Microsoft® Skype for Business is gaining widespread adoption as companies replace traditional PBX systems with the Microsoft unified communications platform. The shift to Skype for calls, messaging, online meetings and video can yield dramatic cost savings in both hardware and management. Running Skype as a virtualized app can take these benefits even further by allowing IT to use a single standardized version to support people on every platform in the organization. Virtualization also eliminates the security risks associated with logs and other files stored locally on users’ devices.
However, traditional virtualization delivery methods can significantly degrade performance for Skype, and a frustrating user experience can undermine adoption. IT needs a way to deliver Skype as a virtual app with performance at least as good as a traditional PBX. Together with Microsoft, Citrix has eliminated the performance problems typically associated with virtualized unified communications (UC) apps.
The Citrix HDX RealTime Optimization Pack, developed with and endorsed by Microsoft, allows you to publish Skype for Business as a virtualized application or within a virtual desktop—with the same performance as a local installation.
Microsoft sees huge interest in the virtualized delivery of Skype for Business. To ensure this architecture meets the high standard of performance that our 230,000 shared customers and tens of millions of user expect, Microsoft engineers worked closely with Citrix to develop the HDX RealTime Optimization Pack for Skype for Business. This optimization technology is the only Microsoft-endorsed solution for delivering Skype for Business in a virtual environment.
The HDX RealTime Optimization Pack architecture ensures integration with other Microsoft office products is maintained in a virtual environment. Audio-video quality is “local-like” with smooth call quality and maximum server scalability. Users continue to use Skype accessories and the same user interface to make audio, video, and text calls as they would on a locally installed client. Deliver, manage and monitor RTOP and Skype for Business in the same secure manner as other XenApp and XenDesktop components, on a wide range of Mac and Linux devices—not just Windows.
Traditional local installations of Skype for Business leave corporate data and devices open to security threats. By using XenApp or XenDesktop to deliver Skype virtually, the Skype client and associated data are kept in the data center and never exposed to risk on the device itself. A lost device would not compromise company or customer information, and a malware infection would find nothing to steal. For the user, the experience does not change—they still click a Skype for Business icon to launch the app just as they would in the native interface, even though it’s now running virtually in the datacenter.
The Citrix NetScaler SD-WAN solution (formerly CloudBridge) enhances virtualized Skype for Business in challenging network conditions by providing virtual WAN connectivity for maximum reliability at a reasonable cost. WAN links to branch sites are often responsible for voice and video quality issues in many enterprise networks, because these applications are most vulnerable to bandwidth limitations, delay and packet loss.
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