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Integrating Skype for Business with Polycom

Remember the excitement when 15 years ago Skype came out? That little blue and white icon that let you talk to others for free from your desktop. So much has happened since then including video and 10-way conference calls, mobile applications, a Microsoft acquisition and Skype for Business. The latter of which connects to the Microsoft Lync application so that organizations can host team meetings via telephony and video calls in a conference room setting. Making it happen for a large part is  Polycom which owns 76% of the Lync handset market and offers over 40 different solutions for Lync.

What’s the Hype with Skype and Collaborative Conference Sessions?

How It Works

From a user standpoint, integrating Skype for Business for collaborative meetings is a straightforward process. Using Polycom’s CX8000 Lync Room System users open MS Outlook and click Lync meeting. From there, they invite the CX8000 system and select attendees. Once they press send, the meeting request goes to everyone on the invite list.  The system is then alerted to the scheduled meeting and automatically “wakes up,” 15 minutes before the meeting time, so there is no fiddling with computer screens for activation.  From there, all that is left to do is tap the meeting from the main touch console when the time is right. Meanwhile, remote attendees are reminded of the meeting on their screens and click “Join,” when the reminder pops up for the meeting. No looking up phone numbers or looking for a URL link.

See and Hear from Every Angle

Visualizing the meeting is a center of table 360-degree camera or a front of room camera. The CX8000 Lync Room System includes features that let meeting attendees listen, talk, upload and share content. They can even start on-screen whiteboard sessions. Participants can also annotate and write on their respective screens, so they aren’t just talking, but doing. What’s more is that according to Polycom, they have partnered with Crestron’s leading room control solution, so that companies can choose to have the CX8000 tabletop console control room audio-visual features, lighting, climate, and room scheduling from the same touchscreen.

Conference using Microsoft and Polycom Technology

In other words, you can turn Polycom into a Skype appliance. You still must connect to a PC, but the trade-off is high-quality video and audio. To summarize, a 360-degree camera and active speaker tracking lets organizations share content and interact with others from a central command center in a truly professional manner. You can even communicate with people using a smartphone with Skype as all the newer products act as a Microsoft Skype client. This type of solution can e benefit any organization requiring conference room solutions.  Meanwhile, Skype has been penetrating the market extremely well over the last couple of years and continue to grow in areas such as telephony, video, team meetings, and collaborative sessions.  The next time you have a team session consider how Skype for Business and Polycom are doing their part to enable high-quality web and audio collaboration, sharing, and storing for the ultimate in conference room collaboration.

This blog post is sponsored by Polycom.

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