Last week we discussed Skype for Business 2015 on-prem licensing. That’s half the equation. The other half is that bane of Microsoft administrators everywhere…license costs.

To prepare for this post, we dug through our Microsoft Partner documentation and spoke with our suppliers. Which is where we hit a caveat – depending on which supplier we would order Skype for Business 2015 from, we got slightly different pricing.

As such, I’m quoting MSRP pricing here. Depending on your supplier, your pricing may vary.
I intend this post as a “standardized reference” for U.S. IT Pros. We’re glad to inform your purchasing decisions…but always get a final quote before agreeing to buy!

Skype for Business costs HOW much?! -Image courtesy of Phaitoon on

Please also note that this information is accurate as of May 25, 2015. According to one supplier, Microsoft will raise their on-premises User CAL pricing by 13% on August 1, 2015. The list price for Device CALs will not change.

Microsoft may change its pricing again at any point in the future. (If this does happen I’ll try to update the post and remind everyone.)

That’s it for the disclaimers. On to the pricing!

The Pricing Scenarios We’ll Use – Office 365, Hybrid, On-Premise

Just listing off some numbers is boring. This is the Lync/Skype4B Insider – we don’t do boring.

So for this post, we’ll show you Skype for Business 2015 pricing in 3 different scenarios.

Scenario 1: 25 users. Office 365 account/Skype for Business Online.
Scenario 2: 25 users. Full on-premise Skype for Business Server 2015.
Scenario 3: 25 users. Hybrid deployment; Office 365 for primary Skype for Business services, on-premise Skype for Business Server for Enterprise Voice.

Scenario 1: Office 365

This is the easiest to identify. We even have two options: a standalone Skype for Business Online plan, or bundled with Office 365.

Standalone Skype for Business Online Plan Pricing:
Online Plan 1: $2.00/user per month
Online Plan 2: $5.50/user per month
With 25 Users: Online Plan 1 costs $50/month. Online Plan 2 costs $137.50/month.

Office 365 Pricing (with Skype for Business Online included):
Enterprise E1: $8.00/user per month
Enterprise E3: $20.00/user per month
With 25 Users: E1 costs $200/month. E3 costs $500/month.

This scenario works for: Small/new businesses, cloud-friendly businesses.

Scenario 2: On-Premise/Skype for Business Server 2015

Since we learned last week that a license is required for every Front End server in Skype for Business Server 2015, let’s assume 1 Front End in our On-Premise scenario.

  • 1 Front End Server License (MSRP) – $3,646.00
  • 25 Standard User CALs – $36.00 each, or $900 total
  • 25 Enterprise User CALs (Conferencing & desktop sharing) – $124.00 each, or $3,100 total
  • 25 Plus User CALs (Voice & call management) – $124.00 each, or $3,100 total

Total: $10,746.00

This scenario works for: Enterprises, businesses who want Persistent Chat and/or on-site data storage.

Scenario 3: Hybrid (Office 365 with a Skype for Business Server running Enterprise Voice)

In this scenario you could use either E1 or E3 for Office 365. I’ll use E3, assuming you want full hybrid capabilities.
25 Office 365 users, E3 plan – $500/month, or $6,000/year.

Skype for Business Enterprise Voice is installed on-premise.
1 Front End Server License (MSRP), required to establish Enterprise Voice functionality – $3,646.00
25 Plus User CALs (for Enterprise Voice) – $124.00 each, or $3,100 total
Total (for 1 year): $12,746.00

This scenario works for: Cloud-cautious businesses, businesses with an existing Exchange Server or Office 365 accounts.

Which Scenario Will You Use to Transition?

Remember these scenarios discuss licensing prices only. Hardware and implementation costs are not included. Which is why, while the Hybrid scenario appears the most expensive in terms of licensing, it may wind up saving you money on hardware. Depending on your office network.

Of these 3, which looks like the scenario you would use to transition your business to Skype for Business 2015? Please comment or email. I’d love to know your thoughts on the new pricing too.

Pricing for Skype for Business 2015: 3 Scenarios

19 thoughts on “Pricing for Skype for Business 2015: 3 Scenarios

  • July 15, 2015 at 3:13 am

    Thanks for this. Was struggling to understand on premise costs and this has been really helpful for me to start shaping a collaboration tooling strategy.

  • October 11, 2015 at 5:34 pm

    What I do not comprehend is why the online Skype for business does not support integration with VoIP accounts or IPBX. It is easy to do: simply allow the lync client the option of adding a SIP registration. This is done by several open source options such as JITSI.

  • October 30, 2015 at 10:43 am

    This was very helpful (I needed pricing for 25 users for budget purposes). Why does the hybrid solution not have Standard and Enterprise CALs? Does the hybrid solution lack any of the features that are in the others?

    • November 4, 2015 at 10:52 am

      Hi James,
      Presume Enterprise CALs for the Skype for Business Server, since it’s deploying Enterprise Voice. Between Office 365 and the on-prem Enterprise Voice, you should have all features available.

  • November 10, 2015 at 9:42 am

    Looking for answers to utilize Skype for Business VoIP faxing/ PTSN calling wihtout needing additional hardware….. That is why we use Office365, so we can work anywhere. We use RingCentral for our calling/ faxing and conference needs. Microsoft should have this feature too!

  • May 4, 2016 at 9:36 am

    We need to factor the Windows server lic. as well ??

    • May 5, 2016 at 11:20 am

      Hi Vinod,
      Yes, you’ll need licenses for your Windows Servers too.

  • May 4, 2016 at 3:08 pm

    To purchase the on premise SfB license, I have 4 Standard edition servers, a director and a persistent chat server. Do I need 4 or 5.. or 6 SfB server licenses? The only thing I can find that says anything along this line is “you will need a license for every front end server”. Technically, the persistent chat isn’t a Front End server but does the director count? It can’t host users but it does run the FE server service. I’m not concerned about CAL (user or device) as our “Licensing office” has purchasing power for them. I only need to know how many SfB server licenses I have to purchase for the installation they want me to do, as that comes out of my budget.

    Thank you for the clarification.

    • May 5, 2016 at 11:19 am


      Thanks for the comment. You should be fine with 4 server licenses.

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  • March 17, 2017 at 12:09 pm

    I used to have mine on premise, then move to SfB hosted by a 3rd party (

    Works pretty well, the things that dont work (user account sync) are because its a 3rd party integration rather than a full blown 365 solution

  • June 1, 2017 at 5:21 am

    The original post is 2 years old. Does anyone know how valid these examples are today?

    • June 8, 2017 at 7:52 am

      Thanks for the reminder. I’m definitely due for an update! Given the changes in the Skype landscape, I’ll do a separate post with new pricing as soon as I can.

      • September 23, 2017 at 10:09 am

        Nice work Chris – I assume you’re having the same problem I am getting updated 2017 pricing details – any luck? Thanks for this well thought-out post.. really great!

  • June 28, 2018 at 1:08 am


    please i am planning to setup up sfb for 20 users for my company , we want to go for Scenario 2: On-Premise/Skype for Business Server 2015. I will like to know if various the licenses for the this scenario is monthly or yearly renewable.

    Thank you.

    • June 28, 2018 at 12:32 pm


      As indicated on my 2017 pricing update, on-premise licenses are for 3-year terms. It’s Office 365 accounts that are billed monthly. Hope that helps.


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