SOF is a framework, a set of practical application / guidance for a successful end-to-end deployment of Skype for business.
SOF is a living framework. In July 2016, the first version was released, it was accompanied by 17 training sessions. In September 2016 right before Ignite a second major update were done, this including cloud migration and 11 new additional training sessions. Future minor and major updates will come for the framework.
"The shift to cloud requires a rethinking of how to Plan, Deliver, and Operate Skype for business Online." - Things we "used to do" might not work so well any more.
SOF is focused on cloud, but the ideas and concepts can be used for on-prem installations as well.
Between the release of the on-prem Lync 2013 to Skype for business Server 2015 a long time passed (like 2 years+) The cloud is changing and adding features at a higher pace.
Technet already contains all the documentation needed to do a cloud migration, technically, so why do we need SOF?
Technet answers how to move an account from on-prem to the cloud. SOF gives the guidance on how to define which users should be moved first, which users should stay on-prem and how do we do the migration in an orderly fashion.
SOF defines what "we" (Skype for business nerds I guess...) mean when we use various terms. E.g. what is a network assessment - it can have different meaning to different people - with SOF we can define what we mean.
A Persona Analysis helps us understand the communication needs of our users, and how these needs will change. "I have a PBX that does 10 things, I want the new system to do these 10 things." - Well, then stay with the old system, but if you want to expand and enhance communications - here's what you can do... Mobile users / remote workers / home users, these are good candidates to move to the cloud. Call center users might not be a good fit to move to the cloud, yet.
Are we "UC ready"? Skype for business online is not an instant messaging / chat system, it is not a conferencing solution, it is not a PBX - it is all these things working together and it is probably different from what is used in the organization today.
The network assessment guidance now contains information about Express Route. Express Route is one of the tools in our toolbox - the assessment will tell us if we should use it or not.
SOF - 3 phases, 12 stages