Occasional Contributor

I've seen various articles about Advanced Communication SKU and they all seem circuitous and ultimately referring to Microsoft's own announcement.


One of these features is something being called "Teams Calling", which is described as "With Teams Calling, a cloud-based phone system, employees can continue to do this whether they are in the office, working from home, or some combination of the two."


I am wondering how is this different than MS Phone System that's currently available?  Is this an automatic 'entitlement' that's part of the Advanced Communication SKU if you choose to add it (ala Azure AD Premium comes as part of EM+S).  Or is it just re-branding?

best response confirmed by ThereseSolimeno (Microsoft)

@Bryan Hall, my take on it is that "Phone System" is the underlying PBX that provides the calling functionality to both SfB Online and MS Teams.

Teams Calling is the functionality within the Teams clients that allows you to leverage the underlying Phone System.

I don't believe the Advanced Communications SKU will give entitlement to Phone System, you need your users to have either an E5 or a Phone System Add-on license to use Phone System.

@Murray Walker, @ThereseSolimeno


Thanks for replying.  We have already been using calling via Teams with E5 + calling plans for a few years.   So, it sounds like "Teams Calling" is a branding play because the  MS Phone System (or E5) along with Calling Plan is already available for Teams calling (the common noun)?


I've asked a few specialists as well as MS reps and it seems that at this time no one has a clear idea on what this actually is either.  I was not able to find anything in the FastTrack partner resources either.


The announcement puts some sort of emphasis on it as a new feature, but it is very light on what is actually different than what's already available.  And if it's not a new feature, then its presence in the announcement is confusing at best, and disingenuous at worst.


From the announcement (emphasis mine):

Give employees 1:1 connections with Teams Calling

Connecting 1:1 with colleagues, customers and partners is important, especially when meeting face-to-face can be challenging.  Employees in your organization can easily call each other from Teams without a phone number. For your employees who use phone numbers to make and receive calls with customers, partners, and vendors, those numbers need to be with them, wherever they are. With Teams Calling, a cloud-based phone system, employees can continue to do this whether they are in the office, working from home, or some combination of the two.

@Bryan Hall 


I'd agree with your theory on the rebranding Phone System + Calling Plans, especially with the demise of SfB Online next year, there's no reason to have a "common" name for a product if you're only using it under a single line.  I'm sure you'll still see Phone System be its own license as it's used for Voice Mail services as well, and required for Direct Routing to be able to use PSTN services.


I'd not expect the Teams Calling to be included in the Advanced Communications SKU, as that seems to be targeted towards better functionality in the meeting space, specifically larger collaborations, live meetings, and customizations.