July 07 2016

Skype for Business Voice: 9 Need-to-knows

Finally, Microsoft have announced Skype for Business PSTN for the UK – in plain English this means you can upgrade your Office 365 package to allow you to use Skype for Business for telephone calls, naturally both inbound and outbound!

And there’s more – you can now use Skype for Business (SfB) to run conference calls – allowing attendees to dial in or use the SfB client.

1) When can I get it?
July 1st 2016 is the launch date – because of our Gold Partner status we’re been granted access to the preview already and we love it.

2) How do I get it?
Skype for Business services are licensed on a per user per month basis. What’s new is that Microsoft are providing a pay per minute usage for telephony services rather than a call package.

3) Can I bring my existing number?
Currently own a set of phone numbers or have a phone service provider? No problem, All you need to do is create what Microsoft call a “port order” – how original. This will then transfer those phone numbers you own to Skype for Business Online and it’s a rather simple process just done through the online portal.

4) Show me the power…
Administrators usually weep when a new product release is out thinking of all the background work that is involved. Well, weep no more, as we’ve found most of the optional configuration is done on the user’s end. They can set up the: forwarding, simultaneous ring, voicemail, delegates etc. Of course there are other things an administrator can do but it really is as easy as assigning a user a number and bam! Now IT guy, back you go to watching back to back Game of Thrones.

5) Access anywhere Voicemail
We’re all busy people and sometimes we just can’t answer that call. Luckily voicemail is available for PSTN which is accessible via the desktop client or the SfB mobile app. You can even access your voicemail via Outlook. Further to this you can activate visual voicemail* which will convert your voicemail into a text format so if you’re on the tube and connected to Wi-Fi you can read your voicemail! Or of course answer the call if you’re feeling fancy.

*Need to Configure Sfb Cloud connection editor

6) Call forwarding – what are the options?
Call forwarding – as the name suggests. Gives you the ability to choose who you want to take your calls when you’re away from your work phone. You can also handle them in other ways such as forward to your mobile number or straight to voicemail.

7) Simultaneous ring?
Unlike call forwarding where your primary phone doesn’t ring, you can set your incoming calls to simultaneously ring your phone/SfB client and another number or contact. This is incredibly useful if you are on the move for example. You may have signal on your phone but no Wi-Fi for your laptop/ tablet – issue rectified thanks to simultaneous ring.

8) Manage calls in progress
There are a few very useful features at your disposal while on a call such as “Combine” as the name suggests you can add anyone into the call at any time. Redirect, of course – while on a call you can direct it over to a switchboard or team member of your choosing. And finally, transfer. Need to catch a train? Beat the rush hour traffic? Or just a call you need to take elsewhere. You can get rid of being desk bound and transfer the call to your mobile and it works great!

9) Delegates – PA’s stand by…
Delegates is another incredibly useful feature. On the move or on another call and can’t take an incoming call? With Delegates it will automatically forward the call to your assigned user. They will then get a notification for an incoming call which also has the note “incoming call on behalf of [User]” for which they can answer take a message for even forward that call on. Your delegate can even make a call on behalf of you. Speaking of which let me call Ben Gower as Rupert – I want a new car 😈.

Fancy more detail? – try this with a cup of tea…

Author: Elliott Carter

Categories: Office 365

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