SMB Nation Blog

SMB Nation has been serving the Bainbridge Island area since 2001, providing IT Support such as technical helpdesk support, computer support, and consulting to small and medium-sized businesses.

Roadmap for Skype for Business capabilities coming to Microsoft Teams now available

By: Tiffany Wissner (WENTZEL) Microsoft

Last month at Microsoft Ignite we introduced a new vision for intelligent communications, which includes Microsoft Teams becoming the primary client for communication and collaboration in Office 365. Today we are sharing more detail on our planned roadmap for adding Microsoft Skype for Business capabilities to Teams, so you can plan your onboarding.

Messaging – Teams offers rich instant messaging capabilities today, with persistent chat, as well as private 1:1 and group chat. We expect to deliver RoadMapadditional messaging capabilities in Teams by the end of Q2-2018. Features will include screen sharing during chat and federation between companies.

Meetings – Teams offers collaborative meetings capabilities today, including screen sharing, meeting chats captured in the channel after the meeting, and the preview of audio conferencing. We expect to deliver additional meeting capabilities in Microsoft Teams by the end of Q2-2018. These features include meeting room support with Skype Room Systems, and cloud video interoperability capabilities that allow third party meeting room devices to connect to Teams meetings.

Calling – Today, Teams offers many calling capabilities. Later this quarter, we plan to ship voicemail for Teams. By the end of Q2-2018, we will enable you to use your existing telco voice line to activate calling services in Office 365.

Beyond bringing existing Skype for Business core capabilities to Teams, we are excited about new intelligent communications coming to Teams. As shown at the Ignite Microsoft Teams and Skype for Business General Session, customers will be able to record a meeting and store it in Teams, have transcription added, and be able to search the meeting for key terms. These features will begin rolling out at the end of Q2-2018.

As part of our vision for intelligent communications, we are also taking the opportunity to simplify the naming of our premium communication offerings. PSTN Conferencing will now be known as “Audio Conferencing;” Cloud PBX will now be known as “Phone System;” and PSTN Calling will now be known as “Calling Plan.” We want these names to be more intuitive to both IT and end users as we further integrate communications with collaboration.

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The Evolution of The Way We Work

Story by Mitel -

Changes in the interplay between technology, location, culture and business are transforming where, when and how we work.

Workers are taking control of their work / life balance with traditional ‘nine to five’ commuting patterns changing. Employees are also seeking more control over the communications devices and applications they use.Big Mitel

There is also an interesting sub-trend involving the development of portfolio based careers.

These trends are confirmed by evidence from SMB Group about the changing use of business communication technologies with 92% of SMBs using at least one cloud solution, 60% saying that mobile solutions are critical and 86% using mobile applications.

Rob Charlton, CEO of Space Group said “As a company we are moving towards keeping and managing everything in the cloud…Whatever we need, whenever we need it, accessible from whichever device is most suitable and available at the time.”

Small and medium sized business today face the challenge of providing workers with flexibility while at the same time maximizing their productivity, controlling costs and ensuring that teams retain good interaction.

Stephen Tanner, Founder of OfficePOD Ltd commented “An organization cannot promote the idea of flexible working and merely cover the provision of a desk and a chair in a spare room. Employers have a duty to provide staff with the tools they need to work effectively and productively; this should include a suitable working environment, wherever that happens to be.”

To explore these issues further the team at global business communications vendor Mitel asked business users, leaders in innovation, architects, psychologists and human resource experts for their perspectives in four key areas:

• How technology trends are setting the agenda
• Next generation workplaces
• The impact of a global market
• Cultural changes and the impact on work.

To discover more insights download the full guide at http://www.mitel.com/knowledge-hub

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Slack's Stewart Butterfield says email is 'the cockroach of the internet' and we'll be living with it for the next 30 years

Story by Jim Edwards - 

Anyone who has used Slack — the chatroom app for teams in workplaces — will tell you that it has one massive positive side effect on your working life: It reduces the amount of internal email you receive from your colleagues.Cockroach

Once your company is on Slack, gone are the reply-all emails where someone just says "Thanks!" Those crushing inboxes full of dozens, hundreds or thousands of unread emails, seem so much less urgent when your company is on Slack.

And you've probably also noticed that the Slack mobile app has a superior direct-messaging experience compared with many consumer apps that only do messages.

But Slack founder Stewart Butterfield, speaking at Web Summit in Dublin on Tuesday, said those of you hoping that Slack will kill off email altogether might have a long wait.

"Email will be the cockroach of the internet," he said, when asked whether Slack will kill email. "I think we've got another 30 or 40 years of email left."

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ScanSource enhances European management structure

 ScanSource, Inc., a value-added distributor of specialty technology products, announced yesterday it enhanced its management structure for several business units in Europe, in an effort to further support company growth and leverage strengths of its executive leadership.

 

“We are very excited to be able to build on the successful acquisition of Imago, as it enables us to realign our business and better focus our efforts, so that we can best serve our reseller customers and vendor partners,” said Mike Ferney, president, Worldwide Communications and Services, ScanSource, Inc. “The dedicated leadership, sales, merchandising, and technical support teams in each region underscores our commitment to our partners’ success.”

 

Additions and changes in its management include the appointment of Ian Vicarage as president of ScanSource Communications, Europe, and the promotion of Maurice Van Rijn to president of ScanSource POS and Barcode, Europe.

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Avaya: We are Not Just Focused on Large Companies...SMBs Take Note

avaya logoAvaya said that its newest focus is to set a standard for collaboration and communications that are simple and effective and engaging. The company unveiled a set of new software and cloud-based services designed to transform the way enterprises and organizations work.  The company says that its simple, intuitive solutions will be designed for partners to help employees to work more effectively, engage more easily, and make decisions faster so organizations can experience the advantages of a new age of collaboration.

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