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Exploring PSTN Calling – Part 4: Advice for Admins & Users

31 Oct 2016 by Emma Robinson

If you’ve been following our blog series on PSTN calling via Skype for Business, you will have seen how to get licensed for the service, add phone numbers, as well as assigning or transferring numbers as required.
In this last post in the series we wanted to go through some final advice for Admins and users to help you get started, and make the most out of the service.
For Admins
1. Speed things up by automating the process for assigning phone numbers: You can do this using PowerShell, these are the cmdlets you’ll need.

2. Manage your funds on PSTN Consumption Plans: You can add funds to your account by heading into the Admin Center, clicking on ‘Billing’, then ‘Subscriptions’ and you can add credit to the plan here at any time. You can also set up an auto-recharge option, so that more funds are automatically added when the balance falls to a certain point. As we mentioned in our previous post, configuring auto-recharge can mitigate the risk of encountering service issues when you run out of credit.
If you are on another type of calling plan and you exceed your allocated usage (the total of all minutes associated with all users’ assigned licenses pooled at tenant-level), you will need to add funds to your subscription – you will not be able to use the service until you do this.
subscriptions
(You can find out all the PSTN rates for different locations here – both dial-in, and dial-out.)
3. Domestic or International? One of the great things about this PSTN calling service is that it essentially enables you to take your desk phone with you when you’re travelling around – but what does this mean for call charges. Which would be Domestic and which would be International?
Here’s an example – you have a user that is licensed in the UK who has travelled to Singapore. If he makes a call to the UK, that is a Domestic call, no matter where he is currently located. If he calls a client in Singapore, this would be an international call, even if the person he’s calling is just down the road.
Domestic calls are set to the location where you are assigned your license. So if your user relocates to a different country, it’s important to ensure that the license is reassigned or changed to reflect the new location – otherwise you could face increased call costs.
For Users
1. Call Forwarding Options: There are a number of call forwarding options available in Skype for Business. To configure yours, click on the icon below and select ‘Call Forwarding Settings’.
pstn-call-forwarding
You can choose your call forwarding options here:

  • Turn call forwarding off completely.
  • You can choose to forward calls to voice mail, your work phone (if you still have a desk phone paired with the technology), or a new number or contact. This option is really useful, and has a lot of applications – for example, if you’re away for an extended period, you could forward your calls to a colleague – (but probably best to ask them first!) If you’re working away from your desk, you can forward calls to your mobile, so you won’t miss anything while you’re on the move.
  • Finally, you can set it to simultaneously ring two numbers, so that another number (or another person that you select) are notified at the same time.

pstn
2. Set up Voice Mail: To configure your voice mail, go to the ‘Phone’ keypad button in the top navigation. Towards the bottom of the pane, there is a small voicemail icon, click on this and choose ‘Set up Voice Mail’.
voicemail
This will take you through to an OWA page, which features a number of different options. These include: recording your own greetings, configuring PIN access to hear messages on another phone, and creating ‘Call answering rules’ depending on your situation.
new-rule
3. What happens if you need to leave the office, but want to continue with your call?
If you have joined a call on your laptop and suddenly need to switch to your phone, it’s easy to transfer the call. To make the process smooth, make sure you have your mobile number added into your Skype for Business settings. In the ‘Options’, click on ‘Phones’, and add in your mobile number, and click ‘Ok’.
Then, when you’re in your call, all you need to do is click the ‘Transfer’ option and select the number you want to call from.
add-number
And that’s it! PSTN Calling can be a little tricky to get in place, but once it’s all configured, it is a powerful tool which supports flexible working – making you one step closer to being able to take your entire desk wherever you need it.
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