What is PSTN calling?


What is PSTN calling?

As written on support.office.com
Cloud PBX with PSTN calling lets you connect your organization to the Public Switched Telephony Network (PSTN) and provides your users with a primary phone number in Skype for Business so they make and receive phone calls.
Users assigned phone numbers in Skype for Business Online can make and receive phone calls using Skype for Business IP phones, PCs and mobile devices. And, in case of emergencies, users can call 911 for help. To see how emergency calling works, see What are emergency locations and addresses?.
To get these phone numbers for your users, you can search for and reserve phone numbers from Office 365 or you can transfer your existing phone numbers from another service provider or carrier. See Getting phone numbers for your users and Transfer phone numbers over to Skype for Business Online for how to start getting phone numbers for your users.
For PSTN calling, users can be assigned subscription-based plans for local (US domestic) calling only or local (US domestic) and international calling. See, Skype for Business Online licensing overview for details on licensing with PSTN calling.
IMPORTANT: At this time, PSTN calling is only available to organizations that have an Office 365 billing address that is based in the U.S.

Setting up PSTN calling for your users

IMPORTANT: For you to see the Voice option in the left navigation in the Skype for Business admin center, you must purchase at least one Enterprise E5 or Cloud PBX license and a voice calling plan.
Setting up PSTN calling is easy. There are five simple steps:
  1. Purchase and assign an Enterprise E1, Enterprise E3, or Enterprise E5 license to your users. See, Assign or unassign licenses for Office 365 for business to assign your Office 365 licenses.IMPORTANT: You can use Skype for Business Online Standalone Plan 2 instead of an E1, E3, or E5 license but you can't use Skype for Business Online Standalone Plan 3.
    If you want to learn more about Skype for Business Online licensing, see Skype for Business Online licensing overview.
  2. Purchase and assign Skype for Business Online licenses to your users. See, Skype for Business Online licensing overview for more details on Skype for Business Online licensing options.If you are using an:
  3. Get your phone numbersYou get the phone numbers for your users by either getting new phone numbers from Office 365 or use the phone numbers that you already have from your phone service provider or carrier.
    To get phone numbers for your users, see:
  4. Add emergency addresses and locations for your organizationBefore you can assign a phone numbers to users, you must have created at least one emergency address and if you need to, add an emergency location or locations. Emergency locations are associated to an emergency address to give a more exact location of a user within a building. See Add or remove an emergency address for your organization and Add or remove an emergency location for your organization to get details for adding emergency address and locations.
  5. Assign a phone numbers to your usersThe last step is to assign phone numbers to users. While assigning a phone number to a user, you must associate an emergency address. See Assign, change or remove a phone number for a user to get details on assigning a phone number to a user.

What else do you need to know?


