You know Skype; chances are you’ve probably used it for years. Statistics show us that it is particularly prevalent among smartphone users:
- 29% of smartphone users aged 18-29 use the app
- 27% of smartphone users aged 30-59 use it
- Even 12% of those aged 60 and over regularly use Skype on their smartphones
In 2011, Microsoft purchased Skype and eventually used it to replace their Lync communications feature in Office 365. They evolved the Skype application for individual users into Skype for Business. Today, Skype for Business is one of the most-used platforms for office communications on the planet, with more than 145 million users.
But even though you may have been using Skype, we’d like to introduce you to Skype for Business, which has some new features that may surprise you.
Skye for Business — New Features on an Old Favorite
Skype for Business is part of your Office 365 online subscription. This software was designed to help you quickly connect with anyone, whether it is an employee on the road, a client, or a big audience for a training or presentation.
Together with Office 365, Skype for Business helps you increase your productivity by improving communications between today’s teams who are most often spread out and on the go – not confined to a solo office.
Skype for Business allows you to see the status of your contacts to determine if they’re available for a call. For example, you can see if someone is in a meeting or on vacation. Because Skype for Business is integrated with Microsoft Office 365, you can access your Outlook contacts easily by simply hovering over the person you want to connect with. You can then select if you want to instant message, call, video chat, or schedule a meeting. It’s that simple.
Once you’re chatting, you can invite other people, add audio to the IM, or share your screen in a video conference. You can even pass your screen on to others and let them drive. There’s a whiteboard feature that lets you sketch out a brainstorm.
Online meetings are created in the same easy way you schedule an Outlook appointment. Because Skype for Business is integrated into Microsoft Office 365 tools, all the calendars sync together, and your Outlook contacts can easily be added to Skype. When you schedule a meeting in Skype, participants will receive an email with a clickable link to dial into the meeting. Accepting the meeting puts it right on the calendar where they won’t be able to miss it.
Skype for Business was designed for everything from solo phone calls to a big meeting broadcast presentation to 250 people. The presenter can control the online meeting from a secure web portal that engages audiences with interactive polls and Q&A. You can even record your meetings in HD and archive them for later.
Those are just some of the best features of Skype for Business, the tool that helps you stay productive and ties together with the rest of the Office 365 product suite.