Unified Communications Featured Article

New Skype for Office 365 Enterprise Boosts Conferencing Capabilities

December 07, 2015

Interest in video conferencing has never been higher, with vendors reporting growing sales, and growing interest from customers looking to use video conferencing to either replace travel, or improve collaboration for distributed workgroups.

Microsoft’s recent announcement appeals to this market with the release of its Skype for Business voice and meetings capabilities in Office 365. Users can now take advantage of Skype Meeting Broadcast, PSTN Conferencing, and Cloud PBX with PSTN Calling.

Jeremy Chapman, director of Office 365 made a video announcement, saying that "Cloud PBX and PSTN Conferencing are included in Office 365 E5 [subscriptions] or can be purchased standalone." He also promised that Microsoft would be expanding the availability of those features "in the coming months" so it's somewhat clear they aren't generally available yet.

Microsoft has also beefed up its cloud-based services with new cloud-based productivity tools, allowing users to conduct conference calls (both audio and video). As the WSJ points out, Microsoft’s new Cloud PBX feature automatically routes voice calls, removing the need for businesses to install specific software or operate branch exchange equipment on their own.

It’s worth mentioning that all of these capabilities are utilized better with the proper endpoints, such as unified communications headsets and speakerphones. Tools like Skype for Office 365 allow employees to communicate and collaborate across a number of different devices. The headset enables the user to communicate and collaborate more effectively with ease, by delivering a more ergonomic way of working employees will be more productive and customer service will improve.

It’s best to use a headset when video conferencing as opposed to using your computer’s speakers and mic. Headsets and external microphones will limit the amount of noise projected into the video, making video conferencing, no matter where or when, that much more successful.

Businesses are encouraged to explore the new opportunities that endpoints, like headsets, offer for enterprise workers to perform their jobs more efficiently. Not only are headsets often less expensive than IP desktop phones or other types of hardware devices, but they also offer unique benefits that make them ideal for an ever-changing work environment.

Edited by Maurice Nagle