Skype is one of the original video chatting platforms. It was developed in 2003 and later purchased in 2011 by Microsoft. Microsoft went on to develop Skype for Business which is a professionally-focused version of the Skype platform.
Skype for Business allows up to 250 users to meet in a video conference to chat, share, and collaborate. Users can upload PowerPoint presentations for their conference call, enable the whiteboard feature to draw and edit, share screens, and interact from any connected device.
Creating and joining a Skype for Business conference call is as easy as generating and sharing a unique link for users to follow. Plus, businesses can step up their conference experience with Skype for Business accessories.
Since Skype for Business is included as a part of Office 365, the functionality comes packed with the Office 365 programs users are familiar with. However, users do have the option to install the standalone client which does lack some integrations.
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Who Skype for Business is best for
Skype is a platform that many people are already familiar with, this could be a good option for businesses that want a plug and play solution that’s easy to understand. The integration with Office 365 can be valuable for businesses already using Microsoft Office products.
For businesses that want more advanced features like call routing, access to a toll-free number, and large meeting support for more than 250 people; Skype for Business will fall short of expectations as it is not a true, fully featured VOIP provider.
Skype for Business pricing
Skype for Business has recently only been made available to Office 365 subscribers with Microsoft Team capability which can make pricing confusing. For example, the Office 365 Business plan does not offer this capability.
- Free: The free plan allows 10 users to host unlimited meetings. This also provides support for the whiteboard, in-meeting instant messaging, screen sharing, multiple device support, and custom URL invites.
- Office 365 Essentials: For $5 per user, per month, businesses get access to the web and mobile versions of Outlook, Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. This includes 24/7 support, 1TB storage, support for 250 meeting participants, and more advanced collaboration tools.
- Office 365 Business Premium: For $12.50 per month, per user, users have local installations of Office apps and other features like Microsoft Bookings and Outlook Customer Manager.
Skype customer support
Users on paid plans have access to 24/7 support via phone, email, and live chat. In addition, there is a help center with a wealth of articles for users to search and browse. Since Skype for Business is a Microsoft product, the support page includes a lot of information that may not be relevant. There are also very active user forums where other customers and Microsoft staff regularly contribute.
- Integrated with Office 365
- Easy to use platform
- Includes advanced collaboration tools
- Free standalone product available
- Users may not need the entire Office 365 suite
- Confusing pricing structure
- Overall: 4.5
- Features: 5
- Pricing: 4
- Ease of Use: 4.5
- Customer Service: 4.5