Microsoft productivity servers: the future

Microsoft announce that the next versions of Exchange Server, SharePoint Server, Skype for Business Server, and Project Server will be available in the second half of 2021.

What will be different is that they will only be available with the purchase of a subscription licence which will entitle organisations to support, product updates, and security patches.

There will also be a new perpetual release of Office for Windows and Mac in the same timeframe.

Find the announcement here: https://bit.ly/3j8SrEy.

New Phone System From SA User SL

Microsoft add a new Phone System From SA User SL to the January 2020 Product Terms. Available only in the EA, the usual From SA rules apply with the qualifying licences being Skype for Business Server Plus CALs or a Skype for Business Plus CAL User SL. You’ll find the new licence added to the table on page 69 and the qualifying licences detailed on page 100. Download the Product Terms document here: http://bit.ly/MSproductterms.

Notice of Skype for Business Online Retirement

Microsoft announce that Skype for Business Online will be retired on 31 July 2021. Customers will be migrated to Teams between now and then, and starting 1 September 2019 new Office 365 customers will be onboarded directly to Teams. It’s worth noting that this announcement doesn’t affect either the Skype Consumer service or Skype for Business Server. You can find the announcement here: http://bit.ly/2KreuaK with further details, including customer information on migrating to Teams. There’s also a link to Forrester’s whitepaper: “The Total Economic Impact of Microsoft Teams”, or find it here: http://bit.ly/33oWVPW.

Skype for Business Online and Microsoft Teams

Skype for Business Online features and functionality are moving into Microsoft Teams. From a licensing perspective, additional services such as Audio Conferencing and Phone System will continue to be Add-on licences, and from a technical perspective from 1st October, 2018 new Office 365 customers with less than 500 seats will be onboarded to Microsoft  Teams and will have no access to Skype for Business Online.

This is a useful FAQ with lots of information on the whole Skype for Business to Microsoft Teams upgrade topic: http://bit.ly/2pL5Rwz.

Skype for Business Online Plan 1 Retirement

Microsoft announce that Skype for Business Online Plan 1 will be retired from the CSP program, effective 1 August, 2018. If you want information on the plans to migrate customers to, and how to do it, then this is the page for you: http://bit.ly/2MGp63I. It’s worth noting that most Office 365 plans do now actually include Skype for Business Online Plan 1 functionality.

Skype for Business Online

Some of the Skype for Business Online services are renamed: PSTN Calling is now Calling Plan, PSTN Conferencing is Audio Conferencing, Cloud PBX is Phone System, and PSTN Consumption is now Communication Credits.

This is a useful page to find out more about these services and their licensing: http://bit.ly/2y71dyv, and page 6 of the October 2017 Product Terms summarises the changes.

PSTN Calling FAQ

There’s a jolly useful FAQ on PSTN Calling which you might like to add to your list of interesting things to look at.

First, a reminder of what PSTN Calling is: the add-on telephone service that, when combined with Skype for Business Cloud PBX, can become your phone system. The FAQ covers what licences you’ll need as well as interesting issues such as how calls are charged if you travel to another country. The answer? If a user whose Office 365 licence is assigned in the US travels to London, any calls they make back to the US are considered domestic calls.

Find the FAQ here: http://bit.ly/28TU1bA.

Skype for Business Online Licensing Overview

Skype for Business Online Licensing OverviewSkype for Business Online has some key new components: Meeting Broadcast, Cloud PBX, PSTN Conferencing, and PSTN Calling.

If you want a summary of how to license these individual components and what to purchase if you’re already licensed for an Office 365 plan, then Microsoft’s Skype for Business Online Licensing Overview page is a good resource: http://bit.ly/1UmbTup.

This page also has some great links if you want a bit more detail on the new components themselves. Worth a look!