We understand that small and mid-sized businesses value software and products that are low cost or free. For years, Skype has been a predominantly free service people and businesses from all over use to collaboratively communicate. However, when Microsoft launched Skype for Business last year, the paid service received skepticism from businesses that already were using Skype. Because, as anyone would ask, why would they need to pay for a service that already worked well for free? Why fix something that isn’t broken, right?
Well, the new and upgraded features explain it all.
- Large Meetings/Webinars
Standard Skype allows up to 25 people on one call, whereas upgrading to Skype for Business offers 10x that amount at 250. So, for large businesses, this would benefit them greatly. For smaller businesses, even if they wouldn’t typically have 25 people in a meeting at once, as they grow, they may need this kind of flexibility for a webinar, where the number of attendees can quickly jump from 25 people to over 100.
- Conference Features and Capabilities
Being business-oriented, Skype for Business offers features pertinent to authentic meeting communication. PSTN Conferencing allows employees to attend meetings by phone. For the largest meeting situations, Skype Meeting Broadcast provides the tools to help plan these events. Cloud PBX is an Office 365-centric platform that helps old PBX systems transition into the cloud.
- Microsoft 365 Synchronization
One of the many perks of Microsoft buying Skype is its convenient integration with Outlook. With this ability, you’re able to communicate with your Outlook contacts through the program’s famous features like IM, voice, and video. Outlook will also be able to keep track of your business meeting history for each contact. The coolest and arguably the most useful feature is the ability to share your screen during a chat while using other Microsoft programs, like Excel or Powerpoint. Lastly, Microsoft makes it super simple to transfer from the Lync server to the Skype server.
- Plan Options
If you’re still concerned about your pockets, don’t be. There are two types of plans, which speak to the needs of a business of any size. “Online Plan 1” will cost $2 per user per month, and the upgrade version, “Online Plan 2”, will cost $5.50 per user monthly. Though the “Online Plan 1” will appeal to small businesses, don’t get allured by the cheaper price, because it really doesn’t offer much more than the standard free version does.
Transitioning from Lync to Skype? Want to have interactive meetings or collaborative opportunities? OSG can help you with your Skype for Business journey. Get in touch with us.