How to Integrate Pexip with Skype for Business meetings

Skype for Business video interoperability is one of two technology barriers we need to tear down to make sure users succeed with Skype in all scenarios. Being able to invite anyone to a Skype for Business conference regardless of vendor is the key to large-scale user adoption. Pexip is one of few vendors that are able to integrate seamlessly with Skype for Business Server meetings so that anyone can call in to a Skype meeting and join with audio, video and screen sharing both ways.

In this post I will show you how to configure Pexip to integrate with Skype for Business meetings and how to test using the Pexip Infinity Connect soft-client. The goal is to have the ability to join a Skype for Business meeting with any VC Endpoint by using the Skype for Business dial-in conference ID. Read more about what features you can expect from Pexip. Here is how you do it

At the end of this post you will be able to join a Skype for Business meeting from any endpoint

You are about to learn how to do the following

  • Make sure you read my previous blog post on What you need to know to get started with a Skype for Business and Pexip PoC where I explain how to set up the Pexip servers and enable a simple test call between Pexip and Skype for Business
  • Configure direct registration of a VC Endpoint to Pexip
  • Create a new Call Routing rule for the ability to dial the Skype Conference ID directly
  • Create a Virtual Receptionist for the ability use a fixed alias to join meetings
  • Create a dial-in conferencing number and adjust the Skype meeting invitation
  • Validate the configuration by dialing in to a meeting from the Pexip Infinity Connect client
  • Next Steps

Configure direct registration of a VC Endpoint to Pexip

  • Log on to the management node web admin site
  • Navigate to Service Configuration -> Device Aliases
      • Device alias could be PexipUser@vc.contoso.com
        • vc.contoso.com is my video conferencing domain
        • My Skype for Business SIP domain is contoso.com
      • Leave the rest blank and delete the password, in that way you will not get challenged with a username and password when registering
      • Click Add Device alias
  • Click Save
  • Now we have created a user for our test client
  • next we will need to create a new call route

Create a new Call Routing rule for the ability to dial the Skype Conference ID directly

  • Navigate to Service Configuration -> Call Routing rule
  • Click Add Call Routing Rule
    • Name is Dial directly in to a Skype Meeting using conference ID
    • Priority needs to be unique and set it to 70
    • Set When Matching incoming Gateway calls to all except Lync / Skype for Business
    • Set Destination alias regex match to: (\d{5,7})(@(vc\.)?contoso\.com)?
      • This assumes your SfB Conference ID is between 5 and 7 digits, modify 5,7 to fit the lengths of your Conference IDs.
    • Set Destination alias regex replace string to: \1
    • Set Call target to Lync / Skype for Business Meeting direct (not via Virtual Reception)
      • This allows the routing rule to resolve the Conference ID to a meeting URI and connect to it directly
    • I set the Outgoing location to my primary site, MainDC
    • Make sure the correct Lync / Skype for Business server is chosen
      • in my case it is my Standard Edition server called SfB1.contoso.com
    • Click Save
    • The result of the Call Routing configuration should look like this

Create a Virtual Receptionist for the ability use a fixed alias to join meetings

  • Navigate to Service Configuration -> Virtual Reception
  • Click Add Virtual Reception
    • Name: Contoso Skype Meeting Reception
    • Show Advanced options
      • Lync/Skype for Business server: SfB1.contoso.com
        • your Skype for Business server, in my case it is the SfB1.contoso.com standard edition server
      • Lync / Skype for Business meeting lookup location: MainDC
        • The Pexip location where your Skype integrated conferencing node resides, in my case it is MainDC
    • Aliases (Typically add a few options for aliases as VC endpoints might be able to dial different things)
      • Alias1: skype@vc.contoso.com
      • Alias2: skype@contoso.com
        • in case someone types just contoso.com from a VC Endpoint
      • Alias3: skype
        • In case someone wants to just type Skype from a VC Endpoint
  • Click Save
  • Now, let’s validate the Skype for Business requirements for this to work

