Effective, engaging collaboration that leverages



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Video Conferencing & 

Skype for Business: Your 

Need-to-Know Guide

Effective, engaging collaboration that leverages 

video conferencing 

should incorporate features like content sharing, clear participant 

rosters, easy call management controls and Instant Messaging. But, 

according to Microsoft research, some 97 percent of meeting rooms 

aren’t adequately equipped to handle video.

Overview

In fact, a majority of these rooms host the most rudimentary of collaboration 

solutions like a digital projector and an audio connection for conference calls.  

And, while most of these enterprises are adopting Skype for Business for 

end-users, the reality is that many of their conference rooms lack the ability to 

connect to Skype for Business calls, which eliminates effective collaboration tools 

like video and content sharing.

Polycom has partnered with Microsoft to create a seamless Skype for Business 

meeting experience across any device, bringing the Skype audio and video 

collaboration experience into every conference room.

By engineering products together, Polycom and Microsoft are able to deliver a 

comprehensive range of video conferencing solutions that combines the flexible 

and easily accessible Skype for Business user interface with Polycom’s voice and 

video endpoints.

Microsoft and Polycom share a common goal: to deliver a rich collaboration 

experience across the full spectrum of meeting spaces. Together, they will set a 

new standard for integrated collaboration in any meeting room.

Microsoft and Polycom 

share a common goal: to 

deliver a rich collaboration 

experience across the full 

spectrum of meeting spaces.




How Microsoft and Polycom are 

Changing How We Collaborate

Skype for Business, formerly Lync , makes it easier for 

participants to meet, collaborate and work together.

The partnership between Polycom and Microsoft has 

recently enhanced Skype for Business further with a series 

of important developments:

•  Skype for Business user interface across devices.

•  Polycom RealConnect for Office 365.

•  Polycom MSR series, next generation 

Skype Room System.

•  RealPresence Group Series qualified on Skype 

for Business and containing Skype UI.

•  RealPresence Trio— best in class audio 

conference device for Skype for Business 

and Office 365 and containing Skype UI

•  Polycom VVX phones qualified on Skype for 

Business and Office 365 and containing Skype UI

•  Skype Operations Framework certified 

partner to deliver customer success.

Polycom’s innovations map to new offerings included in 

Skype for Business online as part of Office 365.

Only Polycom Offers Complete 

Collaboration with Skype for 

Business and Office 365

Skype for Business gives users essential collaboration tools 

on a single platform, including Presence, Instant Message, 

content sharing and one-click dialing to join meetings via 

audio and video.  End users find it intuitive and it works 

naturally into their existing workflow. That’s essential 

because collaboration takes many forms: a simple message 

and response, a quick phone call, a brief meeting, or a 

formal video conference.

In the past, that meant employees had to switch between 

separate applications on different devices. But, because 

Skype for Business provides a single interface to any type 

of collaboration tool, users can choose the most appropriate 

tool for the task.

•  Presence— when participants want to check if colleagues 

are available to take a call or join a meeting.

•  Instant Message— when participants only need 

a quick response to a question or an update 

on a project from a colleague or a team.

•  Text messages— also suitable for a quick 

response or update. Text is a convenient channel 

when users need to reach colleagues in another 

meeting where a voice call is difficult.

•  Voice calls— more important when individuals need 

to have a detailed discussion with a colleague.

•  Audio conference calls (PSTN dialing)— when a 

number of participants are involved and they need 

to hold detailed discussions or share content.

•  Audio and video meetings via Skype for 

Business— when participants want to hold 

detailed discussions or share content during 

video meetings without leaving Office 365.

•  Cloud PBX— Brings enterprise-grade voice to Skype 

for Business. Offering advanced voice features that 

transform basic calls into productive, collaborative 

sessions with text, video, and desktop sharing.

With Skype for Business and Polycom, users can move 

seamlessly from one medium to another within the same 

interface. For example, they can escalate a chat to a 

voice call or a one-to-one voice call to a video or audio 

conference. Skype for Business makes collaboration 

more efficient and accessible by creating a seamless 

collaboration experience, while improving productivity and 

reducing costs.

