If you work at a tech-friendly midmarket company or enterprise, chances are good that you’ve heard of Skype for Business® (formerly Microsoft Lync), the tech giant’s communications platform that’s designed with the unique needs of businesses in mind. What you might not be familiar with are the product’s ins and outs and why more and more companies are adopting this package for their online communication needs. Let’s take a look at what makes this product a must-have tool for businesses of all sizes and how Lifesize further enhances its functionality.

What Is Skype for Business, and How Does It Work?

Put simply, Skype for Business is instant messaging on steroids. This isn’t Google Talk or Yahoo! Instant Messenger; this is their grown-up sibling who’s got a corner office. Whether two people are across the hall or across the international dateline from each other, Skype for Business lets them communicate via instant messaging, share their screens and chat over voice or video–all in one interface. And it’s backed by Microsoft®, a company known for producing innovative, but functional, programs geared toward the needs of the business world.

That’s what makes Lifesize such a good fit for enhancement. We designed our award-winning Lifesize® Cloud video conferencing service with Skype for Business interoperability in mind. When Skype for Business customers are considering Lifesize Cloud, they are typically using Skype for Business at their desks or on their laptops and are interested in Lifesize Cloud as a way to improve and extend that experience. Here are the top five reasons that businesses are enhancing their existing Skype for Business environments with Lifesize Cloud.

1. Extending Skype for Business to the meeting room

For a superior meeting room experience, you can add Lifesize® Icon™ video systems to your existing Skype for Business environment. Lifesize Icon is a powerful, yet easy-to-use, video conferencing solution and is perfectly sized for every size meeting room—from huddle rooms to boardrooms and auditoriums.

2. Improving call experience

Lifesize Cloud provides full-screen, HD video on laptops, tablets, and smartphones and even in your web browser. With up to 40-way group calling and a variety of continuous-presence layouts, it makes video conferencing as easy, as lifelike and as remarkable as meeting in person.

3. Adding international audio-only calls to your Skype for Business meetings

Lifesize Cloud provides both video and audio conferencing all in one simple-to-use solution with local audio dial-in numbers from more than 50 countries.

4. Connecting on any device or browser

With Lifesize Cloud, everyone can have a seat at the meeting, even if they don’t have Skype for Business–capable smartphones or tablets. Lifesize Cloud has robust mobile apps and a browser-based app easily accessible from Microsoft Internet Explorer® and other leading browsers.

5. Scheduling meetings the same way you always have

Lifesize Cloud offers an add-in for Microsoft® Outlook®, letting you easily schedule your video meetings from Outlook just like you would any other meeting.

Bottom line—Skype for Business is a wise investment if your enterprise values an integrated online communication platform, but it’s even better coupled with Lifesize Cloud. If you want to learn more about Lifesize Cloud enhancements and interoperability, check out our guide on the Top Five Reasons Lifesize Cloud Enhances Microsoft Skype for Business or view the on-demand webinar today.