Skype for Business (previously known as Lync) is software that allows users to communicate through text chat, voice calls, video calls or online meetings. It is available on desktop, mobile and tablet. This Microsoft product aims to make communication and collaboration easier for professional teams and large-scale enterprises.
Difference between Skype and Skype for Business
Skype for Business is Skype on a larger scale. Skype can only accommodate a maximum for 25 people and is generally used for smaller businesses, or just for leisure and home use. Skype for Business is essentially an upgraded version which comes with more functionality and can be integrated within your Office 365 apps.
Why use Skype for Business?
Skype for Business is a powerful business collaboration tool that offers many features fit for large enterprises – 55% organisations worldwide are using it. The key features include:
- Online meetings and conferences of up to 250 people
- Skype Meeting Broadcast enables you to host webinars to audiences of up to 10,000 people
- Enterprise-grade security
- Recording and playback
- The ability to manage employee accounts
Skype for Business Online vs Skype for Business Server 2019
Skype for Business Online
Skype for Business Online is the cloud-based version and is run on a subscription service. Upon launch, the aforementioned benefits of Skype for Business were only available on the server version. Today, all Skype for Business online subscriptions support the benefits that were previously only available in the server version. Businesses may lean towards the online version for a few reasons:
- Lower costs – The capital expenditure is reduced by a cheaper, on-going subscription. There are no set-up costs and updates and maintenance are all controlled by Microsoft
- Flexibility – Skype for Business can be used anywhere at any time provided there is an internet connection
Skype for Business Server
Server versions are generally more complex to configure and can come with hefty set-up, repair and maintenance costs – especially for large businesses operating at numerous sites. That said, the server version can still be a viable option depending on business needs Companies may opt to use this version for the following reasons:
- Security – Businesses possess more control over security and can also manually install updates so as to not interfere unexpectedly with business operations
- Internal Integration – Customize the set-up in a way that works best for your business’ on-site network
Skype for Business License
Skype for Business allows businesses the flexibility to purchase specific features using add-on licenses. For example, users can add Audio Conferencing or Phone System in Office 365.
Skype for Business Pricing
Skype for Business is integrated into your Office 365 apps. It costs $2 per month, per user.
Skype for Business to Microsoft Teams
Microsoft has announced the Microsoft Teams is now the primary client for messaging, meetings and calling in Office 365. Since October 1 2018, new Office 365 customers have been onboarded to Microsoft Teams and do not have access to Skype for Business. Current licenses for Skype for Business will remain until the end of the term. Following this, users will have to make the transition to Microsoft Teams.
How to use Skype for Business
Connect – Host meetings and conferences between hundreds of people.
Collaborate – Go above and beyond with Skype’s generous set of unique features.
Save – Comes with office 365’s subscription service.