Microsoft used to host the Lync Conference which was dedicated to … Lync. That conference has folded into the larger Microsoft Ignite conference which covers the entire enterprise portfolio. Skype4B wasn’t even mentioned in the opening 2 hour keynote, but to be fair they did demo a Surface Hub and one touch meetings (powered by Skype4B).
Actually, there was quite a bit of content at Ignite on Skype4B. Overall the solution is becoming more complete with significant progress in video conferencing, support on non-MS devices, and a clear commitment to cloud and global UCaaS.
Many of the vendors that transitioned from premises to cloud simply hosted their server products in a data center with a per seat/month model. That was effectively the strategy Microsoft provider partners took. Skype4B Online is based on a totally different and new product. Microsoft is taking an evolved approach to its development – for example the beleaguered Response Group feature will never likely appear in the cloud. Instead Microsoft has announced a new Call Queues feature for its cloud customers.
Download this complementary 2Pager for more information on Skype4B and the Ignite conference. An extended version of this report is available.