Microsoft brings Skype to Salesforce users

by Radu Tyrsina
Radu Tyrsina
Radu Tyrsina
CEO & Founder
Radu Tyrsina has been a Windows fan ever since he got his first PC, a Pentium III (a monster at that time). For most of the kids of... read more
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The partnership between Microsoft and Salesforce with their Skype for Business App SDK has allowed their customers to make video and audio calls without having to leave their browsers. On 29th September, Microsoft announced the beta availability of its new Skype for Salesforce integration.

“Skype for Salesforce surfaces the capabilities of Skype for Business Online directly within Salesforce to give sellers the ability to communicate in real time with colleagues straight from the Salesforce Lightning Experience,” stated by the Microsoft’s Skype Business team in a blog post.

The latest update enables developers to effortlessly integrate presence, chat, audio and video features to transform Skype into a powerful business client. Now clients can establish direct, real-time communication network with their employees internationally using the latest Skype features for Business Online, all the while enjoying a complete Salesforce Lightning Experience.

The SalesForce Lighting Experience was introduced by the company as a “complete interface redesign” back in August 2015. It first appeared on the Salesforce Sales Cloud and boasted a customizable and sleek interface that made developing apps on this platform a piece of cake.

“Simply hover your mouse over a name in the activity timeline, a record or a list and you can immediately see whether a co-worker is online and available,” they added. “The ability to see a person’s status, within the context of a CRM activity, allows you to choose the most effective form of communication.”

So, now in situations when you need a prompt answer but the other person is on call, you can receive an instant response via the chat feature instead of having to send an email. Also, you can start a video/voice call or a chat with just a single click without having to switch between browsers.

If you are a novice user, there are brief instructions available on the Salesforce online document where you can learn how to enable this functionality. All you’ll be needing is a Salesforce Enterprise or Unlimited Edition subscription along with a Skype for Business Online account, while the Business Online Account is already included in many Office 365 plans.

At the moment, the best browser options for using Skype Salesforce are Microsoft Edge and Apple Safari, both of which provide support for both audio and video calling while texting is supported by all browsers. Microsoft reported that adding compatibility with Chrome and Firefox is currently in the works.

This version also comes with interesting aspects like blurring the line between Skype contacts and the user’s iPhone address book, allowing Skype contacts to be saved directly into their device. So, now iPhone users are able to make calls, have video chats or launch a Skype IM without having to navigate to the app.

And it doesn’t end here: iPhone users who upgraded to iOS 10 or are using iPhone 7 can now use Apple’s infamous virtual assistant Siri to customize the Skype app and bring up contacts. Microsoft announced on September 28:

“We’re also extending this SiriKit functionality to our Skype for Business iOS apps in October, giving business users the same easy access using Siri commands,”

SiriKit is an iOS feature for developers to create apps compatible with the “Siri for voice commands” functionality.

Courtesy of the latest iOS 10 framework “CallKit”, now all Skype incoming calls will show up as regular network calls on the user’s device. Microsoft is intending to introduce CallKit support in October just like SiriKit to their Skype for Business iOS apps.

“This will make it easy to switch between or answer Skype and regular calls using the built-in iOS functionality you are already used to,” Microsoft declared.

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