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Many security-conscious organizations, such as in aerospace or defense, must decide how they will communicate internally now that Skype for Business is reaching end-of-life. What are the alternatives? And do the alternatives meet high standards of data control, security, and customizability, so that an organization’s individual and often unique needs can be met?   


To get answers to these questions, we talked to Carmine Squillace from CCNet. Carmine is an experienced privacy auditor and IT security specialist who works with organizations that need to choose carefully when looking for a Skype for Business replacement for their communication needs.     


We asked Carmine to share some experiences and insights with readers, with the aim to give guidance and support to other organizations facing similar challenges related to the sunsetting of Skype for Business. Here’s an extract of our conversation.  



What are some common challenges in terms of requirements for data sovereignty, customization, and comprehensive data protection when selecting a Skype for Business replacement solution? 


"Many Skype for Business users will need to find new solutions. Often companies have deliberately chosen an on-premises implementation because they have reached the limits of typical cloud solutions due to high data protection requirements. They need a platform that can be customized to their specific business processes and security needs.  There are three key things a typical customer is looking for:  

  • A customizable solution that integrates seamlessly with their IT infrastructure  
  • A solution that meets the highest privacy standards 
  • A solution that increases control over the management and security of communications data"


What’s a secure and robust alternative to Skype for Business?   


"The combination of the chat solution Rocket.Chat and the video communication platform Pexip allows for easy on-premises hosting. This ensures that data sovereignty requirements can be met, which is a top priority for security-conscious companies. Furthermore, both Pexip and Rocket.Chat offer great scalability, security and complete control over their data and advanced security features such as end-to-end encryption that go beyond the standard capabilities of cloud services.    In addition, APIs offer our customers extensive customization options, from integration into existing workflows to design in the company's own branding."



 What is the added value of the combination of Rocket.Chat and Pexip?   


"Unlike generic cloud solutions that offer limited integration and customization options, Rocket.Chat and Pexip enable a robust on-premises alternative that meets the requirements of GDPR and ISO 27001. The integration of CDR (Content Disarm & Reconstruction) and DLP (Enterprise Data Loss Prevention) technologies provides a revolutionary solution that not only fundamentally simplifies but redefines GDPR and ISO27001 compliance. This combination in a chat function is unique and represents a significant feature. By ensuring the highest security standards, this solution enables seamless and secure communication, while focusing on high solution performance, stability and a positive user experience for the end user."



What are the typical project phases for implementing this replacement for Skype for Business?   


"Project phases play a crucial role, especially for projects in critical or safety-critical areas. Typically, the project begins with the project agreement, which defines the technical specifications, objectives, and schedule. This includes access to the infrastructure, where the physical and virtual infrastructure is configured, as well as complete installation at the sites, including server configuration and software installation. It is important to consider data protection requirements at the outset and define exactly what personal data will be processed and how it will be protected. Measures to ensure system availability and integrity should also be planned at this stage.


It is also important to establish a coherent network for secure communication between sites, followed by a test phase and final project acceptance. Local configuration is a very important part, as international companies often have to consider different countries and regions with their own local rules and policies. Data must always remain in the country in which it was created, which also provides a high level of security for the data processing policies of local companies.


Security-certified employees are also important in this context. They play a key role in the implementation of security-related solutions. Their qualifications and training are essential to ensure data protection and resilience. Only by taking a holistic view of these aspects can solutions be successfully implemented in critical areas of the business. "


Thank you to Carmine and CCNet for sharing insights and expertise with us! To learn more about how Pexip and Rocket.Chat can serve as a secure and customizable replacement for your Skype for Business solution, get in touch today. 


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