Microsoft released a new client for Apple’s Mac, on 10/27/2016. You can download the new client via Microsoft’s Download Center.
- Download the Skype for Business Mac Client >>here<<
- Read the official announcement >>here<<
- Read further details on the NorthernUC blog on issues/limitations >>here<<
If you are using Googles Productivity Tools, called G Suite you can now add Google’s Jamboard to your collaboration spaces and rooms. The Jamboard is a collaboration device. What does it offer to you?
- 55-inch 4k display incl. touch screen
- HD camera
- Hangouts to broadcast and share contents
- Pull in content from Docs
- Pull in content from Sheets
- Pull in content from Slides
- Add photos stored in Drive
- Make notes
- Use a versatile set of stencils
- Use your hand/pen to write
- Use your hand/pen to draw
- Approx. < 6.000 US-$ (for information only and without responsibility)
- Approx. available in 2017 (early adopter program available)
You can find further details and the offi>>here<<.
[IRONY MODE ON] As I heard and read the name first I thought of jets and pilots (anti gravitation suits: wiki). 😀 Well, the productivity suite by Google is quick and easy to use so helping you boost your productivity without a black-out. 😉 [IRONY MODE OFF] I give you an overview of the G Suite. For details on new capabilities you can click here.
What’s in the G Suite?
The G Suite includes a very nice tool set of cloud productivity apps, tools and services to cover your business productivity’s requirements in a cloud-service-oriented and more and more digitized enterprise:
- Hangouts (instant messaging, presence, audio, video, …)
- G+ (social networking)
- Docs (rich text editing)
- Sheets (rich calculation)
- Forms (rich forms/flows)
- Slides (rich presentations)
- Sites (rich sites internal/external web sites/portals)
- Admin (portal to administer and manage accounts and the G Suite features for your company useres)
- Vault (archiving of chats, mails …)
What does it offer and cost?
Well, it depends on what features you subscribe to and for how many users. There are two pricing categories (G Suite Pricing and features) at the moment of writing this post (pricing might be subject to change). These two categories are called Basic and Business and include the following features and services:
- G Suite Basic for 5 US-$ or 4 € per user per month
- Business email addresses (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Video and voice calls
- Integrated online calendars
- 30GB of online storage for file syncing and sharing
- Online text documents, spreadsheets and slides
- Easy to create project sites
- Security and admin controls
- 24/7 phone and email support
- G Suite Business for 10 US-$ or 8 € per user per month
- Business email addresses (email@example.com) [as with G Suite Basic]
- Video and voice calls [as with G Suite Basic]
- Integrated online calendars [as with G Suite Basic]
- Online text documents, spreadsheets and slides [as with G Suite Basic]
- Easy to create project sites [as with G Suite Basic]
- Security and admin controls [as with G Suite Basic]
- 24/7 phone and email support [as with G Suite Basic]
- Unlimited Storage (or 1TB per user if fewer than 5 users) [additional to G Suite Basic features]
- Advanced admin controls for Drive [additional to G Suite Basic features]
- Audit and reporting insights for Drive content and sharing [additional to G Suite Basic features]
- Google Vault for eDiscovery covering emails, chats, docs and files [additional to G Suite Basic features]
- Easily search and export to different formats [additional to G Suite Basic features]
- Archive all emails sent by your company [additional to G Suite Basic features]
- Set message retention policies [additional to G Suite Basic features]
- Place and enforce litigation holds on inboxes [additional to G Suite Basic features]
When could this fit?
There is no general answer to this question. If it fits for your company or not depends on your requirements (!) for collaboration based on your business requirements. So first of all you should set a target communication and collaboration architecture for your individual business requirements within your company.
As mentioned in an earlier blog post there are several options available to get your video room systems and Skype for Business together (see previous post). Today I like to mention another option for video room systems and Skype for Business: West Unified Communication Services (hereinafter: West) offers another option: The West Video Meeting Gateway.
West is company with its headquarter located Omaha, Nebraska, USA. It has a global footprint employing approximately 11.000 people in total distributed in different countries and world regions: the United States, Canada, Europe, the Middle East, Asia Pacific and Latin America. (West FAQ) West is a leader for UCaaS (Unified Communications as a Service) as stated by Gartner (Globalnewswire, Gartner MQ UCaaS 2016). West shares are traded on the NASDAQ (Marketwatch).
What could it contribute to your enterprise video collaboration?
The West Video Meeting Gateway (VMG) is a cloud service wich connects Skype for Business Online, Skype for Business, Lync 2013, Lync 2010 and H.323/SIP video endpoints. The VMG checks what is coming in number/SIP-URI and routes the call to the appropriate destination / endpoint. Within that routing protocols/standards are converted if necessary that video communication and collaboration can take place as intended.
In spring this year, Polycom and Microsoft announced that they work on delivering a video interoperability service in the cloud to get your video room systems and Skype for Business Online together (http://www.polycom.com/company/news/press-releases/2016/20160309.html, http://www.lyncinsider.com/office-365/microsoft-positioning-office-365-future-cloud-voice-video/). I rarely find a collaboration environment with only one or the other solution. Most conferencing and collaboration deployments have been growing and changing over time, as usual. Unfortunately not putting the user experience and collaboration experience in the center as key to a satisfying and successful collaboration service delivery. As you may know, if you have a versatile set of video room systems from Cisco, Lifesize, Polycom … on one side and Skype for Business users on the other side… not nice but often available and common equipment… Finally users get different modalities, handling and connectivity … which are neither unified nor really collaborative. So if you are the lucky collaboration expert in your enterprise and you have to explain users why system x does not work like or / with system z as soon as they complain you might find relief with the new option? Put things together by leveraging the new offered service for video interoperability.
What does it look like? Well, you can put systems together via Polycom RealConnect hosted on Azure and operated by Polycom. The cloud video interop service enables you to use video room systems and Skype for Business Online alike.
Take a look here >>SfB Video Broadcast: Ep. 25 Video Interop in the Cloud<<
Microsoft Germany re-located its German headquarter from Munich Unterschleißheim to Munich Schwabing. For impressions on the new look and feel of the Microsoft workspaces a public press release can found by clicking on the following link: http://www.manager-magazin.de/unternehmen/it/neue-microsoft-zentrale-in-schwabing-clean-desks-fuer-nomaden-a-1114368.html
To make your meeting rooms a more collaborative space there are several options. Now I like to make you aware about one option: Microsoft Skype for Business Room Systems (earlier known as Project Rigel). To put it in a nutshell, the SFB Room Systems are collaboration room endpoints to enable your rooms for collaboration by using Skype for Business-capabilities.
Due to the fact that these systems are almost like SFB users you’ll only need to create an SFB Meeting Room via Shell and on Exchange you’ll need to associated it / enabled it as resource (room) mailbox for calendar / booking integration. For further details on the deployment of SFB Rooms please click the following link (https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/mt691568.aspx).
In my opinion these SFB Room Systems could help to close a gap in conferencing rooms where no collaboration systems are available and the capabilities are required.