A series of technical papers about Microsoft Skype for Business and
integration with standards compliant videoconferencing systems

The following is a series of papers that specifically looks at Microsoft® Skype® for Business 2015 (Lync® 2013) and the challenges and solutions for integrating Skype for Business 2015 (Lync 2013) with H.323 or SIP standards compliant videoconferencing systems.

Within these papers the terms, Lync, Skype, Skype for Business and SfB, unless stated otherwise, all refer to Skype for Business Server 2015. The paper is specifically based on Skype for Business 2015. Whilst Lync 2013 has now been renamed Skype for Business 2015, it is generally backwards compatible with Lync Server 2013.

It is recommended that you look all the papers listed below for a background into Skype for Business and a detailed explanation about the Codecs, Protocols, Procedures and some of the available solutions



Part 1: How Skype for Business 2015 - (Lync 2013) can be Deployed

This paper provides an overview of the various methods in which Skype for Business 2015 - SfB (Lync 2013) can be deployed. We will show the four main methods of deploying Skype for Business 2015; listing their servers and indicating the connections along with the protocols that they use. It will focus on the communications used in A/V Conferencing and Application Sharing. As you read through this and the other papers, it should become apparent that Skype for Business 2015 is modular and that there is no one solution that covers everything.


Part 2: Skype for Business 2015 Servers, Roles and their Functions.

This paper shows the Skype for Business 2015 - (Lync 2013) Servers in a typical On-Premise deployment and discusses the Roles and their Functions. With reference to the On-Premise deployment diagram, we will show all the Skype for Business 2015 servers and discuss each servers roles and functions with the aim of helping you to determine what actual servers you need for your specific Skype for Business deployment. It will focus mainly on the communications used in A/V Conferencing and Application Sharing.


Part 3: Networks & Protocols used by Skype for Business 2015 - (Lync 2013).

This paper provides details of the Networks & Protocols used by Microsoft Skype for Business 2015 - (Lync 2013). We will show the communications links and indicate the various protocols used between servers and devices by Skype for Business 2015 when A/V Conferencing and Application Sharing. This will form the basis for understanding the challenges that must be overcome when integrating Skype for Business 2015 with H.323 or SIP standards compliant videoconferencing systems.


Part 4: Lifesize Cloud integration with Skype for Business 2015 - (Lync 2013).

This paper shows how Lifesize Cloud clients can fully interoperate with Microsoft® Skype® for Business 2015 (Lync® 2013) clients. We show the network topology and the major functions of the infratsructure so you can see the interaction between Lifesize Cloud and the Skype for Business 2015. We explain how this solution overcomes the challenges and how to make calls. Also shows how other H.323 and/or SIP endpoints can join the Cloud VMR - Virtual Meeting Room along with the Skype for Business clients


Part 5: Polycom Endpoints Native Integration with Skype for Business 2015.

This paper discusses and shows how Polycom videoconferencing endpoints support Native Integration with Microsoft® Skype® for Business Servers and hence can fully interoperate with Microsoft clients. Currently, only the RealPresence Group series with Skype for Business Integration option and HDX series with RTV/CCCP option are the Polycom endpoints that support Native Integration with Skype for Business 2015 or Lync. But the version of Lync, 2010, 2013 (or Skype for Business) and the extent of integration is dependent on which endpoint is deployed and its software level.


Part 6: Polycom RealConnect Interoperability with Skype for Business 2015.

This paper will discuss and show how Polycom® RealConnect™ provides a solution for standards compliant H.323/SIP endpoints to interoperate with Microsoft® Skype® for Business 2015 (Lync® 2013) clients. It shows the Polycom RealConnect concept and network topology, then explains the major functions of the RealConnect infrastructure and how these connect with the Skype for Business servers so that you can see how the interactions take place between legacy H.323/SIP endpoints and the Skype for Business 2015 clients. This will explain how this solution overcomes the challenges and how calls are established


Appendix A: H.264 Video Codecs and UCConfig Modes.

This paper provides a backgrounding into H.264 Video Codecs and UCConfig Modes and how they are used by Skype for Business 2015 (Lync 2013). We will provide a background to how the H.26X standard has evolved since the original ITU-T developed H.261 standard. Show how H.264 SVC compares to H.264 AVC and introduce the UCConfig Modes used by Microsoft and Polycom. This will form the basis for understanding the challenges that must be overcome when integrating with H.323 or SIP based systems


Appendix B: Skype for Business Video and Audio Codecs.

This paper provides a backgrounding into the Video and Audio Codecs used by Skype for Business 2015. We will specifically look at each of the video and audio codecs available to Skype for Business 2015 and Lync 2013 clients when A/V Conferencing and Application Sharing; this will then highlight the differences and challenges that need to be resolved when integrating with H.323 or SIP standards compliant videoconferencing systems.   


Appendix C: Video and Audio Codecs used by H.323 and SIP VC systems.

This paper looks at the Video and Audio Codecs used by Standards Compliant H.323 and SIP videoconferencing systems. We will specifically look at the main video and audio codecs available to Standards Compliant H.323 and SIP systems when A/V Conferencing and Application Sharing; this will then highlight the differences and challenges that need to be resolved when integrating with Microsoft Skype for Business 2015 (Lync 2013) clients


Appendix D: How to check what Skype for Business codecs your PC supports.

This paper shows how to check what Skype for Business 2015 - (Lync 2013) codecs your PC supports. Before you start using the Skype for Business client on your chosen device, it's obviously useful to know just what Skype for Business audio and video codecs it can support. We will provide a step-by-step guide that shows exactly how to enable 'logging', create a new log file, trace a call and then examine this log file to determine what Skype for Business codecs your PC supports


This paper will show how to check the five main areas of your PC that affect the maximum resolution it can support with Microsoft H.264/SVC. In a Skype for Business video conference, the sending client has to encode the video into H.264/SVC and transmit the media stream, then the receiving client has to decode the H.264/SVC stream and display it. This is obviously a two-way process that both clients have to do. So the PC's ability to both encode and decode H.264/SVC will have an impact on what can be achieved