Microsoft has extended the support for UM with SBC – it is now December 1, 2019. Also note that  “3rd party UM Connector” is NOT recommended in the new article – it was mentioned in the original article that talked about end of support. All in all, what Microsoft is recommending is to either move entirely to Office 365 based solution or stay on-premise. Here is the link to the article that talks about the new date for end of support of SBC and UM –


It is still not too early to start planning, this blog discusses different options in detail. Here is the article that talks about extension of support –

Following article from Microsoft goes over details. https://blogs.technet.microsoft.com/exchange/2017/07/18/discontinuation-of-support-for-session-border-controllers-in-exchange-online-unified-messaging/ These are the options that has been mentioned in the article –

  1. Complete Migration to Office 365 Cloud PBX
  2. Complete Migration to Skype for Business on-Premise
  3. Connect 3rd Party PBX to on premise Skpe for Business server using a 3rd party connector that can connect to UM Online – example, AnyNode from TE-SYSTEMS.
  4. 3rd party Voicemail system.

Option 1 – Migration to Cloud PBX

This means that you will use the cloud PBX system that that comes with Office 365. This is the “all in one” package where you will get not only the voicemail but also, all of the enterprise voice features. If you are currently using Skype for Business for IM and presence, it will also become the client for making phone calls, joining conferences, and checking voicemail. What about the PBX system that you currently have ? The office 365 users will no longer use the current PBX system, they will use the PBX in the O365 cloud. You have the option to port their existing phone number to cloud. Note that, number porting may take significant time – sometimes, up to 4 weeks, you need to plan accordingly. You will need to purchase additional add-on service with your current plan. Following article has the pricing for these add-on based on your current plan. https://products.office.com/en-us/microsoft-teams/voice-calling If you are currently using phones / headsets that comply with only your PBX system but does not comply with Skype for business, then, you will need to buy additional headset and phone devices. In summary: Pros: Minimum management on customer side, simple steps, best long term solution. Save cost of managing on-premise PBX. Cons: Additional licensing cost, additional cost for end user devices.

Option 2 – Complete Migration to Skype for Business on-premise Server

If you currently do not have Skype for Business on-premise then this solution, is the least feasible, in my opinion. The steps are following – Purchase server grade hardware and deploy Skype for Business on-premise with server license. Purchase on-premise standard CAL and Enterprise CAL for each user since they will have to be enterprise voice enabled. Here are details of license needed – https://products.office.com/en-us/skype-for-business/it-pros Make sure your PBX can integrate with Skype for Business. You may need to purchase additional hardware (gateway) or upgrade firmware for this. This option, only makes sense, if you already have an existing, Skype for Business environment for a group of users. Otherwise, to go through all these just to get to UM online is a long stretch.

Option 3 – 3rd Party UM Connector (Not a Microsoft recommended solution)

This is an interesting solution – AnyNode is a 3rd Party software based cloud connector / SBC. What does that mean ? It is a UCMA based application that runs on a server in your environment. Since it is a UCMA application, it also requires that you have Skype for Business server on premise. The server provides the platform to run the application. This particular application, has the ability to talk directly to UM Online as well as PBX systems that it supports. How can it talk to UM Online when other SBCs will no longer be able to do so ? Solutions such as AnyNode is based on UCMA platform, and so is Exchange Unified Messaging. Therefore, it can directly talk to UM. Hardware based SBCs talk to SBCs in the cloud which in turn talks to UM. These SBCs in the cloud are going away, which is why, SBCs will no longer be supported. Solutions like AnyNode, does not need SBCs in the cloud. If you do not have any on premise Skype for business server, then, you will need to purchase new hardware along with software license for on-prem install. You do not need to have all the servers that are needed for Enterprise Voice deployment, but you will need server to host the UCMA app. Even with that, you will need to plan for administration and maintenance of your on-premise environment. Office 365 voicemail is moving from Exchange UM to Azure Voicemail. Even though there hasn’t been any formal announcement yet, but, it is safe to assume that Exchange UM will very likely be entirely deprecated from Office 365. In that case, AnyNode will need to support Azure Voicemail. Also, you will need additional licenses for users.

Option 4 – 3rd Party Voicemail Solution

There are few 3rd party options available. Only caveat is that, those options do not give you a seamless integration of voicemail as UM online or cloud PBX.

Option 5 – Teams and Direct Routing

Customers will be able to connect their SIP trunk to Office 365 Teams backend with direct routing. This feature will be available end of Q2 2018 (by end of June 2018). Although time wise it is cutting a bit close, however, this also can be a viable option. This is applicable only to Teams client, you cannot use Skype for Business for this feature. https://blogs.technet.microsoft.com/exchange/2017/07/18/discontinuation-of-support-for-session-border-controllers-in-exchange-online-unified-messaging/ Based on the article, this option will give you the ability to use your existing SIP trunk and still have enterprise voice features in Teams client. You will need to purchase additional license add-on or upgrade your current O365 license. Here is a table comparing the requirements for first 3 options (assuming you don’t have any Skype for Business on-premise solution).


Cloud PBX

 UM connector  (AnyNode)

        Skype for Business (On-premise)

New O365 License or Add-on



May need add-on license depending on Microsoft offer.


New Enterprise software and License (SFB On-premise)



(for server only)


(Also need enterprise CAL for users)

New Server (hardware)


                        YES Less servers are needed compared to on-prem.


  Any other Hardware or Software                 NO


(UM Connector – depending on the solution may need both )

YES (very likely)

Depending if your existing PBX can directly talk to Skype for Business.

Additional Administration and Maintenance                     No                YES   needs admin to manage their SFB server and server that runs AnyNode.                YES Manage entire on-premise environment in addition to voice integration.
Buy new headset/ UCphone



Use existing PBX (on-prem)




(if it is supported with Skype for business on-prem)

Number Porting needed