New Features for Skype for Business

The latest version of Skype for Business was released to the Office 365 Insider Preview Branch and we have been testing its two newest features.

1. Consult and Transfer:

The option to consult someone before transferring a call has finally been added to the Skype for Business desktop client.  This functionality has been on the Lync and Skype optimized Polycom phones, but since Lync 2010, consult and transfer has always had to be done manually on the desktop client.  You would first answer a call, start a side conversation with the person you wanted to transfer to, and then jump back to the original call and transfer.  Now there is a designated button in the call controls menu of a conversation window that allows you to initiate a consult and transfer.

new features for skype for business

 

Once you click “Consult”, a search box appears for you to search for the contact you wish to consult with.  Anyone who is in your team call group or delegates will appear in the box automatically.

new features for skype for business

 

Once you find the name of the contact you want to consult, hit the “Consult” button.  It will then initiate the second conversation, while placing your original call on hold.  From inside the consulting conversation, you have the option to jump back to the call, or transfer the person along at the top of the conversation window.

new features for skype for business

 

This new Consult and Transfer feature is one that has been missing from the Lync/Skype platform for a long time and should help make the routing of calls much simpler for users who primarily use the desktop client.

2. New Alerts:

In Skype for Business when you receive an IM, Phone Call, Video Call, or it’s time for a Skype Meeting, an alert pops up on your screen.   In the latest version of Skype for Business, the alerts have been updated to be slightly smaller, have a black theme, and they have also removed some functionality for how you can route incoming calls.  On the old alerts, you had options for how you ignore an incoming call, whether you respond via IM, transfer to another number, or set yourself to Do Not Disturb.  This functionality has been removed, which is a little disappointing. Here is the old alert compared to the new alert:

new features for skype for business

 

We will be reaching out to the Skype for Business development team to see if they intend to remove the functionality permanently from the alert, or get an explanation for why the change has occurred.

Regardless, it is great to see new features and aesthetics being added to the Skype for Business client and we look forward to more from the Skype team.

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Author: Andrew Saah
<p>Andrew is a Skype for Business, Office 365, and Windows Technology Evangelist for TecFac.</p>

1 Comment

  • Dana Rhyne

    Apparently my Skype for Business was just recently updated & I lost the ability to forward an incoming call to a number. Very inconvenient! Did you ever hear back about why they changed it & if it’s permanent? At this point I guess I should assume that it IS permanent.

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