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What if you could enable your users to access their Skype for Business enabled desktops from any location, and on any device?  Whether at the office or on the road, they could collaborate when and where they needed to, boosting productivity.  And what if that also meant improved security, simplified management, and reduced costs?  That’s a win-win, and that’s why businesses are looking at desktop virtualization along with Skype for Business.

 

With desktop virtualization, you can centrally deploy and manage virtual desktops in your own datacenter or in the cloud, and have your users access those desktops from anywhere – enabling a flexible and mobile workforce. As noted in our blog, IDC shows VMware Horizon is a market leading platform for virtual desktops and applications, enabling customers to work anywhere and on any device.  We continually strive to make it even better, and last year, we announced how we were collaborating with Microsoft to develop an optimized Skype for Business solution that could deliver an even better user experience.  We’re happy to announce general availability of our solution.  Before we go into some of the details, let’s talk about some additional benefits that you get with desktop virtualization or VDI.

 

In addition to enabling a flexible and mobile workforce, there are other big benefits that come along with delivering Skype in a virtual desktop. The first is security – you can secure data in the data center to prevent data leakage outside the organization through chats or exchanged files. You also eliminate threat vectors at the endpoint from malware, dramatically simplifying security initiatives.  Finally, lost or stolen devices won’t compromise sensitive information.  Simplified management is another key benefit with desktop virtualization. You no longer have to manage each individual OS and application on every single endpoint – you can reduce that to just one or a few images for all of your end users, and manage that centrally.  You can even attach dynamic policies to user desktops such as enabling or disabling printers and USB drives, based on whether the user is in a trusted network or not.

 

Centrally deploying Skype in a virtual desktop in the past meant that all the audio and video traffic flowed through the datacenter – this can cause a bottleneck and impact the user experience. That’s why the new optimized solution leverages a media engine at the client to provide media offload capabilities for audio and video calls. This results in a solution that optimally delivers audio and video either directly between end-points for one-on-one collaboration, or offloaded to a central Multipoint Control Unit (MCU) for multi-party conference calls or meetings. The diagram below shows how the optimized solution handles A/V traffic in a peer-to-peer call:

 

5079_MSFTSKYPEBUSHORIZ-Fig-1.jpg

Ultimately, this means users get a great experience, and datacenter resources can be used efficiently to minimize costs.

 

We’re very excited about how our joint solution advances collaboration for our customers, and invite you to learn more or get hands-on with the product through the resources below.

 

Resources:

              Skype for Business Page

              VMware Horizon Page