Avoid Business Disruption with a Skype for Business Flexible Unified Communications Platform

April 15, 2016
Carol Eastman

Author

Carol Eastman

Strategic Global Alliance Leader Skype for Business Practice at SoftwareONE

Today’s workforce is more mobile and decentralized than ever. Companies have to deal with virtual workers in remote locations with multiple devices (and even BYOD) in both the desktop and mobile categories. Email alone isn’t enough to keep workers connected and interacting efficiently. Add to this multiple applications that don’t interact, and you have a recipe for communication breakdown.

Skype for Business offers integrated voice, video, IM, presence, Microsoft Office integration, and desktop sharing across multiple devices, operating systems, and locations. It can be run as a local app on end user devices, or in the cloud as a web application, but the bottom line is that it improves productivity and connectivity over legacy communications solutions.

So what are the benefits of Skype for Business?

  • Unified Communications – Audio, video, and web conferencing combined in one user experience on a single, unified platform.
  • Flexible Migration Path – Allows users to exist either in the cloud or on-premise based on the needs and pace of migration.
  • Security and Control – End-to-end compliance with built-in encryption, archiving, and call detail records.
  • Easy Sharing of Desktop Files — Universal file sharing with enhanced functionality for MS Office files.
  • Meeting Tools & Support — Users have the tools needed to collaborate in the enterprise environment, such as video conferencing and desktop sharing.
  • Cross-Platform Consistency — Interact across mobile, desktop, and tablet devices as well as across all major operating systems.
  • Enterprise-Grade Security — Comply with security requirements such encryption, archiving, call detail, and logging.
  • Full Voice Integration — Integrate VoIP, Peer-to-peer, PBX connectivity, enterprise voice features, and PSTN calling; or implement complete PBX replacement.

Choose your Skype for Business deployment – Cloud, On-premise, or Hybrid

There are a number of choices for enterprise customers to adopt Skype for Business, as shown below:

Skype for Business offers cloud, on-premises, and hybrid options which gives customers the ability to rely on convenient cloud services or draw on functionality available on-premises. Here are a few factors that should be considered before pulling the trigger on Skype for Business decision:

  • Quality of Service: While QoS is available in cloud applications, limitations can occur with the Internet connection itself. Although some solutions such as Express Route can combat this issue, they are not always available and can be expensive.
  • Scale: Whether or not a cloud implementation will suffice has a lot to do with an organization’s size, number of locations, and whether or not Outlook servers are already in place. For smaller organizations with no Outlook Server, a cloud implementation is likely most appropriate. Larger organizations with multiple offices and existing Microsoft servers should evaluate the efficacy of leveraging existing investments.
  • PSTN Access: While PSTN connectivity is somewhat limited today, it is quickly becoming more widely available. Interested customers should consider availability in their geography before making a decision on cloud versus on-premises.
  • Enterprise Features: Companies should consider the many high-productivity business features like contact center, fax, Interactive Voice Response (IVR), and Automatic Call Distribution (ACD).
  • Existing Contracts: Most enterprise customers already have contracts for PSTN and PBX services or own a significant amount of on-premise equipment that is not yet at end-of-life. In these cases, customers should evaluate the magnitude of their existing investment against the relative cost and benefit of a cloud solution.
  • Transition Concerns: Like most organizational shifts, it can be difficult to transition all users at the same time. Customers who are not comfortable making this immediate transition may want to consider a hybrid solution.

Pick a partner with strong Unified Communications deployment and Technology Advisory experience

And speaking of transition concerns, deployments can often be very complex.

We recommend a partner who can create customized roadmaps for your Unified Communications strategy, deploys different architectures to improve business processes and helps to manage Skype for Business to increase efficiency throughout the enterprise.

  • Architectural and Engineering expertise
  • Microsoft Neptune Status
  • Experience deploying hundreds of Skype for Business solutions
  • Global Capacity to deliver Skype for Business across large enterprises

SoftwareONE acquired House of Lync who holds the prestigious Neptune Status for Skype for Business from Microsoft. Neptune Partners have the highest level of experience and training with the ability to deliver on a global scale. House of Lync has launched hundreds of clients into the new world of Unified Communications, and SoftwareONE’s Technology Advisory Services can be tailored to suit any unique business need. Through this combined team, we can help any organization seamlessly migrate into Skype for Business.

 

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