Skype for Business’s accessibility and ease of use extends 

collaboration capability to any employee, encouraging 

teamwork and helping develop a collaborative culture. 

Skype for Business also makes collaboration accessible 

to smaller businesses that may not have dedicated 

conference facilities.




Integration with 

Microsoft Office 365

Skype for Business is part of the Office 365 suite of 

products. That means users can schedule meetings though 

Microsoft Outlook, or they can launch collaboration from 

another Office application. For example, they could be 

putting together a PowerPoint presentation or a report in 

Word and want to share it with colleagues. To do that, they 

could email the presentation or document and then set up a 

one-to-one call or conference call from Word or PowerPoint 

to discuss content.

The integration of Skype for Business with Office makes 

collaboration a normal part of the working day and 

encourages more employees to benefit from collaboration. 

Employees familiar with using the Office 365 suite of 

products, from Outlook to PowerPoint or OneDrive, 

expect seamless connectivity from one product to the 

next. To bring ‘Office 365 workflow’ to collaboration tools, 

Polycom products are built using the Skype for Business 

user interface and connectivity to Office 365. This helps 

employees stay within the workflow they are used to using, 

streamlines collaboration and improves productivity.

Solutions for Every Workspace

Roughly 3 percent of meeting spaces include traditional 

video teleconferencing systems, according to 

Microsoft research.

However, today, a collaboration workspace can be whatever 

participants want it to be. That’s why it’s important that 

collaboration can take place anytime, anywhere on any 

device.  For some, it could be a desktop or a coffee 

shop with Wi-Fi. Others take to small huddle rooms or 

sophisticated immersive studios. There’s a difference in 

scale, but the objective is the same— to let people work 

together effectively.

To meet these demands, the Microsoft and Polycom 

partnership extends the Skype for Business meeting 

experience by providing solutions for every type of 

workspace, including:

•  Huddle rooms,

•  Conference rooms,

•  Executive suites, and

•  Boardrooms.

Huddle rooms are small rooms suitable for meetings 

of up to six people. These rooms are suitable for the 

informal style of team meeting that is emerging. Teams 

can meet, share content and ideas, and communicate with 

colleagues in other locations without a formal agenda 

or the presentations typically associated with more 

formal meetings.

Conference rooms, executive suites and boardrooms are 

suitable for larger, more formal meetings of executives, 

management teams, and project teams.

Skype for Business User 

Interface Across All Devices

A single, consistent user interface for collaboration tools 

makes it easy for users to join calls from any endpoint or 

software application. Consistency of scheduling, joining 

and managing a collaboration session is critical to driving 

user adoption.

Polycom is making this a reality by extending the easy to 

use Skype for Business experience beyond the desktop 

and mobile applications to popular voice and video 

solutions used in conference rooms and offices of all sizes. 

Customers can now seamlessly schedule, dial and join a 

Skype for Business call from a greater number of solutions 

providing one extended Skype for Business experience.

These include the Polycom® RealPresence® Group Series 

video endpoints, Polycom® VVX® 500 and 600 Business 

Media Phones and the Polycom® RealPresence Trio™ and 

new MSR Series of Skype Room Systems conference 

phones. The familiar Skype for Business user interface will 

enable an integrated meeting experience, and improved 

collaboration for Skype for Business customers

More Polycom Solutions 

Qualified for Skype for Business

Polycom and Microsoft are expanding the reach of Skype 

for Business meetings so Polycom customers of all sizes 

will be able to leverage their existing audio and video 




investments as they move to Office 365 and Skype for 

Business environments.

Microsoft customers new to video collaboration will 

have the option to use Polycom’s proven technologies 

in their new deployments. Customers also will be able to 

collaborate with other, existing video platforms using a 

new cloud video interoperability service built by Polycom 

and Microsoft.

RealPresence Group Series is qualified to work with Skype 

for Business onprem and will be certified to work with 

Skype for Business online as part of Office 365. A familiar 

Skype for Business-like user interface on the Polycom 

RealPresence Touch device will make it even easier for 

Skype for Business users to integrate video conferencing 

into their current workflows.

