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Skype for Business: Yes, No or Maybe So?

Microsoft moves to claim the business communication market share by merging conferencing and collaboration platforms Skype and Lync.

Daniel Newman

Measuring the Pros and Cons – Taking a Final Look

Microsoft’s goal is obviously to claim market share in the world of business communication with the Skype for Business product. Virtual communication tools and audio visual communication is already an important move for businesses today and becoming increasingly more important.

Equally as important, however, is for enterprises to take a final look at the pros and cons before deciding on a ‘Yes, No or Maybe’ when it comes to the new Microsoft product. Let’s dive into it a bit.

Pros:

  • Existing Lync server users need to update to Skype for Business servers.
  • No new hardware is required for the upgrade process.
  • Office 365 users will automatically receive the updates.
  • Skype icons for calling, adding video, and ending call will join a new call monitor in a smaller window.
  • Lync’s strongholds like content sharing and telephony have been improved upon.
  • Transferring calls will be a one touch function.
  • Lync’s Instant Messaging and audio calling will be joined by Skype’s video calling and user directory which will make it easier to get in touch with a Skype user on any device.

Cons:

  • Changing from Lync to Skype for Business is a transformation that may be met with resistance from Lync loyalists.
  • Getting adapted to the new communication platform will consume organizational time and resources, thereby leading to loss in productivity hours.
  • Training may be needed in some cases for effective usage of Skype for Business for those who are not familiar with Skype.
  • Security remains a top concern for business users, especially those across the enterprise. It will be interesting to see the protocols put in place to protect users’ privacy and also protect the enterprise from possible data leak issues.

When Will It Happen?

Skype for Business should be up and ready by the first half of 2015, and until it hits the markets and clients’ reactions are observed, it is difficult predict whether this merger will be successful or not. For now, we’ll adopt a wait and see mindset.

What about you? Is this something you’re excited about and/or something you think enterprises in general will be clamoring for? We’d love to hear your thoughts. Leave us a comment below.

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