Office 365 Welcomes Skype for Business Cloud Connector Edition

According to the news, the technology giant Microsoft has added a new feature to its Office 365 family, which is “Skype for Business Cloud Connector Edition”. You won’t have to go further than this if you are investigating about which Cloud PBX solution is beneficial for your business. The addition out now is available for an immediate installation.

So let us explore more about this newbie in the Microsoft family.

What is Skype for Business Cloud Connector Edition?

It is a package of Virtual Machines (VMs) for deployment in an organizational premise that enables Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) connectivity with Cloud Private Branch Exchange (PBX).

Cloud Connector Edition is a blended offering in a virtual environment, where all the users of an organization, whether they are within the organization or placed in the cloud, will be able to send and receive phone calls using landlines and mobile phones.

Cloud Connector components are as follows:

  • Edge Component: The communication between the online services and the on-premises topology goes through this Edge component, which has the following components:
    1. Access Edge – Provides SIP routing between the Skype for Business Online and the on-premises deployment.
    2. Media Relay – Provides media routing between the mediation component and other media terminals.
    3. Media Relay Authentication / MRAS – Creates tokens for accessing media relay.
  • Central Management Store (CMS) Role: This has the configuration store for the topology components, along with CMS File Transfer.
  • Central Management Store (CMS) Replica: It synchronizes information regarding configuration from the global CMS Database on the CMS role server.
  • Outbound Routing: It provides routing to gateways based on the various policies. Support is only provided for global policies based on outbound PSTN numbers.
  • Mediation Component: It enables SIP and Media gateway mapping protocol between PSTN gateways and Skype for Business. It even includes a replica of CMS that synchronizes configuration from the global CMS database.
  • Domain Controller: Cloud Connector Active Directory Domain Services are to store all the groups and global settings necessary to deploy the components of Cloud Connector. There should be no connections between the domain controller and the production Active Directory.

    Active Directory services include:
    i. Active Directory Domain Services.
    ii. Active Directory Certificate Services for issuing internal certificates.

Why Office 365 Cloud Connector for Skype for Business?

  • This allows managing your phone’s capability out of Office 365 while your phone calls continue to use your existing phone number, circuits and PSTN provider contract.
  • Microsoft does not trespass your privacy.

Known Limitation for Office 365 Cloud Connector

The following are the limitations of Cloud Connector:

  • You can not transfer an on-going/ active call to your cell phone that is registered in your Active Directory by selecting it from a list of recommended phones in the transfer menu. You can transfer to any other number. This drawback has been resolved in Edition 1.3.8.
  • The Consultative transfer is not supported.
  • Escalation to conference from a call between a Skype for Business user and a PSTN is not possible (you can, however, escalate call to conference between two Skype for Business users).

Conclusion

Approaching the end of the blog we summed up with a brief discussion of Skype for Business Cloud Connector Edition, its components, pros and cons. As you know, nothing is perfect in this universe, thus, we can ignore the cons and focus on the pros and reviews given to Office 365 Cloud Connector Edition by the users.