Microsoft Skype for Business Features Overview 

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Microsoft recently re-branding their Lync software to match the Skype branding of their consumer audio/video conferencing solution. Lync has now been completely re-named to Skype for Business.

Power users of Lync can breathe easy, however. None of the features of Lync are going away, and the change to Skype for Business is being accompanied with a few feature updates. Read on to learn more about Microsoft’s Skype for Business software, and whether or not it is the right choice for your business.

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Skype for Business vs Lync

As mentioned, Skype for Business is Microsoft’s rebrand of their popular Lync business software. Despite the rebrand, however, Skype for Business is still very much so the same software that Lync 2013 was. Skype for Business retains all of the same core functionality of Lync and uses the same Lync client (albeit it is re-skinned for Skype branding).

The Skype for Business update also brings a few call feature updates:

  • New look and feel of the UI to better match the easy to use interface of consumer Skype.

  • Call via Work allows users to make voice calls via their Skype for Business client from a ‘landline’ number (note: This feature is only available to customers who are utilizing Skype for Business Server 2015).

  • Skype Directory Integration allows Skype for Business customers to access the intuitive and encrypted database of Skype’s B2B and B2C contact database (note: This feature is only available to customers who are utilizing Skype for Business Server 2015).

  • Quick Access to Call Controls. The Skype for Business update makes call control features such as the dial pad easier to access in both PTSN and non-PTSN calls.

  • A Variety of Other Minor Improvements. Click here to view a full list of the feature updates.

How Does Skype for Business Compare to Webex?

Both Webex and Microsoft Lync were titans of the business collaboration and meeting software field. Webex is designed and supported by Cisco, while Skype for Business is being developed and supported by Microsoft. Webex took the market lead by being the first software on the scene to have the full backing of a massive industry titan such as Cisco.

Skype for Business has been aggressively developed and marketed by Microsoft over the past few years as Microsoft seeks to attract businesses to their platform. Skype for Business has taken a feature lead and has a pricing advantage over Cisco’s Webex at the moment. Next weeks article will compare Skype for Business with Webex and GoToMeeting in order to determine which option represents the best bargain for small businesses.

Additional Reading

Skype for Business web page

Skype for Business new feature overview

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