Moving from Skype to Skype for Business
In 2015, Microsoft made the decision to rebrand its unified communications system Lync, as Skype for Business. Microsoft changed the user interface of the platform and added features to create a simil...
In 2015, Microsoft made the decision to rebrand its unified communications system Lync, as Skype for Business. Microsoft changed the user interface of the platform and added features to create a similar user experience as Skype for consumers. However, this new version of Skype offers many business benefits when compared to the consumer version.
These added features were created to work with businesses regardless of their size. The benefits of this new platform make it a popular choice for small businesses as they make the move from consumer Skype.
So what are the advantage of Skype for Business and what steps should be taken before implementation?
Benefits of Skype for Business
Conference calling capacity
Unlike the consumer version, which only allows for 25 people to be on a single call, Skype for Business allows for 250 people to be included. This is a much better solution for companies who like to hold webinars or employ a large mobile workforce.
Meetings can also include people who are not on Skype, as long as they can get to a phone or have an Internet connection. Joining the call is also easier, as participants need to simply click a link, as opposed to calling in.
Presentation and recording capabilities
Skype for Business is integrated with every Microsoft Office application, allowing users to screen share, present PowerPoint presentations, and share documents. Users can also permit others to remotely control their desktop right from the app.
These integrations also make it easy to send instant messages, as well as voice and video calls while using an Office application like Word or Excel.
If a meeting merits recording, the new platform makes it easy. Users simply need to go to the options tab and select “Start Recording.” Once started the recording can be paused, stopped, or resumed at any time. When recording is complete users can watch the video or share it with other employees.
Audio and instant message conversations can also be recorded and then stored in the cloud or an email folder for future use.
An administrator role is included in Skype for Business, allowing one user to assign various permissions to others. These permissions include limiting access to certain features, giving rights to video recordings, and denying access to the platform altogether.
The administrator also has the ability to see which users are utilizing what features. This allows them to add needed features, remove unnecessary ones, and monitor employee activity.
Implementing Skype for Business
It is important to create a strategy before implementing any new software, including Skype for Business. While, it may not take much training for those who use the consumer version, businesses should still create an implementation strategy.
Steps to take before implementation include:
- Educating every user on the software platform, especially management teams.
- Determining your business’s communication needs and global outreach.
- Assessing if your current network infrastructure supports the platform.
- Determining what changes need to be made to the current infrastructure.
- Creating a company-wide adoption plan.
Skype for Business has many advantages over its consumer counterpart. It allows for larger conference calls to be made, is integrated with Microsoft Office, and has administrator privileges. These features make it an ideal solution for small businesses looking for added business functionality on the current platform.