Microsoft has released a preview of the software development kit for its Skype for Business software, enabling developers to integrate instant messaging, audio and video calls into their existing iOS and Android applications using Skype's technology.
The SDK was previewed at Microsoft's Build 2016 conference, where the company hyped the ease of integration into native mobile apps that the SDK would bring, citing a pilot the company ran with online healthcare provider MDLive.
MDLive provides telehealth solutions aimed at connecting patients and physicians via mobile devices, and through its collaboration with Microsoft, the company was able to develop a secure system for patients and healthcare providers to communicate, share and review medical records, lab results and assessments.
"Skype for Business will provide MDLive with a much more scalable architecture, so we can accommodate even higher volumes of video consults daily," said Randy Parker, founder and CEO of MDLive. "The adoption of Skype for Business also enables us to deliver a significantly improved user experience for both patients and physicians."
The SDK preview's initial focus is on powering 'remote advisor' solutions, enabling consumer mobile apps to communicate with businesses that already make use of Skype for Business elsewhere, and helping those businesses leverage the existing power of their infrastructure to communicate with customers like never before.
Looking ahead, the full SDK will combine the power of cloud voice, messaging and video meeting software with new cloud APIs, so that the software can be integrated across a range of web and device platforms, driving new ways of interaction.
"The Skype for Business team is always on the lookout for new ways to bring greater value to our customers," said James Skay, senior product marketing manager for the Skype for Business team. "We look for new and innovative ideas that connect people together utilising the power of our platform."