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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Hybrid deployment and management
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:
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: