Back in May of 2015, we did a post on which Skype for Business version businesses should use.
Since then, Microsoft has launched several major enhancements to Skype for Business, changed its focus from Server to Online, and beefed up its cloud capacity.
While I think the 2015 post is still accurate in terms of its comparisons, the whole ecosystem has changed. The “scope,” as it were, has broadened. Now we have numerous clients, platforms, and capabilities to choose from…as well as multiple competitors trying to reach the same customers.
Accordingly, I think it’s wise to start 2017 off with a snapshot of Skype for Business’ current state. What do we have available, what should admins know about, what’s the competition like, etc.
(Note: I will update this post semi-regularly going forward. If you see something we’re missing here, please email it to me so I can include it!)
The Skype for Business Ecosystem (as of January 2017)
- Skype for Business Server
- Skype for Business Online
- Skype Meetings
- Skype Teams
- Skype Room Systems & Microsoft Surface Hub
Skype for Business Competitors
First, a caveat: This will not be a comprehensive list!
Since Skype for Business contains many different tools, competitors stack up for each. Some competitors target one type of tool (video conferencing), while others go for a more comprehensive communications platform (like Skype4B itself).
Comprehensive Communications Platform:
Cisco Unified Communications Manager (CallManager)
WhatsApp (Getting more full-featured all the time, it seems…)
We’ve done some “competitor comparisons” on the blog, for your reference:
- Slack Adds Voice and Video: The Implications for Skype for Business
- Skype for Business vs. Google Hangouts
- RHUB Conferencing Software: More a Threat to WebEx Than Lync Server
Potential for More Major Changes Coming This Year
This is where the Skype for Business ecosystem is, as of January 2017. What changes the year will bring, we cannot fully say. But we’ll blog about them all year long! (So don’t forget to subscribe. Top right.)
We do know some of Microsoft’s goals for the year. Skype for Business Advanced Analytics for one. Skype Room Systems – formerly Project Rigel – for another. (I have seen some of the products; they’re impressive!) And international expansions of Skype for Business capabilities as well.
Adoption level, competitor movements? We’ll see, won’t we?
What Skype for Business does your business have for 2017? Please comment or email.
Join us here next week for our first guest post of 2017!