Skype for Business gets Auto Attendant and Call Queues, Call Analytics preview

At the Enterprise Connect conference in Orlando today, Microsoft announced new Skype for Business features: Auto Attendant and Call Queues. The company also released a preview of the new Skype for Business Call Analytics dashboard and showed off new solutions from its partners.

Skype for Business arrived for Windows in April 2015 and got a dedicated Windows Phone app in July 2015. The iOS app launched out of preview in October 2015, the Android app followed in December 2015, and the Mac version finally arrived in October 2016.

Having covered all the major platforms, the company is now back to focusing on new features specific to business needs. Auto Attendant is an automated system for answering and routing inbound calls using dial pad inputs and speech recognition. Call Queues routes incoming calls to the next available live attendant in the order they are received.

The Skype for Business Online Call Analytics (in preview) is a new dashboard in the Office 365 admin console that helps IT administrators identify and address end user call issues, such as network issues or headset problems. Call Analytics provides rich telemetry data in real time to help address end user support inquiries, troubleshoot issues, and improve end users’ experiences.

Separately, Microsoft also released new authentication capabilities to enhance security in Skype for Business Online. These include multi-factor authentication for PowerShell, certificate-based authentication, and custom policies for client conferencing and mobility.

Three of Microsoft’s partners also had news today. Polycom announced that its RealConnect for Office 365 video interoperability cloud service, which enables customers to connect existing video conferencing devices to Skype for Business Online, will be generally available in North America on April 17. Crestron introduced its SR for Skype Rooms Systems solution, which will deliver a full native Skype for Business experience and is designed from the ground up to seamlessly integrate with the Crestron control and AV systems. Lastly, Enghouse released its TouchPoint Attendant, one of the first attendant consoles tailored for Skype for Business Online.

Microsoft today also shared that the Skype network sees 1 billion meetings per year. Usage of Skype for Business Online, meanwhile, has doubled in the last year.

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