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Skype for Business, formerly known as Microsoft Lync, is the next version of Microsoft’s Unified Communications platform. The new release takes all of the enterprise security, compliance and control of Lync and brings it together with the familiarity and usability of Skype. This combination provides a globally recognized communications solution that helps people chat, share ideas and get things done from any location and on any device.
New Features and Functionality
The new Skype for Business comes with more than just a name change. It takes the best of Lync and the best of Skype to provide an all-encompassing solution that colleagues can use to communicate in an instant and IT professionals can depend on knowing they have control to support the end-user in a secure environment.
Skype for Business has all of the same capabilities as Microsoft Lync with some improvements. The biggest difference is that the new platform will take on Skype’s user experience. This transition allows Microsoft to provide an enterprise-ready solution in a format that people are most familiar with.
Some updates you can expect to see with the release of Skype for Business include:
Download Skype for Business
If you want to take advantage of the new capabilities offered by Skype for Business and are a current Microsoft Lync customer, in-place upgrades are fully supported and make moving to the next version easier than ever. For Microsoft Office 365 customers, all of the required updates will be done for you. No new hardware is required and the new Skype for Business is compatible with previous Lync versions as well as Skype.
Managing Your Skype for Business & Lync Environment
Don’t need or can’t justify the expense of a full-time employee to staff an Lync Engineer position? Let SWC’s specialized Microsoft Lync managed services provide you with the 24×7 monitoring, manage and support you need. It’s the perfect complement to your internal IT team.
If you’re interested in learning more about Skype for Business and how you can use unified communications for your business to combine telephony, email, instant messaging and conferencing, contact SWC for a free demonstration or register for our next Chicago area Unified Communications event.
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Very likely, YES! We have connected many modern and legacy systems through the use of SIP trunking, PRI or T1 connections, or even analog connectivity. However, the experience and functionally may vary, so please reach out to us if you’d like help understanding the capabilities of connecting your existing systems to Skype for Business.
Depending on the type of agreement with Microsoft, you may already own the licenses to deploy all or portions of the Unified Communications solution. SWC can help assess your current licensing model and develop the best approach to leverage the investment in the Microsoft stack of solutions.
Microsoft takes a best-of-breed approach when it comes to physical devices. Some users may prefer a traditional desk phone, others may prefer a Bluetooth or USB headset, while others may want specialized or multiple options. Today’s multi-generational workforce needs these options to unify their different ways of communicating. Careful planning and communication is critical. SWC can help you navigate the options and ensure your users get the devices that will allow them to be the most productive.
In many cases yes, with third-party software made for this scenario. Going forward, by purchasing Skype for Business, you also own a powerful room-based video conferencing solution. There are many ways to approach this integration and many hardware solutions for video conferencing using Skype for Business.
Very likely, YES. Bringing this functionality in-house may not only give you a large return on your investment, but it gives you more control and branding over the meeting invitations. If you’re considering this as an option, please reach out to discuss this with an SWC representative.