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Matt Scherocman

What is Skype for Business?

What is Skype for Business?

In the 4th Quarter of 2014, Microsoft announced plans to rename its business communication tool Lync to Skype for Business. Lync is a tool that Microsoft has invested in for the past decade, offering a single application that combines all of the communication tools for business. It became a core part of the Office enterprise. When the latest version of Lync is released in 2015, it will be named Skype for Business and include a new server release, client interface, and updates for the UC service in Office 365.

Skype for Business

Essentially, customers will enjoy new tools and features like:

  • Access to any Skype user on any device
  • Skype’s familiar functionality icons
  • Skype’s call monitor feature so active calls stay visible when using other applications
  • Lync’s content sharing, IM, and telephony
  • Improved access and interface functionality
  • Ease of use taken from consumer Skype versions
  • Security and scalability for every business user
Matt Scherocman

What are the Differences Between Lync Basic and Full Client?

Here’s a breakdown of the differences between Lync basic and full client:  

Lync 2013 Basic is a downloadable client for customers who have a licensed, on-premises Lync Server 2013 deployment and customers who subscribe to a Microsoft Office 365 plan that does not include the full Lync 2013 client. The Lync Basic client includes enhanced presence, contacts, instant messaging (IM), Lync meetings, and basic voice functionality.

Features not supported in Lync Basic include multiparty video, OneNote integration, virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) support, skill search, recording, Enterprise Voice features, and advanced call handling (for example, call forwarding and Team Call). For details, see Client Comparison Tables.

 http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/gg398996.aspx

This posting is provided “AS IS” with no warranties, and confers no rights.

Sarah Bunt

What New Features Have Been Added to Lync Mobile?

The latest release of Lync mobile includes a number of new features – first, Lync Mobile now provides the ability to view uploaded PowerPoint presentations from your Windows Phone or iOS device. While Lync Mobile has previously allowed users to view shared desktops, this new functionality allows Mobile users to view PowerPoints that have been uploaded to take advantage of functionality such as Q&AS and imbedded multimedia files.

A screenshot of the shared PowerPoint as it would be viewed from a Windows Phone is below:

b2ap3_thumbnail_lync-blog-graphic1.png

Other new features allow Windows Phone users to control Lync using voice commands. This is helpful if you, like me, often use your phone to join Lync meetings while driving. Instead of searching through your phone, now all you need to do is hold down the home key and say “Lync, join my next meeting” or “Lync, join my current meeting”. Note this added functionality is for Windows devices only.

There is also a new GUI for Lync on iOS 7 devices:

b2ap3_thumbnail_lync-mobile-blog-2.png

The full press release can be found here

 

This posting is provided “AS IS” with no warranties, and confers no rights.

Matt Scherocman

Lync Server Licensing – A Hidden Gem

As we are working with clients on deploying Lync in their environment, there can be a number of different server roles engaged.  These can include conferencing servers, monitoring servers, front end, back end, and mediation servers.  One advantage of deploying Lync is that the current licensing rules allow for these additional software roles to be run without purchasing additional server licenses.  One suggestion, buy the Enterprise version to give yourself the most flexibility. 

 From Microsoft’s Product Use Rights Guide:

Running Instances of the Additional Software.  You may run or otherwise use any number of instances of the additional software listed in the table below in physical or virtual OSEs on any number of devices.  You may use those instances only with the server software.  Use of any instance with the server software may be indirect, through other additional software, or direct.

 

Matt Scherocman

Integrated Audio Conferencing to Lync Overview

Clients are loving the integrated audio conferencing options of Office 365.  Lync provides great client-to-client audio and video.  This is excellent when your entire team is at their desks.  Yet, some of the most critical times are when there is a participant on the road.  Maybe it is getting your pricing team together to discuss an important client while  the sales representative is at the client site.  Maybe it is when the President is driving to meet your largest client and needs a last minute set of data.  For these times, our clients have found tremendous benefit from integrated audio conferencing.  It allows participants to join via any phone, to an 800 number, and hear the same audio being shared on the Lync connection.  The best part is that the per minute costs are low, about $.06 per minute and only the participants that are joining over the traditional phone network are charged for the conference call.

Traditional Audio Conferencing:


One hour sales meeting once per week with 20 people


(60 minutes x 52 weeks x 20 people ) 62,400 minutes at .05 cents per minute = $3120


Integrated Audio Conferencing:

80% of the sales reps join via the client

(60 minutes x 52 weeks x 4 people ) 12,480 minutes at .06 cents per minute = $749

Want to see how it works?  Check out this video from Intercall.


http://www.brainshark.com/intercall2007/audiointegration

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