Managing Courtroom Video

managing courtroom video - managed solution

Managing courtroom video

by Sergio Ortega Cruz as written on enterprise.microsoft.com
In many places around the world, legal systems are turning to video footage to record trials and other court proceedings for record-keeping purposes. Moreover, many judges are allowing witnesses to testify via teleconference to create a more inclusive justice system.
Take Cook County Circuit Court in Illinois, for example. The court recently allowed a man bedridden from a stroke to testify via Skype. The man was seeking the extension of a protection order against his estranged wife, but felt too weak to get out of bed.
Likewise, the Ontario Superior Court recently allowed a witness from Denmark to testify via Skype in a child custody case. “Skype is now in HD and has an internal automatic checking system,” explains Family Lawyer Phil, who persuaded the judge to allow the testimony. “You can see people in the courtroom and they can see you. This is clearly the way of the future.”
As video conferencing in the courtroom becomes mainstream, it is improving courtroom efficiency in a variety of ways. It’s expediting the issuance of search warrants. It’s speeding up arraignments, pre-trial conferences, and other court hearings. It’s allowing foreign and out-of-state witnesses to testify while avoiding the cost of travel. And it’s reducing the cost of transporting prisoners to the courtroom.
Yet as courtrooms increasingly turn to video technology to improve their proceedings, managing this new way of doing things can quickly turn into an administrative burden. Video-conferencing technology can be unreliable. Video storage can be expensive. And accessing the exact content needed can involve hundreds of hours sifting through vast amounts of video footage.
The good news is that Microsoft provides the advanced technology needed to help judicial systems overcome all these hurdles. Consider the following:
•Capturing video: Increasingly, legal systems are turning to Skype for Business for reliable, high-quality video conferencing. Skype for Business protects conversations through strong authentication and encryption features. It offers built-in compliance for strict security requirements such as the FBI’s Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) standard in some U.S. versions. And it can be used even in situations in which the person appearing remotely is not on Skype for Business. All that person needs is a phone or Internet connection.
•Storing video: Microsoft Azure Storage offers the durability and scalability to store large amounts of video footage at low cost. Data stored within Azure Storage is automatically replicated to guard against hardware failure. And in situations where justice systems prefer to keep their video files on-premises, Azure Storage can be used as a backup to ensure a judicial system’s video footage is always available.
•Managing video: Microsoft Azure Media Services enables legal professionals to access the exact video content they need through Azure Media Indexer, a feature that uses state-of-the-art machine learning to convert spoken language in video files into a searchable text format. Thanks to this feature, legal professionals can conduct keyword searches for specific comments that were made during the conversation and obtain the exact time those words were spoken, making it easy to find those moments in the video.
As judicial systems incorporate video technology into their courtrooms, Microsoft is leading the way, helping them to reliably capture, store, and manage all this data. To learn more about our state-of-the-art solutions for the public safety arena, please see our State & Local Government webpage.

Note takers rejoice! Take notes directly from a #Skype4B conversation by pressing Ctrl + N to open #OneNote. Conversation participants are automatically linked in the note for your reference.


Note takers rejoice! Take notes directly from a #Skype4B conversation by pressing Ctrl + N to open #OneNote. Conversation participants are automatically linked in the note for your reference.

More information on Skype for Business (Formerly Lync).

Skype for Business Customer Story: Construction firm unites workforce, speeds pace of business with cloud services

McClone Logo

McClone Logo

McClone Construction Company: Construction firm unites workforce, speeds pace of business with cloud services

McClone Construction builds concrete structures throughout the United States, which requires seamless work among dispersed teams. The company standardized on Microsoft Office 365 to support close collaboration through frequent video calls, easy access to email and calendars, and a consistent experience across devices. It has increased employee productivity and flexibility, so it can tackle more projects while maintaining its high standard of work.

A solid foundation for business success

From parking garages and reservoirs to hospitals and universities, McClone Construction knows concrete. The California-based company has spent 40 years building structures throughout the United States, gradually expanding its offices to Washington, Hawaii, Colorado, and Texas. Along the way, the company has fostered a tradition of excellence, not just in its projects but also in its culture of teamwork and continuous improvement.
McClone Construction recently moved from a divisional business model to an integrated operation so that it could take greater advantage of employees’ skill sets to form teams based on a project’s location and type of work. “Ours is a cyclical business, and when one office is slow, another is often too busy to handle all the projects coming its way,” says Rick Owens, Project/IT Manager at McClone Construction. “By connecting our offices, we can tackle projects more effectively and achieve greater success as a comprehensive organization.”
Merging resources meant that the company needed to unify business processes across its former divisions. “In the past, engineers in our divisions used different ways of designing form systems, project managers followed their own methodologies, and workflows varied among teams,” says Owens. “We knew that uniting processes throughout the company would demand a lot more collaboration across offices than we’d ever done before.”

