SKYPE FOR BUSINESS ONLINE PSTN CONFERENCING: WHY IT’S SUCH A BIG DEAL
The increase in mobility of people in the workforce has given rise to a host of amazing virtual meeting options – including options for dial-in conferencing, web based online audio/video conferencing, as well as desktop client and room based solutions. As a result of this, many companies – wishing to use a combination of these options – have felt the sting of the subsequent rise in costs and complexity in their conferencing and telephony systems. It’s not uncommon for organisations to be paying for landline phones, mobile phones, instant messaging tools, third party dial-in conferencing services and of course video conferencing platforms.
With an industry wide push to Software as a Service (SaaS) models, organisations want to be able to simply and easily add additional ways people can access their conferences, without adding to on-premises systems or overall complexity.
For organisations already using Skype for Business Online, they would be used to the ease and simplicity of creating a Skype for Business Online Meeting:
For anyone using the Skype for Business client for conferencing, they can simply click on the Join Skype Meeting link, and their client will automatically open and join the conference. One click to join. For anyone that clicks the link that doesn’t have the Skype for Business client, they are automatically directed to the Skype for Business Web App, where they can also participate in the meeting, enjoying Multi-view video, desktop and power point sharing, and all the other capabilities a full desktop client user would enjoy:
Whist these two methods provide a great experience for conference participants, sometimes joining from a standard telephone over the PSTN network is unavoidable. How do we add this capability to Skype for Business Online?
This is where Skype for Business Online Dialin Conferencing can help
To add the ability for users to dial into your Skype for Business Online meetings, it’s as simple as adding the prerequisite licensing to your Office 365 tenant, and enabling for your users.
What licenses do I need?
If you want to use dial-in conferencing, you have two options:
- Purchase and assign anEnterprise E5 license that already contains the Skype for Business PSTN Conferencing add-on license. See, Assign or unassign a PSTN conferencing license to a user.
- Purchase and assign theSkype for Business PSTN Conferencing add-on license to your existing Enterprise E1 or Enterprise E3 licensed tenant
Once you have the required licensing, enable it for your users from the Office 365 Portal:
Now when I create a Skype for Business Online Meeting, participants can now dial in from a phone number I choose, or from dozens of countries automatically made available. In this case, I configured a dedicated Melbourne PSTN number to be my default:
However, what if users want to dial in from other countries without incurring international toll costs? Click on Find a local number, and you will be presented with dozens of numbers from countries around the globe, all as part of the PSTN conferencing service:
Here’s a full list of countries that are automatically available for dialin conferencing:
|Country/region||Capital or major city|
|Costa Rica||Phone numbers aren’t linked to a specific city or location|
|El Salvador||San Salvador|
|Hong Kong||Hong Kong|
|Latvia||Phone numbers aren’t linked to a specific city or location|
|Romania||Phone numbers aren’t linked to a specific city or location|
|South Africa||Cape Town|
|Sri Lanka||Phone numbers aren’t linked to a specific city or location|
|Ukraine||Phone numbers aren’t linked to a specific city or location|
|United Kingdom (UK)||London|
|United States (U.S.)||Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles and New York City|