Skype for Business brings together all of the typically disparate ways to communicate into one platform, so employees can access and use multiple communication applications through a single interface, using any device and from any location.
In 2015, Microsoft launched Skype for Business, a secure and reliable enterprise edition of the globally adopted consumer version Skype; the most popular voice communication service in the world.
- Mobility- Skype for Business enables employees to communicate via which ever medium they wish, regardless of location or device.
- Productivity- Employees can easily identify who’s available and on which channel, so questions and information can be directed to the right person and instant responses received.
- Collaboration- Skype for Business displays the availability of all employees and clients. Instant communication, sharing of desktops and video conferencing is simple, quick and effective.
- Security- Employees working from home, on the move or sitting at their office desk still get the same resilient security and functionality features.
- Cost Savings- Skype for Business enables you to replace your legacy PBX, so phone bills are dramatically reduced.
- Skype – Skype for Business connects seamlessly with Skype, enabling organisations to engage with a consumer base already utilising this new world technology
Skype for Business – Key Considerations & Components
The SBC (Session Border Controller) is at the heart of the Skype for Business solution. It performs a number of key functions that both enable the Enterprise Voice functionality and the migration from the legacy PBX.
- The external SIP trunks connect to the SBC and provide a key element of the DR \ BC capability. During migration for the legacy PBX the SBC will make the call routing decisions based on its integration to Active Directory whilst also providing NAT traversal.
- The SBC acts as the “Voice Firewall”. As well as securing the network against threats such as denial of service attacks it also protects against toll fraud.
- Enables the voice connection between the legacy PBX and Skype for Business during the migration period.
Call Logging and cost accounting is a base requirement of any PBX solution and to enable Skype for Business to be a true replacement this capability must be available with the same capability that the organisation relies on today. This can also be enhanced with media reporting to allow trend analysis and Quality of Experience reporting. During a migration period the call logging service needs to be the single point of reporting across both the Skype for Business solution and the legacy PBX.
AD & Exchange
Active Directory is Microsoft’s trademarked directory service, an integral part of the Windows 2000 architecture. Active Directory is a centralised and standardized system that automates network management of user data, security, and distributed resources, and enables interoperation with other directories. Active Directory is designed especially for distributed networking environments.
At the most basic level Exchange is an email server with calendaring and contact management capabilities. These can all be delivered securely via a desktop or mobile client internal or external to the corporate environment. It can be extended to capture and disseminate voice mails, automated to deliver email and voice messages based on calendar information, monitor information flow out of an organisation and provide legal approved archiving services.
During the migration period, the PBX is a core part of the solution. Seamless integration with the Skype for Business solution will enable the migration of users to be completed with minimal disruption and limited involvement from the IT team. Knowledge of traditional voice and the services provided is key to designing the integration to achieve this.
Identifying the correct devices is absolutely key to the users experience and so the overall success of a UC solution. There is a vast range of devices for different roles and requirements, some examples of which are below and numerous vendors that produce these. Freedom’s 25 years of voice experience means our solutions team have tested most devices that are available on the market for functionality, usability and serviceability and can provide advice on the best fit for each role within an organisation. User profiling during the design phase will ensure that each role type have the right devices for their requirements.
- Common area low end handsets with restricted functionality.
- Hotdesk handsets with advanced features.
- Bluetooth headsets for mobile workers.
- Headsets for desk based workers.