Skype for Business is a powerful unified communications suite provided by SPC for employee use. The suite offers a rich feature set such as instant messaging, enterprise telephone, chat, conferencing, content sharing, video calling, and more. All of these features are integrated into a simple software package that all computers have installed.
Additionally, SPC has moved its telephone services to Skype for Business to leverage the power of modern computer hardware and make a seamless, simple, and reliable experience for bridging the gap between collaboration and communication.
Skype for Business is a powerful product and can offer a simple new method of enhancing your collaboration with peers and students by enriching what would normally be a standard phone call or text message/email with the ability to hold interactive conferences and sharing of content.
Some examples of how this could be useful for you could be presenting a PowerPoint to 7 different campuses simultaneously, gathering your peers together for a conference call with no reservations necessary, work with Technical Support to describe your problem by sharing your screen, etc. The list just goes on. Plus, by integrating your standard phone services into Microsoft Lync, it makes it very simple to turn a plain phone call into an interactive experience.
Skype for Business is able to bridge a number of gaps in the current telephone structure of SPC. As of the writing of these FAQ's, we are still deploying to campuses but the goal of the deployment is to make one simple, resilient, robust telephone system. Of course Skype for Business does more than just telephone service but this is a critical service of SPC that you will notice a shift in.
However, this shift allows for a lot of added benefit. Skype for Business leaves all feature configuration to the end user, which means that very few requests to the administrators within Information Systems should be necessary. Examples include the ability to change ringers very simply, add users who can answer and/or make phone calls on your behalf without a work order, easily set call forwarding settings with lots of customization, and more. The end user is much more empowered with Skype for Business as their phone system.
First off, Skype for Business' phone services will now run through your computer which allows portability of your phone access across other campuses or even at home. The phone will operate based off of who is logged into a computer (using their network account) so even shared adjunct computers can have a specific individual's phone number attached to it for the duration of the visit.
However, there are some things to consider with this new type of phone modality. First, the computer must be on AND logged in for the phone attached to the computer to operate. Also, because phone numbers within Skype for Business are portable from a geographic standpoint.
Although the phone will now be running through the computer instead of a landline phone, SPC Information Systems will be providing users with a phone that looks, feels, and acts like a real phone. The only difference is that the phone will plug directly into the computer (to sync up with the account on the computer). Since the phone number is now truly centered around the user and not the wall jack, the computer provides the phone with the necessary information to work as your phone.
If you do not have the desire for a device designed as a phone, we also provide options for a headset or a standalone speakerphone. There are a handful of options that you, the user, can choose from. These will be presented when you are trained on the new system prior to migration.
For your ease, we have provided some how-to articles on using common Skype for Business features and functions on the Skype for Business How-To Guides page within the Technical Support Desk Skype for Business page.
Just like any other technology question, please do not hesitate to contact the SPC Technical Support Desk at (727)341-HELP (4357) or firstname.lastname@example.org to get your questions answered.
Also, it is noteworthy that the SPC Technical Supprot Desk was the first group of users to use Skype for Business as their telephone service before any campuses or the District Office started receiving it. So they have some experience using it!