Busylights – why and what are they?

Posted by David Smetana on Aug 18, 2017 11:00:10 AM

We all use Skype for Business (SfB), right? For those of you that don’t know what SfB is, it’s the instant communication element of Office 365. It’s chat, calling, conferencing, video, sharing all bundled into one application. It really is an amazing product!

Out the box it can be used internally and Skype to Skype calls are completely free of charge. You can elevate to the next level and use video calling or conferencing or use screen sharing to collaborate on any given task.

You can also turn SfB into a fully-fledged telephone system and that’s what we use for our Managed Service desk. (It goes without saying that this is completely hosted in the Cloud and we have no servers in our office?)

You can either have a dedicated SfB handset on your desk or use a wired or wireless headsets, some of which specifically tie into what is called “unified presence”. This is essentially your availability: are you free, busy, in a call, in a meeting etc. Presence ties into Outlook calendar, showing busy when you have meetings, but also ties into your current usage of SfB to show whether you are on a call or not.


A Busylight is a useful extension of this presence and turns your availability into a series of colours and flashing options to replicate your current status. In practical terms, this means that when I look across the office and want to see who I can pass a call to, I can very easily see who is available and who is busy or in a call. Can you imagine how useful this view would be in your open office floor?

When your phone rings or you get an instant message, the light flashes and the built-in speaker can play a number of ringtones so different employees can have different ringtones across the office. You can also change the colours to align with your company palette!

Apart from the numerous practical uses, it would be fair to say that Busylight is seen as an extension of your Office 365 toolset. It will therefore increase user adoption as employees are far more likely to use SfB as they can physically see the presence of themselves and other users around them.

All in all, we feel that Busylight is a great tool that adds real value across the business. Certainly, in larger offices with an open plan format the value is increased. Whilst we are only a smallish office, the fact that we run a busy service desk makes it invaluable to be able to see instantly who is available.

If you think this is something that you would be interested in then please do not hesitate to give us a call and we would be happy to answer any questions you might have.