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Skype for Business – look before you leap

As Microsoft grows beyond the desktop environment it has long dominated, Skype for Business is carving out a growing share of the market for unified communications. But with different deployment options, licensing models, and integration considerations, businesses must think carefully before taking the plunge.

Is Skype for Business right for your business?   

That depends. Al Cowan, a solutions consultant at trans-Tasman business communications technology specialist Pyrios, says Skype for Business is overkill if workers spend most of their time at a desk.

“Certainly, it’ll do a good job of managing calls. But it’s a bit like buying a turbo-charged 4WD to pick up the groceries. You’re buying a bunch of features you’ll never use,” said Cowan.

On the other hand, Cowan suggests that if your workers are mobile and need to see each other’s availability, work with different groups, and share information quickly and easily, then Skype for Business offers a powerful toolset to reimagine how your business communicates and shares information.

Getting going with Skype for Business  

There are three ways to deploy Skype for Business: On-premise, from the cloud, or a combination of both formats.

What’s best for your business? Cowan says a clear understanding of business needs will uncover the model best suited to your business. “But it also pays to seek advice from a credible provider to help understand the ins-and-outs of each option,” he said.

Regardless, business users must be licensed. Microsoft licensing options include User Subscription License (USL) for Skype for Business Online, and Client Access Licenses (CALs) to connect users and devices to Skype for Business Server for presence, IM, peer-to-peer VoIP and HD video, and Skype connectivity.  

Businesses looking for the additional functionality should explore Enterprise and Plus-CAL license options.

“Check license entitlements as part of the planning process to avoid unpleasant budgeting surprises when you make the leap – or when Microsoft calls to perform a license audit,” said Cowan.

Cowan also urges people to investigate integration issues, because Microsoft doesn’t make hardware devices – handsets, gateways, session border controllers (SBC) and the like.

“New technology has never been as accessible, but readier access requires more rigorous planning,” said Cowan. “Take the time to understand current Skype for Business licensing entitlements and where your intended usage will leave you under-licensed.”

Click here to read the full article ‘Sizing up Skype for Business’.

Contact Pyrios if you’d like help to assess your readiness for Skype for Business and to build a plan to migrate.  

About Pyrios

Pyrios is a communications technology specialist. We deliver a range of smart communications technology, consulting, integration and managed services to help our clients deliver brilliant customer engagement, every time. We provide services across Australia and New Zealand with offices in Auckland, Wellington, Melbourne, Sydney, Canberra and Perth.  Learn more at www.pyrios.com.    

For useful news and updates follow Pyrios on Twitter (@PyriosSocial) and LinkedIn.


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