Microsoft polishes up Skype as business communications, conferencing space heats up
Microsoft announced it added two enterprise-focused enhancements to its Skype for Business phone and web conferencing service. Microsoft announced the changes at the Enterprise Connect conference in Orlando Monday.
Auto Attendant provides an automated system to answer and route inbound calls, while Call Queues enable incoming calls to be routed to the next available live attendant in the order they are received, according to a Microsoft blog.
Microsoft also announced a preview of a new Skype for Business Call Analytics dashboard, which will help companies identify call problems.
Microsoft wants to polish up Skype for Business in hopes that more companies will choose Office 365 for enterprise communications. Office 365 currently boasts 85 million monthly users, while usage of Skype for Business has doubled in the last year, according to Ron Markezich, corporate vice president for Office 365 Marketing. Many businesses use multiple services from multiple companies to handle various enterprise communications functions, but Microsoft, Google and Amazon, among others, are increasingly competing to be one-stop shop solutions for the enterprise.
As a result, the business communications and conferencing space is heating up. Earlier this month, Google announced it revamped Hangouts and Hangouts Meet. Hangouts is integrated across the G Suite. In late February, Amazon launched Chime, a video conferencing service, and rumors that Amazon is also working on its enterprise productivity suite continue to circulate.