In the series of Cloud PBX videos on Skype academy this is the first in the series and the introduction to Cloud PBX. (Cloud Voice)
Great session give an introduction and overview of Cloud PBX and PSTN connectivity options, Cloud PBX features, planning and network considerations.
Disclaimer to start
Office 365 and SfB Online are evolving quickly with new features and new functionality.
Make sure you check out the latest version of the training.
This is the January 2017 video.
A introduction to the speaker Thomas Binder
Thomas is Senior Program manager in customer services and deployment team at Microsoft.
Key Learning’s from the session
Cloud PBX provides telephony to users in SfB Online with rich set of features and administrators get management tools and reporting for Cloud PBX users.
Cloud PBX has multiple options PSTN Connectivity
- Full telephony services including PSTN connectivity from Microsoft (Cloud PBX with PSTN Calling)
- Bring and use your own PSTN on premises and allow Cloud PBX users to use with PSTN connectivity method. (Cloud PBX with on premises PSTN) Hybrid / Cloud Connector Edition.
Scope of the sessions
There’s a number of Cloud PBX related sessions on Skype Academy and this layout shows a logical view of them. This is the first in the series and its the Cloud Voice Introduction, Understanding Cloud PBX, features set of Cloud PBX and PSTN connectivity options.
Blue boxes are topic groups to structure the trainings. White boxes are training sessions.
What is Cloud Voice ?
Anatomy of a traditional PBX Deployment
- PBX (Private Branch Exchange) provides voice features, connects and switches calls between users. PBX is the phone system within your business and is the heart of the phone system.
- Endpoints connect to the PBX to place and receive phone calls
- The PBX has trunks that connect to the PSTN network which allows users to place and receive calls to the PSTN network. The trunks usually are ISDN or SIP trunk based.
Taking Voice to the Cloud
So how do we take our PBX to the cloud.
End points – and client are SfB clients, windows, mac, mobile client and ip phones. Cloud PBX will be able to leverage all features IM, Presence conferencing and Cloud PBX.
PBX – provided by Skype for Business Cloud PBX providing users have the required Cloud PBX licence associated.
Trunks – Multiple options with Cloud PBX
- Cloud PBX with PSTN Calling (Requires PSTN Calling Plans as well Cloud PBX licence) Microsoft provides the phone numbers all services are provided by Office 365)
- Utilising existing PSTN connections on premises
- Cloud PBX with on premises PSTN calling via on premises pool (Lync Server or Skype for Business Server)
- Cloud PBX with on premises PSTN calling via Cloud Connector Edition (CCE)
Universal Communication Solution
Don’t forget as well as Cloud PBX for voice SfB also provides Instant Messaging, presence, collaboration, online meetings and dial in conferencing within and across other companies via federation.
Skype for Business Online
Integrated into Office 365 and integration with Exchange Online, SharePoint Online.
Office 365 Service Level Agreement
Microsoft provide SLAs and are accountable, SfB is covered in Office 365 SLA and service credits are used. Availability is measured for IM and Meetings and PSTN calling and PSTN conferencing.
- Quality SLA have specific requirements so key to ensure you meet them including
- Certified IP Phone with wired Ethernet connections. Certified IP Phone list here
- Media issues need to due to Microsoft Networks on customer on premises networks.
Lets break down into each part of a traditional PBX deployment in more detail
Endpoints / Clients
Full rich clients on PC and MAC
Mobile clients on IOS, Andriod and windows
IP Phones – Polycom, AudioCodes and Yealink
IP Phones are tested and certified against Office 365
Phone venders build firmware and third party tests and validated.
As well are unified user experience, manageability is important and phones can leverage in band provisioning and updates. IP Phones usually have their own SfB version so be careful when purchasing.
Plug and Play and venders offer additional features and a new web sign in option is available. Allows pairing without having to enter users credentials into the device.
Compare each device and ensure they meet their requirements. Yealink are now certified as well.
Cloud PBX Features
back to the diagram of traditional PBX deployment
Now we home in on the PBX and features
Once Cloud PBX is enabled the Voice tab is displayed.
You can type the numbers including words in the US or search for users
Dial pad available as well via mouse or touch
Also you can view your own phone number as well which is handy
Play and manage voicemails as well. Very handy feature saves dialling in and listening.
Mange Call forwarding settings – Allows users to manage this themselves
Cloud PBX Basic Calling features
DID numbers hosted by Microsoft or customer, each user will have their own phone number.
Device switching, start with PC and transfer to mobile phone
Distinctive ringing based on relationship setting, you can set different ringtones for them. Not seen this before so will check it out.
Call history for users, placed and received and Call details records for administrators
Advanced call features
Teams calls can receive incoming calls but cant makes call on behalf of team members.
