Tag Archives: Skype for Business Online

#Skype4b: Skype for Business online Voice enhancements


Microsoft unveiled many enhancements and new feature support for Skype for Business online. With the theme of “Move your communication to Skype for Business Online”, Microsoft came up with new Enterprise voice capabilities in Skype for Business online. The following capabilities will be added as a preview in Skype for Business online.

  • Organizational Auto Attendant
  • Call queues

Both the features will make Skype for Business online as a strong contender against Skype for Business on premises. These features will allow call treatments and call queuing features to queue and routing of inbound calls.

PSTN conferencing has been extending to following countries:

Australia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Egypt, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Monaco, Philippines, Qatar, Russia, Serbia, Sri Lanka, Ukraine, Uruguay and Vietnam

However, people can join conferences from 90 countries and 400 cities by using local numbers which belongs to their location. Although, customers can opt for dedicated toll numbers or toll-free numbers in hundreds of cities across the globe via O365 portal.

PSTN calling has been extended to two more countries Spain and France. Therefore now PSTN calling service is generally available in United States, United Kingdom, Puerto Rico, France and Spain.

By the end of this year, administrator will be able to setup regional hosted meetings which will reduce the bandwidth challenges and latency, while it will enable high quality media and comply with legal obligations as well because data will reside in the same datacenter.

There is one more cool feature is coming for conferences which will enhance the meeting experience. Dynamic conferencing Id features will be added for all Skype for Business online meetings which will enhance security and smoother transaction between back to back meetings. Therefore now your meeting will not be interrupted if you extend your meeting for any reason.

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#Skype4b: Skype for Business PSTN Calling


PSTN calling is an add-on service to Skype for Business Cloud PBX. If you want to learn more about Skype for Business online voice offerings, please read the entire series here.

PSTN calling feature in Skype for Business online allows users to make calls to and receive calls from people inside and outside the organization. This feature enables administrators to search, acquire and assign the phone numbers to the users in the organization. Users enabled for PSTN calling in Office 365 can make voice calls across all Skype for Business devices including PCs, mobile devices and VOIP phones. Users can also control their calls through mute/unmute, hold/resume, call transfers, and call forwarding features, and if necessary, make emergency calls. It provides two different types of PSTN voice calling plans:

  • PSTN Domestic Calling
  • PSTN Domestic and International Calling

PSTN Domestic Calling: PSTN Domestic Calling allows user to make domestic calls with in the same country or region. User’s license usage location determines what is considered “domestic” for a specific user. Each user gets PSTN calling minutes that consist of both domestic outgoing, and domestic and international inbound calls (originating from anywhere in the world). Following are the PSTN calling minutes for specific locations:

Untied States: 3000 minutes (including Puerto Rico)

United Kingdom: 1200 minutes

PSTN Domestic and International Calling: PSTN Domestic and International Calling allows user to make domestic and international (196 countries) calls. User’s license usage location determines what is considered “domestic” and what is considered “international” for a specific user. Each user gets PSTN calling minutes that consist of both domestic and international outgoing, and domestic and international inbound calls (originating from anywhere in the world). Following are the PSTN calling minutes for specific locations:

Untied States: 3000 domestic minutes (including Puerto Rico) OR 600 international minutes

United Kingdom: 1200 domestic minutes OR 600 international minutes

Country and regions specific monthly minute’s details can be found here.

Courtesy: Microsoft

Skype for Business Cloud Connector Edition: Release 1.4.1


Skype for Business Cloud Connector Edition release 1.4.1 is 3rd release. To learn more about Skype for Business Cloud PBX, Cloud Connector Edition and different releases, click here. Skype for Business Cloud Connector Edition version 1.4.1 was released in August 22, 2016 with the following updates:

  • Customization available in CloudConnector.ini file:
Configuration setting Description
Site Name Site name is required and it should be unique for each site and must match with PSTN site name defined in Office 365.
Hardware Type Type of Hardware can be defined, by default it is set to “Normal” but it can be set to “Minimum” for smaller deployments that can support up to 50 simultaneous calls.
CorpDNSIPAddress “CorpDNSIPAddress” must be configured in .ini file to allow windows update for the base VM image. It will be configured on internal interface of temporary VM and should provide the name resolution to the public names. Otherwise, internet connection will fail because of name resolution and deployment will not finish.
WSUSServer The address of WSUS server can be configured for Microsoft updates if required.
WSUSStatusServer The address of WSUS server can be configured for WSUS status update if required.
EnableReferSupport EnableReferSupporyt parameter is used to define the SIP REFER support, either enabled or disabled on the Trunk configuration to your IP/PBX. By default it is set to “True” otherwise it can be changed to “False”. If you are not sure if your gateway supports REFER, please reference Microsoft Unified Communications Open Interoperability Program for Qualified IP-PBXs Gateways.
ForwardPAI ForwardPAI determines whether PAI (P-Asserted-Identity) field is forwarded from the Mediation Server to the gateways. By default, it is set to “True” but it can changed to “False”
  • New CCE Management service has been added on host server to manage HA Detection/Recover, binary auto-upgrade, and operating system auto-upgrade.
  • There has been 5 new cmdlets introduced and at the same time 3 cmdlets have been deprecated. You can refer to the Cloud Connector cmdlet reference for latest cmdlets. While 2 cmdlets have been updated Install-CcInstance and Uninstall-CcInstance to Install-CcAppliance and Uninstall-CcAppliance.

