Skype is a telecommunications software that allows people to communicate by video chat, voice calls, and instant messages from all around the world on any device. You may have used it yourself to talk to your grandparents in Europe or a university friend teaching in China. If you haven’t taken a look yet at Skype for Business, it’s well work reviewing for your organization’s needs. Launched in April of 2015, the Skype for Business platform is positioned as a business version of the wildly popular consumer Skype product. The “regular” version of Skype has been around for more than a decade. The popular voice and text messaging app now generates over 50 billion minutes of traffic per month, Microsoft reports.
Understanding Skype for Business
Skype for Business is a combination of Skype with Lync, Microsoft’s business communications platform. It has many of the same features of the consumer-oriented software Skype and Windows Live Messenger, but is oriented toward more corporate environments. Whether you need to liaise with a client halfway around the world, organize a conference call with remote employees all across the country, or schedule a webinar for an audience of 250 people, Skype for Business can make it happen.
The Long Term Vision
In addition to the features you would expect to find with Skype – video chat, voice calls, and instant messaging – the long-term vision for Skype for Business is all about collaboration in real time with security you can trust. Schedule meetings in Outlook, manage employee accounts, screen share with hundreds of viewers, organize polls, share Windows applications collaborate on Word, PowerPoint, and Excel documents, and so much more. Skype for Business makes a very compelling case as the future of real-time secure collaboration.
The Benefits Over Regular Skype
Grade A Managing Partner Mathew Lafrance describes the benefits of Skype for Business compared to the consumer version of the software:
This role can assign different permission levels and control different aspects of what people can do. Allow or prevent recordings, control the ability to dial long distance and prevent access once an employee leaves.
Larger Conference Calls
Skype for Business allows up to 250 people on a single meeting or conference call instead of 25. The meetings can easily include people who do not use Skype. They simply follow a link to your meeting. It’s a great tool for webinars and pre-sale meetings.
Presence Integration into Office
Instantly see who’s online from within Outlook or start a conversation from Word within the document creator. The efficiencies you gain from the integration are huge.
In 2016, Microsoft plans to launch Skype for Business as a complete phone system replacement. This will greatly reduce a small business’ communication costs. Handsets are already easily integrated into the system and the ability to tie into any mobile device makes the product very flexible. For Office 365 users, Skype for Business is simply a small monthly add-on to their regular managed IT services plan. Many managed IT services plans already include it. Talk to Grade A to learn more.