The way we interact with clients is changing. Our obsession with messengers and social networks has made people less willing to communicate on the phone or in person, especially with businesses. We started spending much more time on the Internet. Do you have a question? Google it. Need to buy something? Hello, Internet. Bills to pay? Why stand in line at the bank – long live online-banking! It seems that almost everything can be done online, which really saves you a lot of time.
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Few people who use Skype for Business actually make use of 100% its functionality. There are just so many interesting features that it’s not always easy to get to all of them.
Today we will close this gap by demonstrating some cool features that can be used in Skype for Business calls and meetings.
Skype made a big splash in the communications field when it was released in 2003. The name “Skype” is short for «Sky peer-to-peer», which corresponded with the technology used. Peer-to-peer (abbreviated P2P) implied a direct connection between users.
Today we would like to talk about an extremely useful function of Skype for Business for those who constantly use the mobile app but aren’t always at their desk.
In order to use S4B on the phone, you can simply download the app from the store and log in with your login/password.
As part of a monthly Microsoft Office update Lync turned into Skype for Business in April 2015. It combined the functionality, informational security and manageability of Lync with the Skype interface, as well as expanded functionality.
Let’s see what changed?
What is this article about?
In this article, we would like to talk about what Microsoft offers in its Lync SDK for producing ‘pretty’ interfaces and new Lync-client possibilities.
We will talk in detail about UI Suppression Mode interaction with Lync client, which we had to deal with while developing our own corporate messenger based on Skype for Business. Most im-portantly, I will do my best to describe the constraints we had to face at length.
Last time we described the first wave of messengers, which boomed in the late 90s – early 00s. The first generation of messengers is out of date, whilst the second still can be seen in almost every smartphone. The second wave of messengers began with the vast increase in smartphone users when the iPhone and Android appeared on the market in 2007 and 2008 respectively. The ‘Application’ became the new fundamental concept, which led to a complete overhaul and rethinking of the messenger concept.
Perhaps WhatsApp (at first based on XMPP protocol, and then evolved) is the most famous and most common messenger for smartphones. Other players of the second generation are: WeChat, LINE, Google Hangouts, Viber, KakaoTalk, Telegram, ChatON, Hike, Kik, and Facebook Messenger (which is still competing with WhatsApp even after Facebook purchased it).
In Skype for Business
It is not always enough to simply add necessary contacts to ‘Favorites’. It is more convenient to create groups of contacts with a certain name for a specific project (‘X’), department (‘marketing’) or event (‘lunch break’).
While developing EasyLy we discovered a lot of new interesting things about messengers, their development and their functionality. We decided to write a series of articles dedicated to the history of messengers from their roots to the present day.
In addition to emails, instant messages have a huge impact on connecting people; nowadays you can easily contact a person on the other side of the world. How did it all begin?
In Skype for Business you can add all your important contacts to Favorites. To add a person to Favorites right click a contact’s name and choose ‘Add to favorites’. Skype for Business automatically adds people you contact most often to this group in order to provide you with a quick access, which basically makes your life easier :)
Imagine that you could ask a question to any company you’re a client of, anytime right in Facebook messenger. For the active users of Facebook Messenger, the number of whom is rapidly growing each day and as of today is 900 million, this would be a super option, don’t you agree?
Our goal was to make search in Skype for business easier, so we did it! Today we want to show you a tip "How to add a contact speed button"
“…Spring 2014. I’m sitting and gazing attentively at the little Lync window icons on my big screen. The craze of mobile technologies cut down the market of desktop applications. Nevertheless, personal computers still dominate in our everyday work, and monitors are becoming bigger. There are even desktops in the offices of IT-leaders: Google, Apple and Facebook, which I visited during my recent trip to Silicon Valley. My company develops software solutions, and I am suffering! We need to come up with an add-on to use the Lync key functions, often buried in the contextual menu. In one click. The task is to think a bit more and arrange an appointment with developers...”
This is how it all began. We developed the Lync Lite app, which eased interactions between contacts. Our add-on for Lync unfolded in full screen as a separate ‘Favorites’ panel. You could add contacts/groups of contacts, which would look like tiles, and move them around the screen as you want. Chat, call, start a video conference with one click. Essentially, Lync Lite was a window with tabs and links, which could launch necessary Lync functions.
Last time we wrote about email accounts being actively hacked and the fact that your personal data is not safe unless it is on your company’s local servers. However, time has shown that it is not that simple, companies’ servers may also be poorly protected and vulnerable to hacking and criminal intervention.
The market of hacked servers may be much bigger than previously thought to be. There is evidence that hackers have sold access to more than 170,000 hacked servers, one third of which is located in the USA.
According to express.co.uk, hundred millions of email accounts are on the black market. It is roughly estimated that around 270 million accounts have been hacked, 24 million of which belong to Gmail, 12 million to Microsoft and 40 million to Yahoo Mail. The rest belong to national postal services (web.de, mail.ru, inmail.sk, etc.).
Given the immense popularity of messengers these days, it’s no wonder that businesses try to use any opportunity to get closer to the consumer. Has Whatsapp’s ad spam managed to get to you too? So annoying! Let’s skip the sad part and talk about useful technology.
About 75% of Internet users use messengers. Messengers even surpass social networks in number of active users. It is no surprise that the business sees Facebook Messenger, a new platform, as a loophole towards the consumer.
Skype for Business is excellent software for communication and collaboration. However, it is not always that easy to use. It has many functions but if you don’t know for sure, it can be pretty complicated to find them. How often do you read software products instructions? I think we all know the answer to that =). Let’s find out how Skype for Business works.
You open Skype for Business to discuss something with your colleagues, right? You talk to some of them constantly, and just every once in a while to the rest. Let’s start with the last group.
Where do I begin if I need to contact a colleague I haven’t spoken to in a while or maybe even never?
As we have already written, Microsoft has decided to actively develop Skype technologies and strengthen the market position of Skype for Business. To achieve these goals Microsoft has already acquired two IT companies in the last half year: Talko and Event Zero.
Talko is a start-up founded in 2014 by Ray Ozzie, a former chief technical officer of Microsoft. Talko develops mobile business applications for collaboration and communication through text messages and audio/video calls. The whole Talko team, with the exception of Ray Ozzie, joined Microsoft in January 2016.
Do you remember we promised you some useful tips? :)
“That may be,” said the Scarecrow, “but you made a promise. You must keep your promises.”
L. Frank Baum. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
There are several ways to show what’s on your screen, or screen sharing as it’s more commonly called, on Skype for Business (Microsoft Lync). The easiest way is to install EasyLy and share your screen with it. Just kidding (although there is a grain of truth in every joke ;)). We’ll explain how EasyLy simplifies the process at the end of this post for those who are interested.
Slack has recently announced its plans for voice and video chat, directly stepping into territory historically dominated by Microsoft Skype and other solutions similar to it. It seems that this is not the only conflict of interest between the global IT giant and one of the most successful Silicon Valley start-ups so far.
According to the TechCrunch IT news portal, Microsoft was considering Slack as a potential acquisition in a deal estimated to be worth $8 billion. These plans never came to fruition, as the idea did not have enough support from within Microsoft. In particular, from Bill Gates and Satya Nadella, the chief executive officer of Microsoft, neither of whom found the idea compelling enough. Gates instead insisted that Skype and its new functions need to be developed more, and that the focus should be on increasing the competitiveness of Skype for Business, the main advocate of Microsoft's interests against the army of corporate communicators, headed by Slack.