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Articles in Category: Industry Comments

Microsoft Price Changes Jan 2017

Microsoft have announced GBP price changes to some of their licensing agreements, in order to harmonise prices within the EU/EFTA region. These changes will become live January 1st 2017. For further information see below for the official Microsoft Bulletin:

https://blogs.technet.microsoft.com/uktechnet/2016/10/21/important-volume-licensing-update/  

 As a Microsoft partner and provider of hosted Microsoft applications, Server Centre Hosting need to make partners and direct customer aware of price rises against our services. Whilst Microsoft increases are between 13% and 22%, Server Centre will work to deliver our services at an increase of 4.75%. This will affect both existing and new service subscriptions. These new list prices will come into effect on Jan 1st 2017, unless otherwise communicated. 

Skype for Business IOS App Updated

Version 6.9

The IOS Skype for Business client has been updated to version 6.9, with the following update description

  • Mute the app's audio completely during a call or meeting
  • Ability  to manually enter your Exchange server domain name under Settings
  • Performance and stability Improvements

The update is available in the app store under Updates if you do not have automatic updates enabled.

Unshackled Communications, Primed for Business

Server Centre's Hosted Skype For Business OnDemand

Unshackled Communications, Primed for Business
Server Centre has been providing Customer and Partner orientated Cloud Services, across Microsoft applications such as CRM Dynamics, Skype for Business and Exchange, for many years. During this time, we have continually developed the technology based solutions we deliver. We pride ourselves on our close engagement with our Customers and Partners, and this has helped broaden and improve our understanding of how and why they consume our services. This close working relationship assists us to improve the benefits our services deliver, and the ease in which they integrate and coexist in business environments. 
 
Our aim has always been to ensure that our Cloud Services remain easily accessible, agile and scalable. Furthermore, we recognise other prominent factors for businesses, related to the challenges that they encounter in delivering business critical services. Key feedback from our Customers has been the need for providing a clear and structured landscape, within which they can mix and match their own added value services across cloud offerings, such as Skype for Business, using Microsoft Office 365, On Premise/Hosted and Hybrid models. In addition, as Unified Communications (UC) platforms have become more feature rich, Customers recognise the benefits of collapsing and retiring some  legacy services like third party conferencing, therein making ease of use and cost saving improvements with partial UC uptake. The Cloud Services that businesses consume need to allow them to pinpoint certain UC areas, with the ability for them to implement strategic uptake and growth during a roadmap, whilst also keeping a clear view of future technologies and projects.
 
We have taken the experiences and business challenges of Customers on board, and created a new Skype for Business OnDemand service structure that helps them target key services, deliver their cloud strategies and make strategic cost savings. We have solutions for Hybrid and mixed Cloud Services, and options within our Skype for Business OnDemand service plans, for targeting both groups of users and key features.
 
Our enhanced Skype for Business OnDemand service starts with effortless access into Instant Messaging and Presence via UC1. Users here can improve productivity with real time messaging to internal Company members, aligned businesses and consumer Skype all combined into one interface. This foundation service allows users to become comfortable with software based UC applications, recognise the integration into their existing Microsoft applications (e.g. Exchange and Dynamics CRM) and become accustomed to IP based telephone and video calls to communicate with other business users and engaged in the experience of collaborative working.
 
We recognise that UC can deliver real business change and cost savings compared to legacy approaches and practices. Therefore, we have created our new UC 2 Voice and UC 2 Meetings service plans to allow a progression and focus in UC, at an affordable cost point. Our Customers can choose a suitable roadmap and target for UC uptake; either enhance the Instant Messaging and Presence  with Enterprise Voice (fully functional Voice user, able to make calls to and from the PSTN with a DDI extension) or Online Meeting Moderation (Web conferencing facilities with International access numbers, application sharing, presentation and desktop collaboration/sharing). Both options allow Companies to migrate and transition previous services, collapse into a single cohesive deployment, and realise the cost savings in a monthly per user subscription model. Progression from one UC level to another is also simple, and can be performed per user via our CloudCentre Management portal.
 
In order to provide comparable feature matches against existing telephony environments, Customers may also choose to deploy our UC3 service plan. Here, the user benefits from a combination of professional business functionality in IM, Presence, Voice and Online Meeting. UC3 users are able to initiate and lead full UC 2.0 communications streams, taking simple instant message conversations and easily transitioning to multi party Voice and Online Meetings through one application interface.
 
A full Enterprise Voice Unified Communications system provides users with email integrated voicemail notifications and audio/visual messaging integrations. Therefore, our UC4 offering rounds off our full Skype for Business OnDemand suite, with messaging features available across mobile, desktop and handset based users. These are all easily integrated back into Customers’ existing on premise solutions, or cloud-based services such as Office 365.
 
We believe that Unified Communications and Contact Centre can be a realistic and achievable emphasis for consumers of Cloud-Based services.
 
We bridge the gap between Unified Communications and Contact Centre applications, with our UC5 and CC1 service offerings. In UC5 we take a fully featured Unified Communications user, and provide ‘Always On’ Call Recording with Silent Call Capability/Supervision, Online Recording  Access/Playback and call review/tagging. This can help Customers meet compliance targets set by their industry and Company policy, or start to build a Contact Centre environment from their Enterprise level UC deployment. 
 
Our new CC service offerings take our UC plans and concentrate them for the business requirements of Contact Centre. Customers can then overlay complex Contact Centre practise over Cloud Based Unified Communication. CC plans allows for identified Contact Centre users to work from the same UC platform as other Company colleagues, but take advantage of and manage inbound Call Flows with IVR, Queueing and Skills Based Call Distribution, along with Call Recording, supervisory features and Statistical Reporting/SLA Management.
 
For further information on our Skype for Business OnDemand and Contact Centre OnDemand services, please see our website at www.servercentre.net. Feel free to contact us about any questions and investigate our service trials in order to verify how well they fit your business.
 
Thank you
Alistair Pidd
Operations Director  

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