Cloud connector is a unique product from Microsoft which can leverage your existing telephony investment and provide advanced PBX capabilities by using Skype for Business Online and Cloud PBX. SfB cloud connector is an option for those customers who are not using Lync Server 2013 or Skype for Business Server 2015 on-premises infrastructure. Cloud Connector is nothing but a set of VMs which can be deployed on-premises to connect Cloud PBX to implement on-premises PSTN connectivity.
Cloud connector edition deploys a set of VMs which contain a minimal Skype for Business server topology. Each Cloud Connector contains following VMs:
- Edge Component
- Mediation Component
- Central Management Store (CMS)
- Domain Controller
While planning for Cloud Connector make sure below you considered below points:
- You should have Office 365 tenant that includes Cloud PBX.
- You should have existing supported PBX setup running on-premises.
- All the user will be homed online.
- You don’t need Skype for Business On-premises deployment but you need virtualized infra to deploy cloud connector. You can’t co-exist cloud connector with on-premises Lync Server 2013 / Skype for Business Server 2015.
- Cloud Connector is available worldwide.
- If you want to provide dial-in conferencing to users hosted on Cloud Connector, you can purchase PSTN conferencing from Microsoft or from audio conferencing provider (ACP) partners.
If you have existing Lync Server 2013 / Skype for Business Server 2015 on-premises deployment with telephony setup, then you opt for different options except cloud connector.
Plan your Cloud PBX solution in Skype for Business 2015 or Lync Server 2013
Plan Cloud PBX with on-premises PSTN connectivity in Skype for Business Server 2015 or Lync Server 2013
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.