Its amazing to me how little information there is in this digital world on the new Skype for Business 2015 (and 2016) for implementations. After searching for valid information that doesn't contradict itself on TechNet, MVP blogs and countless other sites of interest there still is no solid information as a reference with which will help me do something I think should be very simple.
A single straight forward server deployment that allows my enterprise users to make use of the product on their desktops, laptops, cell phones and tablets with the ability to share their meetings with other (Skype for Business) S4B users as well as other "outside of our domain" Skype (standard) users was all we were looking for? In Microsoft terms this means a Front End server for communications, an Edge server and Reverse Proxy to traverse firewalls, two distinct network tie ins, and a SQL server to monitor and map usage and aid in support efforts.
This seems like it should be a no-brainer for a battle tested IT Tech? I've been deploying MS server products for 15 years+ and yet this one has been nearly impossible to get straightened out and its frustrating to no end. , but its been anything but the truth! After all, most businesses have this ability. What I am learning though is that almost every installation requires an outside contractor setup, or in the case of Federation Microsoft now wants you to run it through subscription services on Office 365 - a monthly fee per user of course applies?
Business to Business communications should be simple, effective and easy to implement. When you make a product so hard to setup that it requires experts, it removes the users personal experience and also takes away the relationship trust between a an onsite tech at a business and their employees. It might be profitable for Microsoft, but it drives a wedge into the trust relationship that should be supported, not broken.
Pay attention Microsoft, because the more you drive the help-desk, admins & engineers away from their users and replace it with your own managed model, the less product that business will likely buy.
I'm busy working on my blog posts. Watch this space!