Skype for Business - a Name That is Too Long?

29 Jan 2015

I was doing a write up recently about Microsoft Lync, nee Skype for Business, and realized that this name change, while great for Microsoft, is really bad for those of us who write about enterprise UC. Lync was a great name from the perspective of length, only four letters, easy to say and write. In a foreword to the upcoming Skype for Business for Dummies book sponsored by Sonus, I realized that in the forward alone, I had written "Skype for Business" 22 times in a 454-word document. With "Skype for Business" having 18 characters, the change from the four characters of Lync is an increase of over 200 percent. In an article that is limited to 1,000 words (typically about 8,000 characters and has 30 "Skype for Business" as a product description, this means that 30 x 14 or 420 characters will be dedicated to the complete phrase. This is a reduction in overall content of over 5% to stay within the boundaries of the article words.

In thinking about this, I am going to make a suggestion to us as an enterprise UC industry. The suggestion is that we use "SkypeB" to describe the Skype for Business product and "SkypeC" to describe the Skype for Consumer version. This allows us to clearly define the differentiated offers with only a 50% penalty in the Lync-to-SkypeB case (6 versus 4 characters) and a 20% penalty in the Skype-to-SkypeC case (6 versus 5 characters). When referring to the overall family of Microsoft communications and collaboration offers, we can use the basic Skype name.

I hope Microsoft will be comfortable with this naming and adopt it as well. It will make things much easier for all of us who write about Skype and Skype for Business, and will further their goal of having the Skype name as an umbrella for both offers. I look forward to your comments and thoughts.


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