Microsoft: Skype For Business Arrives - InformationWeek
IoT
IoT
Software // Enterprise Applications
News
4/14/2015
11:20 AM
Connect Directly
Twitter
LinkedIn
Google+
RSS
E-Mail
100%
0%
RELATED EVENTS
[Dark Reading Crash Course] Finding & Fixing Application Security Vulnerabilitie
Sep 14, 2017
Hear from a top applications security expert as he discusses key practices for scanning and securi ...Read More>>

Microsoft: Skype For Business Arrives

Microsoft is delivering on its promise to make Skype for Business generally available to Office 365 customers.

10 Management Books Every CIO Should Read
10 Management Books Every CIO Should Read
(Click image for larger view and slideshow.)

Microsoft is announcing the general availability of its new Skype for Business client, which is being released as part of the April monthly update for Office 2013. Skype for Business Online is also rolling out to global Office 365 customers, an automatic process that is expected to be complete by the end of May 2015.  

We first learned about the impending reinvention of Skype in November 2014, when Microsoft announced that the next version of its Lync platform would become Skype for Business. It promised a new client experience, new server release and updates to its Office 365 service. The idea was to give businesses the ability to connect with more Skype users outside their enterprise network.

[Microsoft IoT: Connecting Kitchens and Factories]

The new business platform is based on Skype, which more than 300 million people currently use to communicate. The business iteration does allow customers to search for, and connect with, anyone on the Skype network, whether they're inside or outside their organization. Most hardware and software solutions that are compatible with Office 2013 can also handle Skype for Business.

Skype for business is built into Office, so features like IM, voice  and video calls, presence, and online meetings are all now integrated Office components. The new platform will also add to the features currently available on Lync and deliver enterprise-grade security, compliance and control to IT.

Current users of Lync Online within Office 365 will receive the new Skype for Business user experience in coming weeks. Microsoft is offering the ability for administrators to switch between Skype for Business and the traditional Lync user interface, in an effort to accommodate customers who need more time to prepare.

(Image: Microsoft)

(Image: Microsoft)

The launch of Skype for Business aligns closely with the theme of Microsoft's 2015 Convergence conference. At this year's event, CEO Satya Nadella focused on the core theme of building "systems of intelligence" and empowering individuals, businesses and industries with new technologies.

As part of his keynote speech, Nadella acknowledged that companies should leverage collaborative tools that enable them to share more information. Convergence was the site of announcements like the Skype for Business technical preview and updates to Office Delve.

Attend Interop Las Vegas, the leading independent technology conference and expo series designed to inspire, inform, and connect the world's IT community. In 2015, look for all new programs, networking opportunities, and classes that will help you set your organization’s IT action plan. It happens April 27 to May 1. Register with Discount Code MPOIWK for $200 off Total Access & Conference Passes.

Kelly Sheridan is Associate Editor at Dark Reading. She started her career in business tech journalism at Insurance & Technology and most recently reported for InformationWeek, where she covered Microsoft and business IT. Sheridan earned her BA at Villanova University. View Full Bio

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
kstaron
50%
50%
kstaron,
User Rank: Ninja
4/24/2015 | 12:11:49 PM
So how is this different?
How is Skype for Business different from plain old skype? Is it simply better at security/privacy issues or is it fundamentally a different application that expands the functions and abilities of a regular skype call?
jagibbons
50%
50%
jagibbons,
User Rank: Ninja
4/16/2015 | 8:10:31 AM
Re: Skype to H.323
While I can see your point, I've also seen a significant decline in H.323 solutions being implemented and used. Our stakeholder groups don't use Tandberg or Polycom solutions. We do all of our meetings and presentations using tools like WebEx, Google Hangouts and now Skype for Business. It certainly meets all of our video and telepresence needs across all of the state governments and schools with whom we communicate regularly.
SaneIT
50%
50%
SaneIT,
User Rank: Ninja
4/16/2015 | 8:01:47 AM
Re: Skype to H.323
You don't think that if you're going to call yourself "for business" that you might want to be able to interface with standard "business" solutions that have been the standard for decades?

This is like selling a cellular phone that can't call land lines then saying "well we really only intend it for people who only need to call other cellular phones"  that limitation becomes annoying very quickly and it's such an easy issue to resolve that people start to wonder if you're doing it intentionally just to be difficult.

 
jagibbons
50%
50%
jagibbons,
User Rank: Ninja
4/15/2015 | 9:01:19 AM
Re: Skype to H.323
That's a good question, but I don't think that is the primary competitive market where Lync and now Skype for Business are targeted. To me, Skype was always more about personal one-to-one or distributed small group interaction, which is different from how I've always seen Tanberg and Polycom solutions used.
SaneIT
50%
50%
SaneIT,
User Rank: Ninja
4/15/2015 | 8:12:33 AM
Skype to H.323
Was there any mention of Skype making/receiving native H.323 calls? This is one of my biggest issues with it being a "Business" application.  Unless you subscribe to a specialized bridging service Skype won't connect to the VTC units that most companies already have in place.  Tandberg (now Cisco) and Polycom have been doing this for long time and have deep roots in the business market, not being able to talk to those codecs seems really short sighted to me.  
[Interop ITX 2017] State Of DevOps Report
[Interop ITX 2017] State Of DevOps Report
The DevOps movement brings application development and infrastructure operations together to increase efficiency and deploy applications more quickly. But embracing DevOps means making significant cultural, organizational, and technological changes. This research report will examine how and why IT organizations are adopting DevOps methodologies, the effects on their staff and processes, and the tools they are utilizing for the best results.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
2017 State of IT Report
In today's technology-driven world, "innovation" has become a basic expectation. IT leaders are tasked with making technical magic, improving customer experience, and boosting the bottom line -- yet often without any increase to the IT budget. How are organizations striking the balance between new initiatives and cost control? Download our report to learn about the biggest challenges and how savvy IT executives are overcoming them.
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Flash Poll