Skype for Business – The dawn of modern meeting

When hearing this name the first time, many people think that “Well, Skype has another version for businessmen, but it’s none of my business”. Basically, they are right. Skype and Skype for Business share almost the same identical interface, main functions such as videoconferencing, instant messaging for business or personal use, etc. But if it’s what people see, they’ve already missed a lot of things.

Skype is like the yahoo messenger replacement with better VoIP, free to use consumer version. Skype for Business is a whole new difference not mentioning the fact that it costs money. Combining both the consumer Skype software and the predecessor Microsoft Lync, Skype for Business offers a wide variety of capacities and advanced tools geared up for business activities, which will obviously change how we work in the near future.

In the past, meeting means people come together and have face-to-face conversations in the same room or space. It’s not an easy task if you’re in the middle of a traffic jam and your company’s meeting will be held in the next 15 minutes. But nowadays, that situation is no longer a problem.

After the acquisition of Skype Technologies S.A.R.L in 2011, Microsoft has a new goal for Skype. They define: In modern meeting, participants can collaborate and communicate with each other from anywhere around the world as if they are all sitting in the same room. And Skype for Business is the answer of their creative brains and hard-working.

Thanks to the integration with Office 365 and the introduction of OneDrive for Business recently, Skype for Business will play an important role in meetings and our everyday work life. Below are a number of new and upcoming improvements featuring both Skype for Business and Office 365.

Available Today

Skype for Business Conversations

Office 365 users have already loved how Skype for Business helps them in working. But the release of Skype for Business Conversations satisfies them even more. New features let users start quickly instant messaging for business, video or audio call from the Office 365 inbox directly. This improvement not only saves an amount of manipulating time for Office 365 users, but also tights the integration between the two.

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Join meetings directly from the client

“Skype for Business will turn every meeting schedule in Office 365 into a video meeting automatically, so users don’t have to do any additional clicks to make it happens.”, as the announcement from Microsoft. That means Outlook and Skype for Business client now can help users view their meeting calendar and have direct meetings participation more quickly, even within the Skype client.

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Skype Directory search

With the support of Skype for Business Server, Skype for Business users have more benefits thanks to lots of new advantaged features such as Skype Directory search. Knowing the contact’s username is a must in Skype if you want to add a person to your contact list. But Skype Directory search offers the function which allows users to search the whole Skype directory and add people outside the company without the need to know their user name.

Note: If you want to access this feature, please contact your admin.

Coming Soon

In-call co-authoring

Nowadays, document co-authoring becomes an important part in collaboration between users as a team through online versions of Microsoft Office or OneNote. But not far from the future, a Skype call can also do the trick to help people work more effectively in real-time.

Prepare meetings with pre-loaded attachments

In traditional meetings, people often prepare and carry along lots of essential documents and paper. The same goes for “modern meetings” but with pre-loaded attachments. A new feature will be released by Microsoft to make sure that meeting organizers and participants have everything they need beforehand.

Broadcast meetings

To let more targeted employees join meetings, a company can choose to broadcast their Skype for Business meetings through Office 365 with the capability up to 10,000 viewers at the same time. As supposed, Azure Media Services will be used for audio, video and PowerPoint presentations streaming, while Bing Pulse is for sentiment tracking and Yammer is in charge of audience conversations. Third parties can add formal Q&A, audience polls or other functionality through extended update.

The dawn of new era

With the target to change the world again like they did with Windows, Microsoft is truly investing many resources to create and bring more helpful and comfortable experience to Skype for Business users. That’s also a good new for Office 365 users and organizations that rely on them. A new era is coming and Skype for Business will play a crucial part in changing how we work entirely in the future.

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Hao Nguyen

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