Skype for Business - a personal take

I have worked in the telecoms industry for over 17 years as a new business-focused salesperson, specialising in all things voice related.

21 September 2017

I have sold calls and lines, mobile, SIP, PBX and IPT and hosted voice, but the game changer for me was in May 2011 when I experienced what can only be described as my very own “garlic bread” moment. For those of you that that don’t understand the phrase, google “Peter Kay – Phoenix Nights best quotes” and you’ll get the drift. But I digress.

My “garlic bread” moment happened at one of my previous companies (if you look at my career history you can probably guess who) when, in a room full of Sales colleagues, we were presented with the new product we were about to launch; Lync 2010, deployed from our own Cloud with PSTN breakout.

It was, as they say, “love at first sight” – immediately I could see how this amazing Unified Communications software could change and transform how any business could operate for the better; with “right first time” communication, conferencing and collaboration integrated into the Microsoft services on my laptop – messaging, presence, click to dial, and I could get rid of that dumb handset on my desk and create a bit more space! As a homeworker my desk space was at a premium, plus I loved using a headset because then I could talk and type without doing that holding the handset under your chin thing and getting a cricked neck.

At that company I fully embraced the solution, advocating, evangelising and championing Lync 2010 internally and externally at every opportunity. Fast forward 6 years and I am now doing the job I advocated for back then (and was ignored) working for GCI, a true market-leading company specialising in selling what has evolved into Skype for Business. We offer this from a private Cloud environment with PSTN breakout, and we can add an API-integrated contact centre, call recording and PCI/GDPR descoping solutions all under one roof…or to use another of my favourite metaphors, “giving customers one throat to choke”.

The not so secret whisperings about Skype amalgamating into Microsoft Teams in the near future will undoubtedly provide more exciting opportunities too… hopefully there will be some more “garlic bread” moments out there.

So why am I so passionate about selling Skype for Business? I’ll tell you – unlike selling SIP trunks, minutes, PBX upgrades and so on, Skype for Business truly transforms how any business can operate, providing operational and commercial efficiencies across the board. And it’s that which gives me a real buzz, knowing that in response to a customer’s business need I have changed how they work. Not by just changing the vendor’s name on a handset but by changing how people actually do their jobs for the better; improving work/life balance and, in a relatively small way I hope, I have done something that has made a difference to Great Britain PLC.

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