What’s new for Auto Attendants and Call Queues July 2017 Summary

Just spotted this announcement on Tech Community

https://techcommunity.microsoft.com/t5/Skype-for-Business-Blog/What-s-new-for-Auto-Attendants-and-Call-Queues-in-July-2017/ba-p/91878

Overall great new features for AA and Call Queues ! Keep them coming Microsoft !

In quick summary for what’s new, (Check out link above for more info)

  • Users can now receive Auto Attendants and Call Queues calls on Mac, iPhone, iPad and Android Skype for Business client (Latest clients)
    • Mac Client (16.8.196)
    • iPhone (6.16.0)
    • iPad (6.16.0)
    • Android (6.16.0.9)
  • Admins can now use 0365 Groups (both public and private) to limit the scope of users reachable with Dial by Name feature in Auto Attendants
  • The maximum size of the name list supported for name recognition with Speech has been increased from 50,000 to 80,000 users in Auto Attendants.
  • Improved accuracy of recognition for similar-sounding names for name recognition with Speech in Dial by Name feature of Auto Attendant.
  • To protect user anonymity,  Admins can now use PowerShell to enable users to make outbound calls on behalf of an Auto Attendant or Call Queue using a policy called CallingLineIdentity (also called a Calling Line ID):
  • Auto Attendant has been updated with an enhanced English (US) Text to Speech voice in July, 2017. Note that an enhanced Text to Speech voice for English (UK) has been rolled out in April, 2017.
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SOF: Number Porting Training Summary

Great to have training for people on their SOF journey for number porting and the importance and timelines for planning and setting the right expectations. One important note is that timelines, process and potential delays are industry wide and not just for porting to Skype for Business Online.

Also making sure you submit the correct information is key! as incorrect information can start the number porting process again and can lead to huge time delays. So check check check, got your mate to check and his mate before you submit.

Also planning for porting subscriber numbers for users and service numbers for Calls queues, auto attendants and PSTN conferencing numbers is key to know upfront.

Other useful Number Porting Links

https://support.office.com/en-us/article/Transfer-phone-numbers-to-Skype-for-Business-Online-47b3af8e-4171-4dec-8333-c956f108664e

https://blogs.technet.microsoft.com/skypehybridguy/2016/03/09/port-a-phone-number-to-cloud-pbx-in-office365/

Link to video here

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SOF is a living framework and feedback is important, this is April 2017 version of this training. This training is subject to Change.

Check out out SOF for latest content.

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Provide information on updates on SOF as part of Plan, deliver and operate.

Plan for number porting

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Why ?

Number porting will increase with new Org AA and Call Queues

Understanding number porting will help with project timelines

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This training assume you know SOF

Number porting is mostly policy based

include planning for number porting in your SOF journey

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When do you need number porting ?

With PSTN Calling you can use new or port existing

subscriber number assigned to end users

service number assigned to AA, call queues and PSTN conferencing

UK you cannot port non geographic or shared telephone numbers

List of service providers for Porting available. (This links / info seems to be gone missing which is odd. I’ve seen this list before but its not available now it seems)

https://support.office.com/en-us/article/Transfer-phone-numbers-to-Skype-for-Business-Online-47b3af8e-4171-4dec-8333-c956f108664e

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Carriers may define their own timelines

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Setting the right timelines expectations is important.

These challenges are throughout the whole industry not just porting to SfB Online

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Can take up to 30 Days!

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Takes 17 days to get a port order scheduled in this example !

I like this diagram as it show the amount of processes for a single port and show multiple carriers involved.

The LOA must be completed with the correct information

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Number porting added as critical project risk

Number porting challenges is industry wide not just to SfB Online

Full port and partial porting only applicable to US.

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Full Port not available in all countries. This is available in the US.

All numbers usually as subscriber numbers

You can change a subscriber number to a service number with a support ticket open and will trigger another number port.

Office Main Line numbers will likely need to be service numbers !

Option 1 – Port all subscriber number then raise ticket to port some numbers to service numbers. Downtime required.

Option 2 – partial port of subscriber number then port remaining numbers as service numbers. Takes longer to port from existing carrier. Advantage is downtimes is minimised.

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No updates to deliver phase.

Set correct project timelines based on decision in plan phase.

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Skype Academy Presents Cloud Voice Introduction Summary

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.

Lets go!

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Disclaimer to start

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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

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Thomas is Senior Program manager in customer services and deployment team at Microsoft.

Agenda

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Key Learning’s from the session

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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

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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 ?

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Anatomy of a traditional PBX Deployment

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  • 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

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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

  1. 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)
  2. 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

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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

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Integrated into Office 365 and integration with Exchange Online, SharePoint Online.

Office 365 Service Level Agreement

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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

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Endpoints / Clients

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Full rich clients on PC and MAC

Mobile clients on IOS, Andriod and windows

IP Phones – Polycom, AudioCodes and Yealink

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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

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back to the diagram of traditional PBX deployment

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Now we home in on the PBX and features

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Once Cloud PBX is enabled the Voice tab is displayed.

