About Pexip's Skype for Business gateway service
Pexip’s Skype for Business Gateway-as-a-Service provides the ability to combine Microsoft Skype for Business with standards-based video conferencing endpoints, personal/mobile clients and high quality virtual meeting rooms, thus enabling you to enjoy business quality video with one or more participants in virtual meeting rooms inside and outside your organization.
It allows devices registered to the Pexip Service to seamlessly join Skype for Business meetings. Users on Pexip and Skype for Business both retain their native end-user experience. The gateway service also enables direct point-to-point calling between Skype for Business clients and purpose-built videoconferencing devices registered on the Pexip Service.
It leverages Pexip's global quality of service video network to enable seamless collaboration between traditional H.323/SIP video conferencing from vendors such as Cisco, Tandberg, Lifesize and Polycom, and browser based solutions such as WebRTC anywhere in the world. This offers maximum employee flexibility and allows customers to attend meetings with high quality audio and video using their Skype for Business client. The service is hosted in Microsoft Azure Cloud for optimum compatibility and performance with Office 365.
To use the Skype for Business gateway service, devices must be registered on the Pexip Service with a Premium subscription.
The gateway service allows:
- Skype for Business users (clients) to directly call a device registered on the Pexip Service
- Devices registered on the Pexip Service to directly call a Skype for Business user
- Devices registered on the Pexip Service to call into a Skype for Business meeting
- Skype for Business users to add a device registered on the Pexip Service into an ongoing Skype for Business meeting
When VTC devices are gatewayed into a Skype for Business meeting:
- VTC devices see a filmstrip layout of 1 large speaker, with a single row of up to 5 thumbnails of other participants at a resolution optimized for the participant´s device. (The limitation of up to 5 thumbnails is because the Skype for Business Meeting Server only sends a maximum of 6 individual participants.)
- Skype for Business users maintain their native meeting experience with a gallery video view of the participants.
Content sharing between Skype for Business and VMRs is supported. Skype for Business participants can:
- Receive content from the Virtual Meeting Room, and
- Share content (using either "Present Desktop" and "Present Program") into the Virtual Meeting Room. Note that the "Present PowerPoint Files" feature is not supported, but PowerPoint presentations can be fully shared using either of the two previously mentioned methods.
When Skype for Business users call into a Pexip VMR they must dial an address in the format <conference_id>@vmr.vc i.e. a different domain (vmr.vc) from what they normally use for other video calls.
Why is a different domain required?
Pexip offers domain hosting, so that customers can have the same video address domain as their email/company domain, and that works well for standards-based video devices. However, for Skype for Business calls it would mean that Pexip would need to host the customers’ domain certificates required for Skype for Business signaling to work. This can work for an on-prem solution, but for a cloud solution it is not scalable and also it is typically not acceptable to many customers.
The Pexip Service supports Skype for Business 2016, Lync 2013, Lync 2010, OCS 2007 R2 and Lync for Mac 2011 on premise solutions as well as Lync Online (Office 365) for Windows. Within this article, Skype for Business is used to include all supported clients.
- Skype for Business: high definition audio, video and content sharing (RDP and VbSS)
- Lync 2013: high definition audio, video and content sharing (RDP)
- Lync 2010: standard quality audio (G.722, G.722.1, G.711) and video (RTV, H.263 CIF) and content sharing (RDP)
- Lync for Mac 2011: standard quality audio (G.722, G.722.1, G.711) and video (RTV) and content sharing (RDP)
If you want to demonstrate/test the Skype for Business integration but you do not have a Premium endpoint subscription, the best method is to create a trial Premium subscription.
Note that you can’t create a trial subscription with the same name as an existing subscription. Thus, for i.e. firstname.lastname@example.org you would create a new trial subscription with a new video address, for example email@example.com. This avoids billing issues and spending time on upgrading and subsequently downgrading endpoints.
For more information on setting up your integration, see:
- Skype for Business requirements for use with Pexip VMRs
- Enabling your video conferencing units to be added as Skype for Business contacts
- Enabling federation / external access for Office 365
- Skype for Business integration troubleshooting
For more information about joining VMRs and making calls between video devices and Skype for Business clients, see: