3 Reasons Skype for Business is a Big Deal
By: Enghouse Interactive VP Channel Sales, John De Los Reyes
According to a study from Transparency Market Research, the global unified communications (UC) market is expected to reach nearly $62 billion by 2018, representing 16% year-over-year growth between now and then. A few months ago, Microsoft revealed its plan to dominate this market, starting with changing its business UC product, Microsoft Lync, to Skype for Business. More than just a name change, Skype for Business represents a merger with the popular consumer app, Skype, which Microsoft acquired in 2011 (for $8.5 billion) and boasts more than 300 million users. Additionally, here are three reasons Skype for Business is poised to become a big deal:
- Seamless Escalation. In the “Age of the Customer” we’re now living in, creating a good customer experience is a must for B2B and B2C businesses alike. While offering customer service and support via multiple channels is essential, it’s also a struggle for many — especially when a customer wants to change channels midway through a conversation. Forcing a customer to end a chat session, call a toll-free number and start the waiting process all over again is simply unacceptable. Skype for Business solves this challenge by enabling customers using Skype to seamlessly switch from chat to a voice or video call. Here’s one example of how that might work. Let’s say a bicycle enthusiast orders a bicycle part for his road bike but needs help installing the part. He starts a chat with the part manufacturer, but realizes a few minutes into the call that he still doesn’t know what to do. With a click of a button the customer and bicycle part manufacturer can transition to a one-way or two-way video session that allows the manufacturer to show the customer how to install the part.
- Security without Compromises. Privacy and security are top concerns, especially in regulated industries like banking and healthcare. What’s nice about Skype for Business is that it uses TLS (Transport Layer Security), a protocol that ensures privacy between communicating applications and their users on the Internet. And, unlike other security protocols, such as VPN (Virtual Private Network), TLS doesn’t require separate software, and it’s much less complex to setup. Plus, it doesn’t tax users’ CPU, memory, or bandwidth like other security protocols are known to do.
- Part of the Office 365 Ecosystem. How often do you begin a sales conversation with, “I’d like to talk to you about a solution that you’re already paying for, but not yet using?” With Skype for Business, which is included in the Microsoft Office 365 Business Premium subscription, that kind of conversation is a real possibility and will become more real as your customers continue migrating to the cloud. With Enghouse Interactive, this selling point becomes even stronger, enabling full blown enterprise voice functionality with the Office 365 license. One way to think of this is that Microsoft has given users a luxury sports car (Skype for Business) but with no wheels (platform). It’s up to end users and/or their IT solution providers to complete their “vehicles” through the purchase of on-premise servers or by opting for a full cloud experience.