Microsoft is beginning to unify their communication technology and brands. This unification will make it easier for customers to understand what the product does and will unify the way that these technologies are implemented and used. Skype is the number one brand for video and audio calling over the internet and Microsoft is looking to bring that strong brand to businesses.
Microsoft created Lync separate from their Skype acquisition in 2011. Lync is a tool for businesses to collaborate over distances with video conferencing, audio calling, screen sharing, and file transfer. Lync is a powerful and useful tool for lots of businesses, but it suffers from a weak brand. Companies may be slow to use Lync because they are afraid they will have to train their employees and customers on proper usage.
Now, Microsoft is looking to simplify their internet based communication offerings by rebranding Lync as ‘Skype for Business.’ This rebrand is helpful to easily communicate to customers what the product does by leveraging the household name of Skype. The rebrand does go deeper than just name though. Skype for business will be designed to look more like Skype so users of Skype will already know how to use the tool without new training.
Going from Lync to Skype for Business also will be a smooth transition for businesses. The on-premises Lync server can receive a software update to go from Lync to Skype for business. Companies who use Microsoft’s Office 365 for their Lync servers will see the upgrade happen automatically. The transition should be simple and easy to perform.
Skype for Business is the latest rebrand done by Microsoft to simplify their brand story. Microsoft understands that there is a difference between business and consumer technology and products, but they also realize that the way the technologies are used may be very similar. Recently, Microsoft has begun taking their similar products and bringing them together. Starting with OneDrive for Business which was SkyDrive Pro, and SharePoint Workplaces before that, Microsoft is trying to make their technology simple and instantly understandable.