There's some really exciting news about a new enhancement to communication tools at the University which has now been rolled out to all staff: Skype for Business.
Skype for Business gives you a range of fantastic new communication and collaboration tools:
- Instant Messaging
- Desk-to-Desk Skype phone calls (these are free)
- Video Conferencing/Video Chat
- Virtual Meetings/Desktop Sharing/Webinars
- Quick link to compose an email, location, job and department details and extension number information
What's even better is that you can do this from directly inside your BSS-developed applications such as BSS Boards, Central Contracts Repository (CCR), CAROL, TRAD and C-MIS.
Imagine, for example, that you are using the CCR and you want to ask about some changes to a document:
- Hover your mouse over the name of the person who last saved the document and you will see ways to contact them, which you can initiate from right there.
- You click on the Instant Message icon and a chat window opens up. You ask if the person has 10 minutes to look at a document with you and they say yes.
- You click the Screen Sharing icon and hey presto, the other person can see your screen! You can both see the document that you have opened and can discuss it by message, over the phone or via a headset (if you have one).
- You could even give them control if you want them to make changes to the document in real-time.
There's no need to hunt for another application, no confusion about who you are contacting and no cost to use it. It's great when what you need is a brief discussion, or when you are in separate buildings, sites or continents!
You can also add your own contacts, who may be outside the University, and you will be able to communicate with them in the same way. Even better, the tight integration with Microsoft Exchange and Microsoft Outlook means that you can schedule virtual meetings with people (even if they don't have Skype for Business) and they will get a link to the virtual meeting, hosted on our servers, so that they can join and have all of the functions that a Skype for Business user can have!
I'm sure you can tell that I'm very excited about how Skype for Business will enhance the applications that we develop and deliver. This is another example of the great benefits to be gained from Enterprise Platforms which are designed to work together!
If you want to use voice or video over Skype for Business, you will need to buy a headset and/or webcam which is certified for use with either Skype for Business or Lync (the old name for Skype for Business). Contact the ITP Shop in the Library for details of great deals on the right equipment.
You can also sign up for a Skype for Business course to learn more about it.
Until next time!