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You can type the numbers including words in the US or search for users

Dial pad available as well via mouse or touch

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Also you can view your own phone number as well which is handy

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Play and manage voicemails as well. Very handy feature saves dialling in and listening.

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Mange Call forwarding settings – Allows users to manage this themselves

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Cloud PBX Basic Calling features

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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

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Teams calls can receive incoming calls but cant makes call on behalf of team members.

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Emergency Calling is supported

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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

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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.

Auto Attendant

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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.

Call Queues

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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.

Service Numbers

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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.

Administration

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Via a GUI or PowerShell

PowerShell great for provisioning in bulk and automating tasks.

Reporting

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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

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Shows date, time username, call type and duration. You can download as CSV and download via PowerShell.

Call Quality Dashboard Example

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Audio streams, daily, monthly trends.

Insight into users quality and experience.

Connecting to PSTN

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How do we connect Cloud PBX to the PSTN ?

Back to the diagram and we are now focusing on Trunks

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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

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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

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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

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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.

Planning Considerations

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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

Decisions Tree

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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

Summary

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Resources

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http://aka.ms/sa-orgaa
http://aka.ms/sa-ccq
https://www.skypeoperationsframework.com/Academy?TechnicalProductTrainings
http://partnersolutions.skypeforbusiness.com/solutionscatalog/cloud-ip-phones
https://aka.ms/sof-cqd

Further Cloud PBX trainings

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http://aka.ms/sa-pstn

http://aka.ms/sa-opch

http://aka.ms/sa-cce

Skype Operations Framework

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https://www.skypeoperationsframework.com/

Community and Blog

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http://aka.ms/sfbcommunity/

References

https://www.skypeoperationsframework.com/Academy?TechnicalProductTrainings=Cloud%20Connector%20Edition%20Deep%20Dive

Hola Amigos! Skype for Business Cloud PBX with PSTN Calling in Spain GA now

HOLA Amigos ! great news for Spain, Cloud PBX with PSTN Calling in Spain is in GA now.

What is Cloud PBX with PSTN Calling?

Cloud PBX is offered from Skype for Business Online and PSTN Calling is an add service that provides telephony functionality and Microsoft are the PSTN Carrier. Microsoft a telephone number and PSTN calling services and billing. PSTN calling provides users the ability to make and receive phone calls outside of the organization. Cloud PBX with PSTN Calling does not offer the same functionality as an on premises deployment of Skype for Business Server with Enterprise Voice with on premise PSTN providers so be aware of this.

Microsoft are expanding the countries they provide PSTN Calling, France was the one before in early December and now Spain couple of months later has been added so Microsoft have five countries so far and are expanding.

Some highlights on the information I’ve found so far on PSTN Calling for Spain

From Microsoft’s Countries and regions that are supported for Skype for Business Online PSTN Services web page here

Spain is now listed below so in total we now have five countries available

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Total Minutes available for Spain

  • 1200 Domestic
  • 1200 Domestic or 600 International minutes (which ever is reached first per month)

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Thought id take a peck on on tenant and see what numbers are available.

I can now select Spain and they have a great selection of cities available for numbers which is great.

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Overall another great step in expanding Cloud PBX from Microsoft i think and quickly after France went GA as well.

Where next for PSTN Calling from Microsoft ?

Having checked up on Skypepreview.com i cant see any new countries in preview at the moment but I’m sure it wont be long

https://www.skypepreview.com/

Adios Amigos !

Skype for Business Cloud PBX with PSTN Calling in France GA now

Bonjour!!, great news for enterprises in France, Cloud PBX with PSTN Calling in France is in GA now.

What is Cloud PBX with PSTN Calling?

Cloud PBX is offered from Skype for Business Online and PSTN Calling is an add service that provides telephony functionality and Microsoft are the PSTN Carrier. Microsoft a telephone number and PSTN calling services and billing. PSTN calling provides users the ability to make and receive phone calls outside of the organization. Cloud PBX with PSTN CAlling does not offer the same functionality as an on premises deployment of Skype for Business Server with Enterprise Voice with on premise PSTN providers so be aware of this.

Microsoft are expanding the countries they provide PSTN Calling and now France has been added so Microsoft have four countries so far and are expanding.

 

Some highlights on the information ive found so far on PSTN Calling for France

From Microsoft’s Countries and regions that are supported for Skype for Business Online PSTN Services web page here

France is now listed below so in total we now have four countries available Smile

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Total Minutes available for France

  • 1200 Domestic
  • 1200 Domestic or 600 International minutes (which ever is reached first per month)

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Thought id take a peck on on tenant and see what numbers are available.

I can now select France and they have a great selection of cities available for numbers which is great.

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Overall another great step in expanding Cloud PBX from Microsoft i think.

Where next for PSTN Calling from Microsoft ?

On Skypepreview.com currently PSTN Calling in Spain is in Preview so likely this will be soon as well.

https://www.skypepreview.com/

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