With all the noise around cloud, it is easy to draw the conclusion that moving your voice or telephony to Skype for Business means putting everything in the cloud. Certainly that is what Microsoft would have you believe and given the growing capabilities of Skype for Business in Office 365, there is a good argument to say that this is where the future lies. However, in the ‘here and now’ the answer is not so black and white.
There are four distinct deployment models you can consider depending on your organisation’s individual circumstance, each allowing you to experience the benefits of improving and streamlining your communications by utilising Skype for Business.
The first model which is particularly applicable to businesses who do not have a cloud strategy or are not ready to embark on the cloud journey, is to have everything on premises with Skype for Business server.
The second would be to embrace the cloud completely and move everything to the Microsoft cloud in the form of utilising Skype for Business Cloud PBX and PSTN calling. One thing to note in this model is that not all the cloud services (in particular PSTN Calling) are globally available at this moment in time. That will change over time, but for now, unless you are a US based business, this may not be the model for you.
Then there are two in-between states which are commonly referred to as ‘hybrid’ models. Both allow you to move users to Skype for Business Cloud PBX which in essence is Skype for Business online and optimise your local carrier arrangements rather than have Microsoft as your carrier.
The first of these ‘hybrid’ models is a ‘bring your own carrier’ approach where you connect Cloud PBX users to your local carrier using the Microsoft Cloud Connector Edition (CCE) now generally available.
The second and most common outcome combines Cloud PBX and Skype for Business Server, where the server acts as the gateway for PSTN connectivity with your own carrier. In this model you have a split in terms of some users being in the cloud and some on-premises, often seen where there is voice related line of business applications being used such as contact centre and call recording that are not currently part of the Microsoft cloud services.
In summary there are options to start your journey to cloud and build a personalised roadmap to a cloud communications future for your business.
We have captured these deployment options in a downloadable document for your easy reference. You can download the guide here. If you would like to understand more about Cloud PBX and Skype for Business, we have an on-demand webcast looking at the options and considerations available here.
If you want to start your cloud journey, we also have a few offers on a Cloud PBX trial, Cloud PBX Readiness Assessment and Microsoft funding options that might be interesting, you can find out more on our Cloud Offers page.
Head of Marketing