The Polycom RealPresence Group Series supports 

enterprise-grade video, voice, and collaboration 

experiences to accelerate decision-making and encourage 

innovation. RealPresence Group Series solutions can be 

used for meetings of all kinds— from huddle rooms to 

immersive telepresence rooms.

This capability enables Skype for Business to extend into 

conference rooms, boardrooms, and meeting rooms of all 

sizes by combining immersive video experiences with a 

simple interface, broad interoperability, and the lowest TCO 

of any video collaboration system.

Polycom has also introduced the MSR series, a line of 

solutions purposely built for Skype for Business that offer 

plug-and-play simplicity in a variety of configurations to 

meet the needs of any size business and any size room.

The MSR Series for Skype Room Systems brings the Skype 

for Business meeting experience, with rich HD audio and 

video, to every meeting room. It provides a full Skype for 

Business client with full desktop functionality, and brings all 

connectivity to meeting room tables.

The MSR series features:

•  One-touch join

•  HD audio and HD video

•  Desktop sharing

•  PowerPoint sharing

Customers may also bundle the MSR Series with powerful 

audio and video solutions, such as the  Polycom® 

RealPresence Trio™ phone, the Polycom CX5100 360-

degree video camera, and the Polycom® RealPresence 

Medialign™ system.

Leverage Existing Investments

Many customers are looking to bridge heterogeneous 

solution video environments as they move to RealConnect 

for Office 365. Polycom delivers an industry-first, cloud-

based video interoperability service, hosted in the Microsoft 

Azure, for Office 365 customers.

This enables Office 365 customers to integrate their 

existing video investments from Polycom, Cisco and others 

into Skype for Business online video meetings.

The service offers the capabilities of Polycom® 

RealConnect™ technology, which provides users of Skype 

for Business and non-Microsoft endpoints with the same 

Skype for Business collaboration experience.

This will allow Skype for Business users in Office 365 

to host video meetings with non-Skype for Business 

standards-based endpoints. As more companies move to 

Office 365, many are looking to protect their investments 

and have all their systems work together seamlessly.

Polycom RealConnect for Skype for Business/Office 365 

is the first technology that solves the age-old dilemma of 

making different multiple video systems work together. 

The RealConnect solution simplifies communications 

by leveraging native Microsoft Outlook calendaring and 

bringing everything and everyone together through click to 

join across devices. RealConnect for Skype for Business/

Office 365 offers these important benefits:

•  Just one workflow— Familiar Outlook 

scheduling workflow.

•  One touch join— Single click-to-join for both Skype for 

Business clients and Polycom video and voice endpoints.

•  Leverage legacy Cisco investment— Enables Cisco 

endpoints for calendaring and click-to-join experience.

•  See more faces— Show up to nine remote participants 

in the Skype for Business video window.

•  Share content— Bi-directional content between Skype for 

Business users and standard videoconference systems.



The result is a video collaboration that is so much 

easier than before, which helps user adoption and 

increased usage.

Skype for Business in the 

Traditional Conference Room

Polycom has also updated its RealPresence Group Series 

products, adding both Office 365 integration and a user 

interface consistent with the Skype Meeting experience.  

The RealPresence Group series is now qualified on 

Office 365.

Polycom 

Certified 

for Skype 

Operations 

Framework

Polycom is certified to provide Skype Operations 

Framework— a broad portfolio of services that help 

customers migrate to a Skype for Business solution. The 

end-to-end approach to the deployment of Skype for 

Business covers the complete plan, deliver, and operate 

lifecycle with customer success firmly at the centre

•  Plan services include envisioning, pilot 

services and network assessment.

•  Deliver services include implementation 

of endpoints, end user orientation and 

deployment of Skype for Business.

•  Operate services include Technical support for 

endpoints, remote monitoring and management, 

and limited lifetime replacement.

Experience the Difference

End-to-end solutions and services— An industry leader 

in voice, video and interoperability solutions for Skype 

for Business.

