Skype, the popular video conferencing service Microsoft acquired in 2011, has always officially been a consumer tool. It was meant to connect best friends, cousins, siblings and loved ones across different states and different continents with the power of video.
Unofficially, however, small businesses have long been using Skype as their video conferencing solution. BizTech touched on this trend last year, which saw some pretty high-profile business use, such as by the Carolina Panthers’ general manager on the third day of the NFL Draft.
But that example not withstanding, the truth is that leveraging a consumer tool for enterprise environments always come with risk. Consumer-oriented tools might be convenient, but they aren’t always necessarily as reliable or resilient as their enterprise counterparts.
The good news: Microsoft is officially rebranding and versioning its legacy Lync product and dubbing it Skype for Business. This means that workers will get the user experience they know and love, along with the reliability and infrastructure of Lync.
CDW Unified Communications Technical Specialist Andrew Hunkins drove home the idea that workers will get the best of both worlds with the new Skype for Business in a recent post on the CDW Solutions Blog.
“What makes Skype for Business different from Skype is the emphasis on a managed network to deliver consistent enterprise grade communications,” he writes.
The value of a managed network makes itself even more apparent when you consider using Skype for Business as a replacement for legacy phone systems, Hunkins points out.
“The consumer service of Skype, on the other hand, connects over the public Internet and cannot guarantee the call quality that businesses demand,” he says.
Now that the UI they love now has the backend infrastructure they’ve been waiting for, businesspeople who’ve been making do with the consumer version of Skype no longer need to get by with a video conferencing solution that’s probably best left for checking in on the family while on the road.
Watch the official introduction video of Skype for Business from Microsoft below for more information.