Skype for Business enterprise voice trials ramp up

In UC news, Skype for Business enterprise voice trials surge among small and large organizations, while Fuze updates the user interface for its cloud communications platform.

Skype for Business enterprise voice services are growing in popularity, as more organizations are trialing the service.

The number of enterprises and small businesses completing trials of Skype for Business enterprise voice services has increased by 42% and 33%, respectively, since last year, according to a survey by InfoTrack, a division of telecom research firm T3i Group LLC.

The business decision-makers surveyed said they're trialing and deploying Skype for Business enterprise voice largely because the service is viewed as a natural extension of their organizations' commitment to the overall Microsoft unified communications (UC) platform.

Enterprises and small businesses use or plan to use Microsoft's cloud PBX for voice because they are Office 365 customers, and the cloud PBX offers a natural migration from their current enterprise voice service, the report found.

"The two most important findings from this study are the continuing increase in momentum of customers trialing and deploying Skype for Business with enterprise voice and the power of Microsoft's UC platform to support this strategy," said Terry White, founder of the InfoTrack UC program. "This is something we have not seen with many other UC providers."

Fuze refreshes user experience in cloud communications platform

UC-as-a-service provider Fuze Inc. has updated the user interface (UI) for its cloud communications platform to unify voice, video and messaging in a single app.

With the update, organizations will have just one UI to install across all channels for internal and external communications, which should reduce training headaches and enable employees to access collaboration tools in a single place.

Fuze CEO Steve Kokinos said the vendor took a consumer approach to the platform's redesign by observing individual behavior in a personal setting and updating the user experience based on those observations.

Employee-facing apps deliver a poor user experience, compared with consumer apps, which results in employee dissatisfaction and reduced ROI, according to a Gartner report. A Fuze survey of 1,000 U.S. workers found 73% of respondents believe workplace technology needs to catch up to the consumer experience.

Software spending drives mobility market growth

The global mobility market will see revenues grow from $1.5 trillion in 2016 to $1.7 trillion in 2020, driven by consumer and enterprise hardware and service purchases, as well as significant growth in software purchases, according to an IDC report.

Software revenues will see double-digit growth, particularly in mobile app development platforms, mobile enterprise apps and mobile enterprise security.

"Despite the belief that the mobility market is maturing, there is still plenty of opportunity to drive enterprise spend, especially at the software layer," said Carrie MacGillivray, an IDC analyst. "By 2020, the software market will increase spend by 15%, driven by mobile application development and mobile security capabilities."

Enterprises with more than 500 employees are expected to increase spending on mobile services that enhance worker productivity and provide new capabilities to customers and partners. Small offices with one to nine employees will continue to deliver the largest share of global mobility revenues, as they invest in mobile devices and apps as an alternative to traditional IT services, the report found.

Next Steps

Manage Skype for Business call quality in three steps

Improving productivity with the mobile user experience

The pros and cons of mobile app development platforms

Dig Deeper on IP Telephony Systems