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Showtime for Skype for Business Online

September 28, 2016 | Telepresence Options

Gurdeep_Singh_Pall.jpg

Gurdeep Singh Pall at Ignite

Story and images by No Jitter

With its latest series of advancements for Skype for Business Online, Microsoft execs want to make sure you know its cloud communications story is "very real."

Microsoft kicked off its second-annual Ignite conference yesterday in Atlanta with lots of talk about mobile-first cloud-enabled digital transformation, a host of security-, intelligence-, and cloud-related announcements for the here and now, and a deep think about future "magical technologies" and the democratization of artificial intelligence so that "every person, and every institution that people build ... can go on to solve the most pressing problems of our society and of our economy," as CEO Satya Nadella shared in an innovation keynote.

I'll leave Nadella's vision of a better world through AI for another day, and focus here instead on the more mundane stuff of concern to enterprise IT professionals charting communications and collaboration strategies for their organizations. In an opening session on Skype for Business, Gurdeep Singh Pall, corporate VP of Skype, walked attendees through the latest Microsoft has to offer in cloud communications. The announcements and demos covered a variety of capabilities, including audio conferencing, mobile UC, and video conferencing, and are also summarized by the Office 365 team in a blog post, "Move all your communications to Skype for Business Online."

Following the session I had the chance to sit down with Andrew Sinclair, GM of Skype and Skype for Business product marketing, for a recap. First and foremost, Sinclair wanted me to know, the news for the No Jitter audience is that everything Microsoft announced at the March Enterprise Connect conference in regards to Skype for Business, it's delivered on (see related articles, "Microsoft, Avaya Aim Sky High" and "Microsoft Grooms Skype for Business for Rooms"). Secondly, he wanted to be sure I understood that Skype for Business in the cloud is very real -- "it's ready, it's massive, it's global," he said, following up with a variety of proof points.

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