Skype for Business Cloud Connector Edition: Release 1.3.8


Skype for Business Cloud Connector Edition release 1.3.8 is 2nd release. To learn more about Skype for Business Cloud PBX, Cloud Connector Edition and different releases, click here. Skype for Business Cloud Connector Edition version 1.3.8 was released in May 24, 2016 with the following updates:

  • This version had resolved the issues related to failures of transferring calls to a phone number. If you are facing following challenges then upgrade to latest version of Skype for Business Cloud Connector Edition.
    • Your Office 365 user account is configured to use Cloud PBX.
    • You have an active PSTN call using the Skype for Business client on Windows, where the voice for this call uses Skype for Business Cloud Connector Edition.
    • You start a transfer to another phone number by selecting or entering the phone number from a list of suggested phone numbers on the transfer menu.

In this scenario, the other phone number rings, and you can answer the transferred call, but you hear no audio. Additionally, the client window of the existing active PSTN call shows the following error:

Cannot complete the transfer.

  • This version also take care about unnecessary files after finishing deployment process such as
    • The temporary copies of certificates
    • Exported topology files for the Skype for Business Cloud Connector Edition appliance
  • There was one major improvement as well in terms of DNS
    • Now, you can specify multiple DNS IP addresses, separated by spaces, in the CloudConnector.ini file for “CorpnetDNSIPAddress” and “InternetDNSIPAddress” values.

Courtesy: Microsoft Technet

Skype for Business Cloud Connector Edition Releases/Versions


Skype for Business Cloud Connector Edition is a revolutionary offering from Microsoft to connect on-premises voice infrastructure with Skype for Business online. I wrote a series of articles about Skype for Business Cloud PBX and Cloud Connector Edition and this post will give you a holistic view of all the Cloud Connector Edition current and upcoming releases (versions).

Below are the series of blogposts related to Skype for Business Cloud PBX and Cloud Connector Edition:

Skype for Business Cloud PBX

Skype for Business Cloud Connector

Skype for Business Cloud Connector Components

Skype for Business Cloud Connector Supported Topology

Skype for Business Cloud Connector Infrastructure Requirements Part I

Skype for Business Cloud Connector Infrastructure Requirements Part II

Skype for Business Cloud Connector Edition Public DNS, IP and Certificates requirements

Call flow with Cloud Connector Edition

Now, I am going to cover the different releases of Skype for Business Cloud Connector Edition in the following table.

Product Release Remarks
Skype for Business Cloud Connector Edition 1.3.4 Initial release
1.3.8  Read more
1.4.1  Read more

For the initial release, please read the series of blogposts and for specific release updates read the respective blogposts which covers the changes and enhancement.

Call flow with Cloud Connector Edition


Cloud Connector Edition is an option for those customers who are new to Microsoft Real Time Communication and directly adopting Skype for Business Online (Office 365) for real time communication. At present to find an organization without any telephony system is almost impossible. When customers are looking for best RTC solution and adopting SfB online, it is crucial for them to leverage existing telephony investment while maintaining seamless user experience across all RTC modalities. Microsoft is committed to provide seamless PSTN calling experience through Cloud Connector Edition to those users who are accessing all the SfB modalities except PSTN calling form SfB online infrastructure.

Let’s discuss more about PSTN calling. In Skype for Business each conversation is divided into two pieces i.e. signaling and media. When you are using CCE all media traffic for PSTN calling will be managed by CCE and PSTN Gateway while signaling will be managed by CCE and SfB online infrastructure.

Whenever, we talk about telephony communication, it could be either inbound or outbound.

