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Skype for Business: The revamped Microsoft Lync

In the first half of 2015, Microsoft replaced Lync with Skype for Business - a new communications solution that combines the best elements of Skype and Lync to create an innovative platform for collaboration. Skype for Business is interoperable with your existing technologies, including PBX phones, telephony infrastructure and most commonly used video conferencing platforms. As a Microsoft partner, Converged Communication Systems offers custom integration solutions for businesses that have upgraded to Skype for Business, as well as those still running Microsoft Lync.

Skype for Business offers the familiar user experience of Skype with the enterprise grade control, security and compliance of Lync. Members of your team can connect and collaborate from anywhere with IM, online meetings, and video and voice calls. The platform features the strengths of both Lync and Skype - for instance, it has the Skype icons for adding video and making and ending calls. Simultaneously, it preserves and enhances Lync's capabilities, such as content sharing and telephony.

With its easy-to-use interface and multifunctional communication capabilities, Skype for Business offers many benefits for businesses looking to facilitate the employee connections that are crucial to completing major projects and achieving operational success. Here are just some of the features this communications solution has to offer to your company:

  • Skype for Business allows for anywhere access: You can join calls and meetings from any location if you have internet access and a mobile device. The platform automatically adjusts in accordance with unmanaged network conditions and features encryption without VPN use, so you can support and connect with remote and mobile workers without high IT costs.
  • Skype for Business conversations live and stay synchronized across all of your devices, so you only need to rely on one communication client and one set of log-in credentials. This solution is available on Macs, PCs, conference room systems, mobile platforms, iPads, and Windows and Android tablets.
  • In addition to being interoperable with existing telephony infrastructure, Skype's business communication and collaboration platform integrates with Microsoft Office. This combination of communication and productivity solutions increases efficiency and allows for smoother transitions. For example, you can save Skype meeting materials in OneNote and SharePoint.
  • The Skype for Business call monitor ensures that you can work on projects during meetings without losing track of who's talking. A small window displaying the speaker's name and their picture or video stream stays on your screen without interfering with your work.
  • Contact cards let you know who's online, where they are and whether they're available to talk via instant messaging or a voice/video call. The cards also remind you of your contact's organizational information to make sure you have the context you need for a productive conversation.
  • Before you join a call, the Skype for Business video preview feature will let you evaluate your appearance, lighting and surroundings. Knowing how others will see you beforehand can help you participate in video calls with more confidence.
  • Skype for Businesses lets users search for and communicate with anyone in the Skype directory - whether they're colleagues within your company, consumers, vendors or other businesses - with the same level of security.
  • With Skype for Business, you can modernize and simplify your telephony systems by eliminating the need for separate PBX systems. Skype integrates Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) with other forms of communication to deliver a stand-alone telephony experience. Skype for Business Enterprise Voice users can call external phone numbers in addition to connecting with coworkers over the company's VoIP network or PBX.
  • The Skype communication platform also has all of the enterprise calling features that are essential for your company - such as calendar, call routing, delegation, team calling, shared line appearance and group call pickup. These capabilities build on the basic calling features, which include answer, forward, transfer and park.
  • Skype for Business ensures all of your communications are secured. The platform employs various technologies - such as passive authentication with ADFS technology, Microsoft Intune integration form MDM/MAM solutions, and key management encryption with PIN algorithm - to keep your data safe.
  • Additionally, with its simplified deployment and streamlined architecture, Skype ensures service reliability with enterprise grade data center resiliency. If one of your data centers goes down, the other will take over to keep your voice, video and collaboration services up and running.
With the Skype for Business platform, you can gain the ability to connect and create with anyone from anywhere, whether it's via IM, video or audio. To learn more about how you can integrate Skype for Business with your existing telephony system, contact us at Mobility@convergedsystems.com.

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