Microsoft has announced that they are teaming up with BMW to bring Skype in the latest BMW 5 series, according to a blog post on Microsoft’s official blog.
Microsoft says the main reason for bringing Skype for Business to BMW models is because people spend a lot of time in their car, which becomes a sort of office for business (I agree with this, when I was younger my mom had to take business calls in the car, which had Bluetooth connectivity because driving around three children restricted the time she was in her office). Adding Skype could increase the productivity rate of people who aren’t always at their desk at all times of the day.
Currently, there are over 100 million people who use Office 365 a month for business purposes, according to the Microsoft blog post announcing Skype will be added to the BMW 5 series. By adding Skype for Business to cars, Microsoft believes that coordinating, rescheduling and holding meetings through your car will help people significantly since they won’t be tempted to pick up their phone for work purposes while driving.
“With BMW Connected we offer a wide range of digital services designed to help users with their daily mobility needs inside and outside of the car. We seek to continuously extend and enhance the customer experience with regard to all aspects of their mobility,” said Dieter May, BMW senior vice president, Digital Products and Services in the blog post. “The integration of productivity features in-car (like Exchange and Skype for Business) and personalized and contextual services will help customers with their day-to-day work and planning while they are on the road.”
Previously BMW and Microsoft have worked together on BMW Connected, whose digital interface is powered by Open Mobility, a cloud system based on the Microsoft Azure cloud which launched in 2016 according to a blog post from Microsoft. Also, BMW Connected is a phone app, so that drivers can easily sync what they need to their car.
“BMW Connected is more than an app. It’s an experience on top of an intelligent platform that can learn about your driving habits,” said Thom Brenner, BMW Group vice president of Digital Life in the blog post announcing BMW Connected. “We are building this platform as a foundation for our future services and experiences … and Microsoft Azure and Azure services gave us the right tools.”
Later in 2016, BMW began offering Office 365 in their BMW 5 series so that people can do work in their car without having to pick up their phone. This included Microsoft Exchange, which could sync to your car so that you had what you need to do available in your car. Now, the BMW 5 series will include Skype for Business so that people can have video chat meetings in their cars.
“By adopting Microsoft’s Office suite of productivity tools, including Microsoft Exchange and Skype for Business, BMW will give its drivers a new way to securely and safely extend their daily digital lives across their homes, their cars and workplaces,” said the Microsoft News Center Staff in the blog post. “At Microsoft we aim to help automakers create connected car solutions that fit seamlessly with their brands and address their customers’ unique needs, and our partnership with BMW is a shining example of what’s possible.”
It is definitely very interesting to see that Skype will now be a feature in BMW models. I’m not completely keen on how safe this might be due to the fact that people can get distracted very easily while driving, but I’m assuming Microsoft has tested out Skye for Business in cars to make sure its safe.
Featured image via Wikimedia Commons.