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Tom Arbuthnot MCSM Communications

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New Microsoft Skype for Business Online PSTN Conferencing Pay-Per-Minute Option from 1st October 2017

Published 05/09/2017 - 1 Comment

Microsoft offer a PSTN dial-in service for Office 365 Skype for Business Online meetings. It’s available to commercially purchase in 72 countries and offers dial in numbers for 90 countries and up to 400 city specific numbers. It also offers the user the ability to dial out from a meeting to a PSTN number, so for example a meeting organiser can call out to someone on a mobile or call out to their own phone to join.

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Microsoft have just announced on Skype Broadcast that from October 1st 2017 they will offer a new option of a a pay per minute commercial model for PSTN conferencing. So there are now 3 options to purchase:

  • As a “flat rate” add-on service to Office 365 E1 or E3 plans at $4 a month a user with no per minute charge for calls made into conferences and some countries included for dial out a no per minute cost
  • The same “flat rate” PSTN conferencing model as above is bundled into the “E5” SKU
  • New from October 1st 2017, a model where you only pay per minute for calls into conferences and out of conferences, no additional per per month user cost

There is also the option to buy dial in services from a Microsoft certified Audio Conferencing provider who provide a service that connected directly to Skype for Business Online and bills you directly, such as PGi, BT, AT&T or Intercall. Discloser, PGi own Modality Systems.

This slide from the broadcast illustrates that in the new per minute commercial model any call inbound or outbound incurs a per minute cost on the enterprise/tenant.

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The idea of the per minute model is to better suit customers with users that maybe don’t use the service often to gain the value of the $4 per month flat rate service. The per minute rates will be published on October 1st.

There was no mention of a charging mechanism, but I imagine it will work via consumption billing. If you are interested Modality Systems has PowerBI billing reporting to help understand and allocate these costs in your business.

In addition Microsoft announced the preview of an ability to restrict dial out from conferences on a per user basis, with options of no dial out, dial out to the same country as the use who created the meeting only or dial out to the local country and internationally. This helps limit the possible dial out costs. The also have the ability to allocate Freephone numbers to only select users, rather than on or off for all users as it was previously.

For more information check out the Skype Broadcast YouTube Video here

Tom Arbuthnot

Tom Arbuthnot

Principal Solutions Architect at Modality Systems
Tom Arbuthnot is Principal Solutions Architect at Unified Communications specialist Modality Systems. He is a Microsoft Certified Master and MVP, blogger, has a regular podcast with UCToday at tomtalks.show and is a regular speaker at events including Microsoft TechEd and Ignite. He co-runs The Microsoft UC User Group London.

1 comment

Abbas Kazmi - 26/07/2018 Reply

I don’t get it. Why do people go for a video conferencing software which is not only expensive in the long run but also lack complete control, when they can get their own VC units such as Grandstream or Vidyo? Care to shed some light?

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