Featured Article from Conferencing

Microsoft Revamps Skype for Business

March 30, 2017

Every day, thousands of people across a variety of industries use Skype for Business to communicate with coworkers and clients. In fact, Microsoft has stated that Skype for Business in Office 365 has been used to conduct one billion meetings per year. These numbers alone are enough to indicate that Skype for Business is one of the more popular conferencing solutions available. And, in an attempt to boost that popularity and compete with rising competition, Microsoft has announced several enhancements to the system.

At the Enterprise Connect conference in Orlando on Monday, Microsoft announced two new calling features to Skype for Business Cloud PBX. The Auto Attendant feature gives users automated answering and call routing capabilities, and the new Call Queues feature routes calls to the next available live attendant in the order they’re received.

Microsoft also spoke about some features that are specific to certain companies and systems. For instance, Skype for Business in Office 365 is getting several upgrades of its own, and, according to the International Business Times, “The American technology company headquartered in Redmond, Washington also unveiled a preview of a new Skype for Business Call Analytics dashboard, which allows better visibility into call issue.” In addition, Creston, Logitech and Polycom are all getting new Skype Rooms System solutions.

Although these new features would be helpful for anyone, they’re especially useful in contact centers where there are high volumes of inbound calls. According to Microsoft, that was the inspiration for these upgrades, and the company hopes the enhancements will drive Skype for Business’ popularity. This move is far from random, though. With Google looking to reposition its Hangouts service and Amazon launching Chime, Microsoft wants to make sure its service’s usage does not decline.

Google and Amazon could potentially turn out to be fierce competition for Microsoft in the conferencing arena. Conferencing is quickly becoming an important part of the average workday, and all three brands are universally trusted. If luck is on Microsoft’s side, the new upgrades for Skype for Business will entice more call centers to turn to Microsoft, rather than the competition.

Edited by Stefania Viscusi