Microsoft unveils previews of three new Skype for Business services

Rebecca Lambert
Rebecca Lambert
By Rebecca Lambert on 02 July 2015
Microsoft unveils previews of three new Skype for Business services

Microsoft promised it would be making available new services to go with its revamped and rebranded Lync platform – Skype for Business – which began rolling out in April, and now it’s making good on its word.

Customers with an Office 365 Enterprise subscription can now start trying out three new services in beta – Skype Meeting Broadcast, PSTN Conferencing and Cloud PBX with PSTN Calling.

Skype Meeting Broadcast
Skype Meeting Broadcast enables broadcast of a Skype for Business meeting on the internet to up to 10,000 people. The service has been developed to make it easier to host large virtual meetings like internal ‘Town Hall’ style meetings and public webinars. The preview includes integration with Bing Pulse, for real-time polling and sentiment tracking, and Yammer, to enable attendee dialogue during the broadcast. This service is available to customers worldwide.

PSTN Conferencing
PSTN Conferencing allows people invited to a Skype for Business meeting to join by dialling in using a landline or mobile phone. PSTN Conferencing in Office 365 will also allow people to add others to a meeting by dialling out. At the moment, this service is just available to customers in the US.

Cloud PBX with PSTN Calling
Cloud PBX with PSTN Calling provides the ability to make and receive traditional phone calls within Skype for Business, and manage these calls with features like hold, resume, forward and transfer. This service is currently available to US customers only, but Microsoft has said it will ship Cloud PBX to customers worldwide later this year, along with a configuration option for customers to use existing on-premises phone lines for inbound and outbound calling.

In addition to these new services, AT&T, BT, Colt, Equinix, Level 3 Communications, Orange Business Services, TATA Communications, Telstra, Verizon and Vodafone have all confirmed that they will deliver direct connections to Office 365 Skype for Business customers later this year through Azure ExpressRoute for Office 365.

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