Microsoft Skype for Business Voice Demands IT Due Diligence

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With Microsoft’s Skype for Business voice posed as a serious option for the enterprise, businesses have to weigh the pros and cons of unplugging their traditional voice systems.

Story by Kate Gerwig, Search UC

In its effort to win increasing numbers of enterprise voice customers, Microsoft is selling its Skype for Business unified communications platform in a variety of standard and customized service plans. While Skype for Business prices may seem compelling, before buying monthly subscriber licenses, Gartner UCC research director Michael Fasciani said enterprise IT needs to take a hard look at the benefits and risks of switching to Skype for Business voice.

Fasciani walked a roomful of enterprise IT attendees at Gartner’s IT Operations Strategies & Solutions Summit on Wednesday through the Skype for Business service bundles that were introduced in December 2015. The bundles, which include voice, IM, Web conferencing, voicemail and email, come with monthly list prices that range from $8 per user at the low end to $35 per user at the high end. The December announcement added PSTN Calling, which enables making calls through the public switched telephone network (PSTN) in North America, and a cloud private branch exchange (PBX) option that offers more advanced call control features. Microsoft’s Skype for Business Server is its on-premises UC platform.

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