Deploy Skype Connectivity in Skype for Business Server 2015
Topic Last Modified: 2017-03-09
Summary: Learn how to connect Skype for Business Server 2015 with Skype consumer. Also known as Skype connectivity.
This article walks through deployment for Skype Connectivity.
Skype Connectivity provides Skype for Business users with the ability to search for and add Skype users. Skype Connectivity is a feature of Skype for Business that lets you enable federation and directory search with Skype users. After you enable Skype Connectivity your Skype for Business users will be able to search for and add Skype users.
Skype Directory Search functionality provides Skype for Business users with the ability to search for Skype contacts. The search functionality lets users search using the following:
Search by display name, example “John Doe”– This could return many results, so you might not find what you are looking for.
Search by display name plus location, example “John Doe in Barcelona”– This will narrow the results of the search down considerably.
Search by email, example “email@example.com” – This should return one result in most cases; the one that matches the specified email exactly. But if the same email is associated with more than one account, multiple results may be returned.
Search by phone number, example “123-123-1234” – This should return one result in most cases; the one that matches the specified phone exactly. Phone number must include the country code (i.e. 1-xxx-yyy-zzzz). If the same phone number is associated with more than one account, multiple results may be returned.
Search by Skype Name, example “JohnDoe1456” – If exact match is found, it will be returned as the first result. Other possible “name” matches may be returned.
Note: Skype Directory Search must be able to communicate with the following IP addresses on port 443: 22.214.171.124, 126.96.36.199, and 188.8.131.52.
The following table outlines support for Skype Directory Search.
Skype for Business Server 2015 Front End
Lync Server 2013 (or older) Front End
Skype for Business Server 2015 Edge
Skype for Business Server 2015 and Edge are prerequisites for Skype Directory Search
Skype for Business Server 2015 Edge + Lync Server 2013 Edge deployed side-by-side
Skype Directory Search traffic flows through Skype for Business Server Edge servers. Federation traffic goes through edge configured by the administrator. For example, the administrator could choose to continue to send federation traffic through Lync Server 2013 Edge servers which would not support Skype Directory Search.
Lync Server 2013 (or older) Edge
|Addressbook service running on Skype for Business Server 2015 Front End finds the 2015 Edge by the existence of the Skype Search port 4443 in the 2015 Edge server.|
|In case a customer has multiple sites in their on-premises deployment, and if they have deployed just one Skype for Business Server 2015 Edge server/pool, then Search traffic from all sites will go through the single available Edge server. The administrator needs to make sure the pools from all sites can access the deployed Skype for Business Server 2015 Edge server/pool.|
|Skype graph service will throttle search requests from any on-premises or Office 365 customer if the request rate exceeds 15 requests / second.|
|For large enterprise on-premises customers, the domains will need to be whitelisted with the Skype search service to allow higher request rates.|
|Skype for Business Server 2015 will throttle incoming requests, if there are too many pending requests in the queue.|
Skype Connectivity is also a feature of Skype for Business Online, which is part of Office 365. You can enable the Skype Connectivity feature from the Skype for Business Administration Center within the Office 365 portal.
For Office 365 Midsize Business, Office 365 Enterprise, Office 365 Education, and Office 365 for Government: Sign in to the Office 365 portal and navigate to the Skype for Business Administration Center. Go to External Communications. Under Public IM Service Providers, click Enable. If you want to control individual user access to Skype Connectivity, you can do so by editing individual users’ External Communications settings.
For Office 365 Small Business Premium: Sign in to Office 365, and go to Admin > Service Settings > Instant messaging, meetings and conferencing. Turn on External communications. The External communications switch turns on both Skype Connectivity and communications with other organizations that use Skype for Business.
