Office 365 Partner Community: Skype for Business updates

Michael Panciroli, Technology Solutions Professional, Office 365 and Voice

The focus of the Office 365 and Voice Partner Community in January 2017 is Skype for Business updates. Since the worldwide partner conference (now called Microsoft Inspire) and the Microsoft Ignite conference, there have been several new Skype for Business innovations announced that enhance the Office 365 collaboration experience for workplace communication across all of your devices.

An announcement of particular interest to partners is not a feature update, but a new set of resources that helps partners unlock more Office 365 opportunity. The Skype Operations Framework (SOF) is an end-to-end planning, deployment, and operations methodology for Skype for Business. This will be the main topic covered on our January 5 call, and I'll be joined by one of our Cloud Voice Solution Architects, who will guide you through the assets.

Sign up for the January 5 community call

The SOF provides you with a comprehensive guide and toolset for implementing and managing a reliable, cost-effective communications service with Skype in the cloud. There are network readiness assessments, traffic generation tools, cloud migration assets, ExpressRoute guidance, and more.

Skype Operations Framework slide

SOF covers the entire customer lifecycle, including planning, deployment, and operations. It comprises phases and stages that have correlated activities that are prescriptive and designed with quality. The guidance ranges from scripts and reports, to workshops and documents that are aligned with each activity, in each stage. This guidance comes from our own experience in planning, deploying, and operating the service using a combination of activities and tools that follow the SOF methodology to help you accelerate your offering and apply that same execution excellence to achieve outcomes aligned with your customers' business initiatives.

This framework is essentially a blueprint for a Skype for Business Online partner practice area. Without it you would have to spend months of opportunity cost to build your own deployment methodology for Skype for Business Online. We have already done the work for you so you can get started right away. Partners are already using the framework to evolve their businesses and deliver managed services offerings in areas such as Network Readiness and Adoption.

Get started today

You can get started today with the Skype Operations Framework. I recommend watching the 10-minute overview video below (it's also available on the home page of the Skype Operations Framework website).

Visit the Skype Operations Framework website

Skype Operations Framework partner learning path and assessment

Skype Academy - SOF training and readiness

If your company has the Communications competency, and two individuals from your company pass the Skype Operations Framework assessment, you may be listed as a SOF Partner, visible at the bottom of the Partners section of the Skype Operations Framework website.

Learn more about the Communications competency

Skype Operations Framework partner learning path and assessment

Introduction to Skype Operations Framework video

Watch this video online

More Skype for Business resources

Skype for Business partner training schedule

IT Showcase: Skype for Business at Microsoft

Community call about Skype for Business updates on Thursday, January 5

Join me on the January 5 community call for an in-depth discussion about the latest Skype for Business news. I've invited a colleague who is a Cloud Voice Solution Architect to talk about these updates as well as the Skype Operations Framework.

Sign up for the January 5 community call

Office 365 and Voice Partners Yammer group

Office 365 and Voice Partner Community

Office 365 and Voice Partners call on January 5, 2017     office-365-partners-yammer-group     Skype Operations Framework (SOF) website

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