Part 4: Skype for Business


So I'm often asked can NAV or CRM link to our phone system. Yes it can but the number of times that happens is minuscule once the complexity and costs are explored. Most phone systems are simply not setup to handle the sort of functionality easily, where we have done it, it's been a long complex project.

Microsoft are solving all of that, not by building links to your system but by replacing it. Built into most versions of Office 365 is the Skype for Business service. This is a considerably upgraded version of Skype that you've probably used. Best thing of all is that it works with Dynamics automatically, out of the box.

The issue with Skype today is that it doesn't link to the phone network easily but Microsoft have announced an agreement with BT and several others to allow you to have a normal phone number (or port you existing numbers) and the call will come into Skype for Business rather than your phone. Outgoing calls can be made to normal phones and mobiles etc. using the same account. This is due to launch later this year.

This means S4B is probably a better phone system than you have now. With recording and video facilities built in you can share your desktop or a single application at the click of a button.

It already has the call routing and conferencing facilities, just needs that final connection to the rest of the phone network. Using just this option as a phone system has been popular at the enterprise level for some time, Microsoft and Carillion are two examples. This will make it affordable to the small to medium sized business as well.

Yes you can have a traditional phone on your desk if you like, there are a bunch of companies like Polycom who make what looks like a traditional handset that instead connects to Skype for business. These work when you PC’s not on for example.

You’ll also get the advantage that making call at the click of a mouse. Incoming calls can be used to search for the number and display the right account. Even routing those calls will be possible with, for instance, the possibility of sending calls from companies with overdue balances straight through to their credit controller!

What I do predict is that the traditional phone system is going to die. In three years the majority will be using a system like Skype for business so I'm really glad I work in IT not telecoms.


This post is part of a 5-part series. A link to rest of the posts in this series are below;