Well, you’ve been hearing all about it since November and now it’s here – Skype for Business was released yesterday, April 14th, officially merging Lync and Skype to create the ideal way to communicate in your workplace. The Skype for Business rollout comes as part of the Office updates for April, including Skype for Business Online for Office 365 customers. For those using the Office 365 version of Lync – Lync Online – you will receive the update in the next couple of weeks; however, no matter which Lync version you are using, Microsoft hopes that all updates will be complete by the end of May.
The fact is, over 300 million people use Skype every month to connect with friends and family, and more than 100 million people use Microsoft Lync to communicate at work. With numbers like these, users all over the world have some familiarity with video chatting, online meetings and chat windows. Since Skype for Business is built right into Office, all of the features you use daily, like: presence, video calling, IM, and online meetings are still at the tip of your fingers, all with the familiarity of Skype. Additionally, you can search and connect for people throughout the Skype network – even if they are outside of your organization.
Dreading the change? Hate the struggle that comes with learning a new product and finding the new places all of your favorite buttons are hiding? I get it, we all dread change to some extent. But Microsoft knows that and is giving its customers the ability to switch between Skype for Business and your traditional Lync platform to help while you get acclimated with the new user interface. I can assure you, the changes are minimal and the benefits will greatly outweigh any concerns you might have. For more information on how to configure Skype for Business in a Lync environment, click here.
If you want to learn more about Skype for Business and the features that come with the upgrade, Microsoft is hosting a webinar on Wednesday, May 6th, to answer all of your Skype of Business questions. You can register for the webinar here.