Create a dial-in conferencing number and adjust the Skype meeting invitation

  • On the Skype for Business Server, open Skype for Business Control Panel
  • Navigate to Conferencing -> Dial-In Access Number
    • If you have a dial-in access number already you are all set
    • If you do not have a dial-in access number and you do not have a SIP trunk integration, you can use a dummy number
      • The reason for needing the dial-in access numbers is that it will generate a conference ID with each meeting invite, this is the ID that Pexip will use to join the conference
      • Click New
        • In Display Number, type the phone number as you want it to be displayed in the meeting invitation
          • in my case it is +4721402075
        • Display name, is typically the location or country where this number is homed
          • In my case it is Norway
        • Line URI, is the actual number formatted as a line uri
          • in my case it is tel:+4721402075
        • SIP Uri should be a name and domain for the dial-in access number
          • in my case it is sip:Norway@contoso.com
        • Pool is where the number is homed, this applies if you have multiple pools
        • Choose Primary language and secondary language
        • Choose the region the number is the primary number for, in my case it is Norway
          • If you cannot find a region here, you need to add one before you can create a dial-in access number
          • You can add one by going to Voice Routing -> Dial Plan, click on Global and write a name for your region in the region field
            • If you do not want to modify Global you can either create a Site, Pool or User dialpan.
            • User dialplan needs be added manually to users.
        • Now you are ready to create and save the dial-in access number
      • Click Commit
  • Now, let’s add some text to the meeting invite to reflect the ability to join from a VC Endpoint
  • Navigate to Conferencing -> Meeting Configuration
    • Edit Global or create a new Site or Pool configuration
      • A meeting configuration will apply to all users within pool, site or global
      • In the Custom footer text type an appropriate text to reflect the Pexip integration
        • Example: To join the meeting from a Contoso video endpoint, just dial the Conference ID. To join the meeting as an external video endpoint participant use skype@vc.contoso.com and enter the Conference ID when prompted
      • If you want to change the logo url, the link needs to hosted on a public site and the size should be a gif or jpg and the maximum size of the image should be 30 pixels high by 188 pixels wide for best result
    • Click Commit
  • Now you are ready to validate the meeting join experience

Validate the configuration by dialing in to a meeting from the Pexip Infinity Connect client

  • Download the Pexip Infinity Connect client and install it
  • Click the cogwheel and type your name and scroll down to registration
    • Sign in using pexipuser@vc.contoso.com or the Device User you created
    • Server address is the IP address or FQDN to your Pexip Conferencing node
      • In my case it is pexip2.contoso.com
    • leave username and password blank as we did not specify that when creating the Device alias
    • Click Register and ok to exit the setup
  • We are going to do three tests
    1. Type testcallservice@vc.contoso.com and call the Pexip Test Call Service
      • This is a service I created in my initial setup blog post found here
      • Verify that you are able to resolve it, call it and have it play back your sound with a two second delay
    2. Call in to a Skype meeting using the Virtual Reception user we created
      • First, log on using Skype for Business and create a ad-hoc meeting
        • You can do that by clicking the cogwheel drop down in the client
        • Click Meet Now
        • When joining the meeting with your Skype for Business client, click the three dotted button and click Meeting Entry Info
        • There you will see the Conference ID for that call
      • Go back to the Pexip Infinity Client
        • Type skype@vc.contoso.com, see that it resolves presence and dial it
        • When prompted for the Lync Conference ID, type the one from the Skype meeting
          • in my case it is 11127
        • Click connect and see that you are joining the Skype for Business meeting and notice that you are joining as Pexip User and not as a Pexip conference
      • This is great stuff and it means that the Virtual Reception user we created works and that the Call Routing rule with the .+@contoso.com.* regex rule is working.
      • But there is one more thing we can test
    3. Call in to a Skype meeting by dialing directly using the Conference ID
      • This is possible for internal VC Endpoints
      • Close down any existing calls on the Pexip Infinity Client
      • In the Pexip client type the conference ID
        • In my case it is 11127
      • Call using video and verify that you are able to join the meeting directly as Pexip User
      • When this scenario succeeds it means that the Call Routing rule with (\d{5,7})(@(vc\.)?contoso\.com)? regex rule worked
    4. Celebrate that your Skype for Business meeting integration with Pexip works
      • As a bonus, you should of course be able to dial the Skype user directly from the Pexip User by using the Skype sip address and the other way around

It is always #GoodTimes when you are able to validate a new deployment

Congratulations! You have now set up a fully integrated Skype for Business and Pexip deployment. This is all there is to it and a basic video interoperability service is now in place. Your Skype for Business adoption is a key ingredient for success and there is one less blocker for widespread use of Skype in your organization. Check out the next steps below for configuring Pexip to work with external and federated traffic and how to integrate Pexip with other video systems

Next Steps

3 thoughts on “How to Integrate Pexip with Skype for Business meetings

  1. Thanks for the great post. So just to make sure I’m certain, this is only for on-premises Skype4Business deployments correct? This will not work for my internal users that want to join a third party skype 4 business conference via our registered endpoint , correct? ( We are O365 Skype Users well as having Pexip).

    • Hey Scott and thanks for your feedback. The certification is for Skype for Business Server On-Premises in regards to the seamless integration. If you have Pexip and users in Office 365 you need to meet using a Pexip meeting as you probably do today and not a Skype for Business Online meeting invite. Hope that answered your question

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