A new collaboration paradigm

Fostering the collaboration now expected of employees required giving them common technology. The company’s divisions used a range of technology systems, so McClone Construction looked to simplify. It wanted a solution that would be easy to use and straightforward to administrate, one that included the videoconferencing, messaging, and productivity software needed for efficient collaboration among dispersed colleagues. “In the past, we didn’t have much need to work across our offices, but the change in our business model caused us to take a careful look at how we could collaborate,” says Owens.
As McClone Construction looked at the available technology choices, it also examined the solutions that it already had in place throughout its divisions. The company found that one division had adopted Microsoft Office 365 cloud-based services when the division replaced its aging in-house messaging infrastructure. “We already knew many of the ways in which Office 365 could help the company at large because our Northwest Division had experience with it,” says Owens. “For instance, we liked using Microsoft Exchange Online so that we could avoid all the time-consuming system management that we’d endured in the past. But the biggest draw for companywide adoption was Skype for Business Online. We saw how it would give us video-calling and screen-sharing capabilities that would make it easier to conduct effective virtual meetings, without a lot of hassle to set them up.”
Employees have embraced video calling to such an extent that McClone Construction has reduced costs. Says Owens, “We’ve already seen a savings of at least 10 percent in our mobile phone costs, plus a 5 percent reduction in travel between offices, especially among upper management.”

Greater productivity from anywhere

Using Office 365 helps McClone Construction be more agile as it juggles projects across the company. “It’s much easier to establish a Skype for Business online call than to track down team members on their mobile phones,” says Owens. “We use the presence indicator to see who’s available and then just click to talk. Quickly finding project superintendents in the field and getting information to and from them without delays accelerates our pace of business.”
The company has found that its virtual meetings to coordinate operations among its widespread offices are more effective now, due to the use of video calls rather than audio conference calls. “There’s just something about seeing the people you’re talking to,” says Owens. “It’s the closest you can get to an in-person meeting. Using Skype for Business Online, we see colleagues’ expressions and gain a better understanding of the issues. We can get more done in less time because we also share screens so we’re all looking at the same materials.”
McClone Construction and its partners use Microsoft SharePoint Online to share information between companies. Internally, employees use it to maintain project team calendars and a single, easily accessible repository for engineering documentation.
In addition, employees use Microsoft Office 365 ProPlus and therefore have the same Microsoft Office programs available for use on a range of devices, including Windows Phones and Microsoft Surface Pro 3 devices. Owens, for example, might work on project plans on his PC at the office, make changes to it from home on his Microsoft Surface Pro 3, and review colleagues’ subsequent revisions from his smartphone on the way into the office. “Our employees can install Office programs on up to five devices, which really helps them stay productive when mobile,” says Owens. “Our executives and managers in particular use programs such as Microsoft OneNote Online extensively.”
Overall, Owens believes that the Office 365 components’ built-in efficiencies have the greatest impact on the company’s increased productivity. “We’ve significantly broadened our communication channels due to the Office 365 capabilities that are now at our fingertips,” says Owens. “Plus, Microsoft constantly expands Office 365 functionality, and we get the immediate benefit from product improvements because we don’t have to wait for the next upgrade cycle to take advantage.”

Support for business growth

McClone Construction appreciates that using Office 365 makes it easier to add and remove employees as the company changes. “Right now we’re experiencing significant growth that creates daily IT challenges, but we’re able to onboard new employees right away, giving them what they need to immediately work together no matter where they’re located, rather than taking days to get set up,” says Owens. “And if we opt to open a new office, getting that new area up and running will take approximately half the time that it took before, from a technology perspective. We’re no longer limited by technology—instead, we’re using Office 365 to become a more flexible, adaptable, successful organization.”

Source: https://customers.microsoft.com

Read customer success stories to learn how Managed Solution helps businesses implement technology productivity solutions.

Discover how ‪#‎Skype4B‬ simplifies communications in the cloud.

Discover how ‪#‎Skype4B‬ simplifies communications in the cloud.

This video illustrates how Office 365 and Skype for Business simplify all of your meeting essentials to just one relationship, one work stream, in the cloud and at a reduced cost.​


Here's Why Microsoft Wants to Host Your Next Business Meeting

microsoft managed solution

The tech giant is pushing Skype for Business, now part of Office 365, as an alternative to separate services for video or audio conferences.

