Skype for Business
Skype has long been a mainstay of personal communication, offering an inexpensive way for people to connect with others across the globe. While you might be familiar with Skype, what you might not know, is that Skype can be a powerful tool for business communication as well.
Skype for Business provides an easy, secure way to collaborate in a business environment, reducing the need for costly travel expenses.
If you’re still using the free version of Skype in your organization, there are some compelling reasons to consider integrating Skype for Business into your workplace. From team building, to high quality video conferencing, and reliable communication, there is no better time than the present to upgrade your inter-office communication and utilize this tool to support your mobile workforce.
What is Skype for Business?
What is now known as Skype for Business used to be called Lync, and many people still know it by that name.
In its simplest terms, Skype for Business is a tool for audio and video meetings, as well as a useful app for instant messaging.
Skype for Business is now part of the Microsoft Office 365 suite of products, offering seamless, secure business collaboration across time zones and international borders.
Skype vs. Skype for Business: What’s the Difference?
If you’re familiar with the personal version of Skype, you should have no trouble using the business version of this tool. There are, however, some key differences to be aware of – these differences could have a big impact on your business.
The most notable difference between the traditional and business version if Skype is the ability to scale. According to Microsoft, traditional Skype is suitable for businesses of up to 20 people.
Skype for Business provides support for larger firms, as it has additional capabilities and greater ease of use for office settings.
Skype for Business offers a broadcast feature, allowing businesses to broadcast their Skype meetings online to as many as 10,000 people. This feature provides a great opportunity for businesses of all sizes.
Small to mid-sized businesses could broadcast meetings to their staff and customer base while larger organizations could broadcast meetings to employees throughout multiple locations and time zones.
Is Skype for Business Secure?
When it comes to business, security is always an important consideration.
Rest assured, Skype for Business is built on a secure platform.
All video, voice communications, instant messages and file transfers are encrypted, providing protection against eavesdropping and interception.
How much does a Skype for Business Account Cost?
Skype is famously free for domestic calls, but the business version uses a different fee structure.
There are a number of Skype account types, each designed to address the needs of a particular type of business.
Skype for Business offers two basic plans for small businesses. The most basic plan, known as Online Plan 1, charges $2 per month for each user. This plan is very similar to the basic version of Skype.
The second plan, known as Online Plan 2, costs $5.50 per month of service.
This higher level of service also includes high-definition video for group conferences, as well as the ability to join meetings right from a standard web browser.
Is Skype for Business a Good Fit for Your Organization?
This depends on a number of factors, including the size of your business, your communication needs and your budget.
If your business is centrally located, with a single office and no remote workers, you can probably get by without a business account.
But if your business consists of several offices in a variety of locations, a Skype for Business account could be a great way to facilitate communication, foster teamwork and keep everyone on the same page.
7 Reasons to Start Using Skype for Business Today
It’s no secret that remote workers and a mobile workforce are increasingly rising in popularity – with businesses of all sizes.
Communication is critically important in today’s mobile workforce, and applications like Skype can support this growing need for constant communication, regardless of location.
Why use Skype for Business?
- You May Already Have It. Skype for Business is part of the Office 365 suite of products, so if you use Office 365, you already have access to this powerful tool for business communication.
- Suitable for Businesses of All Sizes. While the traditional version of Skype can handle up to 25 users, larger businesses can benefit greatly from Skype for Business. Skype for Business is just as useful for the small startup as it is for the largest multinational corporation.
- Includes Powerful Premium Features. You can broadcast company meetings online, with access to up to 10,000 people. It is easy to see how these premium features would benefit big businesses, but they can be just as useful for smaller firms.
- Skype for Business is Secure. Everything that happens on the business version of Skype is encrypted, from video chats, to audio communications, instant messages and file transfers, so you can communicate securely and confidentially.
- Built-in Flexibility. Skype for Business is very flexible, offering businesses excellent control over how the program is used and what information is shared.
- The Cost is Low. Compared to other forms of communication, Skype for Business is a real bargain. Individual user subscriptions make it easy to control costs which offers businesses predictability and flexibility.
- Reduce Your Travel Expenses. Business travel is notoriously expensive and increasingly impractical. From long security lines to endless traffic jams, long distance meetings are often an exercise in frustration. Skype for Business can eliminate that frustration by rendering many in-person meetings unnecessary.
Skype for Business is one of the most powerful and popular tools for business communication that can lower costs and streamline the way your organization collaborates.
If you’re not already using this powerful tool, thanks to their flexible pricing options, you can start with a handful of Microsoft Office Suite subscriptions and give this powerful communications tool a try before scaling it up throughout your business.