Modern enterprises today are heavily investing in newer and more advanced communication technologies to bring their teams together and enhance collaboration and overall productivity. Unified Communications, in particular, is gaining widespread popularity as it integrates various enterprise communication services, including voice, audio, web, and video conferencing, instant messaging, presence information, and mobility features in one platform. And when it comes to UC solutions, one of the most ubiquitous and widely deployed platforms among organizations today is Microsoft Skype for Business.
Like other business technology investments, however, an enterprise can only get the maximum value of their Skype for Business investment if they are able to utilize all of the software’s features and partner with a vendor that can help them enhance the platform and encourage increased user adoption.
To help enterprises succeed in their Skype investment, PGi, the world's largest dedicated provider of collaboration software and services, offers a host of product and service offerings that lets teams maximize their Microsoft Skype for Business investment and drive enterprise productivity. In this article, Terry Lyons, Vice President of Product Management at PGi, shares some of the ways PGi is helping enterprises optimize their Skype for Business experience to achieve greater productivity and end user satisfaction.
Getting More Out of Skype for Business
Skype for Business is a powerful collaboration platform that has been transforming enterprise communications since its launch. The platform combines Skype’s familiar interface with Lync’s enterprise capabilities. It now has over 140 million licensed users. Built right into Microsoft Office, Skype for Business offers features such as instant messaging, one-click video and audio calling, file sharing, and more, which can easily be accessed using different Office applications.
“Because Microsoft essentially owns the desktop, Skype for Business is there whether [users] like it or not,” said Lyons. “It is a great tool and it is easy to use it internally, but it can also complement other tools, which has allowed companies to easily collaborate more across departments.” And due to the increased demand for tools and services that complement Skype, PGi launched new product and service offerings that target companies deploying the platform in May.
Lyons shares that over the last twelve to fifteen months, a number of PGi’s executives and sales team members have been on the market and being faced with Skype. Because of this, they have decided to offer Skype Max, a suite of products designed to complement Skype for Business. “Skype Max is a number of products and services packaged together that bundles in the people, 247 support, and project managers from PGI to help increase adoption. PGI has a significant advantage because they are a gold partner with Microsoft,” said Lyons.
“At the top of the list of products and services offered through Skype Max is audio integration. The audio portion is GlobalMeet for Skype for Business which will also work with a Skype server,” shared Lyons. GlobalMeet Audio seamlessly integrates with Skype for Business to provide reliable, crystal-clear voice communication and more convenient connection options, thus, enhancing every meeting experience. “Some larger customers are keen on getting this application as well CustomInvite and Agenday apps for mobile phones or add-ins on Outlook in order to make the experience better,” added Lyons.
Custominvite is a simple plugin that converts and/or formats meeting invites in Outlook from a fairly plain meeting invite. It is fully customizable and it works across online and server integrations. Meanwhile, Agenday is a calendar app that provides a faster, secure, and more convenient way to get one click access to any audio or video or webcast meeting--and it doesn't have to be with a PGI product to work. According to Lyons, Agenday picks the local call number automatically based on the dial in number and passcode, then pulls the most local number. This gives users better quality and is advantageous for cost-conscious folks. Additionally, the Dashboard within Agenday can be used to push out content and corporate communications, etc. It is also mobile employable and possesses conferencing infrastructure.
Help and Support
Another way PGi is helping enterprises get the most from their Skype for Business investment is through the professional Help and Support they offer under Skype Max. “The overarching question is: how do you work with Microsoft? PGI has been doing customer support for 25 years, offering 247 support in multiple languages, and aims to fix your problem straight away,” said Lyons. In conjunction with PGi's subsidiary, Modality Systems, and Microsoft, the company is able to offer customer support beyond audio and also supports the application (Skype for Business) itself. “For instance, think of the IT dept and the number of calls they receive with minor issues. Instead, PGI can now take first and second line support through the HelpMe and SkypeSupport click-to-IM options, where users get connected to a customer representative that can chat and even escalate the interaction to a screen share or web call/conference call. We are also considering how to go beyond this and are considering supporting other Microsoft applications like Outlook,” explained Lyons.
|SKYPE MAX by PGi
|Audio Products and Applications
||Help and Support
|GlobalMeet Audio for Skype for Business
||24/7 Support - GlobalMeet Audio for Skype for Business
|Skype Server Audio Integration
||AdvantEdge | Customer Success Program
||SkypeHelp - SWiTCH
Not only does PGi offer high-quality solutions that complement Skype for Business. They have also made available their consulting services recently via Modality Systems to ensure enterprises make the transition to Skype for Business with ease. PGi’s consulting services provide IT leaders and teams with knowledge and assistance to successfully navigate Skype for Business. “Whether a customer is considering Skype for Business or have deployed the service either online or via a Skype server solution, customers need someone to check or run diagnostics,” said Lyons. “We can provide those services (some of which might be over a couple of months) with reports at the end; one of the unique things is that we do not use dummy traffic but run real traffic instead,” he added.
With these product and service offerings for Skype for Business users, PGi is indeed giving enterprises the collaborative advantage they need.
For more information about the company’s latest collaboration software and services, please visit PGi’s official website.
PGi is a leading global provider of collaboration software and services. Founded in 1991, PGi is committed to providing enterprises with the tools and technologies they need to collaborate anywhere, anytime, and on any device, facilitating productivity and driving efficiency. Headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, PGi has hosted over 1.2 billion people from 155 countries in nearly 300 million virtual meetings. It serves nearly 50,000 enterprise customers including 75 percent of the Fortune 100.