Ensuring a transition to Skype for Business runs smoothly
Businesses should align with Microsoft certified partners to adopt or upgrade to Skype for Business.
Ahead of the launch of Skype for Business, Outsourcery – a world-leading Cloud Services Provider (CSP) and Microsoft Gold Partner – recommends that if organisations plan on deriving value from upgrading Microsoft Lync to Skype for Business, they need to align with companies that have a proven track record at handling both standard ‘off the shelf’ and bespoke technology implementations that can add broader value to their organisations.
Skype for Business, as standard, has a lot to offer businesses; however if organisations require more than an ‘off the shelf’ solution they ought to consider working with partners who have the capabilities to fully replace their existing telephony infrastructure and integrate it with existing IT and voice solutions as they seek to improve communication and collaboration within their organisations.
Formerly Microsoft Lync, Skype for Business is a Unified Communications (UC) and collaboration platform that brings together an experience inspired by the consumer Skype offering, with enterprise-grade security, compliance and control. It offers a multitude of features including user presence, instant messaging, voice and video calls and online meetings or conferencing. It is built into Microsoft Office and so initiating chats, calls and meetings is a fully integrated, seamless user experience.
This new solution combines the best features of Lync and Skype in a Skype-inspired user interface that provides users with an intuitive experience that is familiar, regardless of whether people are communicating with work colleagues, or friends and family. Users will be able to use instant messaging or chat, audio and video to communicate with users of Skype consumer clients too. Skype for Business users can also invite anyone, including Skype consumer client users, to join a Skype for Business meeting using just a web browser.
Outsourcery will offer Skype for Business along with a range of additional products and services, including carrier-grade enterprise voice telephony, all with market-leading Service Level Agreements. What’s more, Outsourcery is the only company to offer such a service that has received Pan Government Accreditation (PGA), which means it meets certain stringent security requirements set out for public sector organisations. The accreditation can also be applied to other sectors where there is a need for high data security, like financial services.
James Henigan, Outsourcery’s Operations Director, says: “Skype for Business is designed to take advantage of the familiarity people have with Skype, making it simple and easy to adopt, allowing businesses to reap the benefits of modern Unified Communications. It has all the same security features and mechanisms that business users have come to expect from Lync: end-to-end encryption of all signaling and media, authentication and authorisation through Active Directory control, as well as eDiscovery and other compliance capabilities.
“These features come as standard with Skype for Business. However, businesses can achieve more from their investment in collaboration technologies – especially Skype for Business – when they develop and implement a wider strategy that truly focuses on how to place such communication technologies at the heart of their organisations. Integrating Skype for Business alongside other IT and voice solutions has the potential to transform business communications within some organisations.”
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