Skype for Business: What’s Changed for Skype and Microsoft Lync Users?

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Video conferencing is shaping the workplace of the future – by 2016 it is predicted that video will be the primary method of communication in business, beating email and telephone to the number one spot.

Microsoft is a company that is revolutionising the future of work. Their stated vision is to bring unified communications from the living room to the boardroom. In November last year they announced that they were rebranding Microsoft Lync under the name “Microsoft Skype for Business” in 2015 as part of the product’s next release and it has just arrived!

Both Skype and MS Lync have significantly contributed to transforming the way we communicate with each other and have paved the way for the increasingly pervasive nature of video collaboration technology. Skype has broken the distance barrier by bringing people together via video on computers, phones and tablets, while Lync simplifies and unifies the various tools people use to collaborate – e.g. video, audio, online sharing, messaging etc.

Skype and Microsoft Lync are both hugely successful video conferencing platforms:

  • Over 100 million people now use Microsoft Lync to communicate for work, with 79% of U.S. enterprises currently using or planning to deploy Lync for telephony.
  • Skype is used by more than 300 million people worldwide for messaging, calling and sharing and it  now sees 50 billion minutes of traffic every month—one third of the world’s long distance traffic.

And now Microsoft is bringing it all together—the familiar user experience and mass popularity of Skype that people have come know and love, combined with the trusted platform in Microsoft Lync that businesses around the world rely on, with an aim to creating “the most loved and trusted communications platform for doing things together.” (Gurdeep Pall, corporate vice president for Skype)

So what exactly has changed for Skype and Microsoft Lync users, what is involved in the process of rolling out Skype for Business in your organisation and what benefits will it provide to your business?

Skype for Business brings together the familiar and much-loved Skype user interface with an expanded Lync feature set that continues to deliver enterprise-grade performance, security, compliance and control. Since everyone knows how to use Skype, it will be intuitive in the workplace right from the start. This familiarity, combined with the ability to video call anyone who has a Skype ID, makes Skype for Business a powerful communication tool that has the ability to transform the way people work. And because it is a part of Office 365, features such as presence, IM, voice and video calls, and online meetings are integrated with the productivity tools people use every day, like email, calendar and document sharing. Skype for Business will combine innovation from client to cloud, while also connecting businesses to the largest video network in the world.

The new service will include several new features, including:

  • Improved connectivity between Lync and Skype
  • Simplified user interface operations
  • Call monitoring
  • Enterprise voice and audio conferencing in Office 365, as well as enterprise-grade PSTN connectivity.
  • Cloud, on-premise and hybrid-enabled options
  • A range of meetings devices intentionally designed for and integrated with Skype for Business.

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

Click here 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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