Microsoft Skype for Business Endpoints – What are the opportunities and challenges?

Continuing our series on deploying Microsoft Skype for Business and the opportunities and challenges that many businesses face, we look at the meeting rooms themselves, and ask the question:

‘How can 1 + 1 be more than 2?’

Before we get to that, here is the link, if you missed the first blog – Why Microsoft’s Skype for Business and Outlook workflow is so important to businesses.

Meeting rooms and working patterns come in all shapes and sizes in the modern office of today, which presents a set of questions that will dictate the requirements, equipment and set-up of your Skype for Business deployment. Installing Skype for Business endpoints is most likely to be the simplest way forward, but it is worth considering the following before doing so.

The Challenges

  • Who currently uses the service?
  • How do your service users currently join meetings?
  • Is your service being used globally, from offices, homes and on the go?
  • Do you already have meeting rooms with equipment installed?

Who uses the service and how they use the service is very important, the workflows, quality and reliability should all be maintained to ensure ubiquitous usage and to help drive the company forward.

Senior employees and executives will likely use the service differently from other employees, using a different method of arriving in a meeting, and expecting high quality video and audio in the boardroom for their meetings. Most employees however will probably be happy to schedule their own meetings, and connect through Outlook or through a single link to connect via Skype for Business from a desktop, from their home, from a mobile device or from a room system. The quality in these meetings might not be required to be as high, but availability and reliability are more likely to be important to the users. There are many choices and as the service owner you should be giving consideration to all of them.

The Opportunities

  • Familiarity of workflow
  • Ability to connect from device of the user’s choice
  • Skype for Business endpoints can be deployed as endpoints in rooms
  • The overall service can be enhanced by Videocall’s ICE – connecting Skype for Business island with traditional VTC island negating the need to rip and replace hardware

For the majority of employees, Skype for Business is a great collaboration solution to deploy. Familiar Microsoft workflows and the ability to connect from any device, from any location quickly and easily should negate the requirement for expensive training.

Skype for Business endpoints can be deployed in any room, allowing users to use the room as a Skype for Business contact within contact list.

This is fine if everyone in the company wants to use Skype for Business in all the rooms, and if you have not already invested in endpoints that were not originally designed for Skype for Business in your meeting rooms.

What happens if this is not the case? You can be left with the scenario that you have an island of Skype for Business technology, and an island of VTC’s or traditional endpoints that seemingly don’t want to work together. At this point 1 + 1 doesn’t result in an answer.

However, 1 + 1 can become greater than 2, by introducing ICE, Intelligent Cloud Experience.

Videocall offer a service that will enhance your Skype for Business deployment. It will preserve Microsoft workflows, single click to join, and will provide high quality, reliable and secure video and audio collaboration meetings, linking traditional meeting rooms with any number of Skype for Business users. Our ICE video conferencing as a service platform, makes the ideal partnership for companies deploying Skype for Business.

This allows you to prolong the life of previous endpoint investments, making it work and achieve more ROI. It allows important meetings within the company to be held in larger rooms without sacrificing on quality. Users of both Skype for Business and Videocall’s ICE service can connect easily and share content using their choice of device.

By using ICE, you can join your two technology islands together to work harmoniously and allow users to connect using their familiar workflows.

ICE will enhance your Skype for Business deployment allowing all the users to continue using collaboration tools the way they want to.

To find out more about how Videocall can connect your two technology islands and make 1 + 1 be greater than 2, download our whitepaper - Deploying Microsoft Skype for Business, Ageing Video Platforms and Realising the Value in Existing Collaboration Hardware.