We have turned off comments here - please direct all comments and questions to the preview forum.
Starting today, a preview build of Skype for Business Server 2019 is available for download.
While the future of Unified Communications and collaboration technology is the cloud with Teams and Office 365, we understand that many customers have reasons for maintaining on-premises deployments for these services. Our goal with this release is to enable customers to take advantage of key cloud features in an on-premises experience. This preview includes four key capabilities.
Cloud Voicemail. Skype for Business Server 2019 when paired with Exchange Server 2019 will use Cloud Voicemail to provide voicemail services. This provides an alternative to Unified Messaging, which will not be offered in Exchange Server 2019. With Cloud Voicemail, voicemail messages will continue to be stored in the user’s email inbox. Skype for Business Server customers who are currently using Unified Messaging and plan to migrate to Exchange Server 2019 should first plan and deploy Cloud Voicemail. Skype for Business Server customers who are planning to remain on older versions of Exchange, can continue to use voicemail functionality provided by Unified Messaging on their supported Exchange deployments.
Cloud Auto Attendant. We will begin supporting the use of Cloud Auto Attendant, so that on-premises customers can always use the latest version of Auto Attendant. Customers will need to use a hybrid configuration for users syncing to AAD. Please note that Cloud Auto Attendant will be available later this year – we will announce when ready.
Cloud Call Data Connector. Call Analytics is integrated into the core experience for administration and management in Office 365. With this addition to Skype for Business Server, you now have the ability to upload your call quality data to Office 365. This means you no longer need to store this data locally, and you can use the latest enhancements in the cloud version for a consolidated view of calling diagnostics. As we update reporting in the cloud, customers will be able to take advantage of these enhancements. CQD (Call Quality Dashboard) experience in cloud for on-premises customers will be made available later this year.
Streamlined Teams Migration. On-premises customers have noted to us that while they need on-premises support they recognize they will move eventually to the cloud. To ease that transition for customers, we have further simplified the experience to migrate to Teams.
Getting Started. Download the preview today and start testing in your lab environment. It’s important to note that this is a pre-release version that may change substantially before it is released. Please do not install into production. We will disable comments here and instead have provided a forum with the latest news for you to discuss this preview release with your peers and to give us feedback. Please take the time to review the pre-release documentation to help you with your testing. We look forward to your feedback on the product and documentation. I hope to see you at Microsoft Ignite 2018 where we plan to have a session on Skype for Business Server 2019.