Mobile Skype for Business Usage is Set to Skyrocket

Mobile use of Skype for Business is expected to nearly double by 2018.

According to Osterman Research, while organizations view the mobile client as an essential component in their overall unified communications (UC) strategy, there are significant quality and service management issues that need to be resolved before IT departments can commit to enterprise-wide rollouts. The firm’s report also found that 16% of organizations are deploying Skype for Business mobile on a very limited basis to VIPs only.

The report also found that nearly half of IT organizations are “somewhat” satisfied with the use of Skype for Business on mobile devices, while 16% are somewhat dissatisfied or very dissatisfied due to technical issues.

 For the organizations that have deployed Skype for Business mobile client, troubleshooting on mobile devices consumes nearly 30% of IT’s total time spent troubleshooting the platform. This is excessive considering the mobile client is typically deployed to small groups. Respondents identified mobile battery life and the inability to see application sharing content on the mobile client as top inhibitors of adoption – both 28%. Closely following is the belief that functionality and feature set is sub-par to desktop (27%) and lack of time dedicated by IT to deploy and train end-users (24%).

“The true measure of success of Skype for Business is end-user satisfaction. If organizations are limiting mobile deployment to just VIPs, their odds of ensuring ROI plummet,” said Scott Gode, VP of product marketing at Unify Square, which sponsored the report. “The goal should be to make mobile a central part of the overall UC strategy for the entire enterprise. The more end-users feel empowered to use Skype for Business, the less they’ll feel compelled to bypass for other chat applications.”

Skype for business is predominantly deployed on desktops and laptops, with two thirds of respondents saying these are the primary channels. Only 20% of respondents had already enabled Skype for Business on their mobile device, according to the survey. And organizations aren’t utilizing the platform to the fullest extent. Surprisingly, the survey uncovered that IT is unaware of a several mobile-oriented features, including Simul-ring (34%), call transfer (18%) and callback (18%).

Also,when it comes to Skype for Business managing and monitoring for the mobile client, only 4% of organizations cited “very satisfied” with the telemetry and analytics information made available by Microsoft.

Bottom line? Until Microsoft addresses the limitations of the Skype for Business mobile client by providing adequate tools and training, IT will continue with slower rollouts. But, despite the challenges facing IT, mobile still remains a top priority. One in five survey respondents either agree or strongly agree that a robust and functional Skype for Business mobile client is essential to their organizations’ overall UC strategy. For this reason, Skype for Business usage on mobile devices is expected to nearly double by 2018 – From 20% today to 39% in 2018.

“Adoption and early satisfaction of the Skype for Business mobile client found in our survey clearly indicate organizations want to make mobile a core building block of their UC strategy, but quality issues as well as availability of tools and data needed for troubleshooting are making IT shy away from enterprise-wide rollouts,” said Michael D. Osterman, president of Osterman Research. “IT is wary of potential negative ROI, and is looking to Microsoft for the obvious mobile fixes at both the client and server side. Absent these changes they risk having their competition beat them to the punch.”

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