As Written by: Heather Clancy on fortune.com
The line that separates Microsoft’s cloud collaboration suite, Office 365, from its corporate communications services, marketed under Skype for Business, is getting blurrier.
On Dec. 1 the tech giant will officially unleash new conferencing, meeting, and cloud telephony options for Office 365 that are meant to consolidate and replace the separate services many businesses use to host audio and/or video conferences.
“Most of our customers have more than one of these [services], they’re putting a lot of money into them, but aren’t satisfied,” said John Case, corporate vice president for Microsoft Office. “This turns Office 365 into a modern communications platform.”
For example, the new capabilities will allow companies to set up and initiate all-hands meetings for up to 10,000 attendees—that can be attended via Web browser or mobile device—in a matter of minutes, Case told Fortune. Additionally, any questions that arise during the large broadcast can be submitted via the company’s Yammer messaging application.
The new services aren’t exclusionary: Teams can also create conferences that connect with traditional phones using the public switched telephone network (PSTN). “You can dial in from pretty much anywhere,” Case said. Meanwhile, Microsoft MSFT 0.81% is also pushing Skype for Business as nothing less than a replacement for existing corporate private branch exchange (PBX) systems—and it’s offering “Fast Track” funding to help businesses make the switch. The Office 365 pricing plan, which includes all of the above features, costs $35 per user per month, plus another $24 per user for international and domestic calling plans, according to a Microsoft pricing sheet.
Competitors Facebook FB 0.87% and Google GOOG -0.61% have also busy adding video-calling features to their platforms in recent years—to compete with both Skype and Apple’s FaceTime app—but Microsoft has been far more aggressive about embedding these options into its existing business applications. Over the coming months, you can expect Microsoft to forge relationships that embed conferencing and calling features into applications from other software companies.
For example, in the future, customer service agents using software from call-center company Genesys may be able to initiate support or telemarketing conversations by simply clicking on contact information within a customer’s record. Right now, that same person might be forced to jump back and forth between several systems to track the conversation and make changes, Case said.
The consumer-grade Skype service boasts almost 300 million registered users. Microsoft bought the company in May 2011 for $8.5 billion, and promptly began merging the cloud-delivered communications service with its existing Lync communications products.

Skype for Business Customer story: Globe University fosters flexible learning and smoother operations with communications upgrade

Skype for Business Managed Solution Customer Story

Skype for Business Customer story

Globe University is constantly looking for ways to improve student learning experiences and extend the reach of its instructors. Globe adopted Skype for Business Server 2015 for lecture delivery, staff communications, and voice capabilities across its 19 locations. Faculty and staff appreciate the product’s better cross-platform support, more intuitive interface, and integration with Microsoft Office 365, which will be used by the university’s students.
"From online and remote learning to connected faculty members to recruiting, we’ve made Skype for Business absolutely critical to our business.” -Adam Hite, Globe University - Director of IT

Business Needs

Teaching without borders

Globe University is as expansive as its name. People seeking careers in everything from business administration to veterinary technology turn to this family-owned system of five career colleges, universities, and training centers. With campus locations spread across five states, Globe looks for ways to share knowledge among its faculty and staff and to make it easier for students to take the classes they want without having to travel.
That’s why the university participated recently in the early adopter program for Skype for Business Server 2015, the successor to Microsoft Lync Server 2013. By upgrading its communications solution, Globe can make its instructors more available, streamline internal operations, and enable colleagues to work together more easily, whether they need to track down the right resource to answer a prospective student’s questions or solve an IT issue for a remote faculty member.
There’s plenty of communications and collaboration among the university’s colleges. “We have a common curriculum and a shared faculty, so we offer some of the same courses at multiple schools,” says Dave Hagel, Director of Technology Services at Globe University. “Instead of having to shuttle among multiple campuses to reach their many interested students, our instructors use Skype for Business as a powerful, convenient technology to teach and transfer knowledge. A seasoned instructor who is an expert in her field can teach a course from one of our campus classrooms, and students from all over our college system can watch her lectures. By using Skype for Business, we can make the best instructors available to the greatest number of students without inconveniencing either instructors or students. This gives the college the flexibility to teach more efficiently, reach students in remote locations, and increase the quality of educational opportunities.”


