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Step up your meetings as Skype for Business gets an upgrade

Connectivity will not be a problem despite the application’s advanced features, business owners assured.
By Elyssa Christine Lopez |

 

TEAMWORK. Microsoft's Christian Lim presents Skype for Business, which aims to redefine office meetings with its advanced tools and features. Photo by Elyssa Lopez / Entrepreneur Philippines

 

 

 

Gadgets have become extensions of the office, thanks to the rise of smartphones and mobile applications, anyone can almost do anything anywhere from sending documents to checking the latest news.

 

Yet, according to Microsoft’s “New World of Work” online survey with 5000 professionals in Asia, only 44% of the workforce feel that they are digitally-enabled.

 

This is in spite of the growing trend of isolated and outdoor work practices. In the Philippines alone, seven out of 10 employees spend a day in the entire workweek outside of their offices.

 

“Communication has transformed into a utility kind of information…. Enterprises are expected to do more yet still have seamless processes,”  Office Marketing Business Group Lead for Microsoft Philippines Christian Lim said in a press conference on Friday, April 22.

 

And so for Skype for Business, Microsoft integrated its Office 365 function into the communication tool, enabling users to send documents, presentations, even invites to his or her contacts within Skype.


 

 

Lim assured business owners that in spite of the application’s advanced features, connectivity will not be a problem.

 

“Audio calls only demand 65kbps while video calls need 500kbps to function, that’s almost like dial-up level so it will not be an issue,” Lim said.

 

 

Workplace messaging

The revolutionary tool comes in the midst of the rising popularity for workplace messaging applications like Slack, which was reportedly supposed to be bought by Microsoft, but was halted by its founder, Bill Gates, reports said on March 2016.

 

Facebook has also been drumming up its messaging function with various updates and upgrades in recent months, with reported deployment of bots.

 

Skype was also an acquired business by the tech giant with an $8.5-million (P397.38 million) price tag in 2011.

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Even then, Skype for Business has little to worry, as it leverage on its more sophisticated functions. It currently focuses on catering to “mobile-first and cloud-first” users as it collaborates with technology provider, Polycom, for business tools that could enable the app’s further features in hardware devices.

 

“We have the most diverse workforce today from all races and generations. If you are from previous generations, then you have to be [on a] par with the millennials. These tools are one way of doing that,” Polycom Regional Director Ted Rittangkla said.

 

The technology provider can upgrade a company’s existing technologies with simpler devices that could water down a firm’s hardware and enable its employees with a more integrated business communication experience, cutting costs in the process.

 


One of its main devices is “RealPresence Trio” or a more sophisticated boardroom teleconference gadget. It has sharper audio, cancelling background noises but more importantly, it enables anyone connected to it to send in files which may be transmitted to a TV screen, tablet or mobile device all at the same time.

 

The two companies are also set to deliver a new line of in-room video conferencing solutions within the year.

 

Package prices for Polycom integration depend for every company’s needs, while Skype for Business subscription starts at $5 per user (P233) within the organization who uses it.

 

 

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Elyssa Christine Lopez is entrepreneur.com.ph’s editorial assistant/staff writer. Follow her on Twitter@elyssalopz.

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