Clarification of Skype for Business PSTN Services with Office 365 E5 or as add-on services for other Office 365 plans
We have seen a lot of questions relating to Skype for Business PSTN Services in conjunction with Office 365 in the last few months. I thought I would point out some great resources that you can use in deciphering these newer offerings and also clarify how they differ slightly based on which sales model they purchased through.
The single most valuable reference for understanding the new Office 365 E5 offering and Skype for Business enhancements such as Cloud PBX, PSTN conferencing, and PSTN calling is:
It is found on the E5 page of the Drumbeat website. The FAQ includes answers to over 150 questions answers, many of which deal explicitly with PSTN services… you will need to logon with Yammer credentials or a Microsoft Account to access the hyperlinks I have furnished here.
Another excellent summary is this support article on the Microsoft Office website:
This article spells out how one obtains different PSTN Add-on Services for Various Scenarios. It includes illustrations and matrices that are very helpful. I especially like the detailed matrix I have pasted below:
One thing I noticed immediately was the separate line item for [Office 365] Enterprise E5 (without PSTN Conferencing) as this is the way the E5 is purchased through CSP (and Open License).
Unfortunately the statement it makes in column two around PSTN Conferencing is incorrect when it states ”Not Available” “The PSTN Conferencing add-on can't be purchased for your country or region so you will need to use a third-party audio conferencing provider (ACP).” In the United States our channel partners CAN purchase PSTN Conferencing add-on though CSP. Direct and Indirect CSP partners have technically had the ability to sell the add-on SKU since March 1st, 2016.
Another important note is that long-term the [Office 365] Enterprise E5 (without PSTN Conferencing) will continue to be available along side the PSTN Conferencing Add-on SKU due to the necessity of segregating the the PSTN portion of the offering for tax purposes. This ensures that resellers who do not mark these SKUs up over MSRP are not generally liable for additional taxes, regulations, and fees associated with telecommunications sales. Partners should consult a tax attorney for advice concerning PSTN offerings if they choose to price these solutions beyond MSRP.
Another very useful component of the article are the PSTN Dial in Conferencing Options mentioned toward the bottom:
If you want to use dial-in conferencing, here are your options:
Purchase and assign an Enterprise E5 license that already contains the Skype for Business PSTN Conferencing add-on license. See, Assign or unassign a PSTN conferencing license to a user.
Important: When you are using the Skype for Business PSTN Conferencing license for dial-in conferencing, you don't need a Skype for Business PSTN voice calling plan.
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Purchase and assign an Enterprise E1 or Enterprise E3 license and then purchase and assign the Skype for Business PSTN Conferencing add-on license.
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Purchase and assign an Enterprise E5 license without the Skype for Business PSTN Conferencing add-on. If you do this, you must set up dial-in conferencing with a third-party audio conferencing provider (ACP), but no other Office 365 or Skype for Business Online licenses are required. You would do this if dial-in conferencing in Skype for Business Online isn't available in your country or region. See, Dial-in numbers and supported countries or regions for dial-in conferencing.
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Purchase and assign an Enterprise E1 or Enterprise E3 license. If you do this, you must set up dial-in conferencing with a third-party audio conferencing provider (ACP), but no other Office 365 or Skype for Business Online licenses are required. You would do this if dial-in conferencing in Skype for Business Online isn't available in your country or region. See, Dial-in numbers and supported countries or regions for dial-in conferencing.
Net net, if you are looking at reselling E5, PSTN Conferencing, PSTN Calling Plans with E5 or in conjunction with any other Office 365 SKU (E1, E3, etc.) through CSP, I highly recommend you reach out to your Indirect CSP contact and ask for guidance. They are exceptionally well informed on the subject!