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Microsoft Skype for Business Server 2015

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Lync is now Skype for Business, a communications and collaboration platform that brings together a client experience inspired by Skype with the enterprise-grade security, compliance, and control of Lync. Skype for Business offers features including presence, IM, voice and video calls, and online meetings. Skype for Business provides a new client experience, a new server release, and updates to the service in Office 365.

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Compatible with

  • HDX RealTime Optimization Pack 1.8
  • HDX RealTime Optimization Pack 2.0
  • NetScaler 10.0 MPX
  • NetScaler 10.0 VPX
  • NetScaler 10.1 MPX
  • NetScaler 10.1 VPX
  • NetScaler 10.5 MPX
  • NetScaler 10.5 VPX
  • NetScaler 11.0 MPX
  • NetScaler 11.0 VPX
  • XenApp 7.0
  • XenApp 7.1
  • XenApp 7.5
  • XenApp 7.6
  • XenApp 7.7
  • XenApp 7.8
  • XenDesktop 7.0
  • XenDesktop 7.1
  • XenDesktop 7.5
  • XenDesktop 7.6
  • XenDesktop 7.7
  • XenDesktop 7.8

Compatibility

  • Citrix Virtual Desktops (XenDesktop)
  • Citrix ADC (NetScaler ADC)
  • HDX Realtime Optimization Pack
  • Citrix Virtual Apps (XenApp)

Product Details

Lync is now Skype for Business, a communications and collaboration platform that brings together a client experience inspired by Skype with the enterprise-grade security, compliance, and control of Lync. Skype for Business offers features including presence, IM, voice and video calls, and online meetings. Skype for Business provides a new client experience, a new server release, and updates to the service in Office 365. If users in your organization are already familiar with Skype, they'll appreciate the power and simplicity of Skype for Business where it's easy to find and connect with co-workers. If users in your organization are coming to Skype for Business from Lync, they'll recognize all of the features they already use but in a fresh new interface with simplified controls and new additions. In addition to the new client experience, Skype for Business Server provides several new features to improve manageability of on-premises servers and hybrid solutions.

Skype for Business also supports the Lync client experience so that you can choose a phased upgrade approach to the new client experience for your users. For example, you might want to deploy the Lync client experience until users in your organization are fully trained in the new Skype for Business experience, or until all users are upgraded to the new server.

Features

User experience
The Skype for Business client looks very similar to the consumer version of Skype and uses the same buttons and icons. Fewer menus and a flatter task hierarchy make it easy for users to quickly find the controls and commands they need.

Skype for Business includes the new user experience described above and the Lync 2013 user experience released previously. The inclusion of both experiences allows enterprises to manage change for their users by controlling the process and timing of the new client roll-out. The default user experience depends on which version of the server you're using. Administrators choose the preferred experience by using the Set-CsClientPolicy cmdlet with the EnableSkypeUI parameter.

Voice and video improvements
Skype for Business Server 2015 includes improvements to voice and video functionality, including call data collection and analysis, and improved interoperability with third-party video teleconferencing systems.

  • Call data collection and analysis
  • Improved interoperability with third-party video teleconferencing systems
  • Call via Work

Mobile device support improvements
Improvements to mobile device support include features to improve the mobile experience for Enterprise Edition users, such as access to conversation history and log data, enhanced mobile meeting experiences, and single sign-on support across Office. In addition, there are improvements to Android support, performance improvements, and features to simplify integration via the Common App Framework.

  • Server-side conversation history is now available on mobile devices
  • Enhanced meeting experiences
  • Skype for Business on Android improvements

Management of on-premises servers
Skype for Business Server 2015 provides several new features to improve manageability of on-premises servers, including in-place upgrade, smart Setup, improved patching and upgrade processes, improved Front End pool cold start capability, SQL Server AlwaysOn support, and centralized logging and troubleshooting.

  • In-place upgrade for on-premises servers
  • Smart Setup
  • Improved Front End Server patching and upgrade process
  • Improved Front End pool cold start capability
  • SQL Server AlwaysOn support for on-premises servers
  • Centralized logging and troubleshooting improvements for on-premises servers

Hybrid deployment and management

  • Skype for Business Server 2015 enables hybrid deployment administration and management capabilities by introducing the following features:
  • Recommendations for hybrid deployments based on the state of the customer’s on-premises assets, as determined by the OnRamp for O365 automated assistance tool.
  • Enhancements to the Skype for Business Server Control Panel and the Skype for Business Server Admin Center so that administrators can use these tools to manage a hybrid deployment.
  • Control Panel enhancements that let administrators sign in to an O365 tenant and set up hybrid with Skype for Business Online using the hybrid configuration wizard.
  • Control Panel support for moving on-premises users to Skype for Business Online or moving Skype for Business Online users back to on-premises.
  • Control Panel features to identify and filter on-premises user objects that have been moved to Skype for Business Online (that is, hybrid users) from on-premises users.
  • Admin Center features to identify and filter cloud users initially created in Skype for Business Online from hybrid users migrated from on-premises to Online.
  • The ability to administer hybrid users using the Control Panel for properties manageable from on-premises, and Admin Center for properties manageable from Skype for Business Online.
  • Using Password Synchronization with DirSync, the ability to synchronize on-premises Active Directory passwords with the online tenant. If configured, this feature removes the need to deploy AD FS for federated authentication, but AD FS is still required for multi-factor authentication.
  • Continued support for coexistence between Skype for Business Online and Exchange on-premises.

Multi-factor authentication
Multi-factor authentication is a method of authentication that requires the use of more than one verification method and adds a critical second layer of security to user sign-ins and transactions. For example, requiring a user name and password, and a certificate. Skype for Business Server 2015 continues to build on the multi-factor authentication features available in the Lync Server 2013 Cumulative Updates. The significant changes in multi-factor authentication are:

  • Use of the Office 2013 SP1 Active Directory Authentication Library for integration with Exchange and SharePoint
  • Support for the multi-factor authentication feature in the Skype for Business Web App client

With Skype for Business multi-factor authentication, it is now possible to provide different authentication options based on geography. For example, customers can configure their environment so that internal authentication relies on Integrated Windows Authentication, while employees authenticating from outside the organization use multi-factor authentication.

The Skype for Business multi-factor authentication experience is seamless regardless of:

  • Geographic Location – Whether the user is signing in from inside or outside the organization
  • Client/Device Type – Which Skype for Business client is used and which device the client is running on (PC, mobile, iPad, etc.)
  • Account Location – Whether the user is hosted in an on-premises Active Directory or in Azure Active Directory Online (O365)