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Skype for Business: The New Look for 2016

Most of us know Skype for Business (or at the very least, Skype) but what you may not know is that Skype for Business (SfB) has an awesome new look for 2016.

Skype for Business now not only features all the traditional benefits of a unified communications platform but has now rounded out their offering to include some super features that make it even easier to connect:

Skype Broadcast

As if easy to use online anywhere Skype Meetings weren’t amazing enough, Skype Meeting Broadcast extends the reach of Skype Meetings to up to 10,000 attendees for webinars, all-hands meetings, and other one-to-many presentations, on nearly any device. Not only that, but scheduling options allow you to limit attendance to people in your organisation, or open it to everyone on the internet if you wish.

With some pretty cool integrated producer controls, you can present in Skype for Business and manage the entire experience, using one touch to choose when attendees see video, content, or both.

PSTN conferencing

PSTN conferencing from Microsoft allows anyone to join your Skype Meetings using only a telephone. This is particularly useful for those callers wanting to join you meetings who may be without internet access. It works by allowing callers to easily join using the dial-in number automatically included in every Skype Meeting invite, and, if they choose, they can use a local dial-in number to reduce calling charges.

You can even add a person to a Skype Meeting in real-time simply by typing their phone number. Skype for Business dials them for you, and in true Microsoft style, you can get valuable insight by using the Skype for Business meeting roster to see who has joined your meeting over the internet and via phone, to see who’s speaking, and to mute people in noisy environments if needed.

Offline Messaging

You can now also send Instant Messages to offline users. Missed messages can be received on any platform using Skype for Business or email (first for Windows users but support for other platforms will soon follow).

Video Based Screen Sharing

You and your colleagues can now enjoy an improved screen-sharing experience thanks to the video-based screen-sharing (VBSS) technology. While you won't see any changes in the way you present on-screen content during your peer-to-peer calls or chats, you will notice that the connection time is drastically reduced, and the screen presentation is always in sync between presenter and viewer. Not only is VBSS faster, but it also uses less network bandwidth.

VBSS uses a separate video stream, faster than RDP, high definition screen sharing at up to 15 frames per second with more efficient use of bandwidth – for unsupported clients, this will fall back to RDP.

VBSS is only used when both parties in the conversation are using Skype for Business 16.

Imagine the future where you can simply buy your telephony, productivity and collaboration services from Microsoft. It’s closer than you think.

To find out more about deploying Skype for Business for your organisation, or to find out how to use your technology more effectively, contact us today.

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About the Author: Stuart Moore

Picture of Stuart Moore

Director – Sales & Marketing (Don’t worry – still a tech at heart)

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