Skype Image credit Pixabay/TheDigitalArtistManageEngine has announced the addition of Skype for Business Server reporting functionality to Exchange Report Plus. Explaining the reason behind the enhancement ManageEngine wrote: “When it comes to reporting, the Skype for Business native control panel is cumbersome and time-consuming to use; PowerShell is a good alternative but only for those proficient in scripting.”

ManageEngine has now released the new functionality to address that pain point. Within Exchange Reporter Plus there is a new Skype for business dashboard that presents the collated usage data visually. There are two types of reporting available, the first is around the configuration of the system. This includes Skype for Business pools, sites and SQL instances. The second is around system usage. The usage reporting covers several areas:

  • Conference calls : Including their configuration, content storage, grace periods, and maximum file upload size.
  • Instant Messaging: The number of sessions and message counts by user.
  • Audio and Video calls: Detailed usage information.
  • File transfers: Details on the file transfers that are occurring across the organisation.

Manikandan Thangaraj, Director of Product Management at ManageEngine commented: “With all the problems that come with native Skype reporting, administrators are looking for a better alternative, one that’s faster and easier to use. Going forward, we plan to make admins’ lives even easier by expanding the Skype for Business capabilities in Exchange Reporter Plus to include auditing and monitoring features.”

How do you get it?

Exchange Report Plus is a web based analysis and reporting tool for Microsoft Exchange Servers. It generates a wide variety of reports about an organisations Exchange environment. It features include reporting, auditing and active monitoring of the environment. Auditing and monitoring are only available in the professional edition. For those looking to try out the solution there is an evaluation edition which is usable for 60 days and a free edition which only works for up to 25 mailboxes. Exchange Reporter Plus (Standard edition) is available for $345 per year for 100 Mailboxes, it is this edition that is used for the free edition. The Professional edition starts at $595 per year for 100 mailboxes. The Skype reporting forms part of this solution at no additional cost and is available for 25 Skype users within the free edition.

What does this mean?

ManageEngine already has Skype for Business Online reporting as part of its Office365 Manager Plus. It is now including that functionality for those with on premises environments. This is not the only solution available to manage Skype environments. ENOW provide Uniscope which provides similar monitoring and reporting functionality. It does not provide the wider Exchange reporting. They do however, offer another product that does, Mailscape.

For administrators, this delivers quick access to understand their Skype environment. What should follow is a number of enhancements. ManageEngine listens to its users feedback suggestions or shortcomings about the product. It will then provide an even better more focused solution in the first iteration. For now, Skype for Business Server reporting will give administrators a quick overview of their environment. As Thangaraj stated when the monitoring and auditing tools are also available this will become a powerful tool for administrators of Skype environments.


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