One of the fantastic new features of the Skype for Business client is the ability to seamlessly search the consumer Skype directory and add those users to your contact list so you can easily communicate with over 300 million users worldwide! Simply Amazing! In the previous release of Skype for Business Server (formally Lync Server) communicating with consumer Skype users was possible but cumbersome for the consumer user as they needed to have a Microsoft online account for this scenario to work. This is no longer required..
Skype for Business Client searching the Consumer Skype directory.
Setting it Up: The Technical part..
If you have not previously setup a Skype Edge Server with federation to Public networks you will want to read "Federation, The Sequel" for more details on how to do this.
If you have setup Federation in Lync Server 2013 and have upgraded to Skype for Business Server you will need to remove the previously configured Skype Public Provider. Do this from a Skype for Business Management Shell:
Remove-CsPublicProvider -Identity <identity-name>
where <Identity-Name> is what you called the provider. This will generally be “Skype”.
You will then want to run the following:
New-CsPublicProvider -Identity Skype -ProxyFqdn federation.messenger.msn.com –IconUrl https://images.edge.messenger.live.com/Messenger_16x16.png
-NameDecorationRoutingDomain msn.com - NameDecorationExcludedDomainList "msn.com,outlook.com,live.com,hotmail.com" -VerificationLevel UseSourceVerification -Enabled $true -EnableSkypeIdRouting $true -EnableSkypeDirectorySearch $true
At this point after restarting your Skype for Business Client you should be able to access the new functionality.
For more details on this process see https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dn705313.aspx.
Skype for Business Online
You can access this same functionality in Skype for Business Online as well. Assuming that you setup all the prerequisite DNS requirements to federate with other organizations running Lync or Skype for Business Server you can enable consumer Skype Federation.
Enabling Skype Federation is achieved by simply selecting the option in your Skype for Business admin center within your Office 365 tenant.
At this point after restarting your Skype for Business Client you should be able to access the new functionality. Enjoy!