Skype for Business Server, organizations and consumers both will get a new style of collaboration. Skype for Business is an only application which can be fully integrated with other (Microsoft) messaging & collaboration products either on-premises, cloud or in hybrid environment. By using Office Servers and Services (Exchange, Skype for Business, SharePoint & Office 365 etc.), any size of organization can take a full benefit of advanced unified communication and collaboration.
What do you think about Cloud PBX?
Many of us will think about Private Branch Exchange which exist in Microsoft Cloud so that O365 users can make VOIP and PSTN calls. You are correct to some extent, let me explain it.
Cloud PBX is a technology which enables PBX capabilities in the Office 365 cloud which offers Voice over IP within your organization and call control functionalities such as placing, receiving, transferring, muting and unmuting calls etc. With all these functionalities any organization can save opex which occurs in long distance calls. Users can make and receive calls from multiple devices such as desktop/laptop with headset, Lync/SfB phone and mobile device etc. These functionalities could be part of native cloud deployment or in a hybrid environment. Cloud PBX doesn’t mean, users will get PSTN calling services. PSTN calling service is add-on which can be taken on top of Cloud PBX. Below diagram illustrate high level architecture of On-premises, Cloud and Hybrid environment.
Enterprise voice calls can be implemented in two different ways with Cloud PBX:
- Organizations can opt for Microsoft PSTN Calling Services.
- Organization can integrate Microsoft Cloud PBX with on-premises PSTN infrastructure using Cloud Connector.
Office 365 provides simplify Tenant console for everything including PSTN calling, messaging, collaboration and so on.
Skype for Business online E5 plans cover Cloud PBX while PSTN calling can be taken as an add-on service.