Skype for Business Brings New Connectivity to Business Users
The need for good quality communications systems is one of the great constants of business. No matter what form these systems take, if said systems can keep colleagues, departments, and businesses connected and easily able to communicate ideas back and forth, such systems are a valuable part of everyday operations. Now, Microsoft has augmented one of its biggest names in communications systems specifically for the enterprise user as it rolls out Skype for Business.
Skype itself is a platform that's been around for the better part of a decade, and ever since, it's been part of a lot of users' lives, allowing said users to connect at distances from across town to across the globe. With over 300 million total users turning to Skype for any of a host of purposes, and Skype itself being available on a variety of platforms, just the name itself is something of a household word. But Skype for Business is going to take an experience that's already a well-known experience and ratchet it up several-fold.
Starting in the first half of 2015, Microsoft reportedly is looking to change the next version of Lync into Skype for Business, a platform that will offer up not only a new experience for the client, but also a complete new server release and accompanying updates to Office 365. Essentially, Skype for Business will not only bring out the best of Skype, but also the best of Lync. Tools like content sharing and telephony systems will be on hand, and most available using current Skype icons. There are even some modifications; where before, transferring a call took three clicks or touches, it now takes just one. Skype for Business will also bring in tools like video calling and the Skype user directory for added ease of use. There are even augmentations to reliability and performance, owing to Microsoft's realization that communications services are a “mission-critical” function.
Better, Lync Server customers already in the fold will be able to get access to all these tools just by updating from Lync Server 2013 to the Skype for Business Server, without the need for new hardware. Office 365 customers, meanwhile, will have it even easier as Microsoft will handle all the required updates for the user.
Communications are indeed a vital function for business, and given the steadily increasing number of options that companies have to achieve that vital function, those who want to remain a part of the market will have to engage in regular updates to ensure that the products and services offered are among the very best the market has to offer. For Microsoft to take a pair of household names like this and combine some of the functions of same together is a big step, but one that's likely to make Skype for Business a go-to application for a great many enterprises. With communications tools on the rise, and Web-based real time communications (WebRTC) making the concept as simple as a Web browser can make it, there's a lot of competition out there. But Microsoft bringing together Lync and Skype, now, that just might tip a few balances in favor of Microsoft.
Only time, naturally, will tell just how well this concept succeeds for Microsoft, but given the components going into Skype for Business, there's no reason to figure that this won't end well for the company, or for its users.
Edited by Maurice Nagle