Post announcing the general availability of its Cloud App Security, Microsoft has announced the general availability of Skype for Business, Cloud Connector Edition.
This will be able to make any existing telephone circuit to Cloud PBX in Office 365 using a single server and minimal configuration. Clients’ phone capability will be managed out of Office 365 while their phone calls will continue to use the existing phone numbers, circuits and Public Switched telephone Network (PSTN) provider contract.
Talking about PSTN, the Skype for Business Cloud Connector Edition comes in addition to the existing capability of on-premises PSTN connectivity for existing Lync Server and Skype for Business Server deployments. For existing customers who have Skype for Business Server 2015 or Lync Server 2013 deployed Microsoft has made a link available for download on its website.
Ease of use
Skype for Business Cloud Connector Edition is delivered as a set of packaged virtual machines for deployment on-premises with the same binaries as the full server, but packaged to just the components necessary for cloud connectivity. Hence, while Edge Server manages connectivity to Office 365 and Mediation Server connects to the next-hop SIP Peer, other components for registration and meetings are excluded. The result is faster to deploy, easier to configure and operated from the cloud.
Juggling servers efficiently
Because the same software components are being used as the server, the interoperability between Cloud Connector Edition and the client’s PSTN circuits is the same as with Skype for Business Server. An extensive array of Gateways, SBCs, IP-PBXs and IP telephony service providers have been tested with Lync Server and Skype for Business and this same infrastructure is supported. Skype for Business was earlier known as Lync.
According to Microsoft, for those users whose PSTN infrastructure has not been tested with Skype for Business, can use a Gateway or Session Border Controller from its partners including AudioCodes and Sonus.
In another timeline; AudioCodes angle
Amidst the announcement of Skype for Business Cloud Connector Edition, AudiCodes, the povider of converged voice solutions that enables enterprises and service providers to transition to all-IP voice networks, has also announced support for the newly released Skype. The company’s session border controllers (SBCs) and gateways provide the required on-premises connectivity infrastructure for Cloud Connector Edition with additional value-added services.
How does it work?
AudioCodes is Microsoft certified session border controller, that offers enterprise grade security and reliability as well as enabling integration with heterogeneous systems and legacy PBX for a smooth migration to the cloud. The SBC will deliver enhanced features such as advanced dial plan settings, high availability on incoming calls, support for analog devices and support for call recording from the PSTN side.
The combined solution of Skype for Business Cloud Connector Edition with AudioCodes’ infrastructure ensures a smooth migration for enterprise customers who want to move their users to the latest cloud unified communications platform from Microsoft Office 365, while preserving on-premises connectivity with their local service providers.
AudioCodes claims that it provides a hybrid appliance solution called CloudBond 364 which helps customers leverage the Skype for Business server functionality and start a gradual user migration to the cloud. The CloudBond is designed to accelerate the implementation of Skype for Business UC and voice services by allowing advanced PBX users to be registered with the local Skype for Business server in the appliance, while all other users can be serviced from Microsoft’s Cloud PBX. The CloudBond 365 appliance family offers extensive flexibility and versatility, enabling enterprises to pace their cloud migration and legacy PBX retirements as they see fit.