Skype for Business – Is it all you need?

Skype for business appears to be the rage presently with many organisations implementing or considering implementing this Microsoft package together with a belief that this will be all they need and have to do.  Is it really that simple?

Many companies do have some tried and true systems already in place and might be missing out if they forgo these purely to replace with Skype for Business.  Whilst Skype for Business provides a wide range of features, wouldn’t it be better to enhance this deployment? Maybe by including and maintaining features that are familiar and suitable for the business.  By doing this you overcome some objections or reaction to change where the traditional environment alters from a phone on the desk to where voice runs on the computer.

AVST CallXpress (CX-E) is a great example on how to enhance Skype for Business and bring about even greater effectiveness and efficiencies.

The following are just some examples where implementing CX-E creates a whole new facet for your communications and bridging the gap where you may have multiple sites all with differing PBX capability;

Voicemail – Skype for Business has enterprise voice messaging that is supported through Microsoft Exchange.  Do you really want or need to store voice messages as email data?  This could also bring up issues around confidentiality. Keep in mind that once a voice mail is located in Microsoft Exchange, that message can be forwarded easily either internally or externally and you can’t go around editing a voice mail!   So, could there be a risk to you and your business?

Informal Call Centre – As unified communications has increased, so too has the advent of Informal Call Centres.  Although Skype for Business can provide full contact centre solutions, do you need the cost and features of that suite?  Do you want something more than perhaps Response Groups?  Ideally, you may be looking at something between the two.  Implementing something such as AVST Team Q may be your answer to providing an informal call centre for sales support or administrators, even perhaps your IT Help Desk.

IVR – Interactive Voice Response – IVR’s have become an integral part of many businesses and are ideal at providing quick answers to simple or standardised questions such as; account balance update, order tracking, pricing and many other options.  IVR’s can be customised to provide the information unique to your business. Many customers will still utilise an IVR over the need to going on line to a business web site and searching.  If you need an IVR and are implementing Skype for Business, that IVR needs to be compatible with Skype for Business.  The IVR should have the capacity to provide direct IP integration and also connect to a range of data sources at the back end such as; SAP, Oracle or Microsoft SQL Server.

AVST CX-E has direct IP integration and is compatible with a wide range of well, known data sources.  This can then be your alternative system as opposed to only online access and be available 24/7.

Automated Attendant – Skype for Business will provide basic automated attendant, but what if your business wants more?  Would speech enabled directories or dial tone multi frequency Automated Attendants provide a better service and create  greater efficiencies?  Further, Skype for Business has limited ability to support multiple locations and time zones.  Larger organisations may have many locations spread across a number of time zones and may also require the advantage of being able to provide support for schedules, and forwarding to multiple numbers.  Your business may also need to create a number of Automated Attendants specific to departments or locations and also require the ability to access different Automated Attendant menus.

AVST CX-E can be the answer to providing a broader set of features and the ability to customise multiple auto attendants.

Interoperability – Are you going to use Skype for Business as a complement to your existing PBX or possibly integrate to Skype for Business in stages?  If so, then you will need to ensure that you require solutions that integrate Skype for Business with the existing call control environments such as; Cisco, Avaya or Shoretell.  By doing this, it ensures efficiencies in being able to supply a true unified call processing across what could be a mixed PBX environment or perhaps an evolving (work in progress) environment.  You will then also be able to provide some uniformity with a centralised voice messaging system possibly across multiple sites and platforms.

Utilising the AVST CX-E platform will create that seamless bridge between Skype for Business and your existing telephone systems.  The CX-E platform besides being extremely robust, can integrate with more than 400 telephony systems providing you with a solution that can allow implementation of Skype for Business, but with a much more enhanced ability in its application.

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