Back in November I asked the question, “Will Skype for Business have the same CAL structure Lync Server 2013 does?”

Turns out that yes, it will!

Now that Skype for Business Server 2015 is on its way out into the world, I decided to look at its licensing. Surely by now we’d know what kind of licensing you must use.

And to a large extent we do. I came across several pages, Microsoft and otherwise, with licensing details.Skype4BLicensing2

Skype for Business team here at Microsoft. Ask us Anything! – An entire Reddit discussion with the Skype for Business team. Wherein they answered a lot of questions, from licensing to security to “Why does Skype not close when I click the X?”

The licensing topic itself is a little buried, so you can head to this link instead for that: Skype for Business Licensing: The Issues – A nicely-collected summary on licensing structure.

To make it even easier for our readers, here are all the details I’ve collected.

The Skype4B Licensing Details

For on-prem versions, Licensing for Skype for Business Server stays the same as Lync Server 2013.

  • Each Front End server requires a server license.
  • Each user (or device) requires a standard CAL.
  • Add an Enterprise CAL for conferencing & desktop sharing, a Plus CAL for voice & call management, or both.
  • Client licenses are required for using the Skype for Business client. (These are included in Office 2013 Professional Plus, too.)
  • You’ll find a Licensing Guide on the Skype for Business IT Pros page.

Do you have Software Assurance? Then your licensing is taken care of. From Microsoft’s Skype for Business FAQs Page:

“How do current customers get Skype for Business?
Current Lync Server customers with Software Assurance will have rights to deploy Skype for Business. Office 365 customers with Lync Online will receive automatic updates as part of the subscription service.”

For Lync admins, this is good news. No huge licensing changes means a simpler upgrade path. Fewer hassles to deal with. Those of us with Software Assurance are in great shape too.

The Bad News

You knew it was coming. Fortunately, the bad news doesn’t have to do with licensing itself, but with license costs.
Pricing is still hard to obtain.

As anyone who’s worked with Microsoft software knows, nailing down pricing for licenses is a bit…challenging. (Okay, it’s like trying to keep 10 cats in a full bathtub.)

I’d planned to have pricing details available for you in this post. But I’m still chasing down the numbers, and I didn’t want to hold this licensing information back that long.

So now you know what we’ll blog about next week. Shhh, don’t tell…wait, no, tell everyone you know!

Have you installed Skype for Business Server 2015 yet? Testing or production, either way. I’d love to hear your experiences so far, with licensing and everything else. Please comment or email your thoughts.

And don’t forget to come back here next week!

Licensing for Skype for Business 2015: The Details

3 thoughts on “Licensing for Skype for Business 2015: The Details

  • June 21, 2016 at 12:06 pm

    I’ve installed S4B in an on-prem with Front End, SQL< Edge, Mobility and ARR reverse Proxy. It was challenging to get it all correctly setup to say the least but its solid and working now. When it comes to licences though I am trying to figure out how to get a Std Ed to Ent Ed and am having trouble with the MS site determining if my E3 needs to change? Its been confusing, but we are ready to move to a pool, and start clustering for our site. I have 703 users on it in several countries and many different child domains. You would think the licensing would be the easier part – I'd say it ain't so though?

    • June 22, 2016 at 11:22 am

      Thanks for the comment. We’re seeing some confusion with the O365 licensing among our customers too. Seems like licensing is still a sticking point at Microsoft’s end!

    • August 30, 2017 at 2:31 am

      Hi Wade,

      I hope you will appreciate my direct approach, as I am sure you will be interested to learn of our highly-secure On-Premise Persistent Chat software to enhance the security, capabilities and mobility of Microsoft Skype for Business and Lync.

      Our major involvement in the finance sector has provided us with a deep understanding of challenges faced when communicating sensitive information. As I’m sure you are aware, if confidential information is not managed correctly and incorrect tools are provided to end users, it can pose a real security risk.

      As Gold Partners of Microsoft, MindLink provides the following key enhancements to the Microsoft Skype for Business and Lync On-Premise Persistent Chat Platform:

      • Enterprise Grade Security for mobility – work with all major MDM vendors, including MobileIron, Blackberry/Good and AirWatch
      • Persistent Chat & Persistent IM for mobility – IOS and Android devices
      • Persistent IM for our web browser – our simple yet powerful GUI operates on Windows, Mac OSX and Linux
      • Advanced and legible compliance archiving capabilities – used by many for surveillance
      • Advanced integration – Social Media and RSS feeds, Emails, JIRA, and internal applications with our Restful API

      Please do visit our website and take a look at the attached brochure.
      Also, select this link for a guide on ‘How The Digital Revolution Creates Cross Industry Systemic Risk’:

      I look forward to your thoughts.

      Best regards, Tom


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