For more information about Skype for Business Online administration, see:
Skype for Business Server 2015 uses the federation access architecture to support connectivity with Skype. This connectivity enables your Skype for Business Server users to add Skype. Skype clients can also add Skype for Business users to their contact list. Based on policies administratively set in Skype for Business Server users will be able to communicate using instant messaging, see each other’s presence, and initiate audio and video calls. Skype connectivity is also a feature of Skype for Business Online, and can be enabled for Skype for Business Online customers from the Skype for Business Administration Center within the Office 365 portal.
|If Skype for Business Server is already configured to connect with Windows Messenger by using Public Instant Messaging Connectivity (PIC), your deployment is already configured for Skype connectivity. The only change you may want to consider is to rename your existing Messenger PIC entry as Skype.|
This provisioning process can take up to thirty days to complete but may take only a few days depending on the volume of requests. We recommend that you start this process first, prior to completing the remaining steps in this document. After the Skype provisioning process is completed for your account, the account is activated and your eligible users are enabled for public IM connectivity.
To provision Skype connectivity, you need the following information:
Microsoft Agreement Number
Access Edge service fully qualified domain name (FQDN)
Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) domain(s)
Any additional Access Edge service FQDNs
To initiate the provisioning process for Skype Connectivity:
Sign in to the website, https://pic.lync.com, using your Microsoft Windows Live ID.
Select the Microsoft licensing agreement type.
Select the check box, verifying that you have read and accept the Product Use Rights for Skype for Business Server.
On the Initiate a Provisioning Request page, click the appropriate link to initiate a provisioning request:
On the Specify Provisioning Information page, enter the Access Edge service FQDN. For example, sip.contoso.com.
Important: After July 1st 2017 Microsoft will additionally require customers have the Federation DNS SRV record deployed for Public IM connectivity to continue to work.
Enter at least one or more SIP domain names, and then click Add.
Note: At least one Access Edge server is required to complete the provisioning process. While a single Access Edge FQDN can support multiple SIP domains, a single SIP domain cannot be represented by more than one Access Edge FQDN. The SIP domain and the Access Edge server must be active, functioning, and reachable on the network.
In the list of Public IM Service providers, select Skype, and click Next to add contact information, and submit the provisioning request.
After the provisioning request has been submitted, it can take up to 30 days, but may take only a few days depending on queue, for the account to activate and for users to be enabled for Skype Connectivity.
After you have submitted the provisioning request, you can focus on the Skype for Business Server environment and administrative tasks required to configure Skype Connectivity. In this section, we assume that the administrator has deployed Skype for Business Server and configured external access, also known as Edge servers.
There are three primary steps required to enable federation and PIC. These are:
Configure Federation and PIC
Configure at least one policy to support federated user access
Configure the Skype PIC provider setting
Federation is required to enable Skype users to communicate with Skype for Business users in your organization. Public Instant Messaging Connectivity (PIC) is a class of federation, and it must be configured to enable your Skype for Business users to communicate with Skype users. Federation and PIC are configured by using the Skype for Business Server Control Panel.
|PIC federation is no longer supported by Live Communication Server 2005 SP1 or by Office Communications Server 2007. The supported platforms for PIC federation include Skype for Business Server 2015, Lync Server 2013, Lync Server 2010, and Office Communications Server 2007 R2.|
Federation is required to enable Skype users to communicate with Skype for Business users in your organization. Public Instant Messaging Connectivity (PIC) is a class of federation, and it must be configured to enable your Skype for Business Server users to communicate with Skype users. Federation and PIC are configured by using the Edge configuration dialog of the Skype for Business Server Control Panel as shown in the figure.
|EnableSkypeIdRouting and EnableSkypeDirectorySearch attributes need to be set to true in the public provider settings (see later instructions) for Search to work.|
This completes the administrative tasks that must be performed on the server. You are now set up for Skype Connectivity.
Using the Skype for Business Server Control Panel, an administrator must configure one or more external user access policies to control whether Skype users can collaborate with internal Skype for Business Server users.
