• Microsoft’s acquisition of Event Zero’s ‘UC Commander’ analytics platform strengthens its UC solutions.
• The decision of who to work with for UC solutions is not easy and there are many good options – but integration is key and end users should consider who is best placed to work with their telecoms and IT estate.
Microsoft recently announced the acquisition of the ‘technology assets’ underlying Event Zero’s ‘UC Commander’ product suite. The UC Commander suite provides a series of management and analytics tools specifically for Microsoft Skype for Business (Skype). Presently, Skype users can already use the Office 365 administration centre to assign phone numbers, view usage reporting for audio and video calls/conferences, and to monitor call quality. The new acquisition will add further diagnostic and troubleshooting tools within a single new portal. Microsoft also envisages that its SP partners will be able to more easily connect on-premise Skype deployments with Office 365 and hybrid environments in general. Continue reading “Microsoft’s UC Commander Acquisition Boosts Skype for Business and Increases the Squeeze on Service Providers”→
In order to increase revenue in the “post-PC” era, Microsoft needs to create a compelling proposition to attract consumers and business buyers in foundational smartphone and tablet markets.
To fulfill its vision of becoming a devices and services company and to maximize profit, Microsoft needs to decouple its reliance on its current platform partners through building its own hardware. Nokia provides the much needed means of doing so.
• Microsoft has begun to pull together its consumer and enterprise communications platforms with direct points of integration for presence, chat and audio.
• Such interactivity, however, requires the use of Microsoft’s historically consumer-oriented ID system (formerly branded Windows Live ID), blurring the lines between corporate and consumer personas.
Rome was not built in a day (or so I’ve been told). So too, Microsoft’s planned work to fully unify Lync and Skype will take some time before it reaches fruition – sometime in 2014 to be a tad more specific. That’s when these two products will at last allow users from both sides to share video conferencing services. Microsoft’s first step along this path began a few weeks ago with address book integration. Skype users can now add Lync users (via invitation, mind you) to their address books and vice-versa. This allows both parties to share presence and initiate audio and chat sessions with one another. Certainly, there’s a long way to go from this to a fully unified experience for both users and administrators alike. But as with so many things, including most Microsoft engineering efforts, if you wait at the bus stop long enough, soon enough your bus will arrive. Continue reading “Microsoft Isn’t Just Connecting Lync with Skype, it’s Re-humanizing Communications”→
Microsoft has yet to show that it knows how to make the most out of the opportunities from its acquisition of Skype.
Microsoft has the potential to take voice revenue and customers from service providers, but regulators will be watching.
Microsoft’s $8.5 billion dollar acquisition of Skype has added a threatening new dimension to the software giant’s role in the communications market. On the surface, the decision seems natural for a vendor that has strongly promoted software-based IP telephony as a better alternative to PBXs. Services such as FMC and UC are proving effective as hosted solutions and showing a natural affinity for cloud-based delivery, which suggests that Microsoft is on to a winner. The obvious model is for Microsoft to embed Skype into Lync/Office 365, and even potentially into future iterations of its desktop/laptop and mobile Windows operating systems. Other vendors (e.g., BT’s Onevoice Anywhere solution) have demonstrated the cost-saving potential of driving voice calls over the corporate VPN via WiFi either through a softphone or a SIP client on a smartphone. Microsoft could use Skype In/Skype Out to handle PSTN interconnection and keep all calls between Skype clients off the PSTN. Skype can assign phone numbers and simultaneous call volume; Microsoft software can distribute basic calling or complex IP PBX functions (via Office365) throughout the organisation. Office 365’s popularity among businesses as a solution attracts numerous carriers globally, including the majority of European incumbents and mobile operators such as Vodafone. Skype will also strengthen Microsoft’s capability to offer voice- and video-enabled messaging and collaboration applications to business customers.