Skype for Business by Microsoft is Knocking Out the Competition

Real-time enterprise communication isn’t a choice, it’s a necessity. To keep up with customers, suppliers, and the competition, it is obligatory for companies to be able to communicate efficiently and effectively through whatever means the other party prefers (i.e. instant message, voice communication, web and video conferencing, etc.). And this is exactly what Skype for Business is designed to do. It enables businesses to have a strong unified communications, or UC, system. Other hosted and cloud unified communications providers will either be forced to keep up with Skype’s offerings, or they will get left behind.

What is Skype for Business

    • Skype for Business lets you connect with co-workers or business partners in your company or around the world.
    • Start conversations with IM, voice, or video calls.
    • See when your contacts are available online, in a meeting, or presenting.
    • Set industrial-strength security for meetings.
    • Broadcast online to a large audience.
    • Present your screen during meetings or give control to others.
    • Use Skype for Business in other Office programs to chat, call, or join a meeting with a click.

In The Cloud Or On-Premise
Flexibility is key, and Skype for Business understands that. Businesses need to be given the option of whether they want to deploy on-premises, in the cloud, or in a hybrid of the two. Not every organization has the capacity to scale on-demand, as such scaling generally comes at the high price of building out infrastructure. And anyway, this shouldn’t be an issue in the cloud-first world that all businesses are moving to. Skype for Business allows organizations to scale on-demand with their full PSTN Telephony offering. This ability allows businesses to choose a deployment that fits their technology focused initiatives or their preferred business methods.

The Skype for Business phone system doesn’t just sit in an office—it moves. If a user has their business mobile phone with them, they also have all of the phone system capabilities with them, wherever they may be. Full functionality of the phone system suite is available on Mac OS X, Android, Windows, and iOS so that users can be in their car, in a rental car halfway across the country, in their own bed, or in a hotel bed halfway around the world. Skype for Business’ phone system has adjusted to be as location independent and mobile as all businesses are today.

Unified Messaging
The voicemail platform that is offered through Skype for Business is in a class of its own. Settings enable users to have flexible, customer greetings that vary depending on their availability and current status. The platform also allows users to check their calendar appointments and emails simply by dialing in, have access to a native dial by name directory, and enable the option of text to speech, among the other standard voicemail features it offers. There is really no other voicemail platform that can come close to competing.

Video Capabilities
Video conferencing has always been complicated. With Skype for Business, it’s not. Little things are made easy, like the fact that even in more restrictive environments or with more restrictive devices, the video system uses the user’s window size or other environmental factors to stream to scale. All it takes to get a video conference up and running is clicking a button. No longer do users need to be using an expensive room-based solution or all be using the same device. Video conferencing just works when you want it to, where you want it to, and how you want it to.

Instant Messaging And Presence Feature
Skype for Business allows users to know the availability of their colleagues in an instant. The feature connects to the user’s calendar and automatically updates the availability status based on appointments. Colleagues can also see whether users are on the phone or unavailable for some other reasons, preventing any communication from getting lost. And it isn’t just about the phone, it’s any device. Maybe the colleague is on the phone but available from their laptop for messaging. This powerful tool informs users of all of these situations so that today’s mobile workforce can see where everyone is and how to best get in touch with them. Communication has never been so easy.

Collaborate And Conference
Collaboration is key in every business. Colleagues need to be able to reach each other at a moment’s notice. And with the world of business becoming more and more mobile and remote, the only way to do this is through greater flexibility of communication and collaboration. This is exactly what Skype for Business allows users to do. They can use any Mac OS X, iOS, or Android device with instant messaging, video and audio. They can dial into conference calls using a telephone call-in number, having the conference call their phone, or calling in via the application through any device—no additional equipment necessary. And when it comes to collaboration, Skype for Business can’t be beat. Users can share their screens or easily swap the presenter mode on any presentation. Skype for Business allows colleagues to feel like they’re in the same room with someone, when they’re actually halfway around the world.

The Total Package
What Microsoft has managed to do with Skype for Business is take the functionality of what was formerly known as Lync and merge it with the benefits of Skype, user friendliness and popularity. In addition, the UC system is served up on Microsoft’s Office 365 platform, making it a much easier transition for the many businesses that have already embraced the platform itself. So essentially, users will not only be getting popular applications like Outlook, PowerPoint, and Excel, they will also be getting Skype for Business, at no extra cost. In other words, it’ll be difficult to justify investing in another UC system if one is already available, especially if that UC system works well and is nicely integrated into the rest of the business operations.

If you would like more information about how to help your business move forward, please contact us.

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