There's no doubt that Microsoft (News - Alert) has put a lot behind the development of Skype. Now that investment is moving forward. Microsoft recently acquired the slate of Event Zero technology assets connected to its UC Commander line of products, which Microsoft will put to use in further augmenting Skype (News - Alert) for Business' functionality.
Event Zero developed the line of tools using a variety of user experiences as fodder for analytics functions, including even operational insights, to offer both system administrators and other information technology (IT) staffers a chance to see what's going on and what could be better about both Microsoft Lync and Skype for Business functions. Such tools will likely prove valuable to Microsoft, who plans to put said tools directly into Skype for Business.
That gives new access to troubleshooting systems, as well as new monitoring and reporting tools all designed to make Skype a better overall experience. Access to a common unified management and administration system will be added to Skype directly, reports note, and companies will readily be able to find out more about audio, video and media streaming quality from such an interface.
UCStrategies' unified communications (UC) expert Kevin Kieller notes that there has been some confusion about just how this acquisition is taking place. Event Zero will continue to exist and operate as a company, Kieller noted, but Microsoft will be adding several of its features to Skype. Kieller even notes that companies that use Skype for Business should actually continue considering UC Commander itself to provide call quality diagnostics and other measures.
Microsoft wants Skype to succeed, and is willing to put in the effort and the resources to make that happen. Even Kieller underscores as much, noting that “...this technology acquisition further demonstrates Microsoft's commitment to continue to enhance and improve Skype for Business as a core component in the strong Office 365 solution set.”
While there haven't been a lot of complaints visible about call performance with Skype for Business—I'm actually a fairly regular Skype user myself and issues are seldom even with a sub-optimal Internet connection—it's clear Microsoft wants to nip any such complaints in the bud. That's good news not only for Microsoft but for its users; with a growing number of competitors ready to step in and eat Skype's lunch, thanks to releases like Facetime and the growing array of Web-based real time communications (WebRTC), Skype needs to develop to keep ahead of this growing pack. Being able to better measure and control call quality should go a long way toward making that happen.
Microsoft is giving Skype just about every tool it could need to get and stay ahead, backed up by some impressive name recognition. Will that be enough? A growing band of competitors say no, but Microsoft isn't going out without a fight.