New Functionality for Skype for Business Cloud PBX
by Kate Smith, Director, Sales & Marketing
I’m a big fan of simplification or basically anything that makes my life easier. When Microsoft rolled out Office 365 in mid-2011, I was excited by the enhanced functionality, the ease of use and especially by the always on, always available possibilities. Microsoft then took that flexibility and scalability to the next level when they announced the Cloud PBX functionality in the E5 SKU late in 2015. The Cloud PBX offerings basically eliminated the need for old telephony systems or conferencing systems. And best of all was the price tag, $35 per user per month (plus the cost of the calling plan). While opportunities were pervaded with excitement, there were some major stop gaps when we began examining the details of the PBX functionality.
While we work mainly with SMB customers, some have rather specific and/or complex legacy phone systems. We quickly realized that “must haves” for customers included call queues and auto attendant functionality. After all, most VoIP providers include these features as part of their offerings.
On March 27th, Microsoft announced new functionality to the Skype for Business Cloud PBX platform. “Today, as the annual unified communications industry conference Enterprise Connect kicks off in Orlando, we’re pleased to
announce several new enhancements and partner solutions for Skype for Business in Office 365, which advance our goal of putting communication at the heart of productivity with Skype.
- Availability of Auto Attendant and Call Queues, two new calling features in Skype for Business Cloud PBX.
- Preview of the new Skype for Business Call Analytics dashboard, which provides IT admins with greater visibility to identify and address call issues.
- New meeting room solutions from our partners, including Polycom RealConnect for Office 365, which enables customers to connect existing video conferencing devices to Skype for Business Online meetings; and the new Crestron SR for Skype Room Systems, which seamlessly integrates with the Crestron control and AV systems.
- Availability of Enghouse Interactive’s TouchPoint Attendant, the first attendant console for Skype for Business Online.” (Markezich, 2017)
These releases are very exciting for partners and customers alike, and are a great alternative to expensive on-premises VoIP solutions. You can read the blog post here that details the full release and enhancements. Additionally, click here to learn more about PSTN calling or learn more about the Office 365 Enterprise E5 SKU.
Markezich, R. (2017, March 27). Skype for Business
drives digital transformation. Retrieved from Microsoft Office Blogs: https://blogs.office.com/2017/03/27/skypebusiness-drives-digital-transformation/
About the Author
Kate Smith, SecurElement’s Director, Sales & Marketing is responsible for SecurElement’s overall sales and marketing strategy as well as ongoing partner relationships with organizations such as Microsoft, Cisco, Barracuda and many others.