Skype for Business is plainly the good old Skype we all know – with a few added options and incredibly affordable for all companies.
Okay, compared to Ooma, Ring Central, or Dialpad, Skype for Business doesn’t go so far along the way. But it is not trying to do so, and this is a nice idea to start with. Although the software is now part of the Microsoft Teams package, it is still among the cheapest options for Video Conferences out there. If you are running a small business – check it out for sure. If you are confident in managing up to 250 people via video chats, well, give it a try, too. Bigger enterprises wouldn’t get many benefits of using the program but Skype for Business remains a budget-y possibility for many business owners!
Don’t let the low cost (starting from $5 a month) fool you – Skype for Business has all the important tools to turn a collaboration into a straight-out success. Microsoft Office applications are implemented, as usual, and we also have meeting notes, various polls/surveys, individual meeting notes, screen sharing option, and many whiteboards. Users can freely present via PowerPoint, and there is a sweet Mute option for the talkies in the room. Come on, there is always at least one person who can’t stop blabbing to themselves during a meeting. Or we are just that lucky, eh?
The inclusion of Skype for Business into Microsoft Teams means that we can’t get the stand-alone software anymore. We need to purchase one of three different packages but we will discuss their pricing a bit later in the review. On the other hand, we get more features! And this is always nice.
To start off, the Free Version of Teams gets us unlimited messaging and a search function. The Guest Access feature is perfect for a freelancer collaboration as it provides outside users to join you in certain projects. The user-limit is 300 for all instances of the deal eligible for video and audio calls without slowdowns or crashing connections. The only downside so far seems the limited storage space – 2 GB per user and a shared 10 GB for the whole group. Not to worry, however, the paid plans lift the storage limitation by a lot so we should be okay even if we try to maintain a 300-employee machine using only Skype for Business!
|Contact list of Skype accounts and Phone numbers||Not a fully-developed VoIP platform|
|Audio/Video Recording of Calls||Online subscription plans aren’t compatible with land-based phones|
|Massive Video Conference Possibilities|
Not being a fully-fledged VoIP system, Skype for Business packs a different “Microsoftian” approach to Customer Support than others. The fastest way to resolve any issues remains the live chat option with a Microsoft employee but the comprehensive Support page on Microsoft’s website is more than capable of answering all basic-to-advanced questions. If you ever had problems with a Windows OS, you are well aware that the site narrows the question range to an optimal amount so any user can find their solution in an adequate way!
Okay, let’s round it up. Skype for Business is definitely not the front-line warrior of VoIP services. Although the software has a lot of enhancements compared to the traditional Skype, it is still far away from reaching the league leaders in the communication tool services. Nevertheless, it is still a cheap option for SMB or even bigger companies who wish to keep it simple. Bear in mind, you can save up on phone bills with it, and at this price, it deserves at least a thought or two before reaching your final verdict!