A significant change to Office 365 in the future is going to be the ability to host your Skype for Business users within Office 365 and have an ExpressRoute back to your on premise network.
Why is this significant? With the ExpressRoute we will start to be able to apply QoS, quality of service, tagging onto the traffic. In addition, in the future it may also provide us the ability to mediate with the on premises IP-PBX with Office 365. I’m very keen to see how this all comes to fruition since it has been publically announced at Microsoft Ignite. I’m sure in coming months we would start to see more of how the Office 365 ExpressRoute will work as the Azure ExpressRoute solution has been bedding in for some time.
One of the key benefits is many customers are still utilising a large amount of CAPEX within telephone systems but want to start using the key functionality that Skype for Business provides. With ExpressRoute it will add another feather in the almighty hat that is Skype for Business Online. This will provide the customer the ability to utilise the Office 365 tenant and the on premises IP-PBX.
Cheryl McGuire has released a really useful ExpressRoute partners and peering locations: https://azure.microsoft.com/en-gb/documentation/articles/expressroute-locations/
As I am UK based my focus is firmly on Western Europe and specifically the United Kingdom. Luckily we will be able to see ExpressRoute into London from AT&T, British Telecom, and Tata Communications. These providers will provide a direct ExpressRoute from your existing locations and provide a link into the Office 365.
More details as and when they are available. Might want to start talking to the providers above now to see how long a link installation will take.