Microsoft Exchange Online UM Announcement: Know Your Options

Microsoft Exchange Online UM Announcement: Know Your Options

Microsoft announced that as part of their Exchange Online Unified Messaging solution, they are discontinuing support for Session Border Controller access.

What does this mean?

Exchange Online UM will no longer offer direct SBC access for third party PBXs. If you have a third party PBX, anything not Microsoft, you won’t be able to integrate it with Exchange Online Unified Messaging. You will have to find an alternative approach.

What are the Microsoft Exchange Online UM Options?

  1. Complete a migration from your 3rd party on-premises PBX to Office 365 Cloud PBX by July, 2018.
  2. Complete a migration from your 3rd party on-premises PBX to Skype for Business Server Enterprise Voice on-premises by July, 2018.
  3. If you have a mixed deployment of 3rd party PBX and Skype for Business, connect the PBX to Skype for Business Server using a connector from a Microsoft partner and continue using Exchange Online UM through that connector.
  4. Implement a 3rd party voicemail/unified messaging system.

Microsoft's 4 options for Exchange Online UM customers

Microsoft’s Option #4

If options 1-3 are not the answer for your enterprise, option #4 is to deploy an alternative unified messaging system. That UM system can be hosted in a cloud or on-premises. It’s a way to keep both of the components you currently have in place – your on-premise third party PBX as well as your Office 365 environment – and deliver unified messaging.

The AVST Alternative

The AVST unified messaging alternative uses Microsoft’s APIs approved for this purpose. We take care of the configuration solution for you. Exchange UM customers can continue to use the Outlook forms provided by Microsoft.

If an Exchange UM customer already has the Outlook forms deployed and installed on their user’s desktop, those users can continue to use that UM functionality. When the user plays a message, it’s still played via that Microsoft-provided form. However, anytime the phone is used, that’s AVST-provided. It’s the best of both worlds – all the telephony applications and interfaces provided by the AVST alternative are available to the customer, but they can continue to use the familiar Outlook interface they’ve been using.

In summary, you can no longer connect your on-premise third party PBX into an Exchange Online Unified Messaging environment. If you are an Office 365 customer using Exchange UM and are looking for alternatives, AVST has a great solution for you. AVST is currently offering a significant incentive to ease the economic impact of this UM challenge.

Understand Your Exchange Online UM Options

AVST is a Microsoft Gold Partner with competencies in Communications and Messaging, placing us in the top 1% of the Partner ecosystem. AVST Live! is presenting a webinar, UM Options for Microsoft Exchange Online UM Customers, on Wednesday, August 9, at 10 AM Pacific / 1 PM Eastern. The webinar details steps for a smooth path to your Skype for Business future, without disrupting your operations today.

We’ve also created a Quick Guide: Understanding Your Microsoft Exchange Online UM Options, to provide a broad overview of the unified messaging challenge presented by this discontinuation of support for SBC access in July, 2018.