It just got a whole lot easier to make a choice regarding which Microsoft partner solution to use to help monitor and manage your complete Skype for Business environment. In case you missed the news, Microsoft blogged today about their acquisition of certain technology assets and IP underlying the Event Zero product set.
The key take-away from the Microsoft blog happens to be great news for Skype for Business customers of all sizes. Microsoft has announced that they will be re-vectoring these acquired assets 100% towards helping to create an Office 365/Skype for Business Online monitoring and management platform and API set which they can then extend to Unify Square. This set of new Skype for Business Online connections will complement the existing on-premise oriented PowerSuite™ offering from Unify Square. We have already been hard at work on a number of Skype for Business cloud initiatives since the summer of 2015, partnering closely with Microsoft to extend the Unify Square PowerSuite™ functionality all the way from its current on-premise/hybrid orientation out to Skype for Business Online. Now, as a result of this acquisition, we expect that this close collaboration with Microsoft will be accelerated, allowing us to more quickly and easily access Office 365 cloud data. In so doing we will be able to bring to market a true “single pane of glass” view across all Skype for Business environments.
Looking beyond today’s announcement, it’s also important to put the Event Zero/Skype for Business Online news in perspective. In a report entitled “SWOT: Microsoft Skype for Business Online, Worldwide” published on January 5, 2016, Gartner estimates that almost all enterprise and global multi-national corporations won’t be ready or interested in moving to any sort of full-scale Skype for Business Online deployment until 2018 or 2019. We concur with Gartner and believe that Skype for Business will continue to be mainly an on-premise play in the near-term for large enterprise companies. And, there’s no better choice for a full-service Skype for Business partner for premise-based deployments than Unify Square.