Recently there has been a large amount of press around the Skype Operations Framework (SOF). You can read the official blurb and explanations at www.skypeoperationsframework.com but what, in real terms, does it mean for you and your organisation?
Well, let’s look at the reason that SOF exists… Skype for Business can be deployed on-premise but more frequently now, it is being consumed from Office 365 through Skype for Business Online.
Either way, Skype for Business has key elements that need to be addressed properly to avoid the project running into problems. SOF was introduced to ensure that when partners deliver a Skype for Business solution, all the key considerations are pulled into the equation. Missing out on some of these areas can leave your organisation exposed and potentially lead to a project that doesn’t deliver what was originally promised.
Consider this scenario: The Skype for Business product is working perfectly, however your network has a poor wireless infrastructure… ergo, the end user experience is poor and therefore the perception is that Skype for Business is rubbish… But this is not the case! Putting in place certain checks and measures helps reduce the risk of failure, poor user adoption and lack of utilisation.
SOF - what are the key areas to take note of?
- Envision: Defining really clear and well understood goals for the organisation and the project. This is not just technical, but is also commercial and end user focussed.
- Assess: Ensuring that when you roll out Skype for Business, with whichever modalities you choose, your infrastructure and business is prepared for the coming changes.
- Deploy: Taking the business and technical information from the assessment and incorporating it into the project.
- Enable: Driving the adoption of the product, by building in the end user experience and business requirements to help provide and promote that daily, habitual cultural change.
- Operate: Providing the right structure, processes and mechanisms to deliver a successful support service.
As a business looking at Skype for Business, what should SOF mean for you?
- Your chosen Skye for Business partner should hold SOF accreditation. If the SOF guidelines are followed, you will have the right level of Executive sponsorship, planning, technical and business considerations, adoption strategy and so on;
- It also means, and this seems to be largely misunderstood, that as the client, you have a framework that should, if used correctly, provide good visibility and confidence in the deployment process.
In a nutshell, SOF is not some overly complicated framework introduced by Microsoft to complicate or lengthen the process and delivery. This framework is scalable to meet your needs. The more you put into the framework, the more you will get out; and the better the result. Make sure both you and your partner delivering your solution understand SOF.
If someone says you don’t need it, or that they haven’t used it, think again.
Modality Systems has recently launched three new Skype Operations Framework compatible cloud service packages, designed to optimise Microsoft Office 365 communications and collaboration technologies to enable your business to achieve digital transformation.
For more information on our three packages, use the links below:
Head of Pre-Sales