Tag Archives: Licensing

#skype4b: Skype for Business Licensing User vs Device CAL

Microsoft licensing is not easy and sometimes create lots of confusion. My previous blogpost “Skype for Business Licensing” talks about different types of Skype for Business licenses including server and client. In this blogpost, I am going to cover different type of access patterns.

In most of the companies, you will find three types of users.

Internal: Users who come to office and access services. Help Desk employees are good example of these kind of users.

Remote: Most of the time these types of user access services from outside and use multiple devices. Sales and marketing folks are good example of remote users.

External: Partners, vendors and customers can come in external users group. These types of unauthenticated users use services based on the need. But these users doesn’t belongs to your corporate infrastructure. External users cover different types of users in Skype for Business scenario.

Federated users
Anonymous users
Public IM Connectivity users


Therefore, it is very important to choose between user and device CAL that suits your requirements most. Most of the organization choose User CAL instead of Device CAL.

User CAL: If each user has his/her own device then you must choose User CAL. One user CAL can be used on multiple devices by an unique user.

Device CAL: Device CAL is a good option in those scenarios where multiple users use same device. For example: In BPO/KPO multiple users uses same system in different shifts.

External Connectors: Very few IT professionals know about external connectors. External connector is a very common scenario which applies to windows server services where anonymous people access services from outside. Skype for Business cover this EC under Skype for Business server license.

I hope this blogpost helped you 🙂


Skype for Business Licensing

Licensing is not an easy part for everyone but this post will help you a bit to understand the Skype for Business licensing. To design or implement any solution makes more sense if solution cost justify the ROI. Skype for Business has different types of licensing.

  • Server License: Skype for Business Server 2015 has same licensing concept as it was with Lync Server 2013. There is only one type of server license which means there is no separate license for Standard Edition or Enterprise edition. License only applicable to Front End Servers. If you have 4 Standard Edition Server, you need 4 server license or if you have 1 Enterprise Edition Front End pool with 4 Front End server then also you need only 4 server license. Apart from Front End server role, none of the Skype for Business Server roles need license.
  • Client License: Skype for Business 2015 has three different types of client licenses.
    • Skype for Business Standalone client
    • Skype for Business with Office pro plus
    • Skype for Business Basic client (free).
  • Client Access License (CALs): Skype for Business Server CALs are required to use Skype for Business Server. Skype for Business has three different types of CALs which provides different kind of functionalities. Standard CALs are basic requirement for other CALs.
    • Standard CALs: Standard CALs are basic client access license which enable users or devices to connect Skype for Business Server and provides basic features such as IM/Presence, peer-to-peer VOIP and HD Video, and skype connectivity.
    • Enterprise CALs: Enterprise CALs provide additional features to Standard CALs and Standard CALs are prerequisite for Enterprise CALs. It provides scheduled and impromptu meetings with audio and video calling, desktop and application sharing, and dial-in conferencing on mobile phones, tablets, PC and Mac.
    • Plus CALs: Plus CALs are additional CALs and required only for Enterprise Voice features, and Standard CALs are prerequisite for Plus CALs. It enables PSTN in/out, emergency calling, and other enterprise-grade phone features.