Emergency Calling is supported
Dependent on PSTN connectivity method
Power and internet is required for emergency calls
Based on static location information, users could travel and be something else.
Cloud PBX Voicemail
All Cloud PBX users get Voicemail which is delivered by Azure Voicemail not Exchange Unified Messaging for Cloud PBX.
Supported with Exchange Online and Exchange on premises. Exchange on-premises has specific requirements so please check this here.
Currently in Preview for more information there’s a Skype academy session or for my summary go here
AA preview features are subject to change. GA is planned for March 2017 but could change.
AA is intelligent virtual receptions you can search for users by keypad or by speech and can transfer calls.
Also operator can be added instead of virtual receptionist.
Custom speech to text and greetings or upload audio files.
Define different call flows for inside and outside business hours.
Service numbers are required either toll or toll free.
Currently in Preview for more information there’s a Skype academy session or for my summary go here
GA planned for March 2017 but could change.
Cloud PBX users can be agents in Call queues, calls will wait in the queue until an agent is available. Call control options available.
Service numbers are used either toll or toll free.
Services numbers are required for
- Auto Attendant
- Call Queues
- PSTN conferencing
Service numbers route differently to user numbers and allow for higher call capacity
Provided by Microsoft or bring your own via porting process
Service numbers can be toll or toll free
- Toll – callers pay the regular call charges
- Toll Free – You absorb the costs for the caller call. PSTN consumption billing is required.
Via a GUI or PowerShell
PowerShell great for provisioning in bulk and automating tasks.
Allows admin to view usage and quality.
Call Quality Dashboard and location enhanced reporting so you drill down and check quality for building and networks.
PSTN Usage Report example
Shows date, time username, call type and duration. You can download as CSV and download via PowerShell.
Call Quality Dashboard Example
Audio streams, daily, monthly trends.
Insight into users quality and experience.
Connecting to PSTN
How do we connect Cloud PBX to the PSTN ?
Back to the diagram and we are now focusing on Trunks
In general there are two options
- PSTN Calling
- On premise PSTN Connectivity (On premise PSTN Connectivity has two ways this can achieved)
PSTN Calling – Available in supported regions only (Currently 5 US, Puerto Rico, UK, France and Spain), solely cloud based, no on premises requirement, Microsoft provide the whole service, Microsoft are the PSTN carrier and provide new or bring your own phone numbers via porting. Mostly tightly integrated with Office 365 and Skype for Business Online.
On Premises PSTN Connectivity – Use existing Lync or SfB Server deployment that already connected to the PSTN or use Cloud Connector Editions. CCE for new deployment only and cant co exist with an existing Lync / SfB server deployment on premises. Small footprint with packaged virtual machines. Available in Sonus and AudioCodes SBCs are well now.
Leverage existing PSTN carriers and circuit
Cloud PBX with PSTN Calling
Delivered end to end by Microsoft including PSTN connectivity
Not available in all countries currently.
Administrators use a single interface to administrator users and the service.
Spain is now supported
Cloud PBX with on premises PSTN Connectivity
Delivered in two ways
- Via existing Lync / SfB Server deployment
- Or via Cloud Connector Edition (CCE can not exist with an existing Lync / SfB server deployment)
Allows existing PSTN carrier / PBX contracts you can keep these contracts and use this for your users homed in Office 365.
Cloud Connector has a smaller footprint
All meetings, IM , presence are all delivered by Office 365, existing Server deployment will see workloads reduce.
Cloud PBX with On premises PSTN Available worldwide !
Network Considerations – VERY IMPORTANT
Network is key, user quality is only as good as the network allows.
In general three networks are at play
On premises network
Interconnect network – ISP connecting on premises to Office 365
Office 365 network – optimised for Voice
The on-premises and interconnect need to be optimised for voice to ensure quality. There are tools and guidance for network planning and assessment.
User locations – Users can be homed on premises, online with hybrid. Only SfB online users can leverage Cloud PBX.
Coexistence – is there an existing Lync or SfB Server deployment then this must used if not CCE can be used.
Is there a requirement to use on premises PSTN connectivity ?
Mix and Match – For example US users can use Cloud PBX with PSTN Calling and users in Germany can use Cloud PBX with on premises PSTN connectivity.
Features in SfB online and on premises are NOT the same.
Skype for Business On premises has all voice functionality, when moving users to online its key to ensure the functionality they use today can be provided by Online.
SOF can be leveraged for migrations
What’s your business requirements ?
Which option meets these requirements, feature requirements, continue to leverage existing PSTN providers
Where are the supported regions, where are users locations
Start with the people that will benefit most from moving to Skype for Business Online and Cloud PBX
Further Cloud PBX trainings
Skype Operations Framework
Community and Blog