Mission-Critical Communications: Skype for Business Landing in 2015

It’s a technological world out there, and there are few places where this fact is more apparent than in business. Technology has turned the working world on its head with the vast number of innovations that make working easier, better and more efficient, and new technologies are added every day.

The latest bit of technology geared towards assisting working men and women is Skype for Business. Coming in the first half of 2015, according to Skype, its enterprise application software is geared towards those looking to utilise Skype for Business.

Skype for Business

Skype for Business’s Origins

Skype started in 2003, offering application software that allows users to audio or video chat over any device–computer, tablet or smartphone–for free. Users can also exchange files such as documents and pictures, send instant message back and forth and even utilize the conference call feature to host a video chat session for up to 25 users. For a fee, Skype users can also use the application to call cell phone or landline phone numbers.

In the last quarter of 2011, Microsoft bought Skype and added it as a division of Microsoft. In late 2014, Microsoft announced that Skype for Business would replace Microsoft’s own enterprise-focused communication suite geared towards business customers, Lync, in the first half of 2015. Office 365 users won’t have to do anything once the change goes into effect, while Lync Server customers will simply need to update to Skype for Business in their datacenters.

Skype for Business screenshot

Similarities and Differences Between Skype and Skype for Business

First off, the look of the Skype for Business application is much closer to original Skype than it is to Lync. According to reports of those who have seen demos, the look of the Skype for Business interface is very similar to the usual Skype interface; the icons and usability of the menus, buttons and more. that start and end calls and control sound and video are virtually the same. For instance, when a user is utilising another application while on an active call, there will still be a small rectangle on the screen that shows the Skype call in progress.

The usability of Skype V’s Skype for Business retains the same features: users can call and video chat with other Skype users, with video conferencing being a big draw for those in business. However, Skype for Business adds some additional features that are reminiscent of Lync.

First, users will be able to share content and advanced telephony; for instance, Skype maintains that a call can be transferred–just like on a landline phone–with a single click or touch instead of three. Users will also be given access to Skype V’s Skype for Business’s directory of Skype users to make it easier to reach out to the correct recipients.

Another touted difference between Skype for Business and traditional Skype is the new application’s enterprise security. When Microsoft bought Skype in 2011, it beefed up the video calling application’s security. Prior to, Skype endured a number of issues concerning security, including hackers and government monitoringMany business entities barred the use of Skype due to such concerns over information safety. Microsoft maintains that Skype V’s Skype for Business application will enjoy the full control, compliance and enterprise control that Lync users enjoy.

Businessman on Skype for Business

Making Communications Important

All in all, Microsoft promises that the switchover from Lync to Skype for Business will be easy and painless as they maintained, “because communications is mission-critical.” Knowing full well the importance of communications in business, Online Meeting Specialists like MeetingZone await the change, hoping it’s everything Microsoft and Skype promise.