What is the right ‘Skype for Business’ (SfB) client license for your requirement?

CTO, IT Directors and decision makers around the globe are considering to upgrade from OCS or Lync to the latest ‘Skype for Business’ client. They are going to be faced with choices to select the right Microsoft SfB license package.  Those that have already started this initiative know the complexity and price variations involved.

Skype for Business client license for your requirement

Skype for Business client license for your requirement

Cloud PBX, PSTN Conferencing, E3, E4, E5, E3 add-ons and dial plans are just a few to start with and it gets more interesting when the location of the end user and location of the license owner is added to the mix.  We all know the consequences of not having the right license or wrong product and impact on the productivity of the users, not to mention going out of compliance with Microsoft Licensing policy.  E5, new kid in the block and choice is being presented as the option for taking advantage of all new features of SfB!  E5 is an enhanced version of E4 and E4 is being retired. E5 is sold in India but all the services of E5 are not enabled in India as of the date this article is published.

What is E5 licensing and what are the advantages of upgrading to E5?  I like to use the analogy of mobile phone, data plan and voice plans that we are very familiar with.

  1. E5 in USA: Having a mobile phone device with a prepaid SIM Card but no calling minutes. It is just like a mobile phone without minutes to use. It also provides meeting organizer capabilities for audio conferencing bridge with PSTN dial in numbers that is provided by Microsoft.
  2. E5 in USA + Dial Plan: Having a mobile phone with calling minutes.
  3. E5 in India: Similar to E5 in USA but you cannot get a dial plan in India.  Similar to having a mobile phone without the ability to call in or out!
  4. E4 is being decommissioned.  But if you have an existing E4, you can upgrade to E5 or consider E3 with add-on(s).

What about the existing customer with E1 and E3?   There are add-ons for E1 and E3.

  1. Cloud PBX add-on for E1 or E3: It is like buying a SIM card without calling minutes.  This also gives a dial pad in SfB client. You need a ‘Dial plan’ to use the Cloud PBX features of dialing in and out of the SfB client.   These dial plans are sold separately for USA only at the time of publishing this article. ‘E1/E3 + Cloud PBX add-on + Dial plan’ are required to make a phone call from SfB.
  2. PSTN conferencing add-on for E1 and E3: Only required if you are going to utilize the Microsoft-provided audio conferencing bridge.  This conferencing bridge only allows users to dial into the bridge from PSTN or join from the SfB or web browser.   This does not allow the feature to dial out from the bridge to loop a member on Mobile or Landline.

Simplified further based on general use cases:

  1. Ability to make/receive Audio calls from SfB client: E5 + Dial Plan or  E1/E3 + Cloud PBX add-on + Dial plan
  2. Dial in Audio conferencing bridge: E5 or E1/E3 + PSTN Conferencing add-on
  3. Assign DID Numbers that travel with you! Receive and make calls from SfB client on their choice of devices mobile phone, laptop, or a desk phone to regular PSTN: E5 + Dial Plan or  E1/E3 + Cloud PBX add-on + Dial plan
  4. Global Audio conferencing bridge: E1/E3 + PSTN Conferencing add-on + Dial plan (if you like to have dial out from the bridge to PSTN numbers)

‘Skype for Business’ allows all these and much more! It is scalable and provides great mobility.  It is a very promising unified communication and collaboration platform.  All these are possible when you select the right plan and license that suits your needs.

We can help you to navigate various licensing options and create a TCO for your unified communication and collaboration requirements including dial-in conferencing and PSTN dialing.   To learn more, visit or call us Nagesh at 1-877-686-4726 or email us at  for a free trial account. Experience all-inclusive Cloud based ‘Skype for Business’ powered by VOIP Connections infrastructure.

Resources and referenced links:

Here are the links that describe Microsoft E5 offering