Written by Sonu Aggarwal, CEO, Unify Square
Yesterday marked a significant milestone of Microsoft’s journey into what they call universal communications. This is a very natural motion of connecting collaboration and communication, not just within the virtual walls of the business and their value chain but also with customers, clients and consumers. Lync and Skype hold strengths on both sides and Microsoft seems to be in a good position to take advantage of these strengths.
For example, one of the key advantages of Skype is its SILK codec which delivers strong voice capability in low bandwidth situations. And Lync has focused considerably on the remote user space, with significant innovation around integrating STUN/TURN/ICE into its SIP signaling stack, such that all Lync modalities (audio, video, app-sharing) are equally accessible to users everywhere, whether inside or outside the enterprise. Another area where Lync has excelled is security. And those are just a couple of examples. The interesting part is how companies who take advantage of Skype for business are going to be able to transform their overall business model, get closer to their customers and ultimately use this connection to their customers to better position themselves from their competition. However, as it is today, there is a critical challenge here. If the end user in the business doesn’t use the platform, then the potential to connect seamlessly with their consumer isn’t possible. So, of course, the real key here is end user adoption for employees first.
The secret behind getting users to use anything is a good user experience…it’s their own perception to how this service is performing that will drive user satisfaction and ultimate usage. This focus on adoption and service level by the businesses using Lync and, in the future, Skype for Business, is what will determine their ability to make the most out of the competitive advantage Lync and then Skype for Business offers. The earlier the employee base gets comfortable with conferencing and voice in Lync, the earlier the enterprise as a whole is ready to differentiate in the marketplace by better connecting employees with its customer-consumers.
Some of you might be wondering, “What does this mean for me and my own Lync journey today?” Well, anyone who has Lync conferencing and enterprise voice deployed and operational will find themselves in a much better position to adopt Skype for business when it becomes available. Acceleration of the Lync EV initiative means getting to that monetary ROI that much quicker. To achieve that ROI means to meet your target usage levels and to reach a healthy run state. This is true for Lync today and will be for Skype for Business “tomorrow.”