Microsoft Connects Skype for Business to More Office 365 Customers
The previews of Skype for Business services in Office 365 go globetrotting, gaining voicemail and improved IP phone support along the way.Microsoft is working on tightly integrating its Skype for Business (formerly Lync) enterprise communications platform with its Office 365 productivity software and cloud services suite. In July, the company announced a trio of technical previews—Skype Meeting Broadcast, PSTN (public switched telephone network) support and Cloud PBX (private branch exchange) with PSTN Calling—for the U.S. with features that expand an Office 365 Enterprise customer's communications options. So far, thousands of organizations are putting the services through their paces, reported Microsoft's Skype for Business group in an Oct. 7 blog post. "More than 4,000 companies are currently previewing the new services, with usage growing at an average of 20 percent every week," wrote Ali Rohani, principal program manager lead, and Jamie Stark, senior product manager for Microsoft Skype for Business, in the joint post. Now, Microsoft is adding new capabilities and opening up the previews to more regions. In the U.S., the company is enabling number portability in the PSTN Calling preview. The feature "allows customers to use their existing phone numbers with our new PSTN calling service, ultimately simplifying adoption," said the Microsoft staffers.
The PSTN Conferencing, meanwhile, is venturing beyond U.S. shores to 14 other countries. The service, also currently in beta, is being made available to Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom this month. Finland, Norway and South Africa will join the list in November.