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E5 Business Suite from Microsoft Office 365 Enterprise

If there’s one thing you can depend on in IT and business communications, it’s that nothing stays the same for long. Constantly evolving, innovating and responding to the ways in which companies and individuals adopt technology, back in July Microsoft announced the next evolution in its powerful Enterprise Business Suites: E5.

Following its US rollout, E5 arrives in the UK in early 2016, and promises huge leaps forward for communications and business processes.

Much of what’s included in E5 will be familiar to existing users of the E1, E3 and E4 plans, but with some new bells and whistles that are worth knowing about.

Closer Cloud Integration

Business today exists in a cloud and mobile- first environment. Office 365 got everyone used to the streamlined work flow that cloud-based computing introduced, but there’s one area that lagged somewhat behind, namely in the form of telephone communications.

With E5, traditional PBX and VoIP or PSTN systems are brought up to date with full PC, laptop, tablet, and mobile phone integration. Here, in a nutshell, are the new communication possibilities with E5:

  • Skype Meeting Broadcast: Reach up to 10,000 meeting attendees in Skype for Business, who can attend conferences or webinars through their browser. Perfect for bringing together a globally scattered work force, conferencing with business partners or public outreach for educational, promotional or advertising purposes.
  • PSTN (Public Switched Telephone Network) Conferencing: Attend Skype for Business meetings through Office 365 by dialling in through a landline or mobile device. Users can also add others into the meeting by dialling out.
  • Cloud PBX with PSTN Calling: Users can now make traditional calls through their Skype for Business client, with features such as hold, resume, forward or transfer.

Will desk telephones become a thing of the past? Who knows, but given the way today’s workforce likes everything in one place and immediately accessible from whatever device is closest to hand, it’s highly likely. Another bonus with E5 is that subscribers can communicate with other subscribers free of telephone charges, which represents excellent cost savings. This includes video as well as voice and instant message.

The current E4 plan will be retired when E5 is fully rolled out, so if you’re a current E4 user you may wish to consider stepping up. We’d be happy to answer any questions you might have, from current customers or new ones who need – or simply want – to bring their IT up to speed.

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