How to Use Skype for Business to Mediate a Dispute

In a mediation session, it is important for both parties to feel comfortable and safe. The mediator can help the parties move forward by addressing their issues in a way that makes sense for them.

Depending on the parties’ wishes, mediation sessions can take place face-to-face or via Skype/FaceTime/Zoom and even by telephone. If the mediation is conducted in person, it may last from a few hours to a full day and into the evening.

Online mediation is becoming increasingly popular, particularly as people work remotely or are travelling frequently for business. While it can be less formal than a traditional face-to-face session, it is still very effective and provides the same outcome: a resolution to the dispute that works for both parties. Mediation can be used to settle disputes involving commercial or domestic matters, or as a prelude to litigation.

In the past, online mediation was often provided by solicitors or other private practitioners. However, more recently, many public sector organisations have started offering online mediation services, using either solicitors or trained lay mediators. Some local authorities have also set up dedicated teams of officers to mediate specific types of cases.

Mediation can be delivered via face-to-face, online or by telephone, and there are different models that the parties might choose, including shuttle mediation, where both parties meet with the mediator at the same time but separate rooms. The mediator moves between the two rooms to listen and encourage discussion.

Some cases can be resolved through conciliation, where the mediator tries to get both parties to agree on an acceptable resolution. Others might be more complex and require an adjudicator, such as a judge or arbitrator. In some jurisdictions, it is mandatory for all disputes to go through mediation before being decided by a court or tribunal.

For an on-premises deployment, a standalone Mediation Server can support approximately 1000 gateways during peak busy periods. This is based on the assumption that each gateway has a Media Bypass enabled, which bypasses the call admission control (CAC) of the Skype for Business server, and that there are no links with constrained bandwidth. The number of gateways that a single Mediation Server can support is limited by its processing capacity, and the hardware on which it is deployed, as described in Server requirements for Skype for Business Server 2015.

A new server role available with on-premises deployments of Skype for Business is called the Video Interoperability Server (VIS), which supports connectivity between supported videoconferencing devices and the conference auto attendant on the Front End pool hosted by the collocated Mediation Server. VIS is configured as a SIP Proxy for VTCs and connects external clients to internal ICE components, enabling them to traverse NATs and firewalls. It can also work with a SIP trunking service provider to provide PSTN support, eliminating the need for a separate PSTN gateway. skype mediation

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