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Lync CAL Licensing for Ad-Hoc Audio Conferencing : What CAL is required ENT or PLUS or Both?


I recently got the question on what CAL is required if you deploy Lync Enterprise Voice and you have the PLUS CAL for your users escalating to multi-party audio call but don’t have the ENT CAL for everyone.
Can users with STD + PLUS CAL conduct Ad-Hoc Audio Conferences, users do this when having a Audio/Telephone conversation and join in other Lync users or Phone Numbers.
While this may be a trivial question this Licensing is very complex across the Microsoft Portfolio and checking this information is important because this is something that potentially may have a huge impact on pricing for Lync Enterprise Voice


First some explanation about the Client Access Licenses

Client Access Licenses (CAL)

  • Standard (STD) CAL is Required by all Lync Enabled users and enable the basic Lync functionalities.
  • Enterprise (ENT) CAL is Required by all users creating a Conference
  • Plus (PLUS) CAL is Required for Enterprise Voice Features


While Audio Conferences (Ad-Hoc & Scheduled) are technically Conferencing because the MCU is involved, me as a technical person would say that ENT CAL would be required.

Now luckily for us Microsoft included the Ad-Hoc Conferencing Capability for Audio into the PLUS CAL
And on the other hand if you only have an ENT CAL you can both do Ad-Hoc & Scheduled Audio Conferencing
This is a very good to know when competing with other UC solutions!


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