Signup for Office 365 Skype for Business Preview Program

Microsoft have started the technical preview of their three new Skype for Business capabilities in Office 365.

The Preview is available for Office 365 user, with either an Office 365 Enterprise E1, E3, E4 plan or a Skype for Business Plan 2.

Sign Up for Preview

Office 365 subscribers can signup and perform test of the following features:

  • Skype Meeting Broadcast
    Enables broadcast of a Skype for Business meeting on the Internet to up to 10,000 people, who can attend in a browser on nearly any device. Skype Meeting Broadcast makes it easy to host large virtual meetings like internal “Town Hall” meetings and public webinars. The preview includes integration with Bing Pulse, for real-time polling and sentiment tracking, and Yammer, to enable attendee dialogue during the broadcast.
    Available worldwide to Office 365 customers with qualified licenses.
  • PSTN Conferencing
    Allows people invited to a Skype for Business meeting in Office 365 to join the meeting by dialing in using a landline or mobile phone. This traditional dial-in capability is in addition to simple, single touch join options on PC, smartphone and browser, and allows people to join an online meeting even in places with no Internet access. PSTN Conferencing in Office 365 will also allow people to add others to a meeting by dialing out.
    Available in the U.S. to Office 365 customers with qualified licenses.
  • Cloud PBX with PSTN Calling
    Provides people with the ability to make and receive traditional phone calls in their Skype for Business client, and manage these calls with features like hold, resume, forward and transfer. The technical preview is built on the enterprise voice technology available in Lync Server and Skype for Business Server. Later this year, the Cloud PBX is expected to be available for customers worldwide, with a configuration option for customers to use existing on-premises phone lines for inbound and outbound calling.
    Available in the U.S. to Office 365 customers with qualified licenses.

In addition to these previews delivered by Microsoft and their partners; AT&T, BT, Colt, Equinix, Level 3 Communications, Orange Business Services, TATA Communications, Telstra, Verizon and Vodafone, direct connections to Office 365 Skype for Business customers will be available later this year through the Azure ExpressRoute for Office 365.
Azure ExpressRoute enables customers to create private connections between their premises and Microsoft datacenters, providing more predictable network performance, the ability to better manage network availability, the reliability that comes with dedicated connectivity and additional data privacy.

Note that this is a technical preview, so the services are in a “beta” stage, but this early preview demonstrate how customers will be able to move their traditional calling and conferencing features into a cloud services, adding entirely new ways of communicating at much higher scale and with much greater flexibility, while getting the extra benefit of shared integration between all their services in the Microsoft Office 365 and Azure Cloud.

If you are the tenant administrator, go signup for the Skype for Business Preview program:    https://www.skypepreview.com/Register

 

References:

Announcing preview of new Skype for Business services in Office 365

Former post: Upcoming communication and security features in Office 365

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