A guest post from Brennon Kwok, Polycom Asia Pacific’s regional UC Solution Architect for Microsoft and recognised by Microsoft as aLync MVP:
Since the release of Skype for Business in May earlier this year, the premier UC platform from Microsoft has seen ever increasing adoption and usage in enterprises both large and small. Many companies already on Lync 2013 are already in the midst of upgrading to Skype for Business while others who have no existing UC infrastructure are eager and planning to adopt the platform in the very near future.
At the same time, room-based video conferencing systems have been evolving over the past few years to allow for interoperability with Microsoft’s UC platform since the early days of OCS, Lync and now Skype for Business. With each new release Microsoft has made significant improvements to voice and video conferencing capabilities, and consequently it is no surprise that many room-based video conferencing (VC) vendors have also been continually investing in R&D to ensure interoperability. One of the key tenets of why Skype for Business is so successful in the market place is its ease of use. User adoption has been and continues to be vital to success of any UC platform. Users simply love the look and feel of Skype for Business, it’s ease of use and intuitive interface, click-to-call, drag-and-drop conferencing, and more importantly the ability to schedule meetings using familiar tools such as Outlook.
In fact, every video collaboration vendor now makes the claim of being interoperable with Skype for Business; so that leaves customers asking: how do we differentiate between them? Are they all the same?
An intelligent guess would certainly be “No”. If we dive deeper into how the various video collaboration vendors actually interoperate with Skype for Business, we see many different approaches and options available. So while every VC system claims interoperability, not all do so in a way that preserves the user experience of Skype for Business that users are already familiar with.
That’s where Polycom RealConnect™ for Skype for Business solution differs from other approaches. The RealConnect solution simplifies the scheduling workflow as it leverages native Microsoft Outlook calendaring and enables intuitive one click-to-dial experience for both Skype for Business users and videoconference system users.