Skype for Business
Analyst Reports
Learn what industry experts are saying about our service
Aug. 04, 2014 Gartner, Inc.
Gartner positions Microsoft in the Leaders quadrant in its Magic Quadrant for Unified Communications. Gartner writes “UC offers the ability to significantly improve how individuals, groups and companies interact and perform.” The report identifies five UC characteristics that will impact the success of a product and the satisfaction of users, including the user experience, mobility, interoperability, cloud and hybrid and broad solution appeal.
June 26, 2014 Forrester Research
Microsoft is placed in the Leaders segment of this Wave, based on current offering and strategy. The report notes, “Microsoft’s single familiar user interface drives rapid adoption and utilization of its solution by information workers. The single integrated package of communications and conferencing capabilities delivered by the Lync client/server infrastructure in a web/XML paradigm makes it easy for developers to customize and build applications to complement Microsoft’s UC&C capabilities with industry- and role-specific capabilities from contact center to enterprise resource planning.”
Oct. 21, 2014 Gartner, Inc.
For the first time, Gartner has positioned Microsoft in the Leaders quadrant in its Magic Quadrant for Corporate Telephony. Gartner writes, “Telephony platforms are migrating to software-based solutions that are tightly integrated within a UC suite.” The report also notes, “Enterprises looking to upgrade legacy systems can use this research to decide whether to stay with an incumbent vendor or consider alternative suppliers.”
June 17, 2014 InfoTrack (T3i)
Based on a survey of U.S. enterprise customers (500+ employees), the report finds 95% of the surveyed are currently conducting, plan to conduct or have completed trials of Lync and 89% of those included or will include enterprise voice in the trials. In addition, 79% said they are either currently deploying or planning to deploy Lync with enterprise voice beyond trials.  The number one reason for deploying Lync with enterprise voice was a lower total cost of ownership (including hardware, software, service & support) than legacy PBX-based solutions.
For more analyst reports, visit the Microsoft News Center.
Licensing Guide
Client Licenses are required to access all Skype for Business Online and Server features.
  • Standard CALs enable users or devices to connect to Skype for Business Server for presence, IM, peer-to-peer VoIP and HD video, and Skype connectivity.
  • For Skype for Business Server, client licenses are available through the standalone client, with Office Pro Plus, or by downloading the free Skype for Business Basic client.
User Subscription License (USLs) are required to use Skype for Business Online.
  • Online Plan 1 enables presence, instant messaging (IM), peer-to-peer VoIP and HD video, and Skype connectivity.
  • Online Plan 2 enables all the above plus scheduled and impromptu meetings with audio and video calling, and desktop and application sharing on mobile phones, tablets, PC, and Mac.
Client Access License (CALs) are required to use Skype for Business Server.
  • Standard CALs enable users or devices to connect to Skype for Business Server for presence, IM, peer-to-peer VoIP and HD video, and Skype connectivity.
  • Enterprise CALs enable scheduled and impromptu meetings with audio and video calling, desktop and application sharing, and dial-in conferencing on mobile phones, tablets, PC and Mac. The Standard CAL is a prerequisite for Enterprise CAL.
  • Plus CALs enable PSTN in/out, emergency calling, and other enterprise-grade phone features. The Standard CAL is a prerequisite for Plus CAL.
In addition to CALs, server licenses are required for every front-end server.
See our full licensing guide for more information.