If you already use Skype to communicate with friends and family at home, you’ll appreciate the power and familiarity of Skype for Business where it’s easy to find and connect with co-workers. And you can use the devices you already have (iPhone, etc.) to reach business contacts through an “enterprise grade”, secure, IT-managed platform. If you’re already using Lync at your office, you’ll recognize all of the features you already use but in a new interface with simplified controls and some good new additions:
Call from Skype for Business using your desk phone for audio
If you have a PBX (Private Branch Exchange) desk phone and your IT department has configured it to work with Skype for Business you can search for people in your organization and place calls to them within the Skype for Business user interface, while audio for the call flows through your standard desk (PBX) phone. You can also place calls from the Skype for Business client using any phone near you (like your mobile, home, or hotel phone). The person you’re calling sees your phone number as though you were calling from your company’s main phone number.
When you make a Skype for Business call with audio routed through your desk phone, you also get:
- IM—so you can do a quick copy/paste of a URL you want to share (as an example)
- Desktop and app sharing—so you can easily show and tell, work through problems, or explain stuff with pictures
- Attachments—send files to the other person without leaving Skype for Business
Rate My Call
Kind of a cool feature called “Rate My Call” lets Skype for Business Server administrators collect call data, access standard reports, and export raw data for further analysis. Users are prompted to take a survey after completing a call.
First there was Skype, a popular app for instant messaging, video chat, and voice calls. Then Microsoft bought the company in 2011, continuing to offer it as a consumer product along with Lync as a business application. But last year Microsoft announced it would drop Lync in favor of Skype for Business, which would combine features of both Lync and Skype.
Today, some people are confused with what is actually available and how it works. There are two Skype services (free and paid and online or on-premises versions). There are two client types available as well.
Skype for Business Server 2015: This on-premises server provides IM, presence, peer-to-peer VoIP and video, conferencing, enterprise voice, and telephone-system (PSTN) connectivity.
Skype for Business Online: This service is on line and bundled within Microsoft Cloud or Office 365. It provides IM, presence, peer-to-peer VoIP and video, and conferencing. It does not provide enterprise voice or PSTN connectivity, but these features are in development.
Skype for Business: This client replaces the Lync client as part of the Office suite. It works with either version of Skype and on almost all iOS and Android phones.
Skype: This client is available for consumer download, providing free service for personal use. Its features are similar to those of Skype for Business but usually are more limited in scope.
Pretty cool stuff… Microsoft seems to finally be consolidating their story and solution to Enterprise voice and communication. As a result you will likely see more selling to the corporate IT team in your company with Microsoft pointing out these selling points:
- Online meetings, messaging, calls, video, and sharing with up to 250 people.
- Find anyone in your company and schedule meetings in Outlook.
- Enterprise-grade security and management of employee accounts.
- As low as$2.00 user/month