Using the Skype for Business Server Management Shell, an administrator must configure the Skype for Business client policy to display Skype as an additional PIC provider.
|Users of the Public Instant Messaging Connectivity (PIC) service providers can’t participate in IM or conferences in your organization until you also configure at least one policy (step 2, earlier in this procedure) to support public IM connectivity.|
For new installations you can configure Skype Connectivity by enabling a Skype Public Provider using the Skype for Business Server Control Panel as shown in the figure.
|To configure Skype Connectivity when upgrading to Skype for Business Server you must remove and re-add the existing Skype public provider.|
Configuring Skype Connectivity can also be done using only PowerShell. To configure Skype Connectivity using PowerShell:
From a Skype for Business Server Front End Server, open the Skype for Business Server Management Shell.
Run the following two commands:
Remove-CsPublicProvider -Identity <identity-name>
Note: If you do not already have a PIC provider in your environment and are creating a new PIC provider then you do not need to run the Remove-CsPublicProvider cmdlet.
New-CsPublicProvider -Identity Skype -ProxyFqdn federation.messenger.msn.com -IconUrl https://images.edge.messenger.live.com/Messenger_16x16.png -NameDecorationRoutingDomain msn.com -NameDecorationExcludedDomainList "msn.com,outlook.com,live.com,hotmail.com" -Enabled $true -EnableSkypeIdRouting $true -EnableSkypeDirectorySearch $true
Note: What do the less obvious parameters do?
ProxyFqdn: location of Skype federation edge (owned/maintained by Microsoft)
IconURL: icon used by Lync & Skype for Business client to visually identify Skype contacts
NameDecorationRoutingDomain and NameDecorationExcludedDomainList: setting these allows users to enter Skype users’ MSAs without needing to know about “decorating” non-Microsoft domains with “msn.com”. This eliminates the need to type “user(contoso.com)@msn.com” for all domains that are NOT in the ExcludedDomainList. The SfB client will automatically format the MSA if the domain is NOT in the Excluded list. We’ve added the most common Microsoft Account domains to the excluded list.
Note: Public Provider must be removed and added new if changes are made. No in-place changes are allowed. Note: Added in Lync Server 2013 CU5 & Lync desktop client in Office 2013 SP1, the NameDecorationRoutingDomain and NameDecorationExcludedDomainList improve the situation where Lync users adding Skype contacts needed to “decorate” non-Microsoft domains to identify and route them to Skype (the format of: user(contoso.com)@msn.com). These new settings will allow automatic formatting of the address user’s enter in the “Add Skype contact” dialog box with the NameDecorationRoutingDomain (which should be set to msn.com) if it does not contain the domains in the NameDecorationExcludedDomainList (we currently can support msn.com, live.com, Hotmail.com, outlook.com).
From a Skype for Business client users can now search for and add a Skype user.
The following table outlines the status of interop between the latest version of Skype consumer and the latest version of Skype for Business.
Add contacts, IM, presence, audio, and video calling
Skype Windows Desktop
7.6 or higher, Windows XP and higher
NEW: Support added for Windows Skype client running on Windows XP, and Windows Vista (requires latest client version 7.26 or higher)
Skype Mobile - Android Phone and Tablet
6.19 or higher, running Android OS version 4.0.3 or higher
Low spec devices may not support video calling
Skype Mobile – iOS
6.11 or higher, on IOS 7 or higher
Not supported are iPhone 4 and earlier, iPod 4th generation and earlier, iPad 1st generation
7.19 or higher, on Mac OS X 10.9 (Mavericks) or higher
Requires Mac OSX 10.9 or higher
Skype Universal Windows App (Windows 10) Desktop and Mobile
Windows 10 (Redstone 1 update or later)
Windows Universal App will receive update in Fall 2016 adding interop support
The following table outlines the status of interop between the latest version of Skype for Business and the latest version of Skype consumer.
Skype Directory Search and Add Contacts
Skype A/V, IM interop
Skype for Business 2015
Skype for Business on Mac
Can add (no search)
Lync Desktop 2013
Can add (no search)
Lync Web App - online and on-premises
Lync Mobile - Windows Phone
Lync Mobile - Android
Lync Mobile - iOS
Lync Room System
Lync Modern App (Win 8.1)
Lync Mac 2011
Can add (no search)
Lync Desktop 2010
Can add (no search)
Lync Phone Edition