Skype for Business: An Early Review

skype-for-businessMicrosoft Lync’s popularity has been growing. With that being said, the recent news by Microsoft that they’re changing Lync to “Skype for Business” is a little surprising.

Microsoft Lync lets users across any work environment collaborate in real time. Coworkers across the world can share the same screen, letting them view and edit documents simultaneously. The platform also offers tools for instant messaging, video conferencing and VoIP telephony. It works seamlessly with Microsoft Office, Microsoft Outlook and other business-centric applications.

In recent years, Lync has been picking up steam. Lync-optimized devices like VoIP phones, video conferencing systems and headsets have been further fueling the platform’s momentum.

According to the blog post on Skype’s website, “Introducing Skype for Business,” Microsoft Lync will be “Skype for Business” in 2015.

Microsoft Lync will be getting a facelift. Skype’s user-friendly interface will take over. This Lync-Skype hybrid will keep all of Lync’s enterprise-driven features for communications, security and management. Skype’s contribution will improve the user interface. For example, letting users click on contacts to transfer a call, make video calls and receive access to the Skype user directory.

Is this good or bad? Or ugly?

Based on the limited amount of information that’s come out since the announcement, Microsoft plans on Skype for Business being for the better. Now, if you’re a CEO, it might not look so professional to tell a client to “Skype me.” Get ready for a couple of awkward moments, perhaps.

Skype for Business definitely won’t be ugly. A recent update to Skype is integrating WebRTC. Meaning, Skype doesn’t require users to download an application; instead, they can video chat through their favorite web browser. A video conference or VoIP call could be joined from anywhere with an Internet connection.

Making the Update

“In the first half of 2015, the next version of Lync will become Skype for Business with a new client experience, new server release, and updates to the service in Office 365.” – Gurdeep Pall, Corporate Vice President, Skype.

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For Lync Server 2013 and Office 365 Customers

TriTech’s Microsoft-certified personnel can update your current Lync Server 2013 to Skype for Business when it releases next year. No additional hardware will be required in your business’ datacenter for this transition, making it as seamless and cost-effective as possible.

Office 365 customers will likely receive an automatic update from Microsoft when Skype for Business is ready.

For Lync Server 2010 and New Customers

Since the requirements of Lync Server 2010 and 2013 are different, migrating from Lync Server 2010 to Skype for Business may require a bit more work. Lync Server 2013 and Skype for Business are (presumably) going to have a similar architecture, which is why the update will be easier between those two platforms.

To update to the new Skype for Business, contact TriTech. Our technicians are experienced and certified in a number of different platforms, ensuring that we can offer the best solution for your business.

Looking to 2015 & Beyond

More than 300 million people use Skype. Uniting the business and consumer world through Skype for Business is great for small businesses and startups that don’t have access to the same technology or global reach as an enterprise.

We look forward to Skype for Business being a huge leap forward for business communications. Social media broke the barriers between local mom-and-pop shops and the online community. Could Skype for Business let small businesses reach out to customers like never before?