The Top Five Reasons You Need Skype for Business

1. UNIFIED COMMUNICATIONS

Skype for Business is a Unified Communications platform that combines:

  • Instant Messaging
  • Phone Calls (Full Enterprise PBX functionality)
  • Video Calls
  • Conference Calling
  • Screen Sharing and Collaboration
  • Presence

All methods of communication are unified into one easy-to-use application that is available on all your devices, anywhere you are.  In a typical organization, you may have each one of these forms of communication as its own individual service.  In a typical enterprise, we find organizations using Lync or Skype for IM, an onsite PBX phone system, limited video conferencing capability, a by-the-minute conferencing service, WebEx or Go to Meeting for online meetings and screen sharing, all of which are individual costs and individual platforms.  In this setup your users must learn 4-5 different platforms that have no integration between each other.  With Skype for Business, all these communication platforms are unified into one application so no matter how you are trying to communicate,  there is only one platform to learn, and you are just one click away from initiating any type of communication.

2. WORKING FROM ANYWHERE

Skype for Business is a cloud-based service so all these forms of communications are available from your PC, laptop, tablet, or mobile device, anywhere you have an internet connection. Your team can be working from home, the office, a coffee shop, a hotel, or even from a plane.  In most cases, even a LTE connection on the mobile device or tablet without Wi-Fi is sufficient bandwidth for Skype for Business. When someone calls your work number, it rings directly to your device, and when you place calls via Skype, it is from your work number, not your mobile number.  To outside parties, they would never know that you aren’t answering from an office desk phone.

With the collaboration tools, someone working from home or from the road is not limited in their collaboration with other team members.  They can do face-to-face video conferencing, live collaborate on documents, and join conference calls and team meetings with a few clicks from any device, in any location.

3. ELIMINATE INFRASTRUCTURE AND IMPROVE YOUR DISASTER RECOVERY

Another benefit of Skype for Business being a cloud service is you can retire major pieces of your IT infrastructure.  With Office 365 and Skype for Business, you can retire your on premise exchange, PBX system, conferencing service, online meeting tool, and file storage servers.  For your IT team, these systems may require hours of maintenance per month, as well as projects for upgrading and patching them.  The cost of servers, maintenance, and projects for upgrading are all eliminated.  In companies that deploy Skype for Business, they typically have an IT closet at their office full of equipment, and by moving to Office 365 and Skype for Business cloud services, that equipment becomes obsolete.

Having your IT infrastructure in the cloud greatly improves your disaster recovery.  Without cloud-based services in the event of a disaster, your offices would be inaccessible for weeks or destroyed. Your company would essentially be dead in the water because the phone lines are bound to the office location, and your email server might be off or inoperable. With Skype for Business and Office 365, your company could remain at home and function as normal with phones ringing to each employee’s devices, and email and file storage being accessible from anywhere.

4. SAVE MONEY IN MULTIPLE PLACES

Skype for Business and Office 365 are billed as a monthly per user cost which typically costs less than the communication platforms you currently have combined, and all the on premise hardware you will retire.  This service model means there is no large capital expenditure for phone systems, servers, or maintenance contracts.  As your company expands or shrinks, you only pay for how many user accounts you have, and aren’t stuck with an aging on premise system that doesn’t scale to the size of your company.

Besides saving on just the system alone, you save money by reducing travel costs.  With the video conferencing and screen sharing, some work trips won’t be necessary because you can interact with your clients or coworkers as if you were in the same room as them with a simple Skype Meeting invite.

You also save money with workplace efficiency with up to two hours per week saved per employee by the fact at how quickly and easily they can communicate with team members and external parties.  You eliminate internal phone tag and voice mail because your employees are not wasting time calling someone within the organization who isn’t available.  You can quickly see someone’s presence and decide if it’s a good time to call, or tag them for status changes so you get a notification of when they become available.

5. WORK MORE EFFICIENTLY

With Skype allowing you to work from anywhere there are situations where you are completing tasks, attending meetings, and collaborating that simply would not be possible with other communication platforms.  Your physical location is not restrictive of what you can accomplish for work, thus how you plan your day changes because you aren’t tied to your office desk or office phone to get things done.

You are more efficient just purely based off the speed at which you can accomplish things.  A typical workflow with Skype for Business can look like this:

  1. You open the Skype Client and search the name of a co-worker.
  2. You see their presence is listed as available and pick which number you want to call them on.
  3. Once speaking on the phone, you share screens to view the document you are working on together.
  4. Additional team members are added to the call using drag and drop, and you give control of the desktop to the person making edits to the document, make your changes as a group, and then save and distribute.

To accomplish this workflow without Skype would use 3-4 different tools, and require major preparation.  With Skype for Business, this can be done in less than 30 seconds, with no preparation, and all through one application.

This type of workflow saves you and your team hours of time per week and completely changes the way you work.  Instead of sending various edits of the same document back and forth via email, you call each other, screen share, collaborate, and save.

Skype for Business is revolutionary in the work place. You are no longer bound by physical restrictions on where you can work, you have instant access to your entire company using multiple communication methods, you have one application for all your communications on any device, and you have eliminated most of your IT infrastructure costs. If you would like to see a demo of Skype for Business, please feel free to contact me @301.960.0488 and we can show you how Skype for Business can save your company countless hours of time.

 

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Author: Andrew Saah
Andrew is a Skype for Business, Office 365, and Windows Technology Evangelist for TecFac.

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