By Jon Seddon – Head of Product Management.
Yesterday at Enterprise Connect in Orlando, Florida Microsoft announced a raft of new features which will come soon to those on the E5 Office 365 plan. The media have understandably picked up on the announcements around Auto Attendant and Call Queues but there are some very useful features ‘under the bonnet’ – notably integration with Polycom and Enghouse which will be a real advantage to the many customers we have which use those systems alongside Skype for Business.
To recap, Auto Attendant is a new feature within Skype for Business which provides automated voice answers and routes in-coming calls. It means that callers can navigate menus using their keypad. Certainly, most of us are used to these kinds of features already on standard PBX-based systems but this is yet another reason why Skype for Business can now replace this outdated technology.
Call Queues (as the name suggests) places callers in a queue and directs them to the next-available recipient. It’s very useful for firms that receive a high (or fluctuating) volume of calls but do not need a fully-fledged contact centre solution.
Coming in preview is the new Skype for Business Call Analytics dashboard. This is for IT administrators to make it easier to provision services as well as diagnose and fix problems. The new service is a data rich feed that helps make sure the user experience is always as good as it should be.
Many of our customers like to use Skype for Business in meeting rooms. In doing so, they appreciate the fact that meetings can be engaging for all participants – whether they happen to be in the room or not – with features like screen sharing, IM and whiteboarding. The announcements yesterday have made this even easier (and for firms to get even more of their existing conferencing assets) via integration with popular solutions including Polycom, Crestron, and Enghouse.
Finally, Microsoft also shared some pretty big numbers yesterday. Last year, globally over one billion meetings were conducted over the Skype network and usage of Skype for Business Online doubled. These figures come as no surprise to GCI. We are seeing unprecedented demand for a range of UC solutions with customers appreciating that the technology is ‘enterprise ready’ and is key to creating a modern working environment where employees can work seamlessly from anywhere.
If you are interested in more information about Skype for Business, Microsoft Cloud PBX and the next generation alternative to the traditional telephone system, you may want to attend our FREE TECHNOLOGY BREAKFAST BREIFING event on Wednesday 5th April 8am to 10am at Microsoft’s London HQ in Paddington.