What is Skype for Business?
Skype for Business is a unified communications platform that integrates common channels of communications between and within businesses including Web conferencing, calling & voice mail along with email, instant messaging, voice over IP phone (VOIP) & file transfers.
Skype for Business flex its Centralized Security Benefits
Skype for Business 2015 has been around for over a year now after taking over from Lync 2013. Although only minor improvements were needed between the two versions. When Microsoft purchased Skype in 2011 they have really developed the end-user feel.
Microsoft released a whitepaper this month detailing a comparison between Skype for Business and its primary competitors including Slack, Cisco and Google Hangouts.
Slack: Slack did fair competitively with Skype for Business primarily losing out on Video Calling, Conferencing, Office Integration, Security and Meeting Room functionality. Slack did provide the capability for instant message, make calls, share files and use your smartphone.
Cisco: Cisco was the strongest of all the candidates in the whitepaper with improvement needed in its Office integration, Smartphone applications and Security features. Cisco Unified Communications Manager does provide a very powerful and reliable calling solution that should not be underestimated.
Google Hangouts: Google was very similar to the slack offering although where Google provides conferencing capabilities for up to 25 users it loses the capability to share files.
So does this mean that Skype for Business is the much stronger solution? Not necessarily, this is a generalised view on the advantages that Skype for Business holds against it competitors but there may be other advantages the other solutions have at a more granular level.
It does seem as though Microsoft have brought two tools in particular that have set it apart from the others which included Office Integration and Centralized, Enterprise-Grade Security, Compliance, Management and Privacy Control. But what are they?
Centralized Security Features: Microsoft encrypt all communication channels by default with Advanced Encryption Standards. These encrypted channels ensure that communication between the Skype for Business servers are encrypted as well as the real time communication itself being encrypted. Virtually all Skype for Business Server data is protected on the network. Role Based Access Control limits the amount of information each server contains and can control therefore limiting the hackable surface.
Microsoft regularly perform testing outside of the designed behaviour to find breaches within its software. This ensures that any potential security risk can be detected before it is released and even if a vulnerability is later found an update can be released to protect from it.
Skype for Business 2015 incorporates industry standard security technologies as a fundamental part of its architecture.