Deep expertise and global reach— Over 12 years’ 

engineering teamwork with global team of Microsoft Unified 

Communications experts

Broadest portfolio— a full line of desktop, huddle, and 

conference room solutions that enhances and extends the 

Skype for Business user experience.

Best in class voice and video collaboration solutions — 

Number 1 Skype for Business IP phone provider; first 

provider of business media and conference phones for 

Office 365.

Skype for Business user interface across devices— 

Familiar Skype for Business user interface available on 

RealPresence Trio, VVX Business Media phones and 

RealPresence Group Series video endpoints and the new 

Polycom MSR Series.

Office 365 ready— Polycom is the first provider of business 

media phones and conference phones for Office 365.

Outlook integration— Extends Outlook calendars, Active 

Directory and global Skype for Business contacts to 

Polycom voice and video products.

Video interoperability— Polycom RealConnect is the first 

and only approved video interoperability solution that 

seamlessly connects existing video based solutions into 

a Skype for Business video call and offers click to join 

functionality across all devices.

Skype Operations Framework Certified-Polycom services 

team offers a best practice approach to planning, deploying 

and managing Skype for Business in the cloud.

Strengthening the Business 

Case for Skype for Business

Collaboration plays a strategic role in developing teamwork, 

improving productivity and efficiency, and enhancing 

customer service. With the increase in mobility and the 

growth of distributed teams, it’s essential that meeting tools 

can support collaboration anywhere, on any device.

In fact, 78 percent of respondents to a Microsoft survey 

reported that they collaborate daily with colleagues or 

contacts in other locations and 46 percent say they launch 

conferences from a mobile device.

The latest communication and collaboration features 

in Skype for Business combined with the advanced 

audio and video solutions from Polycom make an even 

stronger business case for Skype Meetings using Skype 

for Business.

•  Increases employees’ productivity.

•  Encourages collaboration by making 

tools accessible and easy to use.

•  Reduces meeting costs by eliminating travel.



•  Enables employees to work and 

collaborate from any location.

•  Reduces and repurposes expensive real estate.

•  Minimizes training and support costs with an 

easy-to-use solution and familiar interface.

•  Lowers TCO by consolidating all conferencing 

facilities in a single solution.

•  Maintains customer satisfaction by supporting 

enterprise-grade voice communications.

Growing with Skype for Business

The combination of Skype for Business and Polycom 

systems provides a scalable solution suitable for businesses 

of different sizes. There are different Skype for Business 

packages and Polycom systems available to suit any budget 

or collaboration requirement. These solutions can provide a 

flexible infrastructure for meetings of two people or events 

of up to 10,000 participants located anywhere in the world.

Skype for Business offers a clear migration path from 

Microsoft Lync or Skype to protect investment for 

organizations with existing installations. For growing 

businesses or organizations that are new to collaboration, 

the partnership of Skype for Business and Polycom provides 

the portfolio and the flexibility to add features and services 

to suit changing collaboration needs or scale capacity in 

line with business growth.



©2017 Polycom, Inc. All rights reserved. All Polycom® names and marks associated with Polycom products are trademarks or service marks of Polycom, Inc. 

and are registered or common law marks in the United States and other countries. All other trademarks are property of their respective owners. No portion 

hereof may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, for any purpose other than the recipient’s personal use, without the express written 

permission of Polycom.

About

Polycom helps organizations unleash the power of human collaboration. More than 400,000 companies and 



institutions worldwide defy distance with video, voice and content solutions from Polycom. Polycom and its 

global partner ecosystem provide flexible collaboration solutions for any environment that deliver the best user 

experience and unmatched investment protection.

Polycom, Inc. | 1 . 800 . POLYCOM | www.polycom.com

Additional Information on 

What’s New in Office 365

For more information on PSTN conferencing and Skype 

Meeting Broadcast, visit Microsoft’s support site at 

http://support.office.com and the Microsoft office blog 

at https://blogs.office.com.

For information on Microsoft qualified phones and video 

conferencing solutions, visit the Polycom + Microsoft 



web page.


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