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August 05, 2016

Skype PSTN Conferencing Ready for Rollout

By Michael Guta
Contributing Writer

Public switched telephone network (PSTN), also called Plain Old Telephone Service (POTS), is still around because it is an essential part of the infrastructure, even in today's digital world. So the announcement that Microsoft (News - Alert) will be launching Skype for Business PSTN Conferencing should not come as a total surprise.

As reported on channellife.com.au by Heather Wright, Microsoft will launch Skype (News - Alert) for Business PSTN Conferencing in Australia on September 1, 2016.  According to Fiona Sims, Microsoft Australia applications and services lead, “This local ecosystem is a key differentiator for Microsoft, with our partners offering deep experience in delivering communications solutions across planning, deployment, adoption and usage.”

Sims said channel partners will play an important role in helping extend the new service to customers, which will enable Office 365 customers to carry out conferences by allowing participants to dial in from standard landlines or mobile phones.

The PSTN calling feature introduced by Microsoft is an add-on to Cloud PBX (News - Alert) that lets users search for, acquire and assign phone numbers to individuals within a company so that they can make and receive calls from people inside or outside of the organization directly from Office 365. Once the phone number has been assigned, users can make voice calls across all Skype for Business devices, including VoIP phones, PCs and mobile devices.

The assigned phone numbers also have desktop features such as call forwarding, call transfers, hold/resume, mute/unmute and even make emergency calls. The phone number can be brand new for each user, or existing numbers from carriers can be transferred over to Skype for Business, with up to 999 phone numbers depending on the type of porting.

Skype for Business PSTN Conferencing has PSTN integration within Skype, and Microsoft says the new Skype for Business capabilities in Office 365 will deliver comprehensive internal and external communications with simple, per-user, per month, pricing structures without all of the on-premises hardware of legacy systems.

Sims went on to say, the new solution will add yet another feature for unified communications by simplifying the environments and offering the benefits of a single platform and provider to address the communications needs of today's businesses. As part of the Skype for Business video conferencing service in Office 365, it will be delivered through Microsoft's data centers in 40 countries around the world, which is based on an intelligent real-time network to ensure secure, high quality voice and video traffic.




Edited by Alicia Young

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