For online videoconferencing, we’ve two Skypes now: most of us know the free consumer version of it, and the other one is Skype for Business, formerly Microsoft Office Communicator and Microsoft Lync. This rebranded, redesigned Microsoft Lync has been done to give Skype’s consumer the feel of business environment and this applies to all the enterprise.
As the standard Skype client puts status and information about their availability or non-availability, the contact management in Skype for Business, provides the same options at your fingertips.
Skype for Business seems virtually identical to Skype but they are not the same. They not only differ just because Skype for Business costs money like Microsoft Lync. Skype for Business provides its client with capacity and productivity advantages specially designed for businesses that are huge or present themselves as big. If a business has the following mentioned needs, then moving-on from free Skype to Skype for business will not only meet these needs but will also be a worthwhile return on investment.
- Conduct meeting in large number?
The standard Skype on a conference call is limited to 25 people at once, whereas Skype for Business has pushed this limit to 250, making it a platform for large-scale presentations like live webinars or all-hands meetings. People participating in Skype or Skype for Business meetings may not be necessarily using a Skype user to have them in meeting. With an extra fees applied on dial-in users, both Skype and Skype for Business services support calls from landlines and standard mobile phones.
- Easy integration with office apps?
The way Skype for Business is being integrated into Office 365 is one of its biggest advantage. This essentially means its clients will use Outlook directly with Skype for Business’ IM, voice and video features by just clicking directly on one of their contact to initiate a conversation with them or schedule a meeting later if required. Outlook will archive the meeting history on Skype for Business with each of your contact you’ve had a meeting with. Several other Office 365 apps get into the play, too. If you want to collaborate on a Excel spreadsheet or PowerPoint presentation, then without having to leave the program you’ll be able to initiate a conference and share your screen.
- Concern for Permissions and Security?
Although it doesn’t mean that VoIP calls are shielded with plates against eavesdroppers but yes, all the Skype traffic is encrypted with AES(both standard and Skype for Business). As the administrator Skype for Business gives you stronger control over the accounts and access about who can do what with which tool by raising its stakes with stronger authentication methods. With different program features which can be assigned to each user on the service, subscriptions can be added and removed at the user level.
Skype for Business conferences have all the required features from screen sharing-to-text chat-and-individual control over participants’ microphones-and-what not?
- Sophisticated conference room setup?
If you want to set up a dedicated videoconferencing room so that, say, two satellite offices can communicate face-to-face over video with each other, Skype for Business must be the priority. Lync was built with these types of setups in mind, and the new Skype Room Systems will allow you to use Skype with standalone monitors and cameras, audio gear from Polycom and the Microsoft Surface Hub online through ink or touch for whiteboarding. Existing Lync Room Systems is upgradable to Skype Room Systems. Skype for Business can be integrated with many enterprise class PBX systems and lets you route the calls more easily using your phones over VOIP.
- Require great features for reasonable price?-‘Online Plan 2’
The basic difference- Skype is free but Skype for Business will cost you. The two basic plans are available for smaller companies “Online Plan 1” and “Online Plan 2”.
“Online Plan 1” is with a yearly contract and costs $2 per user per month which covers only the basics. Fundamentally you get a little more than standard Skype with Online Plan 1.
But, you get way more features with “Online Plan 2”. This will cost $5.50/month service and it adds HD video to group conferences, allows a web browser including anonymous connections to join meetings, Outlook schedule integration, the ability to record meetings, desktop sharing and remote control and much more.
You’ll need a Skype for Business Server and likely a third-party integrator to do the job for more sophisticated setups. Prices at different level may vary which includes conference room integration, dial-in audio features and E911 support.
Skype is available for Skype for iPhone , iPad, android operating system and blackberry phones. You can also download Skype on Windows mobile platform.