Using Skype For Business

The rumor news today is that Microsoft is buying Skype. As long as the company is being discussed – let’s take a look at the features (and cheap, cheap calls) Skype offers business users.

It’s Not Just For Kids

Most people I know have used Skype to video chat with family members, or to keep in touch when a college student is off studying abroad. But Skype is much more than this – the company has a whole set of business features, designed to let companies take advantage of their service.

The Benefits

There are three big benefits to using Skype for business:

  • Cost – As I mentioned earlier, Skype is very inexpensive. You can acquire additional phone numbers and make both domestic and international calls at a low price. When contacting others that also use Skype, both calls and 1-1 video chat are 100% free. You can also purchase phone numbers in other locations, and make it cheap for customers to call you.
  • Convenience – Skype provides a number of convenient features, such as the ability to redirect your Skype number to a physical phone of your choice. You can also access voicemails at your computer or phone (and have them sent as texts, for an additional fee), and can make calls through your telephone or computer. It is also possible to install a “call us” button on your company website. Finally, the Skype Manager for business allows you to manage features and usage for your employees.
  • Collaboration – Even for companies that have no interest in using Skype for general calling, the ability to see other user’s statuses, send instant messages, transfer files, and initiate calls or video chat can be great for companies with a geographically diverse work-force. You can also run free conference calls and share your screen with other users.

Getting Started With Skype For Business

If you’ve never used Skype before (or if you want a separate account for business), you’ll need to create an account. Then, download the business version of their software. Everyone that will be using Skype at their computer needs to install this. It will run you through a setup wizard, to make sure the audio is setup properly on your computer and add contacts.

Once everything’s up and running, you’ll see this screen:

Skype For Business Software

This is the terminal you use to add contacts to Skype, make calls, access voicemails, and reach all the other features.

If more than one employee will be using Skype for business, you probably want to setup the Skype Manager. This will let you purchase an assign credits/subscriptions to your employees, and monitor usage. The dashboard looks like:

Skype Manager DashboardOnce everything’s installed, you can begin using Skype’s free services. If you’re going to be using paid options (including group video calling, voicemail, calling traditional/cell phones, and making it possible for traditional/cell phones to call you), you can check out the pricing on this page.

Conclusion/Other Options

For businesses with multiple locations, using Skype for internal collaboration is hard to beat. Using Skype to replace your regular phone can be a bit more challenging, but making international calls or purchasing foreign phone numbers through the service are easy ways to save money. Skype also offers a Skype Connect option, to help companies use Skype with a SIP-enabled PBX (business phone system).

If you’re interested in Skype and are looking to compare, there are other options available. Very small companies can consider Google Voice (previously discussed on this blog), or perhaps Toktumi. RingCentral and OnSip (guest posted about hosted VOIP a while back) are a couple easy to use systems available to both small and larger businesses.

Tags: ,

5 Responses to “Using Skype For Business”

  1. outsourcing software companies July 1, 2012 at 7:55 am #

    Wow, fantastic blog layout! How long have you been blogging for?
    you made blogging look easy. The overall look of your
    web site is fantastic, as well as the content!

  2. beats October 24, 2012 at 7:47 pm #

    Simply desire to say your article is as astounding. The clarity for your submit is just excellent and that i could suppose you are knowledgeable on this subject. Well together with your permission allow me to take hold of your feed to keep up to date with forthcoming post. Thank you one million and please keep up the rewarding work.

  3. facebook marketing services August 4, 2013 at 12:50 am #

    WOW just what I was searching for. Came here by searching for facebook marketing services

  4. xbox live gratuit code May 30, 2014 at 5:37 am #

    Hi everybody, here every one is sharing such familiarity,
    so it’s pleasant to read this weblog, and I used to pay a visit
    this webpage everyday.

  5. Grace de Monaco sous-titres français June 20, 2014 at 6:52 pm #

    Compare and contrast your choices to decide what will work best
    for your room and budget. The last thing you would want is to have your viewing
    dominated by an overlay large screen. An electronic board alerting
    moviegoers when their show is starting and when it’s time for seating for that particular show, is situated in the lounge, as is a large HDTV.