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June 13, 2017

Does Skype for Business Really Improve Productivity in the Workplace?

BLog Post Title Underline by Rick Pfleger

You’re bombarded with a constant stream of new business technology releases and there’s always pressure to identify the next big transformative solution.

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But while it’s your job to adopt the right products to improve productivity, it’s someone else’s job to make new solutions look like the greatest fit for your business. How can you separate the marketing hype from true business impact?

This is a challenge that businesses must address when it comes to Skype for Business. While Skype for Business helps Microsoft ward off unified communications competitors, you can rest assured that it really will improve workplace productivity. 

Skype for Business Provides the Unified Communications Benefits You Expect

Forget any marketing hype and you’ll see that Skype for Business is just like many other unified communications offerings. It bundles voice, video, instant messaging, and video conferencing into a single product.

If you’ve been resisting UC solutions because you feel you’re getting by just fine with siloed communications solutions, you should know that bringing these channels under one roof can have real productivity benefits. 

As a UC solution, Skype for Business offers the following benefits that can help employees make the most of their time: 

  • Bundling all communication channels means employees don’t have to close and open new apps for every meeting or conversation throughout the day.
  • Keep all contact information under one roof so employees don’t have to worry about searching for a phone number when all they have is an instant messaging connection.
  • Maintain the same user interface across channels so employees don’t have to adapt to new solutions.
  • Skype for Business includes TLS encryption and AES so businesses know communications are secure without complicating anything on the end-user side. 

Individually, the time saved from benefits like these might seem trivial. But without these small ways to streamline the user experience, your disparate communications systems might completely derail employee productivity.

In addition to these typical unified communications benefit, the most significant way that Skype for Business improves employee productivity is by integrating with Office 365.

Improve Productivity with the Power of Office 365 Integration

There’s no questioning Microsoft’s business software dominance. With over 1 billion Office users and nearly 100 million Office 365 users, it’s clear that apps like Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and others are just about universally understood.

But what does with mean for Skype for Business? With complete integration with Office 365, Skype for Business lets employees collaborate directly within the productivity apps they’re accustomed to.

Beyond making all apps more convenient to access, the familiarity of Office 365 apps within Skype for Business means you won’t have to fight with employees to drive adoption which means adoption will improve productivity, not hamper it.

The easiest way to hurt workplace productivity is to change everything for your employees—so when you keep the user interfaces the same and just make it easier to communicate and collaborate, you can achieve substantial workplace productivity benefits. 

Keeping Up with Employee Expectations

Another key component of workplace productivity is your ability to meet the expectations of your employees. If mobile messaging is becoming the primary means of consumer communication, you can be sure that employees won’t be satisfied with phone calls and emails in the office for long.

This is why chat apps like Slack have become so popular. But when you adopt a UC solution like Skype for Business, you can keep up with changes in employee preferences without complicating IT or changing user interfaces.

In the End, Performance Is Key 

Of course, none of these productivity benefit will matter if you aren’t maximizing the performance of your new Skype for Business deployment. Even with a familiar user interface and convenient collaboration apps, workplace productivity will suffer when employees are dealing with jittery calls and frequent connectivity issues. 

Employers face 2 challenges in demands from employees: providing a collaboration environments that isn’t complicating or changing employees communication preferences and ensuring that QoS and communication clarity is not harmed.

If you want to learn how to optimize your Skype for Business deployment, check out how Edgewater Networks is certified to deliver high-quality voice, video, and data for the UC solution.  

Edgewater Networks verified for Skype for Business

Topics: Skype for Business

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