Lately i’m getting a lot of questions about licensing for Skype for Business Server and Online. So i want to try to explain what kind of licenses you will need to have in the different scenarios.

  • Is E3 license enough for Skype for Business Server 2015 with Enterprise Voice?
  • Do we need PSTN Calling plan with the use of Skype for Business Server 2015?
  • Do we need to have Phone System (formally Cloud PBX) license when using Skype for Business Server 2015 in Hybrid mode?
  • Do we need a server license to use Skype for Business?

To make one thing clear, Client Licenses are required to access all Skype for Business Online (Office365), Hybrid scenario’s and Server (On-Premises) features.

Skype for Business Server 2015

For basic functionalities: presence, IM, peer-to-peer VoIP and HD video, and Skype connectivity you will need the following licenses.

  • Each Front End server requires a server license. This means if you are running a std edition server this is one license when running a enterprise edition with three front end servers this will be three licenses.
  • Each user (or device) requires a standard CAL.

When you enable Enterprise Voice you will need to have the following add-ons:

  • **Enterprise CALs **enable scheduled and impromptu meetings with audio and video calling, desktop and application sharing, and dial-in conferencing on mobile phones, tablets, PC and Mac (This license is on top of the standard CAL).
  • Plus CALs enable PSTN in/out, emergency calling, and other enterprise-grade phone features (This license is on top of the standard CAL).

Skype for Business Online

User Subscription License (USLs) are required to use Skype for Business Online. (Need to mention, calling features are only available to Enterprise Tenants, so this means the “Office 365 Business” cannot have these)

There are some variations:

Online Plan 1

Enables presence, instant messaging (IM), peer-to-peer VoIP and HD video, and Skype connectivity.

Online Plan 2

Enables all the above (Online Plan 1) plus scheduled and impromptu meetings with audio and video calling, and desktop and application sharing on mobile phones, tablets, PC, and Mac.

E1, E3 License

When you buy a E1 or E3 license you will have basic Skype for Business Online functionalities.

E5 License

The E5 license contains by default Skype for Business Online and Phone System (formally Cloud PBX)

Common Area Phone

For the use of “generic” phones like, lobbies, meeting rooms and public area’s Microsoft has releases a separate SKU. If using Calling plans you will need to assign these to. In the hybrid scenario this is not needed.

External calling / calling plan

To add external PSTN you’ll have 3 options:

  • Calling plan by Microsoft
  • Cloud Connector Edition (Appliance)
  • Skype for Business Hybrid

Calling plan

There are two types of Calling Plans

  • Domestic calling
  • International calling

Communication Credits

Communication Credits are a optional SKU you can assign to users. Belows list indicated where you can use these CC for.

  • Dial in to PSTN conferencing meetings using toll-free dial-in phone numbers.
  • Dialling out from a PSTN conferencing meeting to add someone else from anywhere in the world.
  • Dialling out from a PSTN conference to your mobile phone with the Skype for Business app installed.
  • Dial any international phone number when you have PSTN domestic calling subscriptions.

As (Global) admin, you can add funds manually or you can set up auto-recharge which is recommended.

Auto-recharge automatically tops off your balance when it falls below the trigger amount you set. We recommend using auto-recharge so you don’t have to remember to add funds manually. When your balance hits the trigger amount, funds are added automatically. If you don’t choose auto-recharge, you run the risk of your balance falling below zero. At that point, you and your users won’t be able to make toll-free calls or international calls.

Cloud connector edition

The CCE is a appliance that you need to run on dedicated hardware in your own company/data center. The CCE appliance is a lightweight version of Skype for Business and contains a CMS, mediation, Edge and Domain Controller. For this appliance you will need a Windows Server 2012r2 datacenter license. For the user part you will need to have:

  • E1, E3 with Phone System License
  • E5 (Phone System license included)
  • Common Area Phone

If you have any questions regarding Licensing please contact me. Did you know there is also a Microsoft Teams Licensing Guide?

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