GSX Blog

Lync to Skype for Business: Beyond the change of name

Posted by Juliette Ollagnier on Thu, Jun 23, 2016


It’s now been more than a year since Microsoft transitioned its Lync unified communications suite into Skype for Business (early 2015). The Skype for Business client is inspired by the look and feel of Skype but provides the same level of security and control as the Lync client. For users, this change represented far more than just a new name and new user interface, and Microsoft learned a great deal from the transition.

Firstly, Microsoft realized it had to manage user’s existing expectations of the Skype brand, and differentiate Skype for Business as a service that extended and evolved the features of regular Skype and Lync into a comprehensive, hybrid solution. And while Skype for Business is fairly intuitive and easy to learn, Microsoft had to make sure that users had a clear understanding of how to use its tools and features to truly enhance productivity and collaboration.

To this end, Microsoft recommended that organizations plan a pilot program to allow their users to learn about and test the platform collaboratively. The response from this kind of program would help companies to identify unique needs or goals so as to better plan for successful implementation. Testing allows users to give constructive feedback about the features they actually need, including how — when, from where, on which devices, how frequently, etc. — they actually use them. The critical task for Microsoft in smoothing the transition to Skype for Business has thus been end-user adoption.

At GSX, our strategy has evolved hand-in-hand with Microsoft’s to not only ease the transition to Skype for Business, but actually help organizations maximize the benefits afforded by new technologies. GSX Solutions has matched organizational needs every step of the way, affording key insights and analytics that help guarantee end-user adoption and optimized resource usage for a successful implementation.

For instance, as service quality plays a crucial role in enabling user adoption, GSX has empowered companies to track and troubleshoot service to better guarantee uptimes for users. When things stop working, there’s no way for companies to pinpoint the issue and determine the source of an outage; it could be network latency from the ISP, the internal network, or even an issue with Microsoft, and manually troubleshooting can take hours and hours of precious time. GSX Monitor and Analyzer for Skype for Business allows organizations to tackle this problem head on and in a fraction of the time with a comprehensive array of key performance counters and metrics.

Furthermore, GSX has enabled companies to track, understand, and trend user adoption and usage over time. This not only provides the key metrics necessary to verify that user adoption is indeed happening, but also enables true long-term ROI calculation. GSX 365 Usage is a simple web application that gives you analytics into how people in your organization are using your cloud services with over 90 customizable reports.

These types of insights have ultimately been key in the successful implementations of Skype for Business for many of our customers.

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Tags: Skype for Business, skype for business adoption, Skype monitoring, skype for business usage