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There are many different business tools you can use within Microsoft Office 365 and the latest one that has been integrate is Skype for Business. The tool has been able to be utilized by businesses for many years as a stand alone tool but now it can be part of your current Office 365 infrastructure.
Microsoft and Skype
Microsoft is a wonderful business platform because of a variety of reasons. They have the Windows products as well as the Azure cloud platform that can help people run their businesses better. Microsoft is also a leading unified communications provider which means that they provide methods of communication within their packages. Even if you have heard about Skype as a way to communicate with friends and family, you may not realize that is can also be used in a business setting. Skype for Business is Microsoft’s cloud-based video conferencing tool that can be used through Office 365 as well as on its own. Skype for Business effectively replaces Microsoft’s Lync 2013 and Windows Messenger.
Why Skype for Business is a Great Solution
As a business solution, Skype allows companies to have video conferences with clients, employees, and any other individual with ease. Since it is already integrated with the Microsoft product, there is nothing more people have to do as long as they are current customers with Office 365. It is a tool that is already integrated with the Microsoft packages but it can also be used by people who do not have one of their packages. There are a lot of features within Skype for Business including scheduling tools, single touch join, the ability to share content during the video call, instant messaging that is separate from the voice calling but can also be used during a call, recording of calls, presence, and PSTN connectivity. It can be used for smaller video calls as well as larger ones with up to 250 participants and up to 6 people on the screen at one time. If you have more people who need to watch the meeting, you can stream it live through Microsoft Azure as well as stream it for viewing later. Skype for Business also integrates high-definition video conferencing so all calls look and sound great.
Free Vs. Paid Versions
Although Skype for Business is not free when it is purchased on its own, it is still part of the Office 365 paid subscription so it comes free when you get the subscription. You can get it separately for your business by paying a monthly fee. Microsoft also still offers a free consumer version of Skype that many people have grown to know and love. If you are interested in getting Skype for Business through Office 365, it is available in two of Microsoft’s business plans and in three of the available enterprise plans. Additionally, you can get the Skype for Business application through Office 365 ProPlus plan but it does not include the license. Microsoft also offers plans for education, nonprofit, and government sectors that include Skype for Business.