TelephonyMicrosoft’s Office 365 E5 SKU for enterprise users, which massively extends the telephony and unified comms capabilities available to customers, is now available.

Office 365 E5 replaces the E4 version and is expected to be a popular choice for customers who want to take advantage of Microsoft’s advanced security, communications and analytics capabilities. It includes access to the full set of Office apps, support for Skype for Business (Lync) with Enterprise Voice and unified messaging and features such as Cloud PBX and Meeting Broadcast. It also comes with analytics features, such as Power BI Pro and Delve Organizational Analytics, and advanced security features, including eDiscovery, Customer Lockbox, Data Loss Protection and Safe Attachments.

With extensive audio and video and conferencing features within Skype for Business, which include Cloud PBX and PSTN capabilities, E5 provides customers with everything they need to manage all their voice calls, whether they are routed across IP, mobile networks or land lines.

The E5 suite provides a significant new opportunity for partners to build new service offerings around unified communications and analytics, and to reach new customers who want the very best security features. It’s a very significant release and one that Microsoft is very eager to promote. Once customers realise its capabilities, we’re expecting a high level of interest from enterprises.

Skype Meeting Broadcast enables users to broadcast meetings to as many as 10,000 users. The Cloud PBX with PSTN Calling service provides users with the ability to make and receive traditional phone calls in their Skype for Business client, and to manage these calls using hold, resume, forward and transfer.

Brand new customers will be able to purchase E5 or any combination of E1 and E3 with available upgrades to obtain Cloud PBX and PSTN capabilities. Existing E4 customers will need to upgrade, either to E5 or E3 and add Cloud PBX. Any that want to keep their current arrangements in place will be able to renew E3 and add the Skype for Business Plus client-access license (CAL).

Current Office 365 customers will be able to upgrade to E5 with a special SKUs to make up the difference between their current plan and the E5 pricing. Add-on SKUs will also be available with customers who are maintaining on-premises licenses with Software Assurance.