Office 365 Partner Community: focus on hybrid – Skype for Business hybrid environment


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by Michael Panciroli
US Partner Technology Strategist for Office 365

The Office 365 Partner Community is led by National Partner Technology Strategists from the Microsoft US Partner Team. Partner Community activities include blog posts, discussions on Yammer, newsletters, and community calls.

This is part 3 of our Office 365 Partner Community blog series about Office 365 hybrid. Read part 1, read part 2, and watch our community call presentation online.

Skype for Business hybrid environment

It’s time for partners to get ready for Skype for Business! In November, we announced that Microsoft Lync would become Skype for Business in the first half of 2015, and last week during Convergence, we announced the availability of the technical preview for the Skype for Business client. The client, server, and online service will be generally available in April.

Another announcement that’s very exciting is that Microsoft will offer enterprise voice and audio conferencing in Office 365, including enterprise-grade PSTN connectivity, later this year. This capability will be delivered via direct connections to Office 365 Skype for Business customers through Azure ExpressRoute for Office 365. Read the announcement by Julia White on the Office 365 blog.

With predictable, reliable, and high-throughput connections offered by ExpressRoute for Office365, partners will be able to build applications that span on-premises infrastructure and Azure without compromising performance or routing traffic over the public internet. These new investments, and others that are coming soon, enable new scenarios that make it more important than ever for partners to understand Skype for Business hybrid configurations. Read on for an introduction to Skype for Business hybrid and my recommendations for how to prepare for these innovations.

What is Skype for Business hybrid?

A hybrid deployment is a deployment where users of a domain, such as our example company, Contoso.com, are split between using Skype for Business Server on-premises and Skype for Business Online. Some of the domain users are homed on the on-premises Server, and some users are homed in Online. It’s a configuration that shares the same SIP domain names between online and on-premises server users.

Why would it be needed?

A Skype for Business hybrid environment may be used in the short term for migrating on-premises users to Online. In some cases, you may need to migrate users back to on-premises for specific feature sets, such as Enterprise Voice or better granularity. There are longer-term use cases where for compliance or legal requirements companies need to keep a specific groups of users on-premises—for example, hosted within a specific country. Also there are technical requirements why you might need to do this, like video teleconference integration, Enterprise Voice, and persistent chat. Over time, you can expect to see hybrid configurations moving from a migration strategy to a permanent deployment strategy.

Lowering the bar to entry

Setting up a hybrid configuration in Lync today can be challenging. Making your way through the myriad TechNet articles, knowing which PowerShell switches and flags to set, and both managing and moving users is not straightforward. It’s welcome news that Skype for Business Server will overcome these challenges natively in the Skype for Business control panel. It will detect and report your existing configuration settings on-premises, as well as your tenant configuration, and auto-configure any missing settings through the interface. It will also be better at managing hybrid user properties.

Recommended resources

Here are recommendations and partner resources to get you started. Some of these refer to Lync, but provide context and details that will be applicable.

Skype for Business at Ignite

If you’re attending the Ignite conference in May, here are two sessions that I recommend:

   

Office 365 community - April 2 birds

Our next Office 365 Partner Community call is on Thursday, April 2, and will focus on Enterprise Social.

Register here

Previous Office 365 Partner Community topics

Focus on FastTrack “Getting Started”

Focus on Identity Integration

Focus on Enterprise Voice for Office 365 customers

Focus on Security and Compliance

Focus on OneDrive for Business

Focus on Office 365 Hybrid

Comments (9)
  1. Anonymous says:

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  2. Anonymous says:

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  3. Anonymous says:

    by Michael Panciroli US Partner Technology Strategist for Office 365 The Office 365 Partner Community

  4. Anonymous says:

    by Michael Panciroli US Partner Technology Strategist for Office 365 The Office 365 Partner Community

  5. Anonymous says:

    by Michael Panciroli US Partner Technology Strategist for Office 365 The Office 365 Partner Community

  6. Anonymous says:

    by Michael Panciroli US Partner Technology Strategist for Office 365 The Office 365 Partner Community

  7. Anonymous says:

    by Michael Panciroli US Partner Technology Strategist for Office 365 The Office 365 Partner Community

  8. Anonymous says:

    by Michael Panciroli US Partner Technology Strategist for Office 365 The Office 365 Partner Community

  9. Anonymous says:

    Reposting from MPN Blog by Diane Golshan – there are still seats available, but please act quickly.

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