MarkC on UC Microsoft Skype for Business, Lync, Exchange & Everything Else

Lync/Skype for Business CALs

Brief summary of the CAL/Functionalities for Lync 2013/Skype for Business

The Client Access Licenses (CALS) for Microsoft Lync 2013/Skype for Business 2015 seem to cause some confusion so I thought it would be good to qualify.

Firstly, the CALs are
additive - you need at least the Standard CAL, and then you purchase the ENTerprise or PLUS CAL in addition to the Standard. You could end up with all three CALs for example if a user required all of the work-loads.

Anyway, let's look at the specific CALs.

Skype for Business STANDARD (STD) CAL
This CAL is required for all users of the platform, and gives the user rights to use the following functionalities:

  • Instant Messaging & Presence.
  • Peer to peer voice & video.
  • The ability to attend multi-party conferences.

Skype for Business Enterprise (ENT) CAL
This CAL is for users that require the following capabilities:

  • Application & Desktop sharing.
  • The ability to initiate multi-party conferences (I.e. Multi-party Instant Messaging/Voice/Video etc.)
  • The ability to schedule multi-party conferences (I.e Multi-party Instant Messaging/Voice/Video etc.)

Skype for Business PLUS CAL
This CAL is for telephony users, and is required for any user that is integrated to telephony services, including the following functionalities:

  • The ability to dial out to PSTN or a PBX handset.
  • The ability to receive calls from PSTN or a PBX handset.

I.e. It covers the ability to use all of the telephony platform services to PSTN or to integrate with existing PBX platforms.

Usually you'll end up with users having various combinations of CALs, but you can ask some basic questions for the additive CALs:

  • Does a user need to integrate with an existing PBX or PSTN Services? If yes then a PLUS CAL is required.
  • Does a user need to be able to share applications or their desktop? If yes, then an ENT CAL is required.
  • Does a user need to be able to setup conferences? If yes, then an ENT CAL is required.

What about users who want PSTN dial in access for their conferences? Well, fortunately that's covered in the ENT CAL. So having a user that isn't integrated to PSTN or a PBX, but does want to set up conferences with a dial-in PSTN number associated, would need a STD and ENT CAL, not a PLUS.

Office365 can confuse this even more as the Online plans map to the STD/ENT CALs - by way for example:

2016-03-29 CALs

From the above, you can see that Online Plan 2 or above includes the STD and ENT CAL, but not the PLUS.

Anyway, it's worth talking to your licensing reseller to qualify what you have in your existing agreement, and what you would need to purchase to get to your functionality points.

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