In their latest blog Microsoft has heralded the joining up of Lync and Skype in the form of Skype for Business and at the same time announced they will become a carrier and supply direct connections to business this summer.
Zig Serafin, Corporate Vice President for the Skype for Business team, said that over 100 million people now use Microsoft Lync to communicate for work, with 79 per cent of U.S. enterprises currently using or planning to deploy Lync for telephony.
“Building on this foundation, I’m happy to announce we will deliver three new services in Skype for Business.
We will offer enterprise voice and audio conferencing in Office 365, starting with a technical preview in the U.S. this summer, as well as enterprise-grade PSTN connectivity, beginning in the U.S. later this year, followed by a global roll out.
This means Office 365 can be used for all your conversations—written, audio and video. The Office 365 Skype for Business voice and video services are based on an intelligent real time network, spanning Microsoft’s global data centres, to deliver secure, high quality voice and video traffic at the speed of light across the globe.
Our strategic partners AT&T, BT, Colt, Equinix, Level 3 Communications, Orange Business Services, TATA Communications, Telstra, Verizon and Vodafone, will deliver direct connections to Office 365 Skype for Business customers through Azure ExpressRoute for Office 365.
These investments will benefit our on-premises customers as well as those using our cloud. We are enabling cloud plus on-premises hybrid options so that you can rely on our cloud when you need it without having to give up what you want to manage on-premises.”
Guy Miller, Managing Director at network services firm tIPicall said:
“The Channel has long accepted Microsoft as a strategic partner, never more so than now with so many resellers and system integrators pushing Lync / Skype for Business. This latest announcement from Microsoft should be studied carefully by the Channel to ensure we sustain our future profits from the minutes market and keep this margin spread amongst the many which is the key to the success of the UK channel to date.”