Claranet launches new PBX-integrated Skype for Business service

Claranet, the leading managed services provider in Europe, has launched its new Skype for Business integration for the Claranet Hosted Voice service in the UK. The new service means that organisations will benefit from the superior enterprise-grade functionality of a hosted PBX system, with the front end usability of Skype for Business within the wider Office 365 family.

As a standalone product, Skype for Business is a market leading tool but it lacks the enterprise grade telephony functionality that comes with a PBX system. Claranet’s new service fully integrates Skype for Business with the Hosted Voice cloud PBX set-up, ensuring the advantages of both approaches for end users.

Many organisations have been averse to adopting full Skype for Business functionality and have maintained their PBX phone systems because telephony is still considered the central form of communication, with any change being seen as too risky. The result is that while many have adopted Skype for Business within the wider Office 365 package, they only use the video conferencing and IM functionality, maintaining the PBX phone on the office desk for voice calls.

James Mitchell, Senior Product Manager for Unified Communications, said:

Integrating an existing PBX system with Skype for Business is not straight forward, resulting in many organisations putting it quite a way down their to-do list. With our new service, customers will be able to upgrade entirely to our Hosted Voice service with Skype for Business as the front end tool. Claranet has done the heavy lifting to fully integrate the Skype for Business package with our Hosted Voice service. The service, combined with Claranet’s Office 365 offer, results in a comprehensive and reliable unified communications solution."

The new Skype for Business service is an addition to Claranet’s existing Hosted Voice VoIP service, which provides a complete telephone system incorporating handsets and soft phones, with full integration with smartphones and tablets. Fully ISO 27001 and ISO 22301 accredited, the service is highly secure meeting all necessary standards with realistic service level agreements.

James concludes:

Studies from Broadsoft have suggested that 94 per cent of UK businesses still use an on-site PBX system, rendering the vast majority unable to take advantage of true unified communications and the benefits it entails. Attempting to connect a legacy PBX with a wider modern communications suite just doesn’t work as it results in restricted functionality and a fragmented suite of applications. Our new Skype for Business service removes all of these challenges.”

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