Outbound Calling: If a user place a call from internal network:

  1. Users dial an external PSTN number in E.164 format
  2. SIP traffic routes to Skype for Business online infrastructure
  3. SfB online performs a reverse number lookup for the dialed number
  4. The RNL fails because it is an external number and doesn’t belongs to any SfB user
  5. The call is routed to the Edge component of CCE
  6. If the PSTN routes exist Edge Server relays the traffic through Mediation component of CCE
  7. Mediation component sends the traffic to the PSTN gateway and establish a connection between the user end point and PSTN Gateway through Mediation component for media flow

Inbound Calling: If an internal user receive a call from PSTN network:

  1. PSTN Gateway receives a call from external PSTN number for a SfB online user who is in internal network as of now
  2. Gateway routes the SIP traffic to Mediation component of CCE
  3. Traffic goes out from Mediation component to SfB Online through Edge component of CCE
  4. SfB online performs a reverse number lookup
  5. The RNL passes and SfB online finds that this number belongs to the SfB online user
  6. SIP signaling goes to all the point of presence of that user
  7. Finally, Media traffic will be established between PSTN gateway and Mediation component and between Mediation component and the user end point for media flow

These are the features which are available through CCE as of now.

There are many limitation if you will compare it with Skype for Business on-premises or hybrid. Below are the list of limitations:

  1. No call via work or remote call control
  2. No media bypass
  3. No response group
  4. Active call can’t be transferred to the cell phone which is registered in your Active Directory by picking it from a list of suggested phones in the transfer menu. You can transfer to any other number.
  5. Call between SfB user and PSTN number can’t be escalated as conference call
  6. Users must use full number in E.164 format only
  7. Only specific series of Polycom phones are supported as of now
  8. No integration available with contact centers
  9. Private lines and common area phones are also not supported

I tried to cover most of the stuffs but there is no guarantee if you face any other limitation.

Skype for Business Cloud Connector Edition Public DNS, IP and Certificates requirements


Skype for Business Cloud Connector Edition deploys multiple VMs which allows users to connect with on-premises PSTN Infrastructure. As it contains Edge Server role, then obviously it requires Public DNS, IP and Certificates to function properly.

Let’s discuss internal things first.

Internal IP Addresses: Each CCE VM required one internal IP address, it means, you need four internal IP address for every CCE deployment. Make sure these IPs are from dedicated subnet, must not use existing subnets.

Internal DNS records: As each CCE deploys one ADDS, therefore all the internal dns records will point to deployed CCE internal dns.

Internal Certificates: Each CCE domain controller deploys certificate services with directory services, therefore all the internal certificate will be issued by internal certificate server.

Internal requirement looks simple but there are many more things which you need to plan in well advance to make the deployment successful.

Now let’s focus on external requirements which are very important to work CCE correctly.

External IP Addresses: One public IP address is required for external interface of edge server. This IP will be used by Access Edge and Media Relay Edge. You can use either direct public IP address or NAT IP address, if it is NAT IP address then specify both address. If it is NAT IP address then specify public IP address of the NAT device (one more parameter: “ExternalMRPublicIPs”) for media relay edge.

External DNS Records: External DNS records are mandatory for CCE employment. Onmicrosoft.com suffix is not supported for external DNS entries. You need to create external DNS record for access edge. In single site HA deployment, you need one dns record with multiple ip address and for multisite deployment, you need multiple dns records with multiple IP addresses.

Public Certificates: Public certificate require for each Edge component in CCE deployment. Certificates must have an exportable private key to copy between Edge components. Before you request public certificate, must plan for it properly.

You can have two different scenarios:

  1. Single SIP Domain
  2. Multiple SIP Domain

While choosing certificate, you can choose either SAN certificate with multiple entries or wildcard certificate.

Therefore, now you can have four different options;

First option: Single SIP domain with multiple SAN entries.

SN = <site1-accessedgepool>.sipdomain.com, SAN = sip.sipdomain.com, <site1-accessedgepool>.sipdomain.com, <site2-accessedgepool>.sipdomain.com

Second option: Single SIP domain with wildcard entry.

SN = sip.sipdomain.com, SAN = sip.sipdomain.com, *.sipdomain.com

(Note: With the above configuration, you must not create any sip.sipdomain.com entry in external DNS because this name belongs to the Office 365 deployment)

Third Option: Multiple SIP domain with multiple SAN entries.

SN = <site1-accessedgepool>.sipdomain1.com, SAN = sip.sipdomain1.com, sip.sipdomain2.com, <site1-accessedgepool>.sipdomain1.com, <site2-accessedgepool>.sipdomain1.com, <site1-accessedgepool>.sipdomain2.com, <site2-accessedgepool>.sipdomain2.com

Fourth option: Multiple SIP domain with wildcard entry.

SN = sip.sipdomain1.com, SAN = sip.sipdomain1.com, sip.sipdomain2.com, *.sipdomain1.com, *.sipdomain2.com

I hope this blog post will help you to plan IP addressing, subnets, dns records and certificates for CCE deployment.