A tradition of advanced communications

Globe University has long been an early adopter of unified communications technologies, going back to its implementation of Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007. The university’s first step was to upgrade 10 Globe datacenter servers to Skype for Business, which is now used by 1,500 faculty and staff. “With the in-place upgrade path, we had an easy move to Skype for Business,” says Adam Hite, Director of IT at Globe University. Globe plans to set up a hybrid environment in which staff and faculty can use either Skype for Business on-premises if they need enterprise voice capabilities or the online version available with Microsoft Office 365.
The university plans to roll out Office 365 to approximately 15,000 students. The goal is for students using Office 365 to be able to use Skype for Business to collaborate on class projects, get help from classmates, and work more closely as a team, even if they don’t sit in the same classroom on a daily basis.
The university’s Skype for Business environment works with Microsoft Exchange Server 2013 and Microsoft SharePoint Server 2013, which means that employees can view each other’s presence information from within their messaging and collaboration systems. Globe also plans to have Skype for Business interoperate with its customer relationship management (CRM) solution, public-facing website, and learning management system.


Flexibility and collaboration

Many of the university’s faculty and staff have already embraced Skype for Business instant messaging, presence, and conferencing functionality, and some employees also opt for its voice capabilities instead of using the university’s PBX telephony system. Elaine Settergren, Online Librarian at Globe University, relies on Skype for Business to curate electronic resources, support instructors and other colleagues, and help students with research. “I use Skype for Business all day, every day, to help faculty figure out the best ways to incorporate digital library content into their courses, coordinate the efforts of our dispersed library staff, and respond to calls from students,” says Settergren. “If another librarian or faculty member needs help finding information for a student, she checks to see if I’m available; then we both can put on headsets for an audio call, share our screens, or quickly exchange instant messages.”
Globe also uses Skype for Business to conduct virtual faculty and staff meetings to minimize travel. Settergren, who works at home—more than an hour away from many of her campus-based colleagues—uses Skype for Business to participate in nearly all her meetings, from weekly team check-ins to faculty conferences with more than 100 attendees. “We share presentations right from Microsoft PowerPoint as well as share desktops, which helps us work more consistently as a team, advise on best practices, and resolve issues quickly,” says Settergren. “Without Skype for Business, I wouldn’t be as responsive to my colleagues, and our team couldn’t provide the same level of student and faculty support.”

Enhanced community interactions

Globe University has noted significant improvements in Skype for Business, particularly on Apple iOS devices—important because every student and faculty member at the university is given an iPad. “We considered the cross-platform capabilities good in Lync Server 2013, but they’re even better in Skype for Business,” says Hite. “It’s more reliable, the web interface is cleaner and more intuitive, and we get a richer experience for presentations. Because Skype for Business is so much more compatible with our devices, I expect its adoption to rise quickly among faculty.”
University employees also appreciate the flexibility to choose the right communication mechanism for each interaction. “For example, a member of our IT help desk may start by instant messaging with an instructor who’s having trouble, then decide to share desktops to get a better sense of the problem,” says Hagel. “The freedom to shift among modes of communication also helps faculty members assist students effectively during online office hours.”

Faster service and responsiveness

Globe uses Skype for Business to care for prospective students, as well as current ones. At the university’s call center, an agent receives a call, learns the caller’s areas of interest, and uses presence to identify a colleague with relevant expertise who’s available to speak to the caller. “We consider presence through Skype for Business an integral part of our business,” says Hagel. “Calls can be transferred to the right person right away, so prospective students get information immediately. If they had to leave a message and wait for a call back, they might lose interest. We want to capture their attention and keep it by being responsive to all their needs, and Skype for Business helps us do that.” In fact, the university’s international recruiting team plans to take advantage of Skype for Business to interview prospective students from other countries, who can easily participate using the Skype consumer product.
With its upgraded platform in place, Globe is poised to run even more cohesively across its 30 locations, increasing the quality and convenience of its educational experience. “From online and remote learning to connected faculty members to recruiting, we’ve made Skype for Business absolutely critical to our business,” says Hite. “Not only does everyone use it, but they’re using it in new, creative ways to serve our students.”
Source: https://customers.microsoft.com/Pages/CustomerStory.aspx?recid=21336
Read customer success stories to learn how Managed Solution helps businesses implement technology productivity solutions.

Infographic: Work better together with Skype for Business

Skype for Business Infographic_ManagedSolution

Skype for Business Infographic PDF

Why Skype for Business?

Learn more about Skype for Business.