Should My Company Use Skype for Business for Video Conferencing?

Author: Meghan Kennelly

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Intro to Skype for Business

First, a brief history. Once upon a time, Microsoft launched a tele- and video conferencing service called Lync. People liked its simple, intuitive interface and its trusted security features, but many were hesitant to switch over from Skype.

 

In 2015, after acquiring Skype for $8.5 billion, Microsoft replaced Lync with Skype for Business. Some were confused by the branding – how was it any different from Skype? The two products may look similar on the surface, but one thing is certain: Skype for Business offers much more enterprise functionality than Skype. This article will help you decide whether Skype for Business is right for your organization.

 

Skype for Business is a powerful application that arms you with the tools you need to communicate effectively. It can be your audio conferencing bridge, an instant messaging tool, a web conferencing solution, and even a replacement for your phone.

 

As a consumer product, Skype is free to use when dialing other Skype users, and the service is supported by advertisements. Skype for Business, on the other hand, is subscription-based and has no ads. While Skype has a limit of 25 attendees for online meetings, Skype for Business allows you to host much larger meetings. You can also record meetings with Skype for Business, which is not possible with Skype’s built-in functionality.

 

Skype for Business video conference provides instant messaging, desktop sharing, and much more. By integrating Skype for Business into Office 365, Microsoft has created a seamless experience for collaborating and hosting online meetings. Available for mobile devices, Skype for Business extends beyond the desktop, so you have the flexibility to connect with anyone, anywhere.

 

Skype For Business’ Strengths

Skype for Business offers the best-in-class functionality of an enterprise unified communications solution, but built into the user-friendly Skype interface. The chief selling point of Skype for Business is its native integration into the Office 365 ecosystem. You can use Office applications like PowerPoint in your video conferences, without skipping a beat.  

 

One of the first things you’ll notice with Skype for Business is that it looks a lot like, well, Skype. The round photo icons, presence indicators, and contact list will all feel familiar, which makes for a pain-free learning curve.  

 

Skype for Business also excels in security. Its robust encryption helps keep your company’s communication safe and protected.

 

Skype has always been an excellent platform for file transfers, and Skype for Business makes it even easier. Simply drag and drop a file to send it to another user. You and the recipient can see the file name, type, and size of what they’re about to download.

 

In 2016, Microsoft launched Skype Meetings, a tool offering HD video conferencing from any smart device or operating system. Skype Meetings also allows users to use whiteboards, laser pointers, and share screens. It’s like a diet Skype for Business that works right out of your web browser and can be deployed with a customized URL. Many businesses like this feature for ad hoc client meetings.

 

Is Skype for Business Right for Small Businesses?

You might be wondering why you should upgrade to Skype for Business if normal, free Skype already works well for your needs. The truth is, Skype alone is more than adequate for businesses of around 20 people or less, with its free Skype-to-Skype calling, instant messaging, and screen sharing.

 

That said, even though Skype may be adequate, many start-ups and small businesses are switching over to Skype for Business because of its added features, improved security, and the ability to scale up as your company grows.  
 

Is Skype for Business Right for Enterprise?

For large enterprises, Microsoft recommends Skype for Business over Skype. Features like Skype Meeting Broadcast – which allows for broadcasts of up to 10,000 (yes, 10,000!) participants – leading enterprise-level encryption, Cloud PBX with PSTN Calling, and PSTN conferencing make it the right choice for large businesses. The encryption alone is valuable for businesses of any size.

 

YVC-1000MS-White-Background.jpgProducts that Use Skype for Business

Yamaha and Revolabs are bringing large meetings to life with products that support Skype for Business video conference. From the CS-700 all-in-one huddle room unit to the YVC-1000MS Microphone and Speaker System, these systems meet Microsoft’s highest standards. In fact, the YVC-1000MS was recently certified by Microsoft for Skype for Business use. They provide natural, clear audio that showcases the platform’s virtual meeting experience.

 

While Skype for Business looks and feels like Skype, its added productivity and security features make it a far more robust solution.

 

Questions? We’d love to help