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What is Skype for Business

While working in a company, the standard functionality of official Microsoft messaging tool can be insufficient to satisfy all the demands of the employees that you are working with. In this case, pay a special attention to Skype for Business, which can be exactly what you were looking for.

What is Skype for Business and how does it differ from original Skype?

Business-oriented messaging app is shared as a part of Office 365 suite of products. The service is tightly integrated into other Office components: Outlook, PowerPoint, Excel, Word, etc. So, what is Skype of Business in common and what does it offer to its clients?

The service allows you to quickly connect with others around the world or within the company. It feels and looks like ordinary messenger, but it contains enhanced productivity features that assist to run your business in the more efficient and productive way, like seeing when someone is available/in a middle of a presentation/on a meeting. All these statuses are displayed while you are connected to the messenger and are online.

The service also provides industrial strength security for broadcasting a meeting or a call online.

As well as in standard messaging application, you can share IM, arrange voice calls, video chats. Moreover, in business app version, you can schedule a meeting to start a conversation right from the main app form.

After you access a chat, you can add audio and add another people via simple drag-n-drop mechanics. Moreover, you can share your screen and request others to help you out.

Business tool version is tightly integrated into your other Office programs and works together with them, so you can join a meeting, call or chat.

Online meetings are generated in the same way as regular ones in Outlook.

Links and calling info are added to the invite automatically.

When the time comes to meet, click on the linking of your email.

Your contacts can still attend the meeting, even if they haven’t bought and installed business-related messenger build formerly. After you have joined the meeting, click the More option to see various features that include recording in Full HD ability.

In general, the advanced messenger simply extends the standard messenger's functionality to wider range so that you could apply different options that the service offers.

How to connect usual Skype to Skype for Business?

If you want to contact business-oriented user to simple messenger account on your enterprise, or vice versa, you need to execute the following steps to provide such an opportunity:

  • Check whether you have the latest messenger version installed on your device. If not, update your app.
  • Your Skype account should be linked to a MS account. Check out “How to connect Skype and Microsoft account” FAQ guide to get the details on that procedure.
  • Also, you will need the email of the Skype-for-Business user you are going to contact before logging in to the app.

You may add a business user to your contact list in the same way that you do for simple Skype user, but you are ought to use their emails only, not the phone numbers. When the connection is established, you can perform all the operations which business-related user may do, i.e. send instant messages, see each other’s online status, make video/voice calls.

Important note: Beforehand, you need to make sure that your profile is not hidden from suggestions and the search. In order to do that, you should log in to your account dashboard and go to your Profile settings section. Make sure once again whether your Discoverability ticks are checked on.

Now you know how to connect usual Skype with Skype for Business, how to access the business-users from the ordinary messaging user account and vice-versa.

Skype for Business’ fee rates

According to Microsoft policy, only Office 365 subscribers can download, install and use Skype for Business application on their desktop computer, laptop, smartphone or tablet, as the business-related app package is only a component of the more common Office 365 and is shared in the proper way. The only exception is Basic package — the users may download it for free. In all general occasions, first you need to buy Office 365 subscription.

Microsoft suggests several subscription types depending on your corporate requirements and needs. Below are the current prices for individual US companies to sign up, which you may evaluate and consider:

ProPlus Office 365 build — 12.00$ user/month
Enterprise E1 Office 365 bundle — 8.00$ user/month
Enterprise E3 Office 365 package — 20.00$ user/month
Enterprise E5 Office 365 subscription — 35.00$ user/month.

Depending on the selected package, the quantity of tools and services included severely varies. You can find additional info regarding each of the provided subscription business plans by referring to the following link.

The Microsoft pricing policy establishes individual fee rates for citizens of different countries who wish to acquire Office 365. You can go to the official page to get the detailed info regarding this matter.

How to use Skype for Business?

In order to use the advanced messaging tool, you are ought to install desktop client or refer to Skype for Business Online web app.

Important note: Basic desktop client offers conferencing, IM and presence features for Office 365 subscription plans, which include Skype for Business Online accessibility. If you acquired a license for Enterprise E5, Enterprise E4 or ProPlus bundles, you are also licensed for the full Windows-related desktop client of the app that includes bonus features, such as compliance & archiving and extended telephony support.

You can get a detailed info regarding the setting up and installation of desktop Basic stand-alone client from the following reference. The basic license provides a way to run the actual service version along with different versions of MS Office products.

Skype for Business’ security

The business-oriented build of the tool provides a top-notch level security for its clients. Among the rest, the highest degree of protection is maintained by app server package.

Security is maintained across every feature of business-related application version as well as hardware, services and databases that make a perfect ecosystem for each of the app clients.

Skype for Business is a reliable, secure and productive tool for medium-sized, large-sized and small companies, which serves to facilitate the interaction within the company or with their clients and to advance their business to new level of responsiveness and both-sided profitability. Take the app opportunities into consideration if you are thinking about the optimization of your workflow.

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