Microsoft, Skype and Productivity in the Enterprise

There’s been a lot of discussion this past week about Microsoft’s acquisition of Skype as a consumer play. And there’s no doubt that consumers will benefit. But in my view this deal also has important benefits for the enterprise—particularly around unified communications.

In making the announcement, Steve Ballmer said that Microsoft “will empower people around the world with new technologies that should bring them closer together” (see “Skype Press Conference: Steve Ballmer and Tony Bates”). And this is no less important in the enterprise, where organizations are striving to find new ways for their employees to be productive through collaboration.

Currently, Microsoft offers Lync for things like conferencing, desktop sharing and instant messaging. And these services work really well for those who are on the same network or are connected via a gateway. Because of consumerization, though, new devices are showing up in the enterprise every day, allowing employees to blend their personal and professional lives even more. Many already support Skype. The integration of Skype into Lync and Outlook will not only benefit a mobile workforce collaborating across geographies and time zones, but will help companies reach their customers and partners more easily than they can today.

With the acquisition of Skype, Microsoft’s vision of bringing people together just moved closer to reality.

Microsoft and Skype Resources

The opinions and views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily state or reflect those of Microsoft.

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