Microsoft is taking an exciting step towards their vision of Universal Communications with a new announcement: In the first half of 2015, Microsoft will be rolling out Skype for Business to replace the next version of Lync. This means that you get the familiar, user-friendly experience of Skype, used by over 300 million people all over the world, combined with the powerful security, compliance, and control characterized by Microsoft’s enterprise offerings.
Skype for Business will take advantage of the strengths of both Skype and Lync, with no existing Lync features being removed. Skype for Business will build upon Lync’s content sharing and telephony capabilities to make communication as seamless as possible.
Video calling will be added, and Microsoft will use Skype icons for calling, adding video, and enabling a call, and the addition of a “call monitor” window will allow users to keep active calls open while focusing on other tasks. The Skype user directory will also be added to Skype for Business so that any user can be found by searching their Skype name or Microsoft account. For admins, Skype Manager will allow them able to create and delete accounts, send credit, and manage different features to keep your business running smoothly.
For Lync Server customers, the upgrade can be completed by simply updating from Lync Server 2013 to Skype for Business server, with no additional hardware or installations required. For Office 365 customers, Microsoft will automatically take care of the update.
New opportunities and ideas for your organization, courtesy of Skype for Business:
Skype Buttons: You can now add a button to your website that allows people to call or instant message you from their computer or mobile device with one click.
Skype Number: Let people call you anywhere in the world with a phone number customized to an area code of your choice. Take those international calls on your laptop, mobile phone, or tablet wherever you are without worrying about expensive rates or lack of service.
Skype WiFi: Get online all over the world by joining the over 2 million Skype WiFi hotspots. No more long sign up processes.
Skype Credit in Bulk: Buy Skype Credit vouchers in bulk and hand them out to your employees, or even your customers, so they can call and text from anyone at great low rates.
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