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5 Things to Consider When Implementing Skype for Business

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Skype for Business is here, rolling out across organisations worldwide.

As with any software acquisition, there are a number of factors that should be considered when rolling out Skype for Business in your organisation.

Whether your communications software is automatically upgraded from Microsoft Lync to Skype for Business, or Skype for Business is a new acquisition in itself, it is important to ensure you make the most of your investment.

We have come up with a list of 5 questions you will need to know the answers to when implementing the unified communications platform across your company.

1. Are your staff prepared for the change?

When the Skype for Business client is launched across your organisation, it is crucial for successful transition and adoption of the new user interface that your team are both aware of the change and ready for it. The largest part of this transition is bringing awareness across the board that the new platform will be installed on the users` desktops and ensuring there are resources in place to help your staff in transitioning smoothly to the new Skype for Business.

2. What is the timeframe of your Skype for Business implementation?

To ensure you are fully prepared for the transition, it is essential that you and everyone in your organisation knows exactly what changes are going to take place and when.

You may wish to consider creating an internal communications plan to ensure your staff are reminded of the change well in advance and know what changes to expect. This should ensure the transition is as smooth as possible.

3. What technical requirements do you need to have in place?

What measures must be implemented in terms of software, hardware and bandwidth in order to ensure you have full capability to operate using Skype for Business?

Since most existing software and hardware solutions that are qualified for Lync 2013 will also be compatible with Skype for Business, current Lync customers can get quickly up and running with Skype for Business with the solutions they’re already using. However, new users may need to consider taking inventory of their technical requirements before rolling it out across their company.

4. What is new in Skype for Business?

There are a whole host of new features contained within Skype for Business, and a complete understanding of its capabilities will enable you to make the most of the service and maximise your return on investment.

Included in the updated functionality are the following:

  • Improved user interface with new look and feel
  • Call via Work allows users to make voice calls from the Skype for Business client. When a user places a voice call, it is routed from Skype for Business to the user’s desktop phone.
  • Skype directory integration allows Skype for Business users to connect over the Internet with millions of Skype users in B2B and B2C scenarios. From the Skype for Business client, users can search the Skype directory and add contacts.
  • With Call Monitor you can move back and forth between a full Skype for Business window, if you are actively participating in the call, and a compact version that lets you continue to monitor call progress—and mute or end the call—while focusing on other tasks.
  • Rate My Call lets administrators collect call data, access standard reports, and export raw data for further analysis.

5. What is the client update and software installation policy for your organisation?

For new Skype for Business users, once the software has gone through the acquisition and inventory phases, you will be ready to install it on your company’s computers. Again, a centralised installation policy—with one person or department in charge of all software deployment—is optimal.

A good software installation policy can help you control risks that are often related to unauthorised software. In the absence of proper installation policies, your company is left open to a number of vulnerabilities, including:

  • Increased susceptibility to viruses
  • Compromised security and/or security breaches
  • Loss of data
  • Loss or waste of network bandwidth from running unauthorised programs
  • Reduced productivity
  • Increased risk of unlicensed or pirated software in your environment

Want to know more about how current Microsoft Lync and Skype users will benefit from the rebrand?

Click below to download A Blueprint for Implementing Skype for Business, a handy guide to Microsoft’s new service which provides you with all the information you need to know in order to roll out Microsoft Skype for Business across your organisation.

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