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Adding Audio Conferencing Services in Office 365 to your meeting experience

Audio Conferencing (formerly known as PSTN conferencing) allows users in your organization to create & host meetings that contain dial-in phone numbers (shared or dedicated). Participants can use those phone numbers to call into a meeting using their PSTN phone to join the meeting. 

 

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Audio Conferencing in Office 365 works with Skype for Business online & Microsoft Teams. Also, it's important to note that Microsoft has renamed few of the terminologies used in office 365. PSTN conferencing is known as Audio Conferencing & PSTN consumption is known as Consumption Credits.

 

There are many benefits of Audio Conferencing service in Office 365; 

  • Commercially available in 72 countries
  • You can easily setup and manage it through Office 365 admin portal.
  • Provides dial-in from 90 countries and 400 cities with 44 supported IVR languages & dialects.
    Dial-out support to 190+ countries
  • It allows to control costs by providing a flat per user cost model for toll dial-in usage.
  • Optionally add toll-free numbers and pay on a per minute basis
  • Supports dynamic conference IDs

 

The O365 Audio Conferencing service supports dial in and dial out to phones from both Teams and Skype for Business online meetings. Neil Deason highlighted that Dial-in/dial-out for Teams meetings has just entered Public Preview. Microsoft will only support the O365 Audio Conferencing service for dial-in/dial out to Teams meetings. However, Skype for Business Online supports both the Microsoft Audio Conferencing service and a third-party Audio Conferencing Provider add-on option.

 

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Microsoft is announcing at Ignite that a new Audio Conferencing offer will be made available by October 2017 providing Enterprise Agreement customers the option of a complete pay-per-minute usage model. This is an addition to the existing subscription based offer available. It is important to note that;

 

  • No flat price Audio Conferencing subscription per user.
  • Toll and toll-free inbound calls are charged on a per-minute basis.
  • All outbound calls are charged on a pre-minute basis.
  • Available to enterprise E1 and enterprise E3, VL customers

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You can setup Audio Conferencing in Office 365 in two simple steps (yup, just two :) );

  • Acquire Audio Conferencing licenses. The organization gets assigned a Audio Conf. bridge with 62 dial-in locations.
  • Assign licenses to users. Users are automatically enabled for the service.

Three new features have been released in the preview program;

  • Lobby support for PSTN Conferencing participants
  • Disable toll-free numbers for specific users
  • Restrict dial-outs for specific users

You can register at www.skypepreview.com to be part of the preview program. Also, you don't want to miss this fantastic presentation by Neil Deason (Group Program Manager, Microsoft) despite not attending this session in person. You can watch the video recording of this session at Microsoft.ignite.com. The recording will be available in next few hours from now.

 

Another blog post from Delanda Coleman (Sr. Product Marketing Manager, Microsoft) on this topic can be read here. You can also read more about availability of service and access number coverage.

 

I would be glad to hear your observations\feedbacks\comments if any. You can follow me on Twitter or you can visit my LinkedIn profile to connect.

 

1 Comment
Contributor

Is it available in India?