Microsoft Cloud PBX Missing Features

Microsoft began offering their Cloud PBX solution on December 1st 2015 which is Skype for Business with PSTN voice calling, hosted through Microsoft. Skype for Business with Voice allows companies to replace their office phone system with an entirely cloud based phone system. Companies have been hosting Skype for Business (formerly Lync) for years, but now Microsoft themselves is coming to market with their offering. Unfortunately, it is missing several key features that could be deal breakers for enterprise companies.

Auto Attendant

Currently Auto Attendant configuration is handled in the Office 365 Unified Messaging portal. It has a very robust feature set. You can create multiple auto attendants, set business hours, set different greetings for business hours and non-business hours, create holiday greetings and announcements, as well a dial by name directory. These features all reside in the Office 365 admin portal, but unfortunately if you get the Cloud PBX features through Office 365 you cannot make use of the auto attendants within 365. Currently this feature does work if you have Skype for Business in a hosted or on premise environment that is integrated with Office 365.   Microsoft will most likely have this feature available in the future but for companies looking to switch to the Cloud PBX will be missing an important function of typical office telephone systems.

Caller ID Masking

An important complimentary feature to Auto Attendant is call masking. Many companies choose to mask their caller ID for outbound calls with their main office telephone number to give their employees privacy and ensure all calls are routed through either a receptionist or auto attendant. Currently this is available in different capacities in a on premise or hosted solution, but not in Cloud PBX.

Hunt Groups and Response Group

Built into the Skype for Business and Lync servers is the ability to create hunt and response groups which allow for complex call routing. Some basic call routing can be configured directly through the Skype client itself but many of the more complex types of call routing are configured on the server side.   Currently with Microsoft Cloud PBX there are no options for hunt group and response groups.
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