4 Skype for Business Features Your Might Not Have Known About


With Skype for Business, your entire organization can stay connected via chat, phone and video conference. Firms that relied for years on Lync Server can seamlessly transition to the similar capabilities of the on-premises Skype for Business Server, while newcomers to Office 365 can take advantage of Skype for Business Online.

Some of the basic functions in Skype for Business, such as its support for VoIP and chat, are well-known. But there's a lot more under the hood of the application. What else can you do with Skype for Business? Here are a few possibilities to explore:

Broadcast a meeting

Remote work, either from employees' homes or from far-flung branch offices, is on the rise. A recent survey of 15,000 adults conducted by Gallup found that 43 percent of them reported working remotely at least some of the time. For these employees, access to collaboration tools and company resources are essential, and Skype for Business delivers on both counts via features such as meetings broadcasts.

A meeting held on Skype for Business can be broadcast live for up to 10,000 viewers. Accordingly, the platform is ideal for virtual town halls and webinars. Skype for Business is also tightly integrated with Yammer and Bing Pulse, which enable dialogue and sentiment tracking/live polling, respectively.

Hold a PSTN conference

The growing popularity of VoIP does not necessarily entail the demise of public switched telephone networks and phone numbers. In fact, Skype for Business includes a PSTN conferencing function that allows anyone to connect to a conference from any phone.

Convenient dial-in access is available via a common PSTN number for each meeting. Local numbers for each market are also available, along with a toll-free option that can be accessed via PIN. The PSTN implementation is managed through Office 365, meaning that it is available in Skype for Business Online (previously, PSTN features required Skype for Business Server).

Replace your PBX infrastructure

Private branch exchange (PBX) phone networks are fixtures of many business, but they are typically expensive to maintain and keep current in the context of rapid technological evolution. Skype for Business offers an alternative to the cost of the hardware upgrade cycle, in the form of cloud PBX.

"Skype for Business offers an alternative to the cost of PBX upgrade cycle."

Cloud PBX emulates all of the quintessential features of a business phone system, including caller ID, call hold and retrieve, call waiting and call delegation. At the same time, it can be scaled globally to many sites since it is supported by the Microsoft Cloud. There is also seamless device switching between the Skype for Business clients for both desktop and mobile devices.

Connect to Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams is one of the newest components of Office 365. It provides a Slack-like chat experience that is connected to many other Microsoft apps, including Skype for Business.

One of the defining advantages of Teams is how it facilitates co-authoring of documents, as well as additional communication via phone or video, from within a single chat interface, so that users do not have to constantly switch between apps. Its integration with Skype for Business is pivotal in enabling such seamless collaboration.

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Jul 2017

By: Kayla Tellers