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Genesys Integrates with Skype for Business

It's no secret that Microsoft Lync and now Skype for Business have gained traction in almost all areas of enterprise communications. The one exception is the contact center -- because Microsoft doesn't have a product in this space. Several contact center vendors integrate with Lync, and one of the biggest and most important -- Genesys -- made a move for the next generation with last week's announcement that it has integrated natively with Skype for Business.

As mentioned in our previous Microsoft Ignite coverage, Microsoft is encouraging native integration with Skype for Business via the new Skype Developer Platform. The Genesys contact center solution is the first public example of integration with Skype for Business Server.

I spoke with Genesys CMO Reed Henry, who told me that the integration and accompanying go-to-market strategy will help enterprises realize a longtime, next-generation goal of contact centers: Tying enterprise employees into the contact center even if they're not agents. That's a vision for which Avaya and Cisco, among others, have long advocated, with coherent strategies, but it's been less straightforward with Microsoft because of the need to integrate third-party contact centers. An existing SIP integration gave some functionality for Genesys-Lync deployments, Henry said, but the native Skype integration will tighten the connection and require less integration work to add features.

The fact that Genesys is not tied to a broader call control platform also made the contact center company a logical early mover in the Skype for Business integration, Henry said. "Our heritage is one where we've had to go into heterogenous environments," he noted.

According to Genesys, the integration allows for video-enabled contact centers and the ability to move among channels seamlessly in a single interaction. The video piece is especially appealing in the large-enterprise financial vertical, said Henry, adding that Genesys is seeing a trend toward financial companies wanting to use more video for communications with high-value investors. (Separately, this is a trend that's also driving many of those big financial houses to be on the cutting edge with WebRTC-based applications.)

The video below does a good job of walking through a scenario that shows how the Genesys-Skype for Business integration might play out in a typical banking situation:

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