Microsoft Skype for Business (SfB) is an enterprise-ready unified communications (UC) platform.

It connects people everywhere, on Windows and other operating systems including smart phones, tablets and other mobile devices providing a consistent, single client experience for presence, instant messaging, voice, video and audio/visual conferencing.

SfB allows users to communicate securely and stay connected with colleagues, from wherever they chose to work and via any supported device. The solution provides secure VPN-Less connectivity to SfB (including video and application sharing) over 3/4G, home broadband or Wi-Fi hotspot. This includes the ability to make VoIP calls over these systems via the SfB client thus reducing mobile and/or Roaming costs.

Skype for Business: The Features

Presence

Real-time presence information makes it possible to see if a colleague is available, where they are located and their ability to engage over which channel (voice - video).

Instant Messaging (IM)

Multiple IM conversations can be initiated at the same time, with full support for text, file sharing and hyperlinks.

Collaboration

Create, moderate and join pre-planned and ad-hoc Audio, Video and Web meetings with users within and outside of the College. Audio calls can be elevated to online sharing sessions or transitioned to high definition video.

Voice

Calls can be made from a Windows PC/Laptop, Apple Mac, desk phone, mobile (smartphone), with enhanced calling features.

Video

A quick instant message conversation between colleagues can be switched to a high definition video call with ease, while videoconferencing can be used to enhance the working experience.

Consistent User Interface

A consistent interface makes it easy to access and use communication applications from any device (Windows PC/Laptop/Mobile, Apple, iOS, Android).

Public Skype

Skype for Business connects seamlessly with public Skype, enabling the College to engage with users outside the College already utilising this new world technology. Instant Messaging, Voice and Video calls can be made with users public Skype, enriching the communications experience.

The Benefits of Skype for Business in the Workplace

Increased Productivity

Users can easily identify who’s available and on which channel (voice – video), so questions and information can be directed to the right person and instant responses received. Web, Audio and Video Conferences can be launched immediately, knowing the required participants are available, and users can move quickly between applications and channels, regardless of their location or device.

This insight means an employee’s time is optimised; no waiting for email replies, receiving out of office messages and no ignored calls or IM sessions without a response.

Enhanced Communication

Skype for Business makes location irrelevant, providing a centralised platform that integrates channels such as Email, Voice, Video and Instant Messaging to deliver a cohesive communications experience that streamlines the flow of information.

The same rich functionality and security features are available for everyone, regardless of whether they are working from home, on the move or sitting at their office desk. Colleagues can be found and contacted easily, facilitating teamwork and collaboration by allowing a virtual connection for instant communication and sharing of desktops and other applications.

Solution Implementation

The SfB solution will be implemented with all of the following features:

  • Instant Messaging (IM) and Presence
  • Application or desktop sharing
  • PowerPoint presentations sized to any supported device
  • Peer to Peer voice and video
  • Multiparty multimedia conferencing
  • External access to audio conferencing and web based multi-media conferencing for external, none SfB users
  • Remote user access with full support for mobile clients including Windows phones, Android phones, iPhones, iPads and tablets
  • Federation with public instant messaging providers such as Skype as well as the ability to federate with any partner organisations who use SfB
  • Voicemail to mailbox for telephony users

The video below shows Skype for Business on a range of devices.

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