There has been a lot of news recent stories surrounding the rebranding of Microsoft Lync to Skype for Business; sometimes it can be confusing to distinguish the media noise from the truth and what the re-brand truly means for businesses. We wanted to clear up a few things, put the record straight, make sure there is no confusion and let our customers know we are Skype for Business ready!
The combination of Skype for Business and our voice trunking solution will continue to deliver all the great benefits that users of Microsoft Lync currently receive, just with the look, feel and familiarity of free Skype. Pure IP Skype for Business users will still benefit from:
- No additional equipment needed to connect Skype for Business with Pure IP SIP Trunking
- The ability to dimension channel allocation
- Failsafe disaster recovery routing to alternative IP addresses or PSTN numbers in the event of an emergency
- Near real-time call detail records via the secure Pure IP customer portal
- Access to International local numbers in over 50 countries (and growing)
- Full local number portability in the UK and 14 other international countries
- Improved call security with call TLS encryption
No need for a change
The name may have changed, but none of the features or functionality has been lost in the switch over. Which is why when deciding on a SIP Trunk provider for Skype for Business, it is still the wisest option to choose a certified SIP Trunk provider that has the necessary accreditations and experience of leveraging private IP networks.
With more of our customers moving to Skype for Business, one of the frequent questions we get asked is “Do I need to migrate my SIP Trunk as well?” The answer is “No”. A number of our customers have enjoyed the switchover to Skype for Business and their SIP Trunks have migrated seamlessly. If you’re hearing something different then this is a concern. There shouldn’t be any need to worry about upgrading servers or platforms – it’ll happen naturally.
The road ahead
Microsoft will continue on the road of having a closer integration of existing solutions as part of its Cloud offering – MS Office ‘guru’ Julia White introduced these new integrations at the inaugural Microsoft Ignite Conference in Chicago at the beginning of May. Streamlining video meetings using Skype has been a widely discussed topic, however be sure you understand exactly what you get with an online Office 365 subscription. Don’t make the assumption that Office 365 online has a voice element, because it doesn’t. There is heavy promotion behind Office 365 Online – which is understandable as it's a very popular platform – but as yet there is no dedicated voice support. To achieve a voice element in Office 365 online, businesses must purchase and deploy an on-premise Skype for Business Server to replace or enhance their existing PBX system.
Microsoft has a roadmap to develop more Cloud services that complement existing solutions such as SharePoint and OneDrive etc., but at the moment if a business requires an Office 365 voice element, the fact remains that they need to be prepared to implement complex on premise solution. At Pure IP we’re aligning ourselves with Microsoft’s roadmap to support Office 365 online voice when (and if) it is arrives, but at the moment that is not in the imminent future.
If you have any questions or reservations about Skype for Business then you have two options available to ease your concerns:
- Sign up for a free trial of our SIP Trunk solution, if you’re not already an existing Pure IP customer, and you can be guided through a Skype for Business deployment.
- If you are an existing Pure IP customer, then speak to your account manager and ask them about Skype for Business and to test your readiness.