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EV From Ignite

Did you hear about all the Microsoft’s announcement at Ignite!?! Skype for Business features are coming to Teams and over time there will be a single client based on Teams. Pretty exciting right! It will be my goal to help you understand the opportunity you have now and going forward with Teams and Skype for Business when it comes to the Voice aspects of Intelligent Communications. Its my goal to share insights and thoughts on what is occurring in our marketplace. I am also open to your input so share your thoughts and insights! This is our community after all.

Since I started this off with me sharing insights on what is happening, maybe its best I introduce myself for those of you who might not know me. My name is Rabon Bussey and I live in North Carolina. I am married and the father to 3 wonderful daughters whom are all out of the house now. Maybe that is what makes them wonderful!?! I have been in the IT world since the mid-80s so I have had the pleasure of seeing all sorts of wonderful things in this business. I have been working in the Communication space for the last 20 years. My experience with Microsoft communications has been from LCS to right now. I even spent about 7 years at Microsoft helping partners to build a practice around OCS, Lync and Skype for Business. At present, I am the Vice President of Cloud Strategy and Technology at Arrow SI.

Today though I will re-cap what was announced and some the updates that have landed since Ignite. Yes, there have been updates and we are only just over a month past Ignite. Its been busy for sure!

There have been some name changes to the product line for Voice services in Microsoft 365. The table below shows you the old and new names:


The new naming conventions should help customers better understand the offers and services associated with voice in Microsoft 365.

There was an announcement that a new Server edition will be released late in CY2018. Its not just Skype for Business that is getting an investment either. Cloud is king but on premise is by no means dead and forgotten.

Some notable news around the new Server is:

Enterprise Edition only (no standard edition but you can use a single node)

No in-place Upgrade

Windows 2016 and SQL 2016 are pre-requisites

Will support CCE in the same environment

I will have a deeper dive into the on premise edition in a future article but know Microsoft sees the value of continuing to support on premise investments when it comes to voice. Good news for those who have customers that want to keep their solution on premise for now.

As we look at the roadmap below what is clear is we just aren’t on par with what SFBO can offer from a Voice standpoint today but its getting there. As you can tell by the Calling Roadmap for Teams below there is a lot of working being poured into the Teams product and this quarter should see a lot of progress.

Meetings get an update as well.

  • Teams will surface relevant documents and rich information about the participants to help you prepare.
  • During the meeting, the conversation can be captured, transcribed, and time-coded, with closed captioning and voice recognition for attributing remarks to specific individuals.
  • After the meeting, the cloud recording and transcript can be automatically added to the relevant channel, so conversations, documents, notes, and action items can be reviewed, indexed, and searched by the entire team.

Whats available now and what is on the horizon you might wonder? Check out the roadmap below.

New solution and vendors enter the meeting room space along with third party interop solutions.

In my next article I will share some of my thoughts and insights on the announcements. Until then…