Here's what you get with Phone System in Office 365

A PBX is a phone system within a business. The Phone System in Office 365 add-on gives you PBX capabilities, but without the complicated and expensive equipment.

With the Phone System add-on, you can use Skype for Business to complete basic tasks such as making and receiving calls, transferring calls, and muting or unmuting calls, from nearly anywhere with Internet access. It's available worldwide!

For more information, see Pricing for Phone System.

Phone System in Office 365 Features

By using Phone System, your Skype for Business users will get the following features:

Phone System in Office 365 Feature
What are Cloud auto attendants?
Cloud auto attendants can be used to create a menu system for your organization that lets external and internal callers move through a menu system to locate and place or transfer calls to company users or departments in your organization.
Call answer/initiate (by name and number)
Answer inbound calls with a touch, and place outbound calls either by dialing the full phone number or clicking a name in Skype for Business or Outlook.
Set Call Forwarding options in Skype for Business
Make or answer calls on behalf of a manager you support. Notifications make it clear to all participants when calls are being answered or made for someone else.
Call forwarding and simultaneously ring
These features allow you to set up forwarding rules so your calls can go with you anywhere, and you can forward calls to colleagues or to voicemail.
Find a previous conversation - Lync
Keep track of all your conversations in one place, whether those conversations are from IMs, phone calls, or impromptu and scheduled meetings. Conversations are recorded in your call history.
Call hold/retrieve
Use when multiple calls occur at the same time. When you answer the next inbound call or place an outbound call, your current call goes on hold automatically.
Transfer a Skype for Business call
Transfers calls to another person. Or, if you need to leave your office but want to continue your conversation, you can transfer the calls from your PC or IP phone to your cell phone or tablet.
Caller ID
Calls from inside your company display a detailed caller ID that pulls information from your corporate directory, showing you a picture and job title instead of just a phone number. For calls from external phone numbers, the caller ID as provided by phone service provider is displayed. If the external phone numbers are secondary numbers in your corporate directory, then the information from the corporate directory will be displayed.
Create a Cloud call queue
Cloud call queues include greetings that are used when someone calls in to a phone number for your organization, the ability to automatically put the calls on hold, and the ability to search for the next available call agent to handle the call while the people who call are listening to music on hold.
Tell me when someone's status changes
This feature allows you to tag people who are currently unavailable and get notified when their presence changes and they're ready to take phone calls.
Clients for PC, Mac, and Mobile
This gives you calling features on devices, from tablets and mobile phones to PCs and desktop IP phones.
Device switching
Enables you to play your call or meeting on another device.
Change your Lync alerts
Play different ringtones for the different types of calls you get every day, so you quickly know who is calling you.
Change your presence status in Skype for Business
Controls your inbound communications with presence, enabling you to block all incoming communication except from those you specifically indicate.
Enterprise calendar call routing
Enterprise calendar call routing allows you to use your Exchange calendar business hours to enable or disable call forwarding and simultaneous ringing in Skype for Business.
Integrated dial-pad
Dial by name or by number anywhere in the search bar and in the dial pad, speeding up the process of making outbound calls.
Use your desk phone to make a Skype for Business call
When your desk phone is configured to register to Skype for Business Online with your Office 365 credentials, you can call people in your organization using your desk phone with the audio for the call going through the phone.
Skype and federated calling
You can search for anyone in the Skype directory, then securely connect, communicate, and collaborate with them.
Set Call Forwarding options in Skype for Business
Sends your calls to your team either immediately or after a set time period.
Make and receive a video call using Skype for Business
You can see the speaker's name and video stream in a small floating window, so you're always ready to respond to any questions.
Check Skype for Business voicemail and options
Here's how Cloud Voicemail works: When a user receives a voicemail, it is delivered to their mailbox as an email with the voicemail message as an attachment. They can also listen to their messages over their Skype certified desktop phone, all Skype for Business applications, or Lync for Mac 2011.
Cloud Voicemail includes personalized greeting, message waiting indicator, and reply with call. You can have all of your voicemail deposited in mailboxes and made available through Skype for Business on your PC, mobile device, and IP phone.
Music on hold Available in September 2019, Phone System will play default music defined by the service when an external call from the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) is placed on hold. This feature works for one-to-one PSTN-to-Teams calls in addition to calls made to a call queue. This feature provides on-hold notification parity with other platforms. (All other platforms give a visual cue when a user is put on hold, but the PSTN caller has had no way of knowing.) On first release, this feature is not configurable by the administrator. Hold music is also not supported in consultative transfer of a PSTN call.
Reverse Number Lookup Available in September, 2019, Phone System will show called ID for an external phone number if the number is associated with a user in AAD. If the phone number is not in AAD, the telco provided display name will be shown if it is available.

Plan and set up the Phone System in Office 365

Set up Phone System in the way that best suits your business:

  • You can use the Phone System add-on with your company's existing phone lines, or the Phone System with Calling Plans service for inbound and outbound calls.

  • You can get new phone numbers from Office 365, or transfer existing phone numbers to Skype for Business.

See these articles to plan and set up the Phone System in your business:


Rich clients
Mobile clients
IP phones
Works with all supported PC and Mac clients in Office 365.
Install Skype for Business
Set up Lync for Mac 2011 for Office 365
We have Skype for Business clients for:
Windows Phone
Choose from a large number of desk phones that are compatible with Skype for Business. See Getting phones for Skype for Business Online.

Availability in GCC High and DoD clouds

The following capabilities are not yet available in GCC High and DoD Clouds.

Getting service phone numbers for Skype for Business and Microsoft Teams

Country and region availability for Audio Conferencing and Calling Plans