The Continuant Blog

Is Skype for Business the Right Fit for Your Company?

By Bruce Shelby -->

Mobile-PHoneEnd-of-Support Notices and End-of-Life Announcements—whatever you call them, when you receive one, it can be disconcerting. Many CTOs and IT leaders report that they have felt pressured by their vendor to upgrade their telephone systems before they’re ready. Your upgrade timeline should be determined by your technology goals and budget, not the manufacturer’s product support timeline.

As a stopgap to a costly, disruptive “rip and replace”, many companies are turning to Skype for Business to modernize communications and reduce their reliance on outsourced vendors. It’s the best of both worlds, really. IT personnel can modernize business communications, maximize their current investments in UC, and roll out new capabilities on their schedule instead of on their vendor’s schedule.

What’s so great about Skype for Business?

There are two versions of Skype for online videoconferencing: the free, consumer version we’re all familiar with and Skype for Business. Formally known as Lync, Skype for Business provides significant capacity and productivity advantages that make it well worth upgrading from free Skype to Skype for Business.

Complete Office integration

Skype for Business is a Microsoft product, so you can connect your teams through a streamlined experience within the Microsoft Office 365 applications they use every day. Want to collaborate on a PowerPoint presentation or an Excel spreadsheet before the big meeting? You can initiate a conference and share your screen without having to leave the program.

All on a single platformIcon_bubble_IP_IM_presence

Skype for Business provides IM, screen sharing, talk, video, and sharing all on one platform. In addition, you can use Skype seamlessly across devices (Android, iOS, Mac, and Windows; in browsers; and on compatible IP phones).

Build the conference room of your dreams

Need to connect two satellite offices using video every week? Skype for Business allows you to set up a number of advanced videoconferencing scenarios, and it can integrate with enterprise-class PBX systems, interactive displays, and stand-alone cameras, monitors, and audio gear.

Additional security

While no VoIP calls are ever completely protected against eavesdroppers, all Skype traffic, even that in the free version, is encrypted with AES. To bolster security further, Skype for Business also provides enterprise-grade security and comprehensive authentication methods that give administrators more control over accounts, access, and privacy.

Use the phone right at your deskIcon_bubble_client_hardware

If your desk phone is configured to work with Skype for Business, you can search for people in your organization and place calls tothem within the Skype for
Business user interface while the call audio flows through your standard desk (PBX) phone.

Note: This feature is only available if your organization has Skype for Business Server 2015.

Healthcare Applications

While many industries can benefit from Skype for Business, perhaps the most meaningful application is found within the healthcare industry. Mobility, video, and collaboration are proven toIcon_bubble_apps enhance patients’ experiences, improve internal communications and performance, and greatly reduce costs across every area of healthcare for clinicians, patients